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Ribbon’ show survives injury to performer, hobbled economy

Earl Turner and Lani Misalucha perform in the Golden Rainbow’s 23rd Annual “Ribbon of Life” show at the Las Vegas Hilton on Sunday.
Photo: Tiffany Brown

Notes as the sequins and feathers are swept from yesterday’s 23rd annual “Ribbon of Life” Golden Rainbow benefit show at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater:

Ribbon of Life

*Before the show, during rehearsals, aerialist and “Sin City Kitties” cast member Sonya Sonnenberg was injured during a fall and taken by paramedics to Sunrise Hospital after reportedly suffering fractures to both of her wrists and a fractured pelvis. She underwent surgery yesterday. A bank account to assist in her medical expenses -- which shouldn’t be too excessive considering the fantastic health care we have in this country -- is being set up now. We’ll post that info as soon as it is available.

*Flamingo headliner George Wallace again gave of his time, and even his money, at the event. He unexpectedly slipped Golden Rainbow President Carol Hunter a check for $2,500 for the organization. However, we need Wallace and Scott “Carrot Top” Thompson together to sort out who owns the joke about jumping off the Luxor. I don’t know if this is shared material or what, but the joke is that nobody can commit suicide by jumping off the Luxor because he or she just slides down the side back into the gaming pit. Some version of that joke is being told by both comics. It’s a funny bit, and maybe an example of the Lennon/McCartney approach to joke-writing, but still: One, and only one, comic should get to tell the joke.

*I expected the full cast of “Jersey Boys” to sing and was mistaken. It was “Jersey Boys” cast member Jason Martinez, backed by Lauren Tartaglia, Leslie Goddard and Chari Brown, for a “Cruisin’/Let’s Stay Together” medley. The guys from Human Nature cut loose, as expected, with a Motown medley, and so impressive was Mosaic that vocalist/photographer Bobby Black (a great singer himself as one-third of the Las Vegas Tenors) flatly said that they are “the best vocalists ever to hit Las Vegas.” Black might be a little biased, as he helped persuade the six-member group to relocate here, but he might well be right.

*Factoring prominently in the two-hour show were members of “Jubilee!,” “Phantom,” “Sin City Kitties,” “Sin City Bad Girls, “Sin City Heat” “Rich & Famous,” “Fantasy” and Cirque shows. Earl Turner and Lani Misalucha of “Voices” at the Hilton performed a 1964-1984 medley, and the show closed with an unscheduled, full-cast rendition of “We Are the World” as a tribute to Michael Jackson.

*Hunter said the event raised more money than she had anticipated, for the sluggish economy (which is now part of the climate for all fundraisers), but the event drew about 1,100 to the theater and may well have raised 80 percent of last year’s $250,000 take. You do the math. Money raised went to Golden Rainbow, which spends $15,000 a month just in basic living expenses to those afflicted with AIDS/HIV. “We get referrals from other organizations, and we are often the last stop for those needing assistance,” Hunter said.

Golden Rainbow is frequently the last house on the block for those suffering, so it’s good to avoid this particular foreclosure.

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John Katsilometes is a columnist and magazine writer for the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly and editor-at-large for ...

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