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Visitors awestruck at Justice Entertainment Groupís memorabilia collection


Justice Entertainment Offices

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Music and sports memorabilia at Justice Entertainment Friday, July 27, 2012.

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Backstage passes, tour jackets and album covers at Justice Entertainment Friday, July 27, 2012.

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A wall of signed baseballs and other sports memorabilia at Justice Entertainment Friday, July 27, 2012.

By John Katsilometes

It’s tempting to refer to this fortress of artifacts as a trip down Memory Lane, but it is so much more than that.

The offices of Justice Entertainment Group represent a crisscrossing trip across the Memory Interstate Highway System.

The JEG headquarters at the Hughes Airport Center in Las Vegas are filled with thousands of treasures amassed by music and entertainment veteran Susan Joseph and her partner, famed concert promoter Dick Klotzman. JEG expanded to Las Vegas two years ago, signing Thomas & Mack Center and Sam Boyd Stadium Director Daren Libonati as its president and chief operating officer. Klotzman is Joseph’s “significant other,” using her description of the relationship, and occupies an office as a consultant with JEG.

The company remains the contracted event booking and business partner with the Mack and Sam Boyd and is promoting Sunday’s soccer exhibition — billed as the World Football Challenge — between Spanish champion Real Madrid and Mexico champ Santo Laguna at Sam Boyd. Game time is 8 p.m., and tickets are $65 to $250 (plus fees).

To describe the scope of the JEG headquarters, imagine the rock ’n’ roll memorabilia collection around the casino floor at the Hard Rock Hotel. Then remove all of the machines and tables from that floor, and fill it with more memorabilia.

Oh, and drop a few desks in the middle. That’s what it’s like at JEG.

“I feel comfortable in here,” Joseph says in her stuffed-with-memorabilia office, one wall covered with gold records. “We have never thrown away anything that has meaning.”

Joseph says it takes visitors who arrive at JEG’s offices to conduct business a few minutes to shake their heads and get into work mode after looking around at the dizzying surroundings.

“I go to the dentist’s office, where there is nothing on the walls, and it’s so boring,” she says. “I would feel really weird if this stuff weren’t here.”

Joseph says she started putting items she collected on display in 1973, when she began representing Seals & Crofts. But the collection dates at least a decade earlier than that, and in many instances, you walk through a door and are surrounded by thousands of Disney-licensed knickknacks, as the company has promoted “Disney on Ice” productions. This particular office is loaded with Disney figures and at least a couple dozen Mickey Mouse watches.

Walk through the halls and you hit tour jackets ranging from those worn by Sean Cassidy’s crew in the late 1970s to Madonna’s “Blonde Ambition” tour. The Circus Room is a dazzling display of items gleaned from the company’s promotion of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey events. The Christmas Room allows it to be Christmas year-round at JEG, as 17 decorated trees and hundreds of holiday ornaments and toys (including a model train) adorn the space.

The vast majority of the items have been taken from direct partnerships between Joseph and Klotzman over the years. He promoted the first Beatles concert in February 1964 at the Washington Coliseum, explaining the vintage poster of the event that overlooks the company’s conference room. In an opposite corner is a space dedicated to the Jacksons, as Klotzman promoted the brothers’ “Victory” tour and early appearances by the Jackson 5. He promoted Elvis, too, and one of the more striking pieces is a poster from a scheduled Presley appearance from Aug. 21, 1977, at the Hartford Civic Center in Connecticut. The show never came off, as Presley died less than a week before he was to perform.

The collection is hardly restricted to rock ’n’ roll. Jackets from such Broadway productions as “Annie” and “Evita” are displayed. One significant space is dedicated to sports memorabilia dating to the playing careers of Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle (the first Mangle comic book is displayed). The men’s room boasts a vintage Vegas theme, with shots of the Rat Pack and the “Scarface” movie poster hanging from the walls.

When he moved over from the Thomas & Mack, Libonati lugged over his own collection of favored mementos. Hanging from the walls are promotional posters from such significant events as the Holyfield-Lewis heavyweight title fights, the Vegoose music festival and the neon 2007 NBA All-Star Game promotional sign. Libonati plays the drums, and on the face of the bass he has fastened a round poster from a Flogging Molly appearance at the Mack.

As she gives a tour of the space, Joseph straightens the crooked frames on photos of the band Foreigner and an autographed “Elton John Greatest Hits” CD. She has no idea what the value of the collection would be if put up for sale.

“It is irreplaceable,” she says. “What is it worth? It’s impossible to know. But I can tell you, to us it is absolutely priceless.”

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at



Phelps finds gold plying Las Vegas waters

Posted: Aug. 9, 2012 | 2:07 a.m.
Updated: Aug. 9, 2012 | 7:46 a.m.

Las Vegas has become a dating pool for Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps.
And it appears cocktail servers are his type.
The 18-time Olympic gold medalist reportedly met his new girlfriend, Megan Rossee, in a Las Vegas club earlier this year.

Rossee, described as a California model who has worked as a cocktail server, has become a celebrity in London since she showed up on the red carpet with Phelps over the weekend.

Phelps was a club-hopping fixture in Las Vegas after his eight gold medal onslaught in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

During his post-Olympic celebration here, he was serious enough with a Palms cocktail server that he took her home to meet his mother.

But his relationship with Carolynn "Caz" Pal bottomed out a short time later. She currently works as a VIP table host at 1 OAK nightclub at The Mirage.

Pal, in her first interview with Vegas Confidential in December 2008, agreed to talk after her Thanksgiving trip with Phelps.

By then the Internet was ablaze with risqué photos of her, including a photo shoot for Beverly Pimp & Hos, an urban clothing line that was popularized by Dennis Rodman, Carmen Electra and Nick Cannon.

She said the publicity storm was an unfair portrayal.

"Those photos are not a statement of who I am," she told me.

Pal agreed to the interview on the condition that she would not discuss Phelps. She did reveal how she met him: Someone in his entourage delivered a "message" to her while she was having lunch with a girlfriend at the Palms.

Phelps had kept his relationship with Rossee submerged for months, although she was seen with him at the Olympic trials in Omaha.

Her father, Wayne Rossee, told that she went to London at Phelps' request.

"She is not with him to be famous. She doesn't need that from him," Wayne Rossee said.

Among the many photos that surfaced almost overnight of Phelps' girlfriend included one taken by of her with girlfriends posing with a male dressed as quarterback Tom Brady in a New England Patriots uniform.


The Real Madrid-Santos Lagunas match, which drew 30,000 to Sam Boyd Stadium on Sunday, was just the beginning of an ambitious plan, according to one of the promoters.

Susan Joseph, chairman and CEO of Justice Entertainment Group, told me the idea is to double down next year.

She said JEG is working on a four-team super-rivals weekend event that would pit Manchester United against Manchester City and FC Barcelona "hopefully" taking on Real Madrid.

The winners would meet on a Sunday at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Europe's top clubs are throwing their weight behind efforts to boost soccer's popularity in the United States.

Cristiano Ronaldo told Los Angeles reporters last week that he wouldn't mind following David Beckham's lead by playing for a U.S. club.

"(The soccer here) is good, but it can be better," he said. "If I can help it to be better soccer here, I can help. I think they are great; they are in a good way. I hope to come here to play one day."


"Iron Man" director Jon Favreau announced on Twitter that he has plan to direct the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway hit musical "Jersey Boys." Favreau wrote and starred in "Swingers," the story of a happening road trip to Las Vegas with a best friend portrayed by Vince Vaughn.


ESPN baseball analyst Orel Hershiser with wife Dana in the lounge at Joe's Stone Crab (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Tuesday.


"What's going on with the Jets? They've had more fights this year than Floyd Mayweather." - Frank Caliendo

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or Find additional sightings and more online at Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.



EWF blows out the Joint; Adrian Zmedís Thai wedding plans; Amazing Johnathan eyes new haunt


Earth Wind & Fire performs at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.


By John Katsilometes

Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 | 1:49 p.m.

Earth Wind & Fire at the Joint

As the band played at high volume and danced with untrammeled energy, the aisle leading to the staged repeatedly filled with fans craning to be close. Many held iPhones aloft. They waved and pumped their fists until a security official in a black T-shirt threw a damper on the fun and led them back to their seats.

This happened over and over, and I felt bad for the security detail, who was sweating in the warm music hall and shaking his head at this group effort. One particularly avid fan wearing a Kurt Warner No. 13 Arizona Cardinals jersey seemed bent on catching the attention of any of the 11 performers onstage. Again and again, he was sacked.

