Awakening at the Wynn

We’re so spoiled and jaded. When one goes to Las Vegas to take in a show we expect nothing but the best.  It’s getting harder and harder to please everyone. We want glitz, special effects, magic, mystery, music and story.  Which brings me to “Awakening” – the new show at the Wynn.  It’s more than all of that combined. 

courtesy of Wynn Hotel

Now THIS is a show! “Awakening” is a ground breaking state-of-the-art production in a 360-degree theatre where every seat has surround sound. This is the most technologically advanced production and stage in the world with a captivating story about finding the magic in a world where light & darkness co-exist.  Speaking of magic, the theatre is filled with a wealth of underwater creatures, an exquisite Nymph, a world of hedonism, a realm of fire and flying shadows in this powerful artistic expression of looking for hope, harmony and love.  A dynamic balance hard to obtain.

There’s never been anything quite like this before. It’s not another Cirque spectacle. “Awakening” has replaced “Le Rêve” and is only about two months old, having only opened in November/2022.  

Not only do we have Sir Anthony Hopkins narrating the storyline, it is produced and directed by three award winning masters. 

Baz Halpin is the mastermind behind iconic cultural moments ranging from Super Bowl halftime shows (the only main reason I watch Superbowl) to producing, directing and designing concerts for the world’s biggest performers (too numerous to mention here). 

Bernie Yuman is a legend in the production of entertainment.  He was the driving force responsible for Siegfried & Roy’s record-breaking 25-year Las Vegas engagement among the hit Broadway musical On Your Feet.  He also managed Muhammad Ali exclusively.

Michael Curry is known for his brilliant work on Broadway’s The Lion King (I saw it on Broadway and loved it) and countless other global productions.  He’s a sought after creator for Disney, Universal and the International Olympic Committee.

First off, the sets and costumes are nothing short of spectacular in a mystical setting. The opening line of the program synopsis states: “In a time before time, the Great Phoenix gave our world its first two beings. One was called Light and the other Darkness.  Light and Darkness lived in perfect harmony, which resulted in a world full of Magic.”  

“Over time, light became possessive of Magic and ignored Darkness, which made her grow cruel.  In anger, Darkness struck Light and he shattered.  Crystal shards of Light now resides in three different realms: the Light of Water, the Light of Earth, and the Light of Air.”

courtesy of the Wynn

There is a lot going on here to follow however, the sets depicting Water, Earth, Air are nothing short of mind-blowing entertainment.

We follow our beautiful heroine IO and her two friends Bandit and Boo as they attempt to steal Darkness’ most prized possession: Magic.

Magic leads IO and her friends on a journey to the three realms of Light – Water, Earth and Air.  They want to collect the crystals of light and place them in their settings where they belong to become whole again.  Once whole, Light and Darkness may reunite.

She and Magic are confronted with an epic choice: secure your own personal happiness or risk everything for something far more powerful.

The message is a semiological feast to do with lack of fear and the power of learning to accept what life has to offer and making the most of it. Learning to live with the light and the dark. Without the darkness in our lives, we cannot fully appreciate the light.

Sir Anthony Hopkins as narrator – “The light of the sun on its own would not give rise to life.  A seed in the dark earth on its own would not give rise to life.  Together they create the magic that makes life possible.”


FYI – I’ve woken up at the Wynn before and it’s pretty darn nice.


See below for tickets (you can watch the trailer however it’s much more powerful by far in person):


Feel Good Feelin’ Music

I’ve been meaning to post something about my talented, beautiful singer/songwriter friend Jenni Doyle ever since I first met her in Palm Springs the last time I was there.  She and her husband live in Vancouver and also have a home in Palm Springs.

I feel like I’ve known Jenni a lot longer than I have because I’ve heard so much about her through two friends that we’ve both known forever, although these two other friends have never met.  Our mutual friend Susanne has written lyrics to some of Jenni’s songs, while our other mutual friend Michael, wrote music for her album “Night Angles.”

Talk about a small world and having something in common aside from our love for dogs and Palm Springs.

Her single “Only One Cook” was filmed at philanthropist Joe Segal’s breathtaking waterfront mansion in Vancouver and directed and edited by Dave Benedict. Jenni’s make-up by Safina Kataria.  Photo from her website.

