Friday, May 29, 2009

Danny Gans killed by steroids? The Globe and Perez Hilton pick up our exclusive story-- 28 days later

Twenty-eight days after the sudden, tragic and mysterious death of Danny Gans, the Clark County Coroner has still not announced what killed the Las Vegas headliner-- but The Globe tabloid is now reporting what Tabloid Baby reported exclusively the day of Gans' death: that friends suspect steroid abuse.

The Globe reports in its latest issue that friends say Danny began to look "unnatural" and feared drugs were the reason.

Said one: "You can never look good enough or appear strong enough. People here believe it took it's toll on Danny."

As we reported on May 1st:

"Police say they do not suspect foul play in the death of Las Vegas superstar Danny Gans. People we've spoken to say two things: 'steroids' and 'Mirage curse'..."

We also reported on May 2nd:

"Vegas insiders have whispered to us about longtime suspicions that the former athlete had used steroids or human growth hormones. His facial characteristics had changed to the point that when we saw him on Larry King Live a couple of weeks ago... we didn't recognize him..."

Perez Hilton, who has not picked up our reports, follows up the Globe story and says: "No one can confirm that Danny had used steroids, but it hasn't stopped people from talking in Vegas and they feel Danny had used the drugs in secret for a very long time.

"'His facial characteristics had changed to the point that when we saw him… a couple of weeks ago, we didn't recognize him,' adds a source."

As for the Vegas media? From McCloud impersonator Tom Mitchell of the Las Vegas Review-Journal to casino-beholden comp queen and Tabloid Baby stalker Steve Friess (below left, who, after attacking and trying to stop our investigation, wrote on May 15th that "Gans' suspected steroid use has been out there for years"), not one so-called local "journalist" has investigated the issue that's been the talk of their town even before we broke the news on May 1st and, hours later, John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Sun tiptoed around the subject.

We talked with a spokeswoman for the Clark County Coroner minutes ago. She said the long-awaited toxicology report on Gans is "still pending. Call back next week."

As for the Enquirer report? She put us on hold, came back and said, "We have no information on that."

Danny Gans photo: Robin Leach

Neil Innes live with The Seventh Python: On June 9th, the Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette, Illinois will be the center of the comedy universe

Neil Innes has landed in America and will launch his pre-summer concert tour tomorrow night in New Jersey. The Seventh Python's one-man, multimedia jaunt into the Heartland all leads up to a slambang finale at the historic, hip Wilmette Theatre outside Chicago, where the musical satirist and very funny genius will take questions, talk and perform around a screening of The Seventh Python, the acclaimed, award-winning Innesmovie produced by our pals at Frozen Pictures.

The Wilmette Theatre, as these photos show, is gearing up for an all-star comedy audience on Tuesday, June 9th. The Q&A following the screening will include director Burt Kearns, producer Brett Hudson, Monty Python historian Kim Howard Johnson and, as moderator, comedy legend (SNL, Police Academy, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and local hero Tim Kazurinsky.

Tuesday, June 9th, 7 pm.

(Later that week, Neil lands in Hollywood, where he'll be appearing live Thursday, June 11th and Friday, June 12th at Martin Lewis' Secret Policeman's Film Festival at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre.)

Watch this space...

19 years to life

Los Angeles Times photo

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Steve Friess sends us a photo of himself. We think he's in love with us in a gay way. Meanwhile, the Danny Gans mystery is entering its FIFTH week.

Someone sent us a nice photo of Steve Friess (left) and you won't believe who!

The Las Vegas civics-boosting, casino-beholden comp queen, Gay Vegas ("Vegas as a queer fantasyland? You bet!") author and freelance writer attacked us in public a few weeks ago when we emailed him privately to ask why no local journalists were investigating the mysterious death of Strip superstar Danny Gans... he tried to have our site shut down when we ran his photo... he actively attempted to stop us from covering the Danny Gans story in collusion with his "husband" the executive producer of Gans' close friend and legend spinner, beauty queen-turned-TV entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs... and he admitted being involved in a conspiracy to spread false rumours about Danny Gans' death simply to throw us off the scent.

