Tag Archives: Mohegan Sun

Sportsbook: Hockey, MLB Draft, and Notes of Note

by Bob Trieger

CT Provides Fertile Hockey Resource for NHL & Colleges

For years, CT provided on-the-job training for future college and professional hockey players, highlighted this year by Colin Wilson’s selection in the seventh overall spot by the Nashville Predators.

Born in Greenwich, the son of former NHL player, Carey Wilson, Colin grew-up in Winnipeg. He was a member of the US National Development Team (22 goals, 25 points), as well as the New England and Hockey East Rookie of the Year this past season, skating as a freshman for Boston University (13-22). The 6’1, 215 pound left wing is only 18 years old.

The Daniels twins, Justin and Drew, were both drafted by the San Jose Sharks out of Kent School. Center Justin, who led his prep team last season with 17 goals and 27 assists, was selected in the third round with the 62nd overall pick. Right winger Drew went in the seventh round. Both are committed to Northeastern University.

In the sixth round, Colorado selected Avon Old Farms right wing Cameron Atkinson, the 5’7 Boston College-bound skater from Greenwich who had 26 goals and 37 assists in only 28 games this past season.

Boston College right wing Ben Smith (Avon), who had 25 goals and 25 assists for the Eagles 2007-2008 national championship sextet, went 12 spots later in the same round to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Choate-Rosemary Hall center Mark Goggin, who is heading to Dartmouth College, went in the seventh round to the Boston Bruins. He had 15 goals and 21 assists this past season for Choate.

Caught in the MLB draft

Salisbury School shortstop Anthony Hewitt was the 24th pick in the opening round by the Philadelphia Phillies in the recent Major League Baseball amateur draft. The Phillies plan to move Anthony to third base.

Here’s a look at other CT players drafted by rounds: 7th, Amity Regional (Woodbridge) third baseman Jason Esposito (Kansas City Royals); 12th, Bristol Eastern shortstop Brett Anderson (Detroit Tigers); 17th, Yale pitcher Brian Irving (San Francisco Giants); 20th, New Haven catcher Michael Moras (New York Mets), Manchester Community College.

Notes of Note

Sports at Mohegan Sun: Battle At The Sun III: Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Tournament starting at 9 a.m. on August 3rd and Professional Supershow will be held that night … The annual Jim Calhoun All-Star Basketball Game is scheduled for August 9.

Team CT MVP. A.J. Rataic’s (East Catholic) bases-loaded ground rule double broke-open a 2-2 game in the fifth inning as Team CT went on to beat Team Massachusetts, 8-4, in the annual All-Star Baseball Game. Team CT’s Most Valuable Pitcher was Wil Jolin (Guilford), who fanned five and allowed only one hit.

UConn Women’s Basketball Team head coach, Geno Auriemma, signed a five-year, $8 million contract, keeping the Hall of Famer coaching the Lady Huskies through 2013.

Tonya Cardoza, veteran UConn women’s assistant hoop coach, is the now the head coach at Temple University. Tonya’s spot with the Huskies was replaced by former Huskies star, Shea Ralph.

Southern CT State track & field and cross-country coach, Wil Wright, has retired after 46 years, 35 as head coach. He coached 100 All-American and 24 National Champions.

UConn forward Stanley Robinson will not play for the Huskies this year. He is attending junior college near his Alabama home addressing academic and personal issues.

Roger’s Rave Review: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy & CT Sun

by Roger Zotti

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

My love affair with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD), the nation’s best swing-big band, began in the summer of 2001 – and it’s still going strong. It wasn’t a surprise when the band’s Mohegan Sun Casino Wolf Den concert (July 28) was a tribute to its biggest influence, the great Cab Calloway.

In addition to paying homage to Cab with songs from their tribute CD, due for February release, BBVD played several of its familiar hits: “Save My Soul,” the infectious “Zig Zaggity Woop Woop” (what a title!), “Simple Songs,” and a cover of Cab’s “Minnie the Moocher.” And let’s not forget the song Scotty Morris, the band’s founder, wrote about Cab, “Mr. Pinstripe Suit,” clearly one of the evening’s highlights.