The band in question was formed 41 years ago, known then and now as Earth Wind & Fire. The venue was the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. EWF put on a crisp 90-minute show Friday night, about filling the venue (which seats around 3,000 in Friday’s configuration). They played all the classics, among them “Serpentine Fire,” “Let’s Groove,” “Fantasy,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Got to Get You Into My Life,” “September” and “Shining Star.”

In introducing a medley featuring “After the Love Is Gone,” vocalist and original member Philip Bailey said, “We’re going to play some music most of you were conceived to.” Bailey can still reach the high notes. Bassist Verdine White remains a thunderous performer, and Ralph Johnson keeps pace on backing vocals and percussion. The band soared along with a three-piece horn section, as tight as ever. The three Earth Wind & Fire mainstays are each 61 years old, and I’ll repeat what I said when my parents first spun the double album “Gratitude.” I want to be like them when I grow up. Whenever that is. Until then, let’s groove tonight, right?

Adrian Zmed in 'Surf the Musical'

• “Surf the Musical” star Adrian Zmed is getting married in November. Zmed likes Las Vegas, quite a lot, but his fiancée Las Vegas vocalist Lyssa Baker of the band Mr. and Mrs. Smith and he are not getting married in this wedding hotbed. Instead, they are planning to wed in Thailand, on a beach, in November. As Zmed says, “I don’t know much else about it, but we will be on an elephant with a ‘Just Married’ sign across the back.”

Psychic Tanya (that's her on the right) warbles with The Amazing Johnathan.
Photo by Shane O'Neal

• After headlining for five years at Harmon Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, Amazing Johnathan is headed for Bally’s. An announcement made by Penny Wiggins (who plays the magnanimous Psychic Tanya in A.J.’s comedy-magic showcase) on her Facebook page announces that the act is heading to Windows at Bally’s in two weeks. That’s where the interactive production “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding” also is staged. No ticket or date information has been posted on the Bally’s site yet, but it is certain that Johnathan, a Las Vegas headliner for more than a decade, is no longer at Harmon Theater.

Justice Entertainment Offices

A view of the Disney memorabilia collection at Justice Entertainment Friday, July 27, 2012.

• It’s the tale of the $35,000 catering bill, and Dick Klotzman tells it well. Klotzman has been one of the leading concert promoters in the United States and internationally for four decades and is a consultant with Justice Entertainment Group of Las Vegas (his sig other, Susan Joseph, is the company’s chief executive officer and helped broker the deal that brought tonight's Real Madrid-Santos Laguna soccer match to Sam Boyd Stadium). Klotzman and West Coast rock legend Bill Graham co-produced the1981 Rolling Stones “Tattoo You” tour, a fitting partnership as Klotzman, from Baltimore, was long known as the East Coast version of Bill Graham.

Under the co-producing agreement, Graham was committed to pay catering costs for the Stones backstage feasts. But Klotzman, who always sought to make his touring stars feel special, handled many of the tour’s details and ordered an ice sculpture -- at the time a fairly rare luxury for any event -- in the shape of a pirate ship. From this iced craft hung dozens of jumbo shrimp. Graham got the catering bill, and his eyes went wide -- until he was informed by Mick Jagger himself that the band loved the effect, reinforcing the bond both promoters enjoyed with one of the all-time great rock bands. As Klotzman says, “It was the best $35,000 we ever spent.”

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Lorena Peril reacts at California's Great America theme park as her name is called to fill the final spot among national anthem singers for the San Francisco 49ers.


Photo by Bette Narbaitz



• "Fantasy" vocalist Lorena Peril has heard when she will sing the national anthem for the San Francisco 49ers this season. She's set to sing before the team's home opener against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 16 at Candlestick Park. The game is the NBC "Sunday Night Football" showcase, set for 5:20 p.m. PT. Peril beat out about 3,000 singers who responded to the team's open audition, winning her way to the anthem appearance in an "American Idol"-styled sing-off a couple of weeks ago at California Great America in Santa Clara, Calif. Peril is a San Francisco native, a huge 49ers fan and is thrilled to sing the song for what will be her largest audience, by far.

• "Gigolos," produced by Las Vegas video visionary Marklen Kennedy, is returning to Showtime. The surreal, reality-based show centering on the antics of a quintet of male escorts performing any variety of entrepreneurship in Las Vegas airs its Season 3 premiere at 11 p.m. Aug. 30. Series regulars (if they can be described as such) Nick, Vin, Brace and Steven are to be joined by a new cast member named Ash. Rhymes with cash. Ten new shows have been ordered, and as they say in the business (I think), pay upfront.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at



Libonati assures Ronaldo soft landing at Sam Boyd

By Ron Kantowski
Posted: Jul. 31, 2012 | 2:02 a.m.

When the guys on the sprinklers weren't looking Monday, I sneaked onto the new soccer field at Sam Boyd Stadium, where Cristiano Ronaldo will be taking corner kicks and faking injuries in the 18-yard box for Real Madrid against Club Santos Laguna of Mexico on Sunday night in the inaugural World Football Challenge.

It felt to my feet how a Sealy Posturepedic must feel to someone with a bad back. It was like walking on marshmallows.

I think Ronaldo and Real Madrid are going to like Daren Libonati Pitch at Sam Boyd Stadium.

That's not the actual name of the temporary natural playing surface though it is Libonati (and his promotional company, Justice Entertainment Group) who is staking his reputation on Las Vegas' ability to support world-class soccer. Unlike his U2 concerts and Supercross races, there are no blueprints to work from, only hoops to jump through.

The playing field was the biggest hoop.

"Once we engaged Real Madrid, the one thing that has kept me up at night is what you are looking at today," Libonati said.

It was Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid manager of Portuguese descent and massive repute, who insisted the friendly - which is what they call preseason games in soccer - be played on real grass.

FieldTurf might be suitable for the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer. It is not suitable for Real Madrid, of La Liga in Spain, one the world's foremost soccer sides.

To paraphrase what Richie Allen, the former baseball slugger, said about AstroTurf: If a horse can't eat it, then Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka and Xabi Alonso and Mesut Ozil and Iker Casillas won't play on it.

So on July 12, 95,000 square feet of heavily fertilized soccer field were transported from a sod farm in Pahrump to Sam Boyd and rolled out in thick, spongy strips.        

"Inch and a quarter," Libonati said. "You don't buy this stuff at the local Star Nursery."

Libonati wouldn't say how much it cost. A good guess would be three numbers followed by a comma and three zeroes. Or as they say up and down the Gran Via, a Cristiano Ronaldo tip.

If the playing surface was the biggest concern going in, now it's mostly selling tickets.

Before Juventus of Italy pulled out and more than 4,000 tickets were refunded, it appeared the game might sell out. Now it appears Libonati might have to bend it like Beckham to get there.

He said around 22,000 tickets are spoken for (with room for 36,000), and that he has been told the local Spanish-speaking community will wait until the teams are warming up before purchasing tickets. And that $71 isn't too much to ask for one, because Spanish-speaking people pay that much to go to a dance.

Still, he said the ticket windows will open at noon on Sunday, just in case there are early arrivals.

If the stadium fills up, Libonati said it will open the door for other international soccer extravaganzas. And if they aren't filled and Las Vegas is shown the yellow card? Well, there's always the L.A. Galaxy and Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City. And the Columbus Crew.

"We need to have the seats filled," Libonati said. "We need to have these people say, 'Oh my God, Las Vegas cares about the world's sport.' "

Libonati says he cares about the world's sport. He also cares about making a buck. But he mostly cares about the world's sport, ever since he saw Manchester United play at Old Trafford in England last year. He has felt the passion.

So on Sunday, he piled into an SUV with six others, "guerrilla warfare style," as he put it, to drive to Los Angeles at 5:30 a.m. - and return at 1:30 a.m. Monday - just to say hello to Cristiano Ronaldo, and to tell Jose Mourinho that his grass soccer pitch would not be requiring an infusion of Scotts Turf Builder.  

As we walked from it Monday, Libonati noticed a 14-inch step-down from the dressing room area to field level and an exposed grate. He quickly called over a supervisor, asking that a step be built and another red carpet be rolled out over that grate.

The last thing Daren Libonati needs at this point is for Cristiano Ronaldo to turn an ankle.          

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at or 702-383-0352. Follow him on Twitter: @ronkantowski.



Laughlin Laffs A Lot
Foursome of comedy at the Edgewater
Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:05 PM MDT


A funny thing happened at the Edgewater. Well, actually many funny things will be happening at the Edgewater over the weekend of August 3. And they will be happening in the E Center with first, Weird Al Yankovic on Friday (see page 6), then a full card of comics for a show called "Laughlin Laffs A Lot" on Saturday.

The Saturday show is produced by Justice Entertainment Group of Las Vegas and has a lineup of comics to include— Denny Johnston; "The Unknown Comic" (Murray Langston); Vicki Barbolak; and Allan Harvey.