He threatened and harassed us every time we ran a picture of him or his "husband," so for weeks, we've been using facsimiles whenever we run a story on Steve Friess, while asking you to please send us in a nice Steve Friess photo so we don't have to keep using shots of Paul Lynde, Liberace, Peter Allen, Charles Nelson Reilly or Richard Deacon.

And now someone has sent us a photo and giving us her blessing to use it:

Steve Friess.

We're not making this up. We got an email at the Tabloid Baby office this afternoon from stevefriess@aol.com, titled "a gift from me to you."

We were hoping it was the Danny Gans toxicology report, but it was this note:

"I know you've been wanting an authorized photo. And I happened to see a cool little show last night at the Liberace Museum and they happened to have a Tussaud's wax figure on loan there. So here you are. Use it to your nasty conspiratorial irrelevant gay-baiting/hating heart's desire. Sorry it's a little blurry, my camera's not behaving right these days."

...and this photo:

We thought, hey, Steve Friess has a sense of humour! Until we saw that he'd x-rayed our heart and concluded that we are gay-baiting and hating! Then our note of appreciation was returned because Steve's blocked our email access and ability to reply! It seems that Steve Friess gives, but he won't receive (and to think we took him for a power bottom!)

What is it with this guy?

We think we've figured it out. Either Steve was on an amyl nitrate poppers bender, deep in a K-hole or had too many Cosmos when he sent the giddy email-- or he's flirting with us because he loves us. And in a gay way. Sorry, Miles, but the evidence is there. The teasing comments... the insults... the photos!

We only wish the little minx would spend more time looking into the Danny Gans case and less time bothering us.

Tomorrow begins Week 5 of the Danny Gans mystery and no one, in the Las Vegas news media from the rootin' tootin' Review-Journal editor in the cowboy drag to Richard Abowitz, Steve's competitor at the Las Vegas Weekly, gives a hoot. We'd figure today's issue of the "alternative" weekly might at least mention the fact that the promised two-to-four week wait for toxicology tests on Gans is now four to twelve weeks, but instead we get more Gans tribute-- and this time it's a week old.

Abowitz, the hipster Penn Jillette fan who publicly called us insane for asking questions about the Gans case before the officials hand over the answers, has taken an elite public stand against deigning to touch the Gans story, so it was surprising to see him in the Weekly this morning with a piece on the Gans memorial that took place a week ago, and not only buying but promulgating the evangelist Christian idea that the angels simply carried away a great man:

"Gans... believed in immortality and eternity. He just never thought they came from a performance on a Vegas stage. But according to his preacher, Gans felt eternity came from his religion and how he lived his life up until the last of it no matter how long or brief."

Four weeks of hosannas. What would Penn Jillette think? When's someone in Vegas going to pick up one of the threads in the story of the year? With every passing week, it's more evident that the Vegas media is not only lying down on this story, they're bending over. Sorry, Steve. There we go again.

Danny Gans photo: Las Vegas Sun

Another business partner says Ryan O'Neal is stopping him from visiting or talking to Farrah Fawcett; Texan vows to stay in L.A. "until I see Farrah"

The controversy surrounding Ryan O’Neal’s control over Farrah Fawcett in her dying days is intensifying as one of Farrah’s closest lifelong friends has stepped forward to claim that O’Neal is blocking him from any communication at all with his dear friend and business associate-- but that he won't give up until he's allowed to see her.

Texan Greg Lott, Farrah’s partner in the Official Farrah Fawcett website since 2006, has been a part of her life and legend for more than forty years.

“You want to know who’s keep me from accessing Farrah, physically, by telephone or email? The first person who’s blocking is Donna Curry, the building manager,” he said. “She’s lied to me on several occasions about what the process is to get through to Farrah."

“Ryan O’Neal is the gatekeeper. He’s been living there since I got there the day before Easter. I assume he’s been living there since the day he brought her home from the hospital, because that’s the last time I talked to her.

