Entertainment » Jim Harris

Daly plans shindig; 'Miss Saigon' opens

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John Daly, who is deeply involved in the Make-a-Wish Foundation and will do an autograph benefit for the Foundation at the Arkansas Twisters game on Saturday, May 22 (see "Picks" on page 22), has something special planned for music lovers and golfers June 7-8. Daly, who has recorded a CD, is bringing in musician friends Hootie & the Blowfish, Johnny Lee, Alex Ligertwood of Santana, John Cafferty, Sister Hazel, Edwin McCain and more for his Make-A-Wish golf tournament June 7-8 at Maumelle Country Club. Daly, who sings and plays guitar, plans to jam with the musicians on Monday, June 7, at the Clear Channel Metroplex from 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $20; just 1,000 seats are available. Before the music, Daly will play host to a pairings party and auction (a few tickets at $150 remain) with the celebs. Among the auction items are guitars autographed by Vince Gill, Rascal Flatts and Brooks and Dunn as well as sports memorabilia and a Daly-autographed 100th anniversary edition Harley Davidson 883 Sportster. The party starts at 6 p.m. at the Clear Channel complex. The Tuesday golf tournament (as well as Monday's practice round) won't be open to the public, but there are some team spots remaining. Call 376-9474 (376-WISH) for more information on the golf or for tickets to events Monday night at Clear Channel. The performance of Jon Jon Briones, who has been with the "Miss Saigon" production since it opened in London in 1989, is worth the price of admission to the touring Broadway musical, playing Robinson Center Music Hall through Saturday, May 22. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Briones has a little bit of Joel Grey in him as the Saigon club-owner/pimp/would-be American capitalist in the moving musical drama about love, the end of the Vietnam War, and to what lengths a mother would go to give her son a better life. Jennifer Paz soars in her vocals as Kim, the orphaned Vietnamese girl who falls for a G.I. just two weeks before the U.S. troops in Saigon are evacuated. Briones, we learned after opening night Tuesday, will be leaving the current production in June. He apparently wants to go out in style. He's captivating in his solos "If You Want to Die in Bed" and "The American Dream." The staging is hectic at first, and it takes a few songs to get used to the opera-style libretto between actors, but "Miss Saigon" takes off with Paz's and G.I. Chris' (Alan Gillespie) first duet, "Sun and Moon." The G.I. Chris character spends so much time whining and crying, you'd like to slap him and tell him, "Be a man!" If you've seen "Les Miserables," you'll recognize the style of Claude-Michel Schönberg's music and the lyrics by Alain Boublil (with Richard Maltby Jr.). The scenery was great and the special effect of the helicopter comes in to rescue the last U.S. troops was stunning. A wandering spotlight on the main players was disconcerting, and the building's temperature could've been cooler. Maybe they were trying to impart a Saigon feel on the audience. Call 244-8800 or 975-7575 for tickets. Along with John Daly's Twisters autograph appearance on Saturday, the Paul Coleman Trio, a contemporary Christian act, will perform from 5:45 up until game time at Alltel Arena. Admission to the game gets you into the music as well. Call 975-5425 for tickets. Tickets go on sale Friday through Ticketmaster (975-7575) for the Oct. 19 appearance by Grammy Award-winning mellow jazz-pop sensation Norah Jones at Alltel Arena. Tickets range from $26.75 to $56.25 in the arena's lower-bowl setup. The arena has also lined up the American Idols Live! tour, featuring the winner and also-rans of the Fox TV series, on Aug. 19. Tickets go on sale Saturday, May 22, and are $45 and $35.

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