We talked with each of these comics via a phone interview last week.


Denny Johnston, like Murray Langston "The Unknown Comic", is a  veteran of "The Gong Show" (where he scored a perfect score from the judges at both appearances). He also  won the "L.A. Laugh-Offs," beating out 109 other comedians, including Kevin Nealon. A musician as well as a comic, Johnston has been a part of the New Christy Minstrels since 1969. He still sings with the current version of the group on a "stand-by" basis. Johnston is also the man who booked the comics for the show at the Edgewater. Here's his take on...

Getting into comedy…
I was a house painter and I hocked my paint machine. When I came out of the pawn shop, I thought, "what am I going to do now?" I went home and wrote a comedy act, then went to the Troubadour and did a 20-minute show. I got an encore the very first time I went out as a comedian and I never stopped. That was in 1972—I've been doing this now for 40 years.

When I sang with a sister group of the Christy Minstrels called the Back Porch Majority, Steve Martin was our opening act. I used to watch Steve every night. My humor is a lot like his. It's real stupid, but it makes people laugh.

Funniest comedian today...
I love Brian Regan. I really love and admire him because he's clean. He's hilarious, yet he's squeaky clean. I think all comics admire him for that.

Plus side of being a comic...
Making people laugh. It's just a wonderful feeling to be able to walk out on that stage and make total strangers laugh. It's why we do it. It's not like, "hey, I'm funny, laugh at me." It's more like, "You need a laugh, and I'll try to do my best." All of us never tasted much success except for maybe Murray. We do it because we love it.

Comedy scene today…
I went up and did a comedy competition in the Bay Area because my friend owns three clubs there. The prize was $10,000 for first place. I was in fifth place which was still in the money. The guy who won used the "F" bomb 44 times in 10 minutes. The reason I know is that I set up my mp3 player to tape the whole evening and I was listening to it on the drive back home. I had nothing to do for 500 miles.

That's what a lot of comics are doing today. Just watch Comedy Central. It's filled with good looking comics who are trying to be as dirty and filthy as they can—and they're not funny. There are very few really good ones. One really good one is Andrew Norelli, who works really clean by the way.

Handling hecklers…
I use props and a guitar so I kind of keep people interested all the time because they never know what's coming out of the suitcase.


With Murray Langston you get two comics for the price of one. First, there is the gimmick-guy—the one behind the brown paper bag—"The Unknown Comic". Then, there is the stand-up guy...the one who is the real comedian and way funnier than the guy wearing the bag.

The one without the paper bag actually began his stand-up career working early 1970s TV shows like “Laugh-In” and “The Sonny & Cher Show.” But it wasn’t until he put that bag over his head, donned an ugly, plaid sport jacket and appeared on the “The Gong Show” that his career took off.

Why the bag? He needed the money and he didn’t want his friends to know he was going on the trashy Chuck Barris creation, “The Gong Show” so—ta da—he created The Unknown Comic. The fit was perfect. He brown-bagged his way on to more than 150 subsequent appearances and developed a cult following in the process. It was cheesy. Yet it was genius in rare form.

Langston went on to become a producer and screenwriter as well as an occasional “unknown” and known comic. Here's his take on...

Was it about the money…
The first time (I did "The Gong Show"), it was seriously about money. I bought a nightclub and it went bankrupt. I lost my butt in the club. Letterman started there; Michael Keaton started there. I owned the club but Letterman and Keaton got gigs from agents and managers. I got "The Gong Show."

Chuck Barris…
Interestingly, people always thought he was loaded on cocaine. A couple of years ago, Gene the Dancing Machine explained that, no, Chuck was never on drugs and that he, Gene, had to hide his stash from Chuck for fear of getting busted.

In truth, I only met the guy once. I insulted him and he liked it. I knew the lady who was booking the acts for the show, Ruth Goldberg, so I called her up and told her I needed to make money. It paid $250 at that time. I was broke and desperate. The whole show was about doing something ridiculous. I was embarrassed. So I came out and did stupid jokes and made fun of Chuck Barris. Everyone liked the fact a guy came on and insulted the boss. I did that for 150 shows.

Success of bag a surprise?…
I thought it would be popular to a degree, but not to the point of becoming a pop icon. I was retired for 10 years and it amazed me when I came back to perform that people remembered me and they still came out to see me—like they continue to do today. I couldn’t stand watching that character for 10 minutes—I’m a much stronger act without the bag.

His start…
I wanted to do comedy since I was very young. I was weaned on Jerry Lewis. I was hypnotized by his movies. But I never meant to do stand-up; never thought about acting; and I never had a desire to be a huge star.

If you got into music and were talented, say like Celine Dion, you would break out eventually, one way or the other. With acting, forget it. Stand-up? I started with so many people who went down the dumper. I remember when Cheech & Chong worked for nothing. I watched guys who exploded in those days. For every one who succeeded, there were 10 or 15 other guys who never made it.

I remember when I was first successful at making a living at comedy, there were literally less than 100 comics doing so—and that’s including guys like Bob Hope to guys at my level. There were no comedy clubs. There was only the Playboy Club in Vegas. I was the first person to put three comics together in Vegas at the Landmark Hotel—way before The Improv and The Comedy Stop.

Laid back approach...
Maybe if I had a manager or an agent (I could have turned "The Unknown Comic" into a sit-com). But I wasn’t into working hard at it. I was one of those people who would work two weeks in Vegas so I could spend a month in Hawaii. I’ve always done things at my own pace.

When I first started making it, I got to know successful people like Rodney Dangerfield and Joan Rivers. They were successful but were also unhappy and under a lot of pressure. Fame and tons of money puts a different light on this business. And if you’re not they weren’ didn’t seem all that worthwhile.

I didn’t worry about major success, I enjoyed each day as it evolved. I still do. It's very simple, as long as I'm well and healthy, I have no reason to be unhappy. Whenever I think I'm unhappy, I slap myself. I like being spanked, too.

Why this gig…
Denny's a friend. He begged me to do it and he's paying me $50, so I couldn't say no. Besides I don't fly. I only work places I can drive to, like Vegas and Laughlin.

New projects…
I finally got to work on my memoirs and there are publishers who want it. It has a few chapters on my highlights and low lights. It's called A Journey Through the Unknown. As I've been writing, I'm thinking, "holy crap, did I do all that?" I've partied all night with Elvis Presley, spent Christmas Eve at Lucille Ball's house and I've been threatened by Frank Sinatra. He was a total d---, I can say that now because he's dead. There were fascinating things I went through. I've had chairs thrown at me and ash trays thrown at me. It was a fun ride—a hell of a ride and it's still fun.


 In 1999, Barbolak was spotted by Mitzi Shore at the La Jolla Comedy Store and inducted her into the “boot camp” of comedy, aka the Hollywood Comedy Store, where she’s performed as a weekend regular on the main stage for the past several years.

Since then she went on to earn the title "Funniest Mom In America" on Nick@Night. She was recently honored by NBC as a member of Jay Leno’s Laugh Squad. Here's her take on...

Her humor…
I call my character Elizabeth “Trailer.” It’s just a gig I came up with because I was just like regular single moms trying to survive—living in the trailer park world, offering up slices from the struggle. I love trailer parks. I think they’re beautiful. I love being above ground. It’s like floating on air. I hated moving to an actual house. I could feel the ground. It’s horrible.

The comedy scene...
It’s really a great time for comedy. There’s a resurgence. People have had it with being gloomy and they’re coming out. I put this show together called “Funniest Housewives” for a club that seats 600 in San Juan Capistrano. They had to turn 100 people away.

Comedy career enigma...
A drawback of being a comic is the uncertainty of it—but that is also what I like about it. I wouldn’t like to be in the same place every day. From one month to the next, I never know where I’m going to attending a wedding on a Saturday is out.

Hecklers she hates…
I’m afraid of drunk women because there’s nothing you can do. Waiting until they pass out in their cocktail, that’s your only hope. When you see a woman face down in her margarita, thank God, because now you can relax.

Playing Laughlin...
I love Bullhead City and Laughlin and I feel at home at the Walmart there. I love coming to the river and the lake and I love the people.

New projects…
I'm in a new Showtime special called "Hot Tamales," that's coming out in the fall. It also has female comedians like Kiki Melendez and Retha Jones.

I also have another project in the works that I can't talk about. Then I have a cooking show called "This Tastes Funny" on the CW in San Diego. I do low-cost vegetarian recipes with different special guests, and I have a "Trace Your Body Wine Club." I ask people to mail me bottles of wine and I give them a rating of single-wide, doublewide or triple-wide. If I give it a triple-wide rating that means I like it so much they can send me another bottle.