“And the other one is Alana Stewart."

Lott was the star quarterback at The University of Texas at Austin and Farrah was pledging the Tri Delta sorority when they first met in 1965. “She was my girlfriend, probably the most gorgeous creature I’d ever seen in my life,” he recalls. He became something of a notorious Texas legend after Farrah left college for Hollywood after her junior year. She wound up marrying Lee Majors, but Lott stayed in touch with her family, and in 1997, after Farrah and Ryan O’Neal announced their breakup, Lott and Farrah rekindled their friendship, and according to reports at the time, their relationship.

Lott, a businessman based in Texas, is close-lipped when it comes to details about their relationship, but says he’s been in Los Angeles since April 11, staying in an area hotel and trying to see Farrah, who’s been in her Beverly Hills area apartment.

“I’ve been here in Los Angeles since the day before Easter. I came of the plane and went straight to the building and was told I was no longer on the list-- with is a lie because there is no list. You get access when Farrah says they want to see you. What am I gonna do? Throw a fit in the building? I went back to the hotel. But I've been back, and have been lied to again and again."

O’Neal, Stewart and O’Neal’s business manager were sued earlier this month by Farrah’s documentary production partner Craig Nevius, who claimed in Superior Court documents that O’Neal unlawfully took creative control over what was to be a journalistic treatment of Farrah’s cancer battle but which became a sappy, morbid soap opera produced in conjunction with NBC News and featuring O’Neal in a reprise of his role in the cancer movie Love Story (the project was even renamed “Farrah’s Story”).

Nevius’ suit seemed superfluous after the NBC tabloid special ran on May 15th, but took on wider significance after Tabloid Baby reported that a main piece of evidence is a disputed signature on the document that allowed O’Neal to take over Farrah’s project, and ultimately her life.

April 2008

April 2009

Nevius also brought up access to his collaborator when talking about his complaint.

“Farrah and I have always had a direct and open line of communication-- professionally and personally,” he told Tabloid Baby. “So why haven't Ryan and his business manager allowed me to see her? And why was I threatened-- physically and professionally-- if I even tried?”

Lott announced on the Farrah website on May 24th that he'd been denied access to his business partner. This is the first time he's pointed a finger publicly, as well as stating that he's in for the long haul. He told us:

“I’m staying here until I see Farrah Fawcett, and that means forever. I’m gonna keep on pushing in the media until somebody makes this change.”

Susan Boyle has brain damage

With a pair of screamy, sweary public outbursts making news around the world, it seems the tables of fame have turned pretty quickly for Susan Boyle, the Scottish villager whose pleasant singing abilities made her a worldwide sensation thanks to some brilliant, dramatic editing and Internet marketing by the producers of Britain's Got Talent. Susan, hailed last month as the "Hairy Angel," is now being portrayed as an angry monster who's snapping under the pressures of fame.

So why have none of the reports we've read mentioned that the poor simple woman is brain-damaged?

The Daily Mail reported the condition in the first investigation into the facts of her life:

"...She was well known in the village where she has lived all her life as the slightly batty spinster who lived alone with her cat, Pebbles.

"Every village has one, and 48-year-old Susan Boyle, who was born with minor brain damage and has learning difficulties, obligingly played the role to which she had been cast...

"She had suffered mild brain damage after being starved of oxygen at birth.

"Recalling her childhood, she said earlier this week: 'I was born with a disability and that made me a target for bullies.

"'I was called names because of my fuzzy hair and because I struggled in class. I told the teachers but, because it was more verbal than physical, I could never prove anything.

"'But words often hurt more than cuts and bruises and the scars are still there'..."

The facts make the gleeful takedown little less fun.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

THESEVENTHPYTHONMANIA! Neil Innes invades America! Kicks off concert tour! Appears with film in Illinois! At Secret Policeman's Ballfest in Hollywood!