Notes: Before the band performed “You & Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight,” Scotty noted it was “the tune that began it for us nineteen years ago”…Members of BBVD are Alex “Crazy Legs” Henderson (trombone), Tony Bonsera (trumpet), Kurt Sodergren (drums), Karl Hunter (sax and clarinet), Dirk Shumaker (strong bass), Andy Rowley (sax), Glen “the Kid” Marhevka (trumpet), and Scotty (guitar and vocals and walking stick) …BBVD hails from CA and began in 1989… In a review of a recent BBVD concert, Jaan Uhelzski described the band as having “more gusto than ever [and] infusing their old school jive with a New Orleans sensibility and panache.” Perfect!

Two Thrilling CT Wins

A total team effort! And those rookies – especially those rookies: Amber Holt (19 points), Kerri Gardin (14 points), and Sandrine Gruda (7 points).

An 87-68 victory over the Detroit Shock, the CT Sun’s arch rival, to the delight of 7,501 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena. The June 24 win ended for the Sun a nine game losing streak against the Shock.

“…Amber and Kerri stepped up,” said Sun Head Coach Mike Thibault. “Perseverance is starting to pay off for some of these kids because every day the two of them have stayed with Coach Maddox working on their jump shot and …their range.”

An away loss to Detroit, on June 26, and then a return home and a thrilling OT victory over the Atlanta Dream, three days later. Maybe the season’s most entertaining battle. The expansion Dream didn’t play like a team that didn’t win a game all season. Player of the Game was Atlanta’s Betty Lennox who scored 44 points. Of course, there was stellar work by the Sun’s Asjha Jones (30 points), Tamika Whitmore (28), and Lindsay Whalen (20).

The June 29 tussle against the Phoenix Mercury wasn’t a game the Sun deserved to win – and they didn’t. Phoenix was the better team that afternoon, winning 87-80. “Basically you are not going to win when you shoot 35% from the floor and 21% from the three point line,” said Mike. “[Diana] Taurasi made some good shots in the first half. Tangela Smith made big shots in the third quarter.”

Speaking of the hugely talented Diana, she made her presence felt on the scoreboard (25 points) and physically (oh those forearms). Verbally, too: she was given a technical foul in the final quarter for uttering something unprintable to either referee Scott Twardowski, Sun point guard Jamie Carey, or Sun guard Barbara Turner. Diana’s response? She blew a kiss to the partisan CT crowd. Got to love her!

July 1: In a home game almost as exciting as the battle of Atlanta, the Sun trailed the Houston Comets at halftime, 38-30. But they roared back, despite technicals to Lindsay Whalen, Tamika Whitmore, and Asjha Jones, to defeat the Comets, 78-68, before close to 7,000 fans.

Of the technicals, Mike said, “The officials…have to learn to walk away too.” According to fan favorite Barbara Turner, the technicals “lit a fire under us.” Sun rookie Sandrine Gruda continued to impress, scoring a season-high 14 points.

How quickly things change, though… As of July 9, the Sun dropped four of its six last games and were 13-7. So, to the faithful I say, have faith – because this is a talented, entertaining team that gives its all.

Frankie Valli at Mohegan Sun

by Tony Schillaci & Don Church

Singing in what is arguably still the best falsetto in rock and roll, Frankie Valli led the Four Seasons in a journey through time and sang some of his biggest hits. The concert on Saturday, July 12th, at the Mohegan Sun Arena was packed to the rafters with fans of “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll” and “Sherry.”

Frankie, a seasoned pro, gave his all in a performance which showed appreciation and respect for his audience, and they gave as good as they got with huge outbursts of cheering and shouting from start to big, big finish. At Frankie’s urging, they enthusiastically sang along with his many chart-topping hits. It was a mutual love affair between the thousands of loyal fans and one of the original rock and roll giants and his music.

The enormously talented back-up singer/dancers (not the original Four Seasons) are a quartet of handsome young guys that Frankie calls “my kids”. He hand-picked just the right ones because they have what it takes to be headliners on their own. Later this year, Frankie, an unusually generous star performer, is producing a CD of the four fresh faces singing Sinatra songs in four-part harmony.