I also did background comedy sketches with all the nominees of the Adult Video News awards and it's also going to be another Showtime special. I was supposed to interview these porn stars who are up for best actor awards. I thought maybe I'll learn something new, some new tricks, you know, so I asked one actress what it takes to be Number One and her answer, "be on time." And I'm thinking, "that's it? That's all you got for me?"

Comedy as a career…
Every night it's a different challenge. This job does force you to take it (the messed up world) in and make you look for the funny things around you. I feel like I'm looking at the bad and turning it into something better. I feel like comedy is my way of giving something to people, making them laugh when they need to laugh. I've grown to love that. I was working in Phoenix, when they had that terrible shooting in Tucson. A woman came up to me after the show and told me she had lost her brother in that tragedy and didn't want to come to the show, but that I made her feel better because she laughed. It's those kind of nights that make up for the rough nights in this business

Strangest performance…
I was asked to do stand-up at Sylvia Kaplan's funeral. Her family called me because they didn't know many women comedians. I thought it was going to be ridiculous, but it ended up being great.

I wore a silver leopard pantsuit. The rabbi was sitting directly behind me and my behind was right there, so finally I couldn't take it any more and I had to turn around. "Enjoying the view?" I asked and he fell out of his chair laughing and everyone else was laughing.

It was a great experience and the weirdest thing I ever did. The story is in the book I Killed: True Stories of the Road by America's Top Comics by Mark Schiff.


Harvey made his national talk-show television debut in 1986 on "Late Night with David Letterman," and in 1989 he was handpicked by HBO to be one of the initial hosts of The Comedy Channel, which later became Comedy Central. He created, hosted, and produced "Night After Night with Allan Havey," which ran for three years and became a cult classic. During this time he also wrote and starred in two comedy specials for HBO; both were nominated for Cable Ace Awards. Here's his take on...

His start…
I was cast as a priest in my kindergarten graduation ceremony. Adults were laughing and it turned me on. I was the class clown, and I went into college as a theater major and then went to New York after college and started doing stand-up.

His influences…
Johnny Carson, George Carlin and my father, Charles. He was a good storyteller. He could find humor anywhere.

Strangest place he never thought he'd perform…
Laughlin. I've heard about it for years and I thought it was a myth. Now I'll know. I'm excited to see it for myself and know that it does exist.

Who makes him laugh…
Louise CK, Dave Attell, Ricky Gervais—and I just saw Seinfeld in Vegas. He's still making me laugh.

Plus of being a comic…
I'm my own boss and I get to work in front of strangers.

Least favorite thing of being a comic…
I don't have a least favorite. When I'm off stage and people know who I am, they want me to tell them a joke. If that's my least favorite, it's still good. I'm very fortunate.

His dream sit com...
I'd be the hottest, youngest grandpa in the world and my co-star would be Scarlett Johansson.

Edgewater, The E Center Saturday, August 4. 8 p.m. doors open 6 p.m. (See "Showtimes" for tickets)


"LoveSick Radio" Finds a New Home in Las Vegas


By Patty Fantasia

Las Vegas is known for being a city of dreams, a Mecca for entertainment and the place to come for those looking to take a chance. So it’s no surprise that some of our latest residents, members of a hot young band called LoveSick Radio are hoping to hit that Trifecta. They made their debut as Sin City locals rocking two shows at Ravello inside the M Resort Spa Casino on Friday August 10th and are looking forward to playing sporadically while they produce and record their second album, which is at this time still untitled.

Presently, the band is spending most of their time on the writing phase for their new CD with help from Mark Spiro, who has 45 gold and platinum records to his credit. They appreciated the diversion from the amount of time they’ve been spending now in the studio and the chance to test the waters and play in front of live audiences.  “Working in music is a process,” Josh said adding that you can’t force creativity.  At the moment they have 10 songs done, of which 5 or 6 may end up on the new album.

LoveSick Radio

The Las Vegas kickoff helped take the edge off not “gigging” for awhile, which is something LoveSick Radio obviously enjoys.  Besides playing their music they like experiencing new environments and meeting people. So touring is part of the fun.  The band has travelled the world twice and Josh admits he has fun working the crowds.  “We like diversity,” he concluded.  This is one of the reasons the group is happy to call Las Vegas home.  They’re also set to perform again on Saturday, August 25th at 7pm at the House of Blues as one of the 12 bands competing in Mix Radio 94.1’s Battle of the Bands for the coveted honor of performing during their Bite of Las Vegas Event on September 29th at Desert Breeze Park.

All four members of the band, Justin Theriault (Vocals), Josh Masters (Bass & Vocals), David Harris (Guitar & Vocals) and Scott “Smalls” McCann (Live Drummer), hail from Columbus, Ohio.  Since they’ve been together they have had a song in the Top 50 on the pop charts; performed with numerous acts including Three Days Grace, Kid Rock, Bon Jovi, Hinder, David Cook and New Found Glory and been featured on MTV.

Well-known in the Midwest, the band has developed a devoted fan following and have performed twice overseas for our troops scoring their first big break when they beat out thousands of bands across North America by being selected as one of the thirteen winners in the 2010 Bon Jovi “Wanted: A SuperBAND Tonight!” contest. Over three million votes were cast by fans during the intense competition with the winners opening for the legendary group during “The Circle Tour” and being able to perform 20 minutes of original music. Since then LoveSick Radio has received many other accolades including winning two days on the 2012 Warped Tour and last summer being selected by the Recording Academy to play in Los Angeles during the GRAMMY Block Party held by the LA Chapter at their Santa Monica Headquarters.

Describing itself as a rock and roll band that doesn’t mind showing itsemotional side, the group admits being influenced by musical icons such as Bob Dylan, Poison and The Rolling Stones.  The original foursome consisted of former band mate Josh McGee, David Harris, Josh Masters and Justin Theriault. Guitarist Harris met the other three when they were part of the already formed band Cleverin. He hit it off immediately with front man Theriault and the duo wrote two songs during their first meeting.  From there the band came together as a four man group. After several attempts to settle on a name and feeling as though nothing was quite right, they hit upon their moniker when McGee, who has since left the band to become a firefighter in Ohio, came into the studio following a breakup and said, “It seems that every song on the radio is about love – doesn’t matter what station it is, it’s all lovesick radio.”

Despite the success they had with their first full length album Heartbreak 4 Dummies, which was released in November 2010 and featured the hit song “Boys Don’t Mater”, they weren’t satisfied with their management or the direction they were heading in at the time.  Fate intervened when they met Ohio native Cat Thomas, who is a programmer for CBS Radio in Las Vegas, at an Ohio State Football Game alumni party. They were still under contract at the time, but Thomas was impressed with their sound and kept in touch.   When they were free they worked independently for a short time handling their own booking and marketing until Cat introduced them to their current manager Susan Joseph, the CEO of Justice Entertainment Group. As a result they have a healthy respect for the effort it takes to keep a band in the public eye and were thrilled to be taken under Susan’s wing. They are comfortable with the feeling of family her firm encourages and appreciate the resources and opportunities she has been able to provide so they can continue to keep growing.  As for Joseph, she found the band’s unique sound and dynamic chemistry refreshing and believes talent wise they’ve yet to reach their full potential.  “In the enormous pool of indie bands, it is often difficult to wade through the mediocre to get to the great, but this band swam to the top. The lead singer, Justin Theriault is an amazing front man who sings and raps; the musicianship is great; the writing is great and they are awesome live. I have every belief they are one of the few that will make a serious impact on the industry,” Susan said.

Despite the recent move to Las Vegas, the foursome hasn’t had a chance to do much exploring.  However, they like what they’ve seen so far. “Honestly I’ve been here for 3 weeks,” Josh laughed explaining that he’d barely unpacked his suitcases before having to leave for Miami to attend a family gathering that included a bachelor party.  He has noticed, “There’s a whole lot of flavor here in Las Vegas,” Justin added, “Anywhere but home is a cool change for me.”

Justin managed to fit in a wedding to his girlfriend and quick honeymoon before making the move and likes the fact that Las Vegas has something going on all the time. Although he hasn’t been able to form much of an opinion yet on the entertainment scene, he did find time to check out the show Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace, which he described as crude, but great.

LoveSick Radio
Photo credit: Patty Fantasia

LoveSick Radio credits their hard work and an impressive track record of live performances with helping them reach their current level of success, which continues to build.  As bassist Masters concluded, “Our goal is to write great songs and keep playing until the world realizes how good we are.”  Although it may take a little while for the world to catch on, Las Vegas is already taking notice.



