An elite group gathered at the majestic Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix last week in honour of Mayor Sam Katz and his bride, Leah Pasuta, for what one guest described as "a lovely traditional wedding." Guests received invitations that were "artistically done in burgundy colour with beautiful calligraphy and many pieces to it." And the bride was reported to be stunning in her floor-length white strapless gown. "She's a beautiful person and she loves him unconditionally," said the guest. Known throughout the world as the Jewel of the Desert, the Arizona Biltmore is a magical sight particularly at night, featuring an oasis of gardens with eight swimming pools and seven tennis courts on 16 hectares with Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture. The hotel has been a favourite of celebrities and U.S. presidents. The fly-in wedding was held in one of the mayor's favourite cities. The couple honeymooned in Costa Rica.
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Great excitement at Finn's Pub at The Forks on Monday night. Taping for the "inaugural" late-night comedy show The Week Thus Far (WTF) happened with more than 20 local comedians, technicians and audience members bustling about. Craig J. Ward is the executive producer of the new weekly comedy show on Shaw TV, with host Dan Huen (yes, that wild and crazy guy is my son) anchoring the news desk and sidekick the Old Ball Coach (Ben Walker) on the leather couch. A host of "news correspondents" and guests played by local comedians had the place hooting and hollering. Shows air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. with repeats on Sundays. This week's guests included Mike Green, a winner of Rumor's competition Best Comedian with a Day Job who rocked the house with his shtick on selling swag from Kijiji. Matthew Nightingale spoofed Moammar Ghadafi. Snake charmer/breeder Tim Cranwill (of the Ken and Tim Channel on YouTube) pulled out three humongous snakes, causing minor mayhem on set while Ken Rudderham in Village People getup stood guard (doing nothing). "Who is that guy?" everybody asked. And standup comedian Ryan Ash (often onstage at Rumor's) played the opener/crowd inciter with Tim Gray of the Bus and Muffler comedy show at UMFM stage-managing. Sweet Alibi, a harmonizing all-female string band, filled in the gaps, providing some estrogen in the room.
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Multi-award-winning singer/songwriter Catherine MacLellan and guitarist Chris Gauthier from Prince Edward Island charmed 25 Winnipeggers crowded into the living room/dining room and hallway of host Darlene Payne on Sunday night at a Home Routes House Concert. They began the first of a two-week jaunt across southern Manitoba, staying overnight and for breakfast. Only city folk with room and sightlines for 25 or more people get to start these tours off in the Winnipeg hub because they are country tours. But now organizing guru Mitch Podolak has 14 long routes, some down into the United States, and things are loosening up in the city. MacLellan charmed everybody by finishing off the night with the whole house singing Snowbird, the famous song written by her musician dad Gene MacLellan and made famous by Anne Murray. "Don't leave me on the high notes!' she called out. Spotted at the soiree: Musician Del Barber, guests Cheryl Billinkoff, Sandy Rubinfeld and Stu Reid.
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Got tips, events, sightings, unusual things going on? Call Maureen's tip line at 474-1116, email Maureen.Scurfield@Winnipegfreepress.com or send mail to The Insider c/o the Winnipeg Free Press at 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6