Hailing from New York City, Los Angeles and Toledo, Valli claims that this vibrant new foursome doesn’t even have a name yet! But they will. They each supplied high-energy youthfulness and sex-appeal to the act – the perfect element to compliment Valli’s many talents and to show that he’s as relevant today as he was in the 60s.

Beautifully structured, the concert showcases the legend that is Frankie Valli – both a rock and roll and a vocal group Hall of Famer. His amazing, perfect-pitch voice flows flawlessly from one song to another, from “My Eyes Adored You” and “Dawn” to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” with the ease and skill that comes from years of being a headliner.

This Jersey Boy from Newark sold over 100 million records, making him and the Four Seasons the best selling do-wop group of all time. He told his fans, “I’m sure you all know the show Jersey Boys that’s on Broadway. There are now seven companies out on the road.” One of those companies comes to the Bushnell in Hartford in February 2009

In one segment of his show, Frankie sang all the numbers that he claims were stolen from him before he could record them. They’re all in his first studio album in 15 years, called Romancing the 60’s. His rendition of Spanish Harlem had the fans clapping and swaying to the music.

All in all, what’s not to love about Frankie Valli? This great showman knows how to please an audience, and he’s backed up by a sensational group of musicians and his four talented ‘kids’ who enhance every one of the songs he sings. And his renowned ‘high voice’ and style puts Frankie Valli, one classy performer, in a class by himself.

Josh Blue’s Stand-Up at Mohegan Sun

by Taryn Alessandro

Josh Blue, winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing during its fourth season, was responsible for my hurting cheeks after his performance at the Cabaret Theatre at Mohegan Sun on July 11th. Josh has cerebral palsy and many of his jokes are centered around living with his disability, giving him a unique comic routine that allows for gut-busting jokes we never heard before. “This is truly a cripple’s dream come true,” says Josh, “It’s like my own Make-a-Wish.”

An integral part of Josh’s routine is his role as striker for the U.S. Paralympic soccer team. He explains why he chose to endorse Nike, when being bombarded with sponsorship offers. “I had to pick Nike, look at me, I was born with a swoosh,” Josh says as he points out to the audience that his “crazy arm” naturally takes the shape of the Nike swoosh.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous before the show started. Is it OK to laugh at the expense of the handicapped? Josh stripped me of that guilty feeling as soon as he started. His charisma, energy and wildly entertaining routine make us feel like we’re laughing with him, not at him. It didn’t matter if you felt like it was OK to laugh or not, because you just couldn’t help roaring. The entire audience was hysterical; we were all in this together. After all, aren’t comedians getting paid to say the things we may think but would never say out loud?

Mohegan Sun’s Biggest Loser

photo & story
by Jessica Warzeniak

Mohegan Sun held its first ever Biggest Loser competition to promote healthy lifestyles for its employees. Lasting 12 weeks, the contest was designed to help many people lose weight, but it also elevated people’s self-esteem, health and company morale.  The contest featured over 500 employees who competed in three categories: weight loss , walking and running. Not only is the number of employees who participated in the contest impressive, but also the results they achieved. Final weigh ins were on June 24th – 26th.

In the weight loss category over 400 participants combined for a total weight loss of 5.54 percent of their original weight.

In first place was “The Final Four” with 16.52 percent lost. The team was made up of Bridget Graff, her son Dan, Kay Capozzi-Weiler, and Jaclyn Berry.

Bridget, the team captain, had the greatest percentage of weight lost with 45 pounds or 22.14 percent of her original weight. At her weigh in on Thursday morning,  Bridget said, “Healthy competition is unbelievable at getting people motivated. I like to win. I want to win! But hey, it’s really fun and now it’s a habit.” Her hardwork paid off.

Bridget said her success was due to having team members at work and her son at home to keep her motivated. “I go to the gym every night after work,” said Bridget, who works at Tuscany. “I ride the eliptical and watch the Celtics’ games. It’s a great time!”

The “Transformers” – Kerry Lynch, Robert Kwong, Joel Pinto, and Johnny Rodriguez – were in second place with 11.91 percent lost.