Chavez-Martinez on Track To Break Attendance Records


By Rick Reeno

The middleweight clash between WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32KOs) and challenger Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28KOs) continues to be a hot, hot ticket. The September 15th event, taking place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, is on track to have a potential paid attendance figure of 18,000 or more.

Top Rank's President, Todd duBoef, confirmed to that only 1,690 tickets were remaining as of Thursday.

BoxingScene spoke to Daren Libonati, the President and CEO of Justice Entertainment Group. He was formerly the executive director for the Thomas & Mack Center. Libonati, who spent ten years with the Thomas & Mack, continues to work with the venue by bringing them major events.

Libonati is very impressed with the fan response to Chavez-Martinez, and he believes the paid attendance figure will challenge, or even rival, two of the most successful boxing events at the Thomas & Mack - Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales III [reported attendance of 18,276 on November 18, 2006] and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs. Hector Camacho Sr. [reported attendance figure of 19,100 on September 12, 1992].

"On a September 12th date many years ago, I want to say it's 1992 - we did a Mexican Independence Day [event] with Julio Cesar Chavez and Camacho. We believe that [this event] is on track to beat that attendance. We're over 15,000 paid now. There is no question that we are going to reach full capacity. We've adjusted the floor and added more seats. We could easily be over 18,000 people....paid," Libonati told

According to Libonati, the big difference between this event, and other past sporting events at the Thomas & Mack, is the "paid attendance" figure which continues to rise on a daily basis.

"We're probably looking at the highest attended paid event since the last one that we had on this level and that was Pacquiao-Morales and that was 17,800 [paid]. We're easily going to hit that. This is going to flirt with the all-time highest attended boxing event in the venue and really the highest attended event [at the venue]," Libonati said.

"It will probably be even higher than what we've had for basketball because you have seats on the floor. When you calculate all of the seats, the press, the media, the suites - we could easily be over 18,500."


Ruby Summer
Friday, Aug 3, 2012

Singer/ Songwriters and sisters Ruby Summer join us in the studio with a live performance!

You can see them on Fremont Street Saturday, August 4 from 11A-11:30A and on Sunday at Sam Boyd Stadium at 8P.




July 30, 2012

While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom.

Our thanks to them all. We continue today with Susan Joseph, CEO and chairwoman of Las Vegas-headquartered Justice Entertainment Group.

Susan is a 35-year veteran of the music and entertainment industry and has worked with music acts that have sold more than 500 million records worldwide.

With a bold move to Las Vegas expanding JEG, she shoulders the responsibility for concert and event promotion at the Thomas & Mack Center, Phillips Arena, T.I. and Planet Hollywood.
By Susan Joseph

I have been fortunate enough to work with some incredibly talented people in my 35 years in the music business, people like Diane Warren, Seals and Croft, Laura Branigan, Bobby Caldwell, Patrice Rushen, Eddie Kendricks, Nell Carter, Tower of Power and more. I came into the business in the 1970s at a time when pop music was, in my humble opinion, at its finest. Throughout the years, I ended up managing not just single acts, but generations and families, as well. The business and my life became cross-connected and incestuous.

I graduated from Emerson College in Boston and went back to New York (I’m a Brooklyn girl) to find fame and fortune as a singer and actress and ended up working at a talent agency, IFA (which later merged with CMA to become ICM). There, I met and worked with the 1970s pop duo Seals and Crofts. I ended up moving to Los Angeles to work with their manager, Marcia Day. I also ended up marrying her nephew, Marc Joseph. My sister married his brother, Rick Joseph (who became an entertainment attorney).


I started managing England Dan and John Ford Coley. England Dan (Dan Seals) was Jimmy Seals’ younger brother. I signed them to Doug Morris and Big Tree Records. I also signed my husband to Big Tree Records. I arranged for my brother-in-law to work at Dawnbreaker Music (Seals and Crofts Publishing). Dash Crofts (who was married to Marc’s cousin) became my cousin by marriage, as did Seals & Croft’s producer and incredible guitar player, Louis Shelton, and Joey Bogan, their engineer.


In the 1970s, I managed a female sister duo, Leslie and Kelley, whom I also signed to Doug Morris (now chairman of Sony/BMG) when he owned Big Tree Records, distributed by Atlantic. I knew their father and mother very well. The father, Sid Bulkin, was the drummer for Vic Damone and Peggy Lee. The mother, Joan Bulkin, was a former dancer on “The Red Skelton Show.”

Later, during the time that I managed Laura Branigan, Leslie married a young songwriter, singer and producer, Mark Spiro, who was working with Laura’s producer, Jack White. I began to manage Mark (who I have been with, on and off, for 25 years). Well, now I’m doing work with Mark and Leslie’s two daughters, Ruby and Summer (a sister duo called Ruby Summer). History just repeating itself.

Also during the 1970s, my partner Dick, who has done more than 25,000 shows and concerts, promoted most of the live performances of David Cassidy during his teen idol and “The Partridge Family” days. In addition, he did all of the shows for Shaun Cassidy during that time and promoted some appearances for their father, Jack Cassidy.

My business manager, Howard Borris, represents Shaun and represented his mother Shirley Jones and stepfather Marty Ingels. Later, David Cassidy married Sue Shifrin, a wonderful, talented songwriter I had known since the 1970s, and they had a son, Beau. I now manage their son, Beau Cassidy. Dick will no doubt promote his performances.

There are many more cross-connects. Greg Young, who works with me, produces Donny and Marie. All of my acts at one point or another were on “The Donny and Marie Show.” Dick promoted shows with Donny and Marie. Mark Spiro wrote songs for Donny and David Cassidy (and now Beau Cassidy). And, of course, when you live in Las Vegas, you can’t help but cross-connect with everyone that you have ever known in my business.

It’s a fascinating place where people who were marginal in your world are dying to visit you. I look forward to the next generation of artists, cousins, husbands (maybe not) that cross-connect in my life. I can’t imagine a better place to reconnect.

Our thanks to Susan for her contributions to the Las Vegas entertainment scene. Be sure to check out our other guest columns today from Ron Randazzo, who has been the manager of the Steakhouse at Circus Circus for more than 30 years, and Travis Cloer and Graham Fenton, who portray Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” at the Paris. Join us Tuesday when our guest columnists are hometown singing hero Michael Grimm, comedian Geechy Guy and the high-speed sports enthusiast who brought motorcycle racing to town.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.



While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom.

Our thanks to them all. Today, we welcome Daren Libonati, Justice Entertainment Group's president who served as executive director of UNLV's three special-events venues: the Thomas & Mack Center, Sam Boyd Stadium and Cox Pavilion.

From National Finals Rodeo to Vegoose, supercross, Arena Bowl and Professional Bull Riding, Daren has brought diverse, premier entertainment to town.

Out of college, my first desire was to work with Top Rank and Bob Arum; it was 1988. Sadly enough, I made it into his lobby on Paradise Road and no farther. I was told, "We're not hiring."

On that same day, I traveled three miles south on Paradise and entered the Thomas & Mack Center and had the opportunity to meet Dennis Finfrock. I pitched him three ideas, told him, "I'm free as an intern for six months," and I was hired.

A few years later, the Thomas & Mack Center hosted its first-ever fight. I brokered the deal as the booking director of the TMC with Arum and Top Rank in conjunction with the Las Vegas Hilton, and the fight was George Foreman and Alex Stewart.

Here I am today 24 years later and more than 100 championship fights booked at MGM Grand and the TMC working again with Top Rank as the president of Justice Entertainment Group on behalf of my partner the TMC, which today is JEG's contracted event booking and business partner on events and management of venues. I couldn't be more pleased to be a part of this great event experience.

In the early 1990s, I was given the opportunity to book and coordinate the contract for the Grateful Dead. There was so much concern about bringing a band of this nature to an outdoor stadium like Sam Boyd Stadium. A small team and I headed to San Francisco to view a handful of Dead dates. Upon returning, I was asked to present the plan to handle the ingress and egress of fans while also managing the event staff and live-event performance.

The experience was the greatest. This event allowed me to understand the importance of believing in what you can't see and the importance of a plan. Everything from A-Z was new, and nothing close had ever been done by our TMC team. The communication and peer-to-peer coordination were priceless, as we hadn't entered the cell phone or social media age. It was good old-fashioned, face-to-face business. In the end, the Dead came back three more times before the death of Jerry Garcia and the end of a wonderful live-event experience.

In 2006, I had the opportunity to fly to Osaka, Japan, to meet with the owners of the MMA group Pride Fighting. The trip was great, but communication on the difficult side. The goal was to bring Pride Fighting to America. We succeeded, and Pride Fighting came to the TMC two times before being purchased by the UFC. Many of the Pride fighters went on to become champions of the UFC and still compete in the organization.

