Grace Under Fire’s Brett Butler highlights big week of comedy

Feb 26, 2001 7:56 AM

Celebrating 18 years in comedy, Grace Under Fire sitcom star Brett Butler returns to her standup roots to perform two special performances at the Riviera Hotel and Casino’s Top Of The Riv Ballroom on Friday and Saturday.

A native of Montgomery, Ala., the People’s Choice award winner will remind fans of her abusive relationships, her battles with life’s demons and her bouts with the unpredictable tabloids.

At an early age, Butler observed the abusive relationships her mother endured. Soon she would encounter her own abuse when she married at the age of 19. Abandoning the situation that accounts for much of her humor, Butler eventually worked as a waitress to earn a living.

Her put-down remarks amused her customers. As fate would have it, one patron owned a comedy club. He convinced Butler to give comedy a try. The rest, as the cliché goes, is show business history.

Butler struck show business gold with Grace Under Fire, which she also executive-produced. Butler also wrote the New York Times bestseller, Knee Deep In Paradise.

She is currently developing a new series for ABC. Show times for Brett Butler are Friday at 10 p.m., and Saturday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 plus tax and fee. VIP seating is available.

Latino comic headlines Harrah’s Improv

Latino comic Willie Barcena brings his refreshing comedic style to the Improv Comedy Club at Harrah’s Las Vegas Casino & Hotel, Tuesday through Sunday. Performances are at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are $24.95 plus tax and are available at the box office.

Always the class clown and entertainer, Barcena decided to try his hand at comedy. He took a chance on open mike night at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles and his career took off from there.

In addition to performing, Barcena regularly writes his own material. He has appeared on Moesha, The Wayans Brothers and The Tonight Show, and is a regular performer at the Improv and other prominent comedy clubs in the Southern California area.

Sarah Brightman in concert at the Aladdin

Internationally acclaimed vocalist Sarah Brightman brings her blend of pop and classical artistry to the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts on Saturday. Tickets are $50 to $150.

Brightman performed in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and later rose to international prominence as Christine, a role created specifically for her, in Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. Her platinum breakthrough album, 1997’s Time to Say Goodbye, topped the Classical Crossover chart in the U.S. for 35 weeks and sold three million copies worldwide. The title track, a duet with Andrea Bocelli, sold five million copies. Her album Eden and the accompanying tour, "One Night In Eden," electrified audiences around the world.

Brightman’s latest recording, La Luna, is an incomparable mix of classical and pop music ranging from Beethoven, Handel and Dvorak to the traditional "Scarborough Fair" and the dark standard "Gloomy Sunday," which features Brightman’s jazzy side. Another highlight is the soaring dance/pop interpretation of "Here With Me."

Tickets are available at all Ticketmasters and at the Aladdin Box Office.