“The Breakfast Crew” took third place with 10.67 percent lost. Annie Barclay, Shannon Fitzgerald, and Tammie LaFlamme were on the team.

Contestants in the walking category logged over 92,432 minutes.

With 17,320 minutes walked “P&I” – Michael Smith, David Belmonte, and Susan Stewart – took first place. Second place went to “Robin’s Chickadees” with Robin Danielson, Karri Martell, and Millie Simon walking for 11,359 minutes.

Close behind in third place was “H.S.O.P.” with 11,130 minutes walked by Denise Allaby, Meagan Gortner, and Ashely Ortiz.

The running category featured only three teams, but they still combined for 8,932 minutes!  The top team was:

“Dynasty” with 4,006 minutes run by Rachel Shafer, JJ Biro, Stan Merise, Gunnar Land, and Scott Kerstether.

At the weigh in, Rachel, an employee at the Fitness Center since Eagleview opened, said, “Now that the competition is over, I hope everyone keeps going.”

Overall the Biggest Loser contest was a huge success.

Roger’s Rave Reviews: Dave Koz, Janet Evanovich, and the CT Boxing Hall of Fame

by Roger Zotti

Dave Koz

It was the best encore I ever saw. Dave Koz, the great saxophonist, and his incredibly talented band – Bill Sharpe, Randy Jacobs, Brian Simpson, Steveo Faye, and Ronnie Gutierez – began playing “You Make Me Smile” and then went into the audience for what can be called a up close and personal final touch. It doesn’t get any better!

Highlights of Dave’s June 20 show, at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theater, included his Grammy nominated “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” from his “At the Movies” CD. “The song is seventy years old, and I know you’ll recognize it,” Dave said: “It was a fun album to record because the songs were so [integral] to the films.”

Other highlights were several tracks from “The Dance” CD: the title cut, the arresting “Surrender,” and “Can’t Let You Go (The Sha la Song).” (He fired up everyone with “The Sha la Song” by dividing the crowd into three sections and having them compete vocally against each other.)

Dave Koz is an enormously talented musician. Accessible, energetic, and personable, he’s athletic, too – he moves around the stage as if he owns it and, while he’s performing, he does.

Janet Evanovich at MGM Grand

“I always hated reading, until I read Janet Evanovich,” said Chris of East Granby. “I’ve read all the Stephanie Plum series and most of what’s come in between.” Chris was in the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods, June 17, to listen to the best-selling author read from and sign her latest novel, “Fearless Fourteen.” (St. Martin’s Press).

With Janet, though, you get not only a reading and signing, but also a live band (Doublefisted), videos, and Mooner imitations. (William “Mooner” Dunphy is, of course, a recurring character in the Stephanie Plum series.)

Before Janet began her reading, she told the audience: “If it gets boring, just talk among yourselves.” Then she read from Chapter One of “Fearless Fourteen”: “…my kitchen is filled with crackers and cheese, roast chicken leftovers…Truth is, I would clearly love to be a domestic goddess, but the birthday cake keeps getting eaten…My name is Stephanie Plum… and I don’t have any communicable diseases.” Not to worry: Janet’s reading wasn’t boring. After all, what’s more interesting than listening to an author read passages from his/her work?

Janet said she started writing as a romance novelist: “But because I liked the chase and the adventure, I reinvented myself.” She did “a lot of reading in the crime genre” and began writing crime fiction.” Janet noted that 1988’s “Midnight Run,” with Robert De Niro as bounty hunter Jack Walsh, influenced her. (Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter.)

Asked why she writes her Plum novels in the first person, as opposed to the third, Janet said, “It’s more intimate. Of course, it’s limited to what only Stephanie sees and hears.” Janet admitted that with the first person narrative, she doesn’t have to write much narrative – which, she added, “I suck at.”

Will any of her books be made into movies? Tri-Star Pictures is interested in her Stephanie Plum novels, Janet said: “But by the time they get around to it, I’ll be on oxygen.” As for who she’d like play Stephanie, Janet favors Sandra Bullock.