What really happens back stage: In 2004, I sat with Chip Hooper, the agent of Phish and Dave Matthews. He started to share how much he loved basketball. He said that he had a friend who really wanted to come to Las Vegas and move something that was old in L.A. to something new in Las Vegas. As we talked, I realized that this was our golden opportunity to launch Cox Pavilion into the forefront and create a piece of business that could last a long time for UNLV.

We shared some wine and penciled out a strategic plan on scratch paper. We then moved upstairs into my office. We made the important call to the president of Las Vegas Events, Pat Christenson, and begged for a $25,000 stipend that would allow our team at the TMC to promote and cover what we believed the first-year expenses might be. He said yes, and the stars-of-tomorrow Summer League was born in Las Vegas.

Today in 2012, the NBA Summer League is by far the biggest pre-season NBA rookie event in the country. From six teams in the first year to more than 20 this year, this event taught me that if you can understand your client's needs first, then yours will always be met. Today, this event is the reason the NBA has wrapped its arms around Las Vegas, and the people of Las Vegas have made the hospitality experience second to none.

I came to UNLV as a transfer student athlete to play football. I was fortunate to have some special athletic experiences while being a student athlete on campus. The competition of sport is the foundation of my business thinking. As an athlete and a businessman, I believe that you must first understand the fundamental difference between wanting to and having to. "I can't" is never an option. I have been fortunate to see this behavior over and over again in music artists, professional athletes and successful business associates.

"Wanting to" is easy to say, but it lacks a true commitment or sacrifice. "Having to" is like the difference between living and dying; there is no option when you have to but to succeed. This attitude and spirit have carried me through my last 24 years of work.

Which leads me to our most exciting project to date. The world's sport is coming to the world's playground -- a historic match-up Aug. 5 between Real Madrid and Santo Laguna. Mexico's soccer champion vs. Spain's soccer champion here in our great city at Sam Boyd Stadium. This for me is one very special "have to!"

Our thanks to Daren, and be sure to check out our other guest column today from The Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets from "Absinthe" Then Monday, we'll be back with guest columnists Terry Fator, Laura Croft and Alex Epstein.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world's premier platinum playground.

Daren Libonati, left, and Mike Tyson.
Tuff Hederman, left, and Daren Libonati.
From left, Daren Libonati from the Thomas & Mack Center, former Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo, Pat Christenson from Las Vegas Events and Don Logan from the Las Vegas 51s.
Daren Libonati, the executive director of the Thomas & Mack Center, speaks at a UFL press conference inside Sam Boyd Stadium.




LAS VEGAS (June 22, 2012) – Justice Entertainment Group (JEG), Major League Soccer (MLS) and CAA Sports today announced that Mexico’s Primera Division champion Santos Laguna will take on La Liga Champion Real Madrid in Las Vegas on August 5 as part of the 2012 Herbalife World Football Challenge. MGM Resorts International is the title sponsor with Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino acting as the host hotel for the event.

"We are thrilled to have the best of Mexico taking on the best of Spain. It’s a title bout fit for the big stage of Las Vegas,” said Daren Libonati, president & COO of JEG. “With both teams coming off championship seasons as well as success in various club competitions, Santos Laguna and Real Madrid are two of the world’s hottest teams so fans will being seeing soccer at its highest level.”

Due to its participation in the upcoming 2012 Italian Super Cup in Beijing on August 11, an official Serie A league match, Juventus FC had to withdrawal from the match.

Real Madrid, one of the most decorated teams in the history of soccer, clinched the 2012 La Liga title in May, the latest accolade in the club's storied history, which includes a record nine UEFA Champions League trophies. In 2000, the team was voted the most successful club of the 20th century by FIFA, the international governing body of soccer.

Santos Laguna is the current champion of Mexico’s Primera Division and over the past decade has become one of Mexico’s most successful teams. The Guerreros (Warriors), as they are also known, have obtained four league championships (1996, 2001, 2008, and 2012) and have played in four of the last five championship finals. Owned by beer conglomerate Grupo Modelo, Santos Laguna opened a new home in 2009 called Territorio Santos Modelo. The state-of-the-art complex has become a leading destination for sports and entertainment events and cultural, educational, and social exhibitions in Latin America. Santos Laguna was the home of Mexican legend and all-time leading goal scorer for the Mexican National Team Jared Borgetti. Under the direction of former international player Benjamin Galindo, Santos Laguna is led by captain and goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez, Juan Pablo “Chato” Rodriguez, Spanish player Marc Crosas, American striker Herculez Gomez and recently signed Gerardo Lugo.

One of the largest and most successful soccer exhibitions ever staged in North America, the Herbalife World Football Challenge brings together many of the world’s most accomplished and celebrated soccer clubs to play in major sports venues across the region. The event gives soccer fans the unique opportunity to see global superstars play live and experience first-hand the fast-paced, skillful competition that has made soccer the most popular sport in the world. Now in its third year, the Herbalife World Football Challenge is hosted in partnership by CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, and Major League Soccer (MLS), the top-flight professional soccer league in the U.S. and Canada. More than half a million fans attended the event last year and sports fans across North America will once again enjoy a summer of top international matches in 2012.

Tickets are available at or by calling toll free 855.2LV.KICK/ 855.258.5425 (out of state) or 702.739.3267 (local). Ticket prices are $68, $88, $128, $178 & $253.   Additional fees may apply. Fans who already purchased tickets to the Las Vegas match can use the existing ticket for the new matchup or receive a ticket refund until June 26 by returning to the location where the ticket was purchased.

About Justice Entertainment Group
Justice Entertainment Group, Inc. (JEG) is a full service Entertainment, Sports and Event company that specializes in producing, promoting and providing Entertainment and Sporting Event content for Arenas, Stadiums, Theaters, Night Clubs, Television and Motion Pictures. In addition, JEG promotes and produces concerts festivals, sporting events, as well as creating individual content for private or commercial partners and properties. Our strategic alliances allow us to provide heavy media exposure, ultimate marketing, unique platforms and cutting edge technology and tools to give our clients and events the ultimate opportunity for success. More information can be found at

About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer’s 17th season will feature 19 clubs. Those clubs include Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2011 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC; Vancouver Whitecaps FC; and, in their inaugural season, Montreal Impact. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official website at

About CAA Sports
CAA Sports represents more than 700 of the world's best athletes in such sports as baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf, in addition to coaches, on-air broadcasters, and sports personalities. Beyond traditional athlete representation, CAA Sports provides unique opportunities for clients off the field, in areas including licensing, endorsements, speaking, philanthropy, and video games. CAA Sports also works in the areas of broadcast rights, corporate marketing initiatives, and sports properties for sales/sponsorships. CAA Sports is a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading full-service agency. CAA represents the most creative and successful artists working in film, television, music, theatre, and video games, and provides a range of strategic marketing services to corporate clients. For more information about CAA Sports, visit

# # #

Justice Entertainment Group
Langdon Flynn Communications 702-889-2705
Steve Flynn
Ceatta Bogataj



Madrid, featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, is scheduled to play at Sam Boyd Stadium on Aug. 5 as part of the World Football Challenge


Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

By Taylor Bern
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | 2 a.m.

Real Madrid and star Cristiano Ronaldo are coming to Las Vegas this August for a game against Juventus FC at Sam Boyd Stadium, it was announced Monday.

The game, which is part of the 2012 World Football Challenge, is the first significant soccer game to be played in Las Vegas, something Justice Entertainment Group President and COO Daren Libonati has been trying to make happen for nearly 25 years. Now that it’s set, he said he can’t think of a better matchup for the city’s introduction to the sport.

"We’re talking about the best of the world’s sport coming to the world’s playground," Libonati said.

Last weekend, both teams won titles, with Real Madrid clinching its record 32nd trophy in La Liga, Spain’s premier league, and Juventus capturing its 28th title in Serie A, Italy’s top league. The teams are traditional powers in their respective countries and have met on the pitch 14 times dating back to 1962. They have split those matches with seven victories apiece.

The World Football Challenge brings some of the best teams from around the world to the United States for a series of games that mostly take place against teams from Major League Soccer. A couple of the games announced Monday include the Seattle Sounders hosting Chelsea FC and the LA Galaxy hosting Real Madrid. That second game is on Aug. 2, just a few days before Madrid comes to Vegas to face Juventus at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5.

Both teams are contractually obligated to bring their "A" players, barring injury, which includes Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos for Madrid, and Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Matri for "Juve." Madrid won the Challenge last season behind Ronaldo’s event-leading four goals in three games.

This year’s Challenge schedule has a lot of good games for U.S. soccer fans, but Libonati said he’s confident putting this game up against any of the others.

"We’ve got a really sexy matchup," Libonati said.