Jenni has been entertaining people since the ripe age of two, when she donned her first pair of tap dancing shoes. After her early years in musical theatre and dance, she was accepted into Canterbury High School for the Arts in Ottawa, which then led her to Vancouver where she studied acting at Vancouver Film School. In the years to follow, Jenni was one of the top 25 finalists out of 4,000 girls, to make it onto the Global T.V. reality show “Popstars.”

This experience propelled her into the music industry, where she worked with producer/songwriter John Dexter (Carly Rae Jepsen, Bif Naked, D-Cru). She recorded two songs on the D-Cru album “Into the Future” which was released in stores across Canada. She went on to sing in a duo called “JeLL” where they performed their “Night Angles” songs and  “The Star Spangled Banner” live on ESPN in Los Angeles. 

Jenni has also had the honour of singing “Oh Canada” and performing her Shania Twain act in front of thousands of people at B.C. Place. 

With Gloria Macarenko, longtime host of CBC Vancouver’s supper-hour television newscast at 6:00, and Tina Turner and George Michael lookalike performers. Jenni does a tribute to Shania Twain. That’s her up on the screen.

Jenni also shared a heartwarming story about meeting her cute little Shih Tzu named Bella.  This is her second Bella.  Her first Bella passed away from cancer at a fairly young age.  Jenni loved the dog and was completely heartbroken.  About two years after Bella’s passing a friend suggested it was time Jenni get another dog.  She wanted another Shih Tzu. When she went to look at a litter of pups one got very excited, ran right up to her and jumped into her arms.  The owner said the dog’s name was “Bella.”  On her birth certificate was written “Bella Comes Back.” True story!

I just heard this song Feel Good Feelin’ for the first time yesterday.  I thought since the title has Feel Good in it, how appropriate for an uplifting Friday note.  Hope you enjoy it even if you’re new to country music.  Be sure to check out the Kelowna, B.C. scenery (and the tattoo on her arm in the very beginning).

Have a great weekend!  The last one before Christmas.

ASIA SF – beyond the Red Door

Lies a truly entertaining experience not to be missed!

Tracy Turco – designer/artist/hostess extraordinaire

Super cool dude Justin Lamb

After witnessing the incredible new super charged dinner nightclub ASIA SF in Palm Springs with friends the other night, I was certain that *SF stood for super fantastic. It was in fact a super fantastic evening sitting at a table of movers & shakers and influencers, starting out with signature cocktails named after our transgender servers.  Servers who doubled as performers. Each of them come out one by one to lip sync and dance to electric music and they give a vibrant impressive performance.  We had a great table too. however there’s really no bad seat in the house as each lovely lady bump and grind their way around, so you cannot miss

Three of our terrific transgender entertainers.


Our Table.  Best seat in the house.  Sitting at our table at the very end are Dennis Costa and Tom Beatty of Bouschet and PS Air Lounge.

With Tracy, Tammy & Candy.

Oh; I almost forgot to mention the decadent 5-course Cal Asian inspired cuisine which is part of the package.  Sooo good!

Tasting Menu for Foodies – we had everything on it and it was all superb.

Just Justin with one of the ladies

Tracy & Candy

This is going to become my new favorite hangout.  Aside from the dinner show Wednesday through Sunday starting at 6:00 pm, there’s a cocktail show with bar bites on Friday & Saturday at 8:30 pm which includes admission to The Forbidden City dance club immediately following the show.  I checked out the sexy space.  Trust me; you will feel like dancing!  There’s also an outdoor fountain patio.  I’m so happy I never got rid of my glitter disco pants.

With Tammy (l) and Candy (in middle).  My Tiara was a gift from my dear friend Colleen.

And let’s not forget

There’s the elegant Lotus Lounge open Wednesday through Sunday where is served Happy Hour 3:00-5:00 pm with bar menu available.  It’s a really cozy area with style and a fireplace. Open 3pm – until closing (they didn’t specify the closing time but I’m sure it does indeed close at some point).

*By the way, SF stands for San Francisco as up until now that was the only ASIA transgender dinner nightclub show location. They’ve been doing it for almost 22 years and it’s considered an entertainment landmark.  We’re very fortunate to have them here in Palm Springs.

I think Tracy’s shoes deserve some credit of their own.  One of the fabulous transgender performers (r).

Welcome to Palm Springs!

In closing, this is all to say…..just GO! 

