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

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