Las Vegas has been close to getting a soccer match like this before.

The New York Cosmos, which gained fame in the '70s with international star Pele leading the team, reorganized in 2010 with the hope of eventually joining the MLS. The team played its inaugural friendly game at Manchester United on Aug. 5, 2011, and lost 6-0. Libonati had a game set up between the Cosmos and either Chivas USA or Club America - two Mexican teams - for February of this year, but in the months after the Manchester United loss, the Cosmos underwent front office changes, and in November 2011 the matchup was canceled. The Cosmos haven’t played a game since.

After that fell apart, Libonati, who was a place-kicker at UNLV in the late '80s, aimed higher, with Madrid as the No. 1 target. Now that he’s got the game, the question is figuring out where to go from here.

Libonati said JEG’s contract with UNLV involves creating new content for the Thomas & Mack Center and Sam Boyd Stadium. Recently that has included the USA Sevens rugby tournament, which has been held at Sam Boyd the past two years.

Depending on the success of this soccer game, the future could hold more significant matchups like this one or the possibility of starting an MLS franchise in Las Vegas down the road.

However, all of that depends on the success of this first game. Sam Boyd seats 36,800, which is much smaller than some of the venues that held these games last year. Real Madrid vs. the Galaxy drew 56,211 to the L.A. Coliseum, and the Chicago Fire brought 61,308 to Soldier Field for a game against Manchester United.

Judging by that, this game shouldn’t have any trouble selling out. Tickets range from $68-$253, with separate VIP packages also available. They’re available starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 10, at or by calling 855-258-5425 or 702-739-3267.

Selling out too quickly is a problem Libonati would like to have, and one he’s worked toward for many years.

"These are the things that excite my blood," Libonati said.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or Follow Taylor on Twitter at




Juventus won the Italian league soccer title for a record-extending 28th time as it beat Cagliari 2-0 and AC Milan lost 4-2 to city rival Inter. Paris Saint-Germain took the lead in France’s Ligue 1.

Mirko Vucinic’s sixth-minute strike and an own goal by Michele Canini last night secured the win that lifted Juventus four points clear of AC Milan with one game remaining.

Turin-based Juventus, which was stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles for its part in a match-fixing scandal, can cap its first Serie A championship since 2003 with an unbeaten season by avoiding defeat against Atalanta on May 13.

"It’s a fantastic feeling, a great joy after a wonderful year and an extraordinary season," Juventus coach Antonio Conte said on his team’s website. "We have not lost in 37 games and we hope to finish the season undefeated because it will be something historical."

Defending champion AC Milan lost to Inter for the second time in the league this season. Diego Milito scored three goals as Inter rallied from 2-1 down following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s double. Maicon added Inter’s fourth.

Udinese is favorite to clinch third spot and Champions League qualification after a 2-0 win over Genoa which keeps the club two points ahead of Lazio, a 2-0 winner at Atalanta. Napoli lost 2-0 at Bologna and is another point back.

Lecce lost 1-0 against Fiorentina two days ago and must win its final game to have a chance of overhauling Genoa in the standings to avoid relegation.
PSG Rallies

In France, PSG rallied from 2-0 down to beat Valenciennes 4-3 last night and move ahead of Montpellier at the top because it has a superior goal difference.

Nene, Maxwell, Blaise Matuidi and Jeremy Menez scored for PSG, which is seeking its first title since 1994. Montpellier, which has played one game fewer, is at Rennes today.

"It was difficult at the start, but we came back quickly and never let go," Nene said. "This was a huge win."

Two days ago, Lionel Messi scored all the goals as Barcelona routed Espanyol 4-0 to push his season total to 72 -- including 50 in Spain’s La Liga.

Real Madrid, which last week clinched its record-extending 32nd league title and first since 2008, beat Granada 2-1. Valencia is now assured of third spot with one round of matches to play after it defeated Villarreal 1-0 and Malaga lost 2-1 at Atletico Madrid.

Champion Borussia Dortmund set a record for points in a German Bundesliga season after a 4-0 win against Freiburg lifted its final tally to 81.

Cologne was relegated after a 4-1 home defeat by second- place Bayern Munich. Hertha Berlin moved ahead of Cologne with a 3-1 win against Hoffenheim and will playoff against a second- division team to stay in the top flight.

Dutch champion Ajax completed its league campaign yesterday with a 3-1 win at Vitesse Arnhem to finish six points ahead of second-place Feyenoord, which beat Heerenveen 3-2.

Italy: Lecce 0-1 Fiorentina, Roma 2-2 Catania, Siena 0-2 Parma,
Atalanta 0-2 Lazio, Bologna 2-0 Napoli, Novara 3-0 Cesena,
Palermo 4-4 Chievo, Udinese 2-0 Genoa, Cagliari 0-2 Juventus,
Inter Milan 4-2 AC Milan.

Spain: Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Getafe, Atletico Madrid 2-1 Malaga,
Barcelona 4-0 Espanyol, Granada 1-2 Real Madrid, Osasuna 1-0
Real Sociedad, Real Mallorca 1-0 Levante, Real Zaragoza 2-1
Racing Santander, Sevilla 5-2 Rayo Vallecano, Sporting Gijon 2-1
Real Betis, Valencia 1-0 Villarreal.

Germany: Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Freiburg, Cologne 1-4 Bayern
Munich, Augsburg 1-0 Hamburg, Nurnberg 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen,
Hannover 96 2-1 Kaiserslautern, Hertha Berlin 3-1 Hoffenheim,
Mainz 0-3 B. Moenchengladbach, Stuttgart 3-2 Wolfsburg, Werder
Bremen 2-3 Schalke.

France: Evian 2-1 AC Ajaccio, Lyon 1-1 Brest, Valenciennes 3-4
PSG. Today: Auxerre v Bordeaux, Lille v Caen, Lorient v Dijon,
Sochaux v Nancy, St Etienne v Marseille, Toulouse v Nice, Rennes
v Montpellier.

Netherlands: Den Haag 3-5 De Graafschap, AZ Alkmaar 1-0
Groningen, Excelsior 1-3 PSV Eindhoven, Heerenveen 2-3
Feyenoord, Heracles 1-2 NEC Nijmegen, NAC Breda 3-2 RKC
Waalwijk, Roda JC 1-3 Utrecht, VVV 4-2 FC Twente, Vitesse Arnhem
1-3 Ajax.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at





4:45 p.m. | Updated It now appears that P.S.G. will not be playing the Impact of M.L.S., but will instead play Juventus of Italy in Montreal on this summer.

Chelsea of England will play Paris Saint Germain of France on Sunday July 22 in the first soccer game at the new Yankee Stadium.

Chelsea last Saturday defeated Liverpool to win the English F.A. Cup and plays against Bayern Munich on May 19 in final of the UEFA Champions League. P.S.G. is currently tied on points for first place with Montpellier in France’s Ligue 1 with two regular season games to play.

The match at Yankee Stadium, which is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Eastern, is an exhibition. The French club is scheduled to play the Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer only two days later in Quebec, if the club wins the French title. In addition, as winner of the league title, P.S.G. would then also play in the Trophée des Champions against Lyon (the winner of the French Cup) on July 2928 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. Pele playing for the Cosmos in Yankee Stadium in 1976.Chester Higgins Jr./The New York TimesPelé playing for the Cosmos in Yankee Stadium in 1976.

Tickets for the Yankee Stadium match are scheduled to go on sale on May 16.

The match between Chelsea and P.S.G. is part of the World Football Challenge, a partnership between Major League Soccer and Creative Artists Agency, which is taking place throughout North America from July 18 through Aug. 11, with additional matches. On Monday, the group announced additional matches: July 18, Chelsea at Seattle Sounders; July 21, Liverpool at Toronto; July 28, Chelsea vs. Milan in Miami; and Aug. 2, Real Madrid at Los Angeles Galaxy.

One additional game will be announced on Tuesday between Real Madrid, the champions of the Spanish league, and Juventus, which won the Serie A title in Italy on Sunday. That match will be played Aug. 5 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. It is also possible that another game in the series will be added on Aug. 8 at Yankee Stadium between the same two teams.

"The La Liga champion against the Serie A champion looks to be the highest-profile friendly of this year’s World Football Challenge," said Joe Fraga, the match consultant for the Las Vegas game. "It certainly has the wow-factor for an event in Las Vegas."

The original Yankee Stadium has long been a popular site for major international and domestic soccer matches. The stadium hosted its first soccer game in June 1931 when Glasgow Celtic played a soccer team called the New York Yankees. Domestically, the New York Skyliners, the Generals and the Cosmos also called the stadium home for a time.