Header Photo: Candy, Tracy, Debbie, Justin, Performer, Claudia (PSPOV), Tammy (Ask a Woman).



Feel-good Friday: Film Fest

It’s that time of year again!

The 36th Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). Otherwise known as movie marathon mayhem.  Well not really; because I’m planning to pace myself to no more than three movies per day.  Actually that will only happen one day, because a few of my weekly evenings are tied up with other commitments.  And it could not come at a better time as I’m really looking forward to losing myself in this years most anticipated international films, new discoveries, special presentations, documentaries, contemporary world cinema, and a spotlight on French filmmaking.

And after having carefully leafed through the VIFF guide and marking down my choices, I’ll be happily sharing my thoughts about each film.  Stay tuned…(especially if you’re a film buff).

VIFF takes place from September 28th to October 13th 2017.  For more information and to purchase tickets please visit:

Oscar Night – let the parties begin

Image credit: Chris Pizello/AP 
Image credit: Chris Pizello/AP

Entertainment and entertainers in general are more important than ever these days when we want to lose ourselves in someone else’s drama rather than our own at home.

And if you want a really good laugh and you haven’t already seen it (most have) you’ve got to check out Melissa McCarthy’s SNL portrayal of Sean Spicer. Way too funny!  It’s a way of finding lightness & humour in the absurd day to day real life performances. She should get an Oscar. As they say there is always something good that comes out of something bad.  Which brings me to tonight at the Oscars.  It’s Hollywood’s biggest night and with all talented people involved there is only one who gets to take home the prize in each category.  Every year it seems more difficult to choose only one winner when there are so many deserving nominees.

Past Winners: Penelope Cruz, Halle Berry & Audrey Hepburn.
Past Winners: Penelope Cruz, Halle Berry & Audrey Hepburn.  LOVE the dresses!

You might be surprised to find out who the biggest losers of past academy award shows were.  I know I was, which just goes to prove….there is more than just one winner in each category. Before finding out which dreams will come true and who might be overlooked, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest surprise Oscar snubs of years past.

The most fantastic biggest Losers:

1) Bette Davis, Of Human Bondage 

The 1934 film adaptation of  W. Somerset Maugham’s novel starred Bette Davis as tea-room waitress Mildred Rogers, who draws Philip Carey into an obsessive and abusive relationship. Davis originally did not receive a nomination for her performance, and the public was so upset by the oversight that a special write-in campaign was permitted to recognize her.

2) Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz

Possibly my all-time favourite movie!  Judy Garland won hearts all over the world with her performance in the MGM musical as Dorothy Gale, the plucky girl from Kansas who ends up over the rainbow and determined to return home. The New York Times described her as “a pert and fresh-faced miss with the wonder-lit eyes of a believer in fairy tales,” yet Garland did not receive an Academy Award nomination for her timeless performance.

3) Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia

Peter O’Toole was heralded for his performance in this 1962 blockbuster film, which won seven Academy Awards. Its accolades included best picture, but failed to recognize O’Toole’s performance chronicling his experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I. O’Toole went on to earn seven more nominations throughout his career — but he never took home an Oscar.

4) Martin Scorsese, Taxi Driver

This psychological thriller is famous for the cast, the story and the famous line, “You talkin’ to me?” But one aspect of the film that wasn’t entrenched in history was an award nomination for director Martin Scorsese — even though the film received nominations for best picture, best actor in a leading role for Robert De Niro and best actress in a supporting role nominations for Jodie Foster.

5) Jack Nicholson, The Shining

The idea of Jack Nicholson accepting an award for his performance as Jack Torrance by saying, “Here’s Johnny!” is a thrilling fantasy, but the opportunity never materialized, as Nicholson did not receive an Oscar nomination for his role in the Stanley Kubrick-helmed adaptation of the Stephen King novel.

6) Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic

Despite his starring role in the 1997 blockbuster that drove devoted fans to watch the movie over and over, Leonardo DiCaprio did not receive an acting nomination for his performance as Jack Dawson. The movie took home 11 Oscars of 14 total nominations.

7) Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty, a grim, gritty and powerful film, was nominated for best picture — but its director, Kathryn Bigelow, was not recognized with an Oscar nod. Long criticized for its lack of racial and gender diversity, the Academy was accused of overlooking Bigelow — who became the first woman to win two best director awards from the New York Film Critics Circle — because of her gender.