Grand Opening

Former welterweight contender and 2006 CT Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Gaspar Ortega was there, and so was former welterweight champion Marlon Starling, a 2005 inductee. Other inductees present were Manny Liebert, Lou Bogash, and Joe Rossi. (Apologies to any inductee I missed.) The event was the Grand Opening of the CT Boxing Hall of Fame, which is now housed in the concourse of the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena.

Gaspar, who’s in his seventies and was a top welterweight from 1956-64, had his first pro fight at seventeen. His overall record stands at 131-39-6 (69 knockouts). Of his 176 bouts, 44 were on national television. Incredible! Back then, Gaspar told Stu Rosen of South Windsor, fighters didn’t take a vacation after a bout. “I fought on a Friday night and was back in the gym training on Saturday.”

So, the night was a success. “All the feedback about the grand opening that I got,” said Mike Murtha, Vice-president of the CT Boxing Hall of Fame, “has been positive. We wanted to memorialize these CT fighters, and with the help of Mohegan Sun, our commission, and a lot of other folks involved, we saw it through.”

June 26, 2008 Officially Proclaimed Billy Joel Day in CT

Mohegan Sun, the State of CT and all of New England honored Billy Joel on June 26th for his ten sold-out shows at Mohegan Sun Arena. This series of ten shows is a record-breaking number for both the State of CT and all of New England, representing the most consecutive number of sold-out indoor shows.

At a press conference held in the Cabaret Theatre at Mohegan Sun, Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele read a proclamation issued by Governor M. Jodi Rell, declaring Thursday, June 26th “Billy Joel Day” in the State of CT. Mohegan Sun also presented Billy Joel with a banner honoring his ten sold-out shows in the arena. This banner is displayed in the arena and unveiled for the first time at the tenth and final Billy Joel show on Saturday, July 5th. This banner is the first of its kind to hang in the Mohegan Sun Arena honoring a performer.

During his record-breaking run of ten shows in Mohegan Sun Arena, Billy Joel entertained 100,000 fans and grossed 9.25 million dollars in ticket sales. This historic run of shows began on Saturday, February 23rd, 2008 as the first Billy Joel show sold-out in a few short minutes; a second show was quickly added. Demand for Billy Joel continued, and the public received a third concert.

As the overwhelming demand for Billy Joel continued, Mohegan Sun and Billy Joel answered with a total of ten shows.

Billy Joel had 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations since signing his first solo recording contract in 1972. He received the Recording Industry Association of America Diamond Award, presented for albums that sold more than 10 million copies, for his Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II.

“Movin’ Out,” a Broadway musical based on Billy’s music, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and took home two, including “Best Orchestrations” – Billy’s first Tony Award win – and “Best Choreography.”

Billy Joel received six Grammy awards. In 1990, he was presented with a Grammy Legend Award. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, he was also presented with the Johnny Mercer Award in 2001. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in 2004 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His other awards include the ASCAP Founders Award, the BMI Career Achievement Award, the American Music Awards Award of Merit, and the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal.

Billy Joel donates his time and resources to a variety of charitable causes, and he recently launched an ongoing educational initiative to provide seed money, musical scholarships, and endowments to a variety of East Coast colleges, universities, and music schools.

Most recently, Billy created an endowment fund with The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Billy Joel Fund for Music Education. For his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, he was honored as the 2002 MusiCares Person of the Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences; he also received a humanitarian award from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

The net proceeds of Billy Joel’s new composition, “Christmas in Fallujah,” inspired by soldiers’ letters from Iraq, are being donated to Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds specially-adapted homes for disabled service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Life Time Chief Ralph Sturges is Inducted into CT Hall of Fame

Chief Ralph W. Sturges, also known by his Native name G’tinemong (He Who Helps Thee), was posthumously honored by an induction into the CT Hall of Fame. A ceremony sponsored by The CT General Assembly took place in Hartford on June 18, 2008. The CT Hall of Fame salutes current or former residents of the state who distinguish themselves in their profession and perform outstanding service to the state and to the nation. The hall is located on the second floor break-out area of the Legislative Office Building.

Paul Sturges, surrounded by his family, accepted the honor to his father. Members of the Tribal Council, Council of Elders, and various members of the Mohegan Tribe also attended the emotional ceremony. “Chief Sturges was a mentor to me and to many other Mohegans” remarked Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe. “This honor goes even further to ensure that his legacy in CT and among the Tribe will never be forgotten.”