In 1968, a young American soccer player (me!) was seated in temporary bleachers in the baseball outfield as Pelé and Santos of Brazil played against Eusebio and Benfica of Portugal as part of a doubleheader with the Generals. The Cosmos played the last soccer game at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 10, 1976 before the club moved to Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands for the 1977 North American Soccer League season.




By Steve Carp
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL Posted: May 8, 2012 | 2:34 a.m.

Real Madrid and Juventus FC, two of club soccer's most iconic franchises, are coming to Las Vegas.

The powerhouses, which won their respective league titles this season, will meet Sunday, Aug. 5 at Sam Boyd Stadium as part of the 2012 World Football Challenge. The game, which will kick off at 8 p.m. to minimize the effect of the desert summer heat, will be played on a specially constructed grass field which will measure 110 by 71 yards.

Tickets, priced at $68 to $178 plus service fees, go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center box office and online at Parking is included in the price of the tickets.

"This rivals anything Las Vegas has seen for a live sporting event, including a major fight or the (NBA) All-Star Game," said Daren Libonati, president and COO of Justice Entertainment Group. "We've worked two years on trying to bring this to Las Vegas, and I see it as a game-changer for how we do things in the future when it comes to soccer and other sports."

The contract calls for Real Madrid, the Spanish La Liga champion, and Juventus, the Italian Serie A champ, to bring their top players to Las Vegas. That means local fans will get to see Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid's sensational striker, along with Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus' world-class goalkeeper who led Italy to the 2006 World Cup championship.

Both teams will play multiple opponents while in North America as the WFC kicks off July 18. But Las Vegas will be the lone head-to-head match-up for Real and Juventus.

"It was a very difficult negotiation to get involved with this," Libonati said of the WFC, which began in 2010 and will include several Major League Soccer teams participating, along with additional club teams from England (Chelsea and Liverpool), Italy (AC Milan) and France (Paris Saint-Germain). "They were concerned about the heat in Las Vegas in August, and they had questions about our lack of history when it comes to soccer. Plus, they insisted on a grass field.

"I tried to sell it as if it were similar to promoting a major boxing match. I will be absolutely shocked if this game doesn't sell out, and we're hoping this will be the start of what will be Las Vegas becoming a world destination for soccer, just like boxing is. Once they see what we have to offer as a city, they'll want to come back."

Contact reporter Steve Carp at or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj




El Real Madrid y la Juventus de Turín disputarán el 5 de agosto en Las Vegas uno de los amistosos más atractivos del próximo verano. Será en Las Vegas, en el marco del 'World Football Challenge', un torneo que pretende acercar el fútbol a la estadounidense y cuya anterior edición (2011) ya conquistó el equipo de José Mourinho.

El anuncio de este nuevo amistoso del Madrid se produce apenas unos días después de que ambos clubes hayan asegurado la conquista matemática de las Ligas de España e Italia. El Madrid lo logró el pasado 2 de mayo en San Mamés y la Juve, el domingo, tras su triunfo, también a domicilio, frente al Cagliari.

El encuentro entre blancos y 'bianconeri' tendrá como escenario el Sam Boyd Stadium, un recinto de fútbol americano con capacidad para casi 40.000 espectadores. Tres días antes del este partido, el 2 de agosto, el Madrid se medirá a Los Angeles Galaxy, actual equipo de David Beckham y vigente campeón de la MLS, en el Home Depor Center de Carson (California).





Largest Soccer Event in Las Vegas History to Feature
World-Class Opponents Real Madrid and Juventus FC

LAS VEGAS (May 8, 2012) - Justice Entertainment Group (JEG) today announced that La Liga Champion Real Madrid and Italian Powerhouse Juventus FC will face-off on Sunday, August 5 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas as part of the 2012 World Football Challenge

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this world-class event to the Las Vegas market,” said JEG President and COO Daren Libonati.  “This is going to be an exciting event for Las Vegas. Soccer is the world's sport and Las Vegas is the world's playground.  As the President and COO of Justice Entertainment Group we couldn't be more pleased to enter the world of soccer with this match up.  This event will allow Las Vegas to see football at its highest level and embrace the world’s fanfare in our great city.” 

“Las Vegas has been pursuing a soccer game of this magnitude for more than 25 years," said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. "We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Justice Entertainment Group for putting together a match of this caliber. We look forward to continuing this partnership and developing international soccer in Las Vegas.”
Real Madrid, one of the most decorated teams in the history of soccer, clinched the La Liga title last week, the latest accolade in the club’s storied history, which includes a record nine UEFA Champions League trophies.  In 2000, the team was voted the most successful club of the 20th century by FIFA, the international governing body of soccer.

Winners of 53 official titles, Juventus FC is the oldest and most successful club in Italy, as well as one of the most prestigious clubs in the sport.  The club, nicknamed “Juve,” has claimed 29 league titles, nine Italian Cups, four Italian super cups, nine European cups and two intercontinental cups.  Juventus FC recently claimed the 2011-2012 Italian Serie A Championship, solidifying themselves as one of the world’s premiere teams.

“Our Company, JEG, has been working on this for two full years, I couldn’t be happier to see it all come together for our team and the city,” said JEG Chairman and CEO Susan Joseph. 

“We anticipate tickets to move quickly as we have one of the smaller, more intimate venues, and two of the greatest teams on the tour,” said JEG’s Executive Vice President Jason Finfrock.

One of the largest and most successful soccer exhibitions ever staged in North America, the World Football Challenge brings together many of the world’s most accomplished and celebrated soccer clubs to play in major sports venues across the region.  The event gives soccer fans the unique opportunity to see global superstars play live and experience first-hand the fast-paced, skillful competition that has made soccer the most popular sport in the world.  Now in its third year, the World Football Challenge is hosted in partnership by CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, and Major League Soccer (MLS), the top-flight professional soccer league in the U.S. and Canada.  More than half a million fans attended the event last year and sports fans across North America will once again enjoy a summer of top international matches in 2012. 

Tickets go on sale Thursday, May 10 at 10:00 a.m. at or by calling toll free 855.2LV.KICK/ 855.258.5425 (out of state) or 702.739.3267 (local).

About Justice Entertainment Group
Justice Entertainment Group, Inc. (JEG) is a full service Entertainment, Sports and Event company that specializes in producing, promoting and providing Entertainment and Sporting Event content for Arenas, Stadiums, Theaters, Night Clubs, Television and Motion Pictures. In addition, JEG promotes and produces concerts festivals, sporting events, as well as creating individual content for private or commercial partners and properties.  Our strategic alliances allow us to provide heavy media exposure, ultimate marketing, unique platforms and cutting edge technology and tools to give our clients and events the ultimate opportunity for success.  More information can be found at

# # #

Langdon Flynn Communications 702-889-2705
Steve Flynn
Ceatta Bogataj



LoveSick Radio To Rock The 99.5 WZPL Holiday Show!


‘Tis the season to announce another winner! With help from you—our marvelous OurStage fans—the judges have selected one winner from the hundreds of fantastic rock, pop and singer-songwriter entries in the “99.5 WZPL Holiday Concert Opening Act” Competition. We’re thrilled to announce that Ohio rock/pop band LoveSick Radio‘s “She Said Boys Don’t Matter” rocked its way to the top of the channel and won over the hearts of the judging panel. This song’s high energy feel and catchy melody placed it at the top of the heap. This means LoveSick Radio will be getting their holiday season started right with a trip to Indianapolis, IL for the 99.5 WZPL Holiday Party on December 7th! They’ll get to play for hundreds of people as well as open for The Fray.

Check out the playlist below to hear more from the band.


Ruby Summer Article - Music Connection, December 2011


Las Vegas Superstar Challenge!

November 12, 2011 - 11:00 AM!
November 12, 2011 - 2:00 PM!
November 13, 2011 - 3:00 PM

The biggest superstars in Basketball come to Las Vegas!
Day 1: Two games at 11am & 2pm.
Day 2: Final game at 3pm.

Allen Iverson (captain) Amare Stoudemire Andre Iguodala Thaddeus Young Joe Johnson Jamal Crawford Zach Randolph Rudy Gay Larry Hughes Paul Pierce Shannon Brown Kevin Durant Al Harrington (captain) C.J. Watson Stephen Jackson Monta Ellis Corey Maggette Matt Barnes Dahntay Jones David Lee James Harden

Team Philly Team Rookies
Hakim Warrick (captain) Tyreke Evans Kyle Lowry Jason Thompson Wayne Ellington Lou Williams Ronald Murray Marcus Morris Markieff Morris Derrick Williams (captain) Kemba Walker Kenneth Faried Jordan Hamilton Iman Shumpert Darius Morris Klay Thompson Jimmer Fredette Kyrie Irving Reggie Jackson