8) Ava DuVernay, Selma

The critically acclaimed civil rights film that narrated the epic march from Selma to Montgomery tapped into heated emotions about racial relations in America — and that was before the cast wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts to a screening. The film, considered controversial due to its depiction of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, received nominations for best picture and best original song. The omission of director Ava DuVernay, a black woman, from the nominations was hotly debated.

9) Alfred Hitchcock

Despite securing five nominations, somehow the acclaimed director known for suspenseful films like Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo and Rebecca never won an Oscar.

Possibly my all-time favourite dress is drumroll….

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Couture
Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Couture

Source (for biggest losers): Carey Purcell for Arts.mic

Entertainment/Food: Encore

Everybody appreciates a good ENCORE

Yes please!

The latest concept in entertainment/club dining is at Rogers Arena.  I was lucky to be a guest last Friday night for Stevie Nicks, the legendary Fairy Godmother of ROCK on her 

24 KARAT GOLD TOUR stop in Vancouver.

I knew I was invited to the show but never expected the space to be so impressive.  And it’s a really good thing I didn’t have dinner beforehand because they said there would be food but…they never mentioned there would be so much. The new large room suite is only one month old. It is a complete renovation, redesign and upgrade of the former “Centre Ice Grill” with premium service and all the fine touches exclusive membership has to offer. Such as:

Our sushi chef
Our sushi chef

Our wine
Our wine at the well lit bar

a few of the available platters


Picture this – you’re sitting in the comfort of a wide-back chair with a plate of food and a glass of wine in front of you while watching and listening to the best entertainment to pass through Vancouver, B.C.  It really doesn’t get much better!

dessert table
dessert table

The area has comfy leather sofas to lounge on, walled fireplaces, tables overlooking the arena and four chef attended stations offering an abundance of mouth-watering dishes.  The club is open for monthly/yearly membership and included in the exclusive fee package is fresh & exquisite rotating menus.  Wine & Liquor is extra.

Oh wait…as an added bonus to an otherwise perfect evening the Pretenders opened up for Stevie Nicks.  I forgot about how many great songs they have.  And Chrissie Hynde’s voice is a good as ever – love her voice!

Come again? Encore is the perfect name for the watering hole because once you come here you definitely want to repeat the experience. It’s the rock concert equivalent of flying First Class.  Once you experience it you cannot don’t want to ever go back.

The thing about music is that it evokes so many memories and the thing about all the other stuff is:foodart1

stevie1Now I’m ruined for all other concerts.

Her ENCORE (following Rhiannon) is one of my favourite songs “LANDSLIDE“.  And she, as beautiful as ever.  (If you want to see a video clip please visit my Instagram feed @

Feel-good Friday: a good healthy laugh

Have you heard of Graham Norton? OMG his show is so funny. Of course it would be, he’s British Irish!

He's the guy in the polks dot shirt. It's his show.
He’s the guy in the polka dot shirt. 

It’s been some time since I got enthusiastic about watching a talk show. Even though Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel are funny, smart and talented hosts I get tired of the same routine and the same guests who seem to jump from one show to the next and the stories are all the same. I used to love watching “Chelsea Lately” until Chelsea Handler’s wisecracks became predictable and a bit rudely over the top. I think Jon Stewart was brilliant on the Daily Show (HateWatch anyone; super funny) & David Letterman’s finale was hilarious.  I stopped watching the late night talk shows but that’s mostly because I’m usually in bed before they come on.

Recently someone turned me onto this BBC guy Graham Norton (the graham norton show) because of an episode with Jim Carrey talking about Dumb and Dumber to, actor Jude Law starring in adventure thriller Black Sea, and actress Tamsin Greig, on stage in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (loved the original film version) & Jeff Daniels.  I like the way they all interact together as if you’re sitting in someone’s living room…of somebody famous that is. I’m always interested to find out what Jim Carrey is up to because I’ve always been a fan and especially since having met him on a handful of occasions on account of a mutual friend – from an intimate dinner to an intimate Malibu wedding and a few house parties. He’s no dummy to, obviously quick witted and has a spiritual side not many people are aware of. He’s got the best energy.

Even if you only watch the first few minutes (but try to stick it out for at least 10 minutes) it’s guaranteed (in my opinion) to make you laugh. WATCH THIS:

Comedy is good for our health therefore we need comedians, especially now.