Senators Joseph Crisco (D-Woodbridge) and Sam Caligiuri (R-Waterbury), and Representatives Elizabeth “Betty” Boukus (D-Plainville) and Michael Caron (R-Danielson) serve on the CT Hall of Fame Committee, and were also present at the ceremony. Joining them were Don Williams (D-Brooklyn), President Pro Tempore of the Senate; and Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven), Majority Leader of the Senate.

Chief Sturges, a native of New London, was a leader in the movement to gain federal recognition for the Mohegan Tribe. He was also a leader in the Tribe’s establishment of Mohegan Sun, which now stands as one of the most successful Native American owned and operated casino-resorts in the world. Inducted along with Chief Sturges were the late baseball legend and civil rights advocate Jackie Robinson; Harry J. Gray, the former CEO and Chairman of United Technologies and major benefactor for Hartford Hospital’s cancer center; and the late Marian Anderson, “CT’s Voice of Freedom,” the first African-American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. Previous members of the CT Hall of Fame include Mark Twain, Katherine Hepburn and Igor Sikorsky.





Mohegan Sun Boxing Round-up

story & photos
by Alex Pierpaoli

Mora Upsets Forrest

Vernon “The Viper” Forrest was hoping Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora would be a recognizable foe he defeated along his way to bigger and more lucrative opponents in the prize ring, but boxing is as HBO’s Larry Merchant describes, “the theater of the unexpected.” Sergio Mora had different plans for Vernon Forrest at Mohegan Sun on Saturday, June 7, fighting in the main event of a Showtime double header, with Forrest’s World Boxing Council 154 pound strap at stake.

The southpaw Sergio got right to work versus Vernon, chopping at him with short punches and tying him up when “The Viper” got too close or too bold with that heavy overhand right that plagued Shane Mosley all those years ago. Sergio’s style was never pretty to watch but was effective, and the odd angles, consistent pressure and busy work rate gave Vernon fits from the start. Vernon was never able to establish the distance he needed to get his offense going. Sergio with his clever but frustrating clutch and grab tactics kept Vernon from employing his own strategy.

After twelve rounds, the judges scored the bout a majority decision. Judge Gale Van Hoy saw the fight even, but judges Hongtongkam and McKaie both tabbed Sergio Mora the victor by scores of 116-112 and 115-113, respectively. With the win, Sergio improved to 21-0-1 (5), while Vernon looks to regroup with a record of 40-3 (29).

Williams Avenges Loss to Quintana

There were no judges needed in the supporting bout when Paul “The Punisher” Williams avenged a February decision loss to Carlos Quintana with a brief and brutal first round kayo to reclaim his World Boxing Organization welterweight title. In their first encounter, Paul was outboxed by the crafty Carlos but this time “The Punisher” used his freakish six foot one inch height, unheard of for a welter, and kept Carlos at the right distance where “The Punisher’s” power would do the trick.

It did. Connecting with a heavy straight left from the southpaw stance, Paul stunned Carlos half way through round one and dropped him. Carlos got up but was clearly hurt and Paul finished him off at 2:15 of the opening round. Paul is now 34-1 (25) while Carlos drops to 25-2 (19).

Lisa Brown Prevails Versus Alicia Ashley

On June 12th at Mohegan Sun, an all female boxing card featured on Fox Sports’ The Best Damn Sports Show Period, pitted southpaws Lisa Brown and Alicia Ashley. Alicia took control early using distance and lots of long rights and lefts from the outside that kept Lisa on the defensive. Lisa was aggressive throughout but never pursued or pressured Alicia with enough abandon to score anything meaningful.

Judges Don Trella and Tom Kaczmarek saw the fight at 97-93 for Brown while Clark Sammartino tabbed Ashley the winner by a score of 96-94. Lisa is now 15-3-3 (4) and retains her International Females Boxers Association Super Bantamweight title, while Ashley goes home at 14-8-1 (1).