Musical treasure and legendary satirist Neil Innes lands in America tomorrow to kick off a pre-summer tour that will be capped off with live appearances alongside some very special films: in Wilmette, Illinois for a command performance of The Seventh Python, the nonfiction musical comedy about his life and work from our pals at Frozen Pictures, and alongside Martin Lewis as the Mods & Rockers film program kicks off a monumental bicoastal festival dedicated to the The Secret Policeman's Ball concert film series.

"Off to USA tomorow," Innes twittered hours ago. He'll be landing in New York and opening his acclaimed one-man multimedia concert tour in New Jersey, before touching down June 9th at the historic Wilmette Theatre outside Chicago, where he'll perform live before an audience that includes Chicago's comedy elite after a showing of The Seventh Python.

Two days later, he'll be onstage at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard (where The Seventh Python had its world premiere last summer), with impresario and producer Martin Lewis to launch the film festival that will be showing the entire series of Amnesty International benefit concert films that began 30 years ago (the shows started out as comedy galas featuring popular British comedic performers and later expanded to include top rock stars, inspiring musicians like Bob Geldof, Bono, Sting and Peter Gabriel and events like Live Aid and Live 8):

Thursday June 11, 2009 - 9:30 pm
The Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood

Opening Night Extravaganza!
Three World Premieres in one night!
Series star Neil Innes and series co-creator/co-producer Martin Lewis in-person

The Opening Night of the festival features no less than three premieres and an in-person appearance by Neil Innes (Monty Python and The Rutles) to share his memories of appearing in three of the first four Amnesty shows. There will be the World Theatrical Premiere of a superb documentary about the “Secret Policeman’s Ball” series – crammed full of vintage clips and contemporary recollections by the stars. This will be followed by the World Premiere of a new special celebrating 30 years of rock performances for Amnesty. And finally the World Premiere of some wacky outtakes and rarities from the Secret Policeman’s vaults. Given the wealth of Monty Python fans and Amnesty supporters in the entertainment community – the opening night audience is likely to be rather star-studded…

Friday June 12, 2009 - 7:30 pm
The Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood

Double-bill of the first two shows before they had the "Ball" title
Two US Premieres!
Series star Neil Innes and co-creator/co-producer Martin Lewis in-person

THE MERMAID FROLICS (1977, 52 min)
The “Secret Policeman’s Ball” title was first used for the 1979 Amnesty show – but the seeds of the series were planted in 1976 and 1977 with these two pioneering shows organized by John Cleese. These shows subsequently became regarded as part of the “Secret Policeman’s” canon. “Pleasure At Her Majesty’s” is the film of the 1976 show “A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)” which was to British comedy what George Harrison’s 1971 “Concert For Bangladesh” was to rock music. A gathering of the British comedic tribes. Never before screened uncut in the US. Includes the only-known documentary footage of the Monty Python troupe rehearsing. “The Mermaid Frolics” stage-directed by Monty Python’s Terry Jones has never been seen in the US in any form. Never on TV, VHS or DVD. This double-bill of rarities is a delight for fans of Monty Python, Beyond The Fringe and British comedy. Followed by a quickie nightcap of outtake treasures from the vaults. Expect to see familiar faces among the many aficionados of British comedy in the audience…

Here's the Innes itinerary:

Neil Innes US Tour

Saturday 5/30/09
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Ave
Bordentown, NJ 08505

Sunday 5/31/09
Rams Head Tavern Annapolis
33 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 268-4545

Tuesday 6/2/09 8:00 PM
B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill
237 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036

Wednesday, 6/3/09
Sellersville Theater 1894
24 W. Temple Ave.
Sellersville, PA

Thursday 6/4/09
The Bop Shop Atrium
(formerly Bodhi's Cafe)
274 N. Goodman
Rochester, NY 14607
(585) 271-3354

Friday 6/5/09
The Winchester
12112 Madison Avenue
Lakewood/Cleveland OH 44107
(216) 226-5681

Saturday 6/6/09 7:00 PM
The Abbey
342 W. Grace
Chicago, IL 60618

Sun 6/7/09 8:00 PM
Magic Bag
22920 Woodward Avenue
Ferndale, MI 48220

Tues 6/9/09
Screening of Seventh Python
Mini-concert & Q&A with Neil
The Wilmette Theatre
1122 Central Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091
(847) 251-7424

Thurs 6/11 9:30
Friday 6/12 7:30
Secret Policeman's Ball Film Festival
Grauman's Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

The festival is also showing in NYC. Click here for more information.

