It’s December! The Month of Joy & Reflections of The Year Past is an independent sports news and information service. has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

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It’s December! The month of parties, holidays and presents. The month of joy and reflections of the year past. This year seemed to go so fast it was a blur. There were fabulous times and times of tragedy. But through it all, Las Vegas still is the fun capital of the world!

Case in point – Raiding the Rock Vault at the Hard Rock. This show is not to be missed! If you love rock and roll you must see it. They are fabulous musicians/singers/entertainers who can segue from Toto to Foreigner to AC/DC.

The show’s rotating all-star lineup includes: Howard Leese (guitar) who was with Heart for 22 years; Paul Shortino (lead vocals) who was with Quiet Riot; Hugh McDonald (bass guitar) who has worked with Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper and Ringo Starr and others; Cian Coey (lead vocals) who is known for working with Meatloaf; Sarah Hester Ross (lead vocals) who worked with Tracii Guns and performed in musicals, including “Rent;” and over a dozen more.

Raiding has surpassed the 1,000th performance mark! And, because of the frequent lineup rotations you are sure to have a new experience if you go more than once. This is the very reason why this show has lasted so long – it never gets tiresome or boring with the sameness of performances.

All I can say is see it, you will not be disappointed.

Save Me A Space

A newer venue in town is The Space. It has become a mecca for new ideas, new try out performances, and does not have the big venue prices and running costs. You will be overjoyed by the talent you see there.

They recently had a production of the musical “The Last Five Years,” which was filled to the brim with great local talent. Travis Cloer, who made his mark as Frankie Valli in The Jersey Boys, has also performed there.

In addition to The Space, the College of Southern Nevada, The Nevada Conservatory Theater, Judy Bayley Theater and the smaller Black Box Theater at UNLV all are wonderful sources for stage plays and projects in the making. I remember when the Judy Bayley was the home for Rip Taylor’s “It Ain’t All Confetti,” a Nevada Conservatory Theatre special event, back in March of 2004.

UNLV’s music department brings out the best in performances. You can see quality Jazz for a mere $10 per performance at Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall – and you can park for free. Tickets are available at the UNLV Performing Arts Center. By the way, the faculty includes some great Broadway/Hollywood and known artists giving back what they have learned.

Also, take in the Las Vegas Academy’s productions or visit local theaters, such as Sun City Summerlin’s Starbright Theater, which has great shows. Ticket prices are very reasonable and, again, the parking is free.

All of these venues are what make us a talent town!

Fabulous Pageant

Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, was crowned the winner at the Miss Universe Pageant held recently at Planet Hollywood. She is too gorgeous for mere words, and very intelligent. By the way, she is the first winner from South Africa. All of the ladies were exquisite and if I had to judge them I would be flummoxed to even pick out the top ten!

Odds & Ends

Last week, I had the great pleasure and fun of dining with the Amazing Jonathan, Mike Michaels and Bill Smith. I am working on a project and the Amazing Jonathan gave me ideas and extended his friendship once more. He is truly amazing, having survived odds no one could predict and is still going strong. Being with him at dinner was a holiday gift for me!

The Oscars are not that far away. This year I have only two main choices – Best Actor: Denzel Washington for his incredible portrayal of “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”; Best Actress: Dame Judi Dench for “Victoria & Abdul.” Remember, you heard it from Monti.

Have you started to hear all those Christmas songs on the radio yet? Decorations are going up everywhere, including my house, outside and in. Sometimes I like to drive around and see the displays at private homes. Other times, I go to Opportunity Village, Ethel M’s or the Springs Preserve for their displays.

And in my book, there is nothing like the Bellagio’s Conservatory display, made from all natural materials, to give you a sense of joy. Whether it is eight festive nights, caroling by groups, window and residence displays – whatever your religion – it is a time to reach out and say I am happy to be here!

So ho, ho, ho and away we go to see the shows and have a ball!

My very merry best,

Monti Rock III and Zozo the wonder dog.

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