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GRAY MATTERS

News, observations, stray thoughts + medically supervised brain drainings about our city



It's September, the Scariest Month of the Year


Recent News Releases from all sorts of experts makes it clear that the world—particularly in September— is a very, very scary place:


• The American Red Cross declares September National Preparedness Month in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to "remind parents and children to review the basics of readiness." The release notes that Las Vegas "may be on a terrorist list" and explores ways that parents and children should "talk about how they would be iimpacted ..."


• "Free Video/Kit Foils Abductions ...

"In a country where thousands of child sexual predators are released back into the streets each year and countless others avoid arrest ... the Good Knight Network is offering winning deception awareness video ... (about) the ten basic deceptions that individuals use to abduct and victimize kids ..."


• "... Helmet Giveaway ... The Prancing Pony Coffee Bar is proud to be working with the Nevada Injury Prevention/Think First-Nevada ... whose mission is to prevent unintentional brain and spinal cord injuries. Wearing a proper helmet can reduce the risk of serious brain injury ..."


• AAA says, "Kids at Risk As School Year Begins ... amidst all the excitement they also can forget to look for cars."


• "AAA Warns of Fire Season Danger."


• "In recognition of the unpredictable and often dangerous world we live in today, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is proud to announce the HRH K-9 Unit. Every step is an important one in the ongoing struggle maximized homeland security ... the hotel will utilize the dog's exceptional ability to detect explosives ..."




Bureaucratic


Pertinent information from an Associated Press story on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Fingerprint Bureau:


500: Amount of people processed weekly


1,500: Amount processed before the bureau stopped issuing work cards for many casino jobs last year


$45: Cost for a criminal background check


$45: Cost for fingerprinting


The story notes the oddity of the masses assembling at the Downtown facility, some coming for work cards, others registering as felons: "Each morning, five days a week, a drab, concrete building bulges with security guards, strippers, childcare workers and the occasional dog handler.


Cocktail waitresses, private investigators, bartenders and locksmiths line up next to child pornographers and felons convicted of murder, violent robbery and kidnapping."




Duh



"But believe it or not, in 21st-century Las Vegas, you can easily spend three or four days amusing yourself—soaking up culture, taking in the desert sights, hitting the clubs, jumping on roller coasters, flying in helicopters, showcasing your karaoke skills, eating fabulous meals, luxuriating at a spa—without ever thinking about whether you should hit with 13 when the dealer is showing a 7."



—Story in the Arizona Republic




A Flamboyant, Zaftig Guy in Drag? Might Have Trouble Fitting In Around Here, Don't You Think?


Will the embarassment of Broadway riches never stop pouring into the desert? Beyond Avenue Q (in previews at Wynn Las Vegas) we now get word that, along with a production of Hairspray set to spritz all over the Luxor beginning next February, comes original stars Dick Latessa and ... wait for it ... Harvey Fierstein! The duo, as Wilbur and Edna Turnblad, respectively, will kick off the show's multi-year engagement with a 12-week run. After getting rave reviews back East for his performance as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Fierstein returns to familiar territory here—in drag. All we can say is: Frank Marino, don't get your garters in a bunch.




And Now ... For a Genuine Drag ...


While Broadway dive-bombs Vegas, community theater takes a hit. Nevada Theatre Company Artistic Director Deanna Duplechain has announced that the valiant troupers will disband in mid-November. "It is sad to say, but we just could not continue to survive realistically with the income we were receiving."


Duplechain said in a statement, pointing out that while ticket sales were healthy for the nonprofit theater, needed contributions from "individuals, corporations, government and foundations" were consistently lacking. "At a certain point, I had to admit it was not going to happen here for NTC." Duplechain plans to move to Austin, Texas, when NTC ceases operations. And Vegas will be culturally poorer for it.

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