And watch this space for the latest!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Signature scandal in Farrah Fawcett cancer documentary lawsuit leads to new questions for Ryan O'Neal

The issue of a disputed signature in the lawsuit over Farrah Fawcett's cancer documentary has led to new questions that go beyond Ryan O'Neal's control over the project to his control over Farrah Fawcett's final days.

Craig Nevius, the producer who's suing Ryan O'Neal, Alana Stewart and O'Neal's business manager for allegedly unlawfully hijacking Farrah Fawcett's cancer documentary project, confirmed our report that the signature on the document transferring creative control to O'Neal and company could be a explosive evidence against the defendants. He also revealed that the issue goes far beyond the television special.

April 2008

April 2009

"It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment on matters of which I don't have firsthand knowledge," Nevius told Tabloid Baby this afternoon. "But I will acknowledge that you have raised some questions that need answers in terms of the disparity between those two signatures, especially when you take into account the various public statements about Farrah's lucidity, or lack thereof, that have come from Ryan O'Neal and others over the past six weeks or so.

"I wish I had the answers but I don't. I have not been allowed access to Farrah, not even the briefest of phone calls, by others whom I have never had to go through before."

The questions of access and Farrah's condition was also raised over the weekend in a message on her official website, FarrahFawcett.us:

"To add to this on going upsetting situation with Farrah. Now I have been denied access to my business partner (Farrah) by phone, email and in-person. Farrah and I have been in partnership with FarrahFawcett.us since the conception in Sept. 2006. Please keep her in your thoughts. ~Greg Lott"

Greg Lott is Farrah's partner in website and has long been part of Farrah Fawcett lore, with a relationship that goes back at least 43 years when he was her boyfriend at the University of Texas at Austin (People magazine: "The Delta Delta Delta sorority sister was going steady with Greg Lott, the Longhorns' star quarterback...") and who rekindled his relationship with the beauty in 1997, after she and O'Neal announced their breakup.

Sources tell Tabloid Baby that the native Texan is in Los Angeles, and is very concerned about Farrah's condition, now that O'Neal has announced that her treatment has pretty much ended, and that he controls her medication.

The document at the center of this sad chapter bears Farrah's signature and hands over "full power and authority" in the production company she started with Nevius a year earlier to business manager Richard B. Francis and "full artistic and creative control" of her cancer journal documentary to O'Neal. The document is dated April 20, four days after Farrah's son Redmond said in open court that her condition had deteriorated and she was down to 86 pounds.

Nevius (below) and other sources (including Tabloid Baby pal Brett Hudson, who was treated in Germany with Farrah and is working on his own doco project, Frozen Pictures' The Klinik) tell us that Farrah intended the documentary to explore why alternative treatments were not available in the United States. It wound up as a morbid, exploitative tabloid television entertainment special produced under the auspices of NBC News and the supervision of O'Neal, who played a major part onscreen and in its promotion.

"Farrah and I have always had a direct and open line of communication-- professionally and personally, in sickness or in health, no matter what time of the day or night, regardless of country she was in." Nevius insists. "Her condition, by all accounts, seems to have gotten worse over the last two months, yet Ryan and Alana Stewart's spokesperson has said that Farrah is still seeing friends. So why haven't Ryan and his business manager allowed me to see her? And why was I threatened--physically and professionally)-- if I even tried?

"Like Farrah said in our documentary about her cancer, 'I don't have all the answers. But I do have some questions.'"