The Piano Man Still Wows Fans at Mohegan Sun Arena

by Taryn Alessandro

During his 10-concert series at Mohegan Sun Arena, musical genius, Billy Joel, is proving he still has what it takes to sell out venues and keep fan’s swooning. The exclusive New England appearance shows are running from May 23 through July 3. Tickets are going fast! The June 28th and July 3rd are the only shows that haven’t sold out yet.

The concert is an eclectic mix of Billy’s lesser known songs, such as “Zanzibar,” accompanied by trumpet player Carl Fischer, and his classic hits, such as “River of Dreams,” “In a New York Minute,” “Only the Good Die Young,” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Billy had us laughing, crying, jumping, and swaying.

“This has been an amazing ride,” said the six time Grammy Award winner. “Thank you all for continuing to come see us and letting me do what I love.”

Instead of an intermission, Billy surprised us by introducing his “rough around the edges,” roadie, “Chainsaw,” to give a fist-pumping performance of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.”

The concert concluded with a much awaited, stellar performance of Billy’s first hit, “Piano Man.” Seemingly, every audience member knew the words as they collectively sang back to Billy. “Sing us a song, Piano Man. Sing us a song tonight,” radiated the 10,000-seat arena and showed us how huge an impact Billy’s music has had on his fans.


Where to begin? The casinos take front seat in the theater of economic development. Last weekend, MGM Grand at Foxwoods opened with a lion’s share of decadence. It is luxuriant. It is edgy. It is fun. It is electrifying and friendly. The opening parties were dramatic with lots of celebs taking the walk on the red carpet on Saturday night. “Michael, right here, please,” I said to Michael Douglas and pointed to my lens. Wow…what a photo op! Catch all the excitement on pages 8-11. Congratulations to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and MGM Grand for going over-the-top!

On top of the Mohegan Sun’s Winter Garage on a sunny spring day, some pyrotechnics, an awesome motorcycle, and Dan Aykryod with Tribal and Management officials, celebrated another Project Horizon groundbreaking. The cornerstone of the expansion will be a new 39-story hotel, featuring a unique House of Blues experience including 261 House of Blues-themed hotel rooms and an exclusive, members-only House of Blues Foundation Room. A House of Blues Music Hall, restaurant and retail outlet will be added to this Blues experience. Mitchell Etess, President and CEO, says, “This partnership is a marriage made in heaven!”
Meet Dan and the Blues Brothers on page 5.

Thanks for reading the Resident, the Good News that Rocks! Please remember to patronize our advertisers as they’re helping to make the “good news” happen.



Mohegan Sun Selected ACM’s “Casino of the Year”

Mohegan Sun is delighted to announce that the Board of Directors for the Academy of Country Music (ACM) selected Mohegan Sun as 2008’s “Casino of the Year.” This marks the second time that Mohegan Sun won the award; the first one was in 2005.

Paul Munick, Senior Vice President, Sports and Entertainment, said, “Mohegan Sun is extremely honored and pleased to be recognized by the ACM with this marvelous industry accomplishment. Country music has been a mainstay of Mohegan Sun’s concert calendar in the past, and will continue to be in the future, with superstars like Alison Krauss, who will be appearing with Robert Plant, Trace Adkins and Brooks & Dunn in the months and weeks ahead.” The win arrives on the heels of Mohegan Sun Arena placing #5 in Billboard Magazine’s world-wide survey of concert attendance for 2007.

Mohegan Sun hosted several of this year’s ACM Award participants, including all five artists nominated for “Entertainer of the Year” (Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Straight and Keith Urban), event emcee Reba McEntire, and numerous nominees including Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Big & Rich, Rodney Atkins and Taylor Swift. The nominees this year also include many musicians who were inducted into the Mohegan Sun Walk of Fame: Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride and even the Rock group Bon Jovi. Many of Mohegan Sun’s Country performances were produced in association with Live Nation, regarded by Billboard and Pollstar as the #1 world-wide concert promoter.
The Academy of Country Music honors performers and professionals of the Country-music industry through its organization of more than 4,000 members.

For more information on Mohegan Sun, visit their website www.mohegansun.com. For Entertainment and Special Events, call the hotline at 888.226.7711 x 27163.