Toxicology report "still pending" and still no answers in Danny Gans death mystery

Still no word on what caused the death of Las Vegas superstar Danny Gans. A spokeswoman for the Clark County Coroner told Tabloid Baby minutes ago that the results of a toxicology report on the late musical impressionist are "still pending" and there is no expectation of when they might be released.

"They're tests," she said. "Standard tests, and the results usually don't come in for four to twelve weeks."

According to the official story (the Las Vegas news media has done nothing to investigate or supplement the brief police statement), the healthy, athletic, Born Again Christian died unexpectedly in his sleep on May 1st at age 52. An autopsy proved inconclusive.

EXCLUSIVE: Producer's lawsuit over Farrah Fawcett documentary could hinge on disputed signature on document that gave control to Ryan O'Neal

Farrah Fawcett's famous autograph is the ticking time bomb within the lawsuit over the NBC television special about her battle with cancer, potentially widening one man's complaint about being pushed out of the project into a major Hollywood scandal that includes accusations of coercion, forgery and an attempt to take over the iconic actress's estate.

Craig Nevius, Farrah's longtime friend and documentary collaborator, earlier this month filed suit against Farrah's longtime former lover Ryan O'Neal, O'Neal's business manager Richard B. Francis and Farrah's friend Alana Stewart, claiming they wrongfully interfered with a deal he'd made with Farrah to document her cancer fight.

The disputed signature is on a document that transferred control of the documentary to O'Neal, and is being compared to the very unique autograph Farrah has executed thousands of times on 8x10 photos which sell for an average of $50 to $100 online.

Nevius, who'd worked with Farrah since he created, directed and produced her 2005 reality television series, bases his case on an agreement he'd signed with Farrah last year.

It's one of two documents at the heart of the lawsuit and, Tabloid Baby has learned, the center of a brewing storm that includes claims that Ryan O'Neal took over the dying Farrah's documentary project and her life as part of a larger scheme to take over her estate upon her death. (O'Neal and Fawcett began a relation in the early 1980s but were never married. After a long hiatus, O'Neal returned to her life earlier in this decade after his own battle with leukemia.)

The LLC agreement between Farrah and Nevius, dated April 1, 2008, formed a company called Sweetened By Risk, "for the purposes of developing, producing and distributing/licensing a documentary currently entitled 'A Wing And A Prayer' (based on Fawcett's home movies)."

The agreement states:

"Fawcett will be the Manager/Chief Executive Office of the company and will make the final decisions on both business and creative matters.... "However, Nevius shall have both the right and the responsibility to assume Fawcett's role as Manager of the LLC if Q) Fawcett becomes too ill to function (for any prolonged length of time) or B) Fawcett is otherwise unavailable due to failing health (for a prolonged length of time) or C) Fawcett is unable to communicate her instructions and/or decisions for any reason whatsoever (for a prolonged length of time)."

The agreement was signed by Farrah on April 1, 2008 (above).

A year and nineteen days later, Farrah signed an "Appointment of Chief Executive Officer an Delegation of Rights" in which she appointed Richard B. Francis as Chief Executive Officer of Sweetened By Risk LLC, giving him "the full power and authority to take all actions the Chief Manager is authorized to take."

The half-page document also:

"...delegates to Ryan O'Neal all of her rights, whether under the agreement, any other agreement or under law, to exercise full artistic and creative control of the production currently entitled 'A Wing And A Prayer'... including, without limitation, the content, the editing and every version... including the final version."

Farrah's signature is dated April 20, 2009 (above).

At issue are those two signatures. The one dated April 1, 2008 is identical to the signature Farrah has written out thousands of time since her first flash of stardom in the Seventies.

The signatures on the two documents are visibly different.

In an uncanny coincidence, Farrah's friend Alana Stewart (who is named in the lawsuit) was quoted on April 21st saying that Farrah had "thrown" a 68th birthday party for O'Neal on the 20th, the day the Delegation of Rights document was dated.

Stewart's statement was made specifically to counter a much-publicized statement by Farrah's son during a parole violation hearing four days earlier. Redmond O'Neal told a judge that his mother's weight had dropped to just "86 pounds."

Said Stewart on April 21st: "Redmond is young and overreacted a little. Farrah has lost weight, but not that much. No, no, no. I just saw her last night and she looked better. She had color in her face and was talking and laughing."

Her party story as not accompanied by photographs.

Farah Fawcett has not been seen in public since.

On May 7th, O'Neal was featured in People magazine, saying that Farrah's treatment has "pretty much ended."

The tabloid television special, "Farrah's Story," which starred O'Neal, made reference to his cancer movie, "Love Story" and included much footage shot hastily by producers of NBC News' tabloid series Dateline, aired on NBC on Friday, May 15th. After it was announced that the ratings were better than usual for a Friday night, O'Neal announced he would be producing a sequel, one that would presumably include Farrah's death.

But over the weekend, hours after Tabloid Baby's lawsuit report on Friday, O'Neal and Stewart said the sequel had been scrapped.

Farrah Fawcett's signature, April 2008 (click document to enlarge)

Farrah Fawcett's signature, April 2009 (click document to enlarge)

(UPDATE! Signature scandal leads to new questions...)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Danny Gans & Las Vegas media update: Photos of Gans' children at the memorial, twitterings and talk of a curse

Las Vegas Review-Journal entertainment columnist Norm Clarke has posted a collection of photos of Danny Gans' children, taken by a school friend of Gans at the entertainer's memorial service on Thursday. The photo gallery include quotes from their eulogies at the event held at the Encore Theatre at the Wynn Las Vegas complex on the Strip. Son Andrew Gans, who plays college baseball, referred to his father as his "angel in the outfield"; daughter Amy, 14, said her daddy "is now performing in the heavenly Danny Gans Theatre... on the biggest stage of all."

The Memorial Day weekend would have been an opportune time for the Review-Journal (or the Las Vegas Sun, for that matter) to use all the material it has not printed since Gan's untimely, mysterious death on May 1st, and lay out an extensive feature on Gans' death, its repercussions, implications and its unanswered questions. The only material to make the paper has been Norm's report that Whoopi Goldberg walked off stage during an audience medical emergency during the first show in Gans' theatre since his passing.

Norm followed up with a column on Sunday that made reference to a "curse of the Encore Theatre," which was first noted in this site on May 1st and referred to here on Saturday morning. The story got some legs on at least one Vegas forum:

"Is the Danny Gans former theater cursed?

"Gamblers are very superstitious people. So are Thespians and theatrical patrons, for the most part. If there weren’t a 'curse”' on that theatre before, there probably is now. That sort of story circulates like wildfire and now any and every excuse to claim support for the 'curse' will be used to do just that. It’s kind of unfortunate really. Ganz was a real professional, the kind of guy who would have insisted that 'the show must go on' without him. But who can combat the sensationalism inherent in a story like this one?..."

In a strange twist, Norm's story on Whoopi Goldberg's walkoff was based on a "twitter" from Alicia Jacobs, the controversial beauty queen-turned-local TV entertainment reporter who was a longtime close friend of Gans.

Jacobs twittered that Whoopi walked off without leaving the audience "blindsighted" (corrected by Norm to "blindsided') Norm later mentioned that at least one other audience claimed Whoopi did indeed say goodnight when she left the stage about an hour into her act.

Twenty-three hours later, in what seems to be an attempt to mend fences after what could have been inaccurate reportage, Jacobs twittered, again apparently from the audience, that Whoopi was a "class act" for walking onstage Saturday night and saying, "I love you, D.G."

With talk of "curses" and spirituality and a lack of any other coverage-- economic, medical or otherwise-- the Las Vegas news media continues to avoid covering the facts surrounding the mysterious death of Danny Gans while clouding them with distractions-- and once again, Alicia Jacobs is in the middle of it all.

photos Laurie Pollock-Smith/ Las Vegas Review-Journal