Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Sept. LV Backstage Talk column

By Michele LaFong

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong-

monthly syndicated column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

Coming off the heels of guesting on LVBST just two weeks earlier to discuss the exciting details of his new recording deal, Emmy Award winner Clint Holmes returned to LVBST to announce that Aug 1-3, would be his last weekend performing at his monthly resident weekend engagement at The Cabaret Room in The Smith Center before taking a hiatus in order to make time for his new gig… to star in GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles – at The Venetian Theatre this fall. Clint explained; “When the producer, Larry Rosen first asked me to do the show I said “you know…I don’t sound like Ray Charles, I don’t even sing like Ray Charles…Larry said “that’s not what we’re looking for. We want artists that do their interpretations of his songs. Co-Stars 10-time Grammy award-winning vocal group TAKE 6, six-time Grammy nominee and Downbeat Vocalist of the Year Nnenna Freelon, and Stella Gospel Award and Grammy award-winning saxophone star Kirk Whalum also do not sound like Ray Charles.” The show introduces the Las Vegas Mass Choir, under the direction of James R. Smith and Edie Aikels, and features the Las Vegas All-Star Big Band, under the direction of pianist and conductor, David Loeb. GEORGIA ON MY MIND, will be in the Venetian Theatre September 18 through October 29, 2014. Clint will return to The Smith Center in time to present his Christmas show.

Joy Behar may have retired as Co-Host from ABC’s The View…but that’s about all she’s retired from. In my latest interview with Joy she had this to say; “I lost about 18 pounds altogether after getting off The View…That show made me fat! Now that I’m off… it’s so much less stressful. It’s a whole new group over there. Let’s see how fat they all get!” That’s what I always loved about Joy…You never knew what was going to come out of her mouth next! “I’m doing more stand-up again, as well as working on a One Woman Show, which has more of a storyline than stand-up called “Me, My Mouth, and I.”  We’re currently looking for an Off-Broadway Theatre in New York.” When asked about other future goals in the works, she replied, “I’d be open to doing TV again…but it would have to be the right project.” Joy’s interview aired on August 14. A video clip of her and Colin Quinn on HLN, laughing about doing gigs for me back in the ‘80’s is posted on casinoplayer.com, gamingtoday.com, and is posted below.

Another popular, funny and exciting guest returning to LVBST is “the Voice of Boxing” himself, my next door neighbor and friend Al Bernstein. On Sept. 11, Al will be guesting in-studio giving us more backstage stories, celebrity updates and of course his take on the big upcoming Mayweather/Maidana fight at The MGM Grand that he is covering on Sept. 13 on Showtime.

Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe Winner Paul Williams returned on LVBST calling in from Dublin! Between being President of ASCAP, speaking to congress about songwriters getting paid in the digital age, and preparing for his new book release on Sept. 17th on Penguin called “Gratitude and Trust”, and winning another Grammy Award this year…we ran out of time before could hear the rest of what might be next for Paul Williams!

Rudy Ruettiger, whose life-story was the inspiration for the movie “Rudy,” one of the most inspiring movies of our time, guested in-studio together with his producer, Tony Sacca to promote the premiere of his new multi-media one-man show, “Rudy,” starring Rudy Ruettiger at the Troesh Studio Theater in The Smith Center Aug. 9. The show, like the movie is about his life story of how he accomplished his dream of going to Notre Dame and convinced Hollywood to make a movie of his life, which earned him an invitation to the White House. “After seeing Mike Tyson’s one-man show, I knew that I too could do this. The ultimate goal is Broadway.” Why Not?!
Here’s a treat: “End of Summer Bash,” a FREE concert featuring Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Brooklyn Bridge, The Rip Chords, 1910 Fruitgum Company on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 4pm at The Cannery.

Nevada’s 150th birthday is being planned for Monday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center. Proceeds will benefit The Smith Center’s education outreach programs. This variety show is a not-to-be missed event that will feature some of the best entertainers of the Las Vegas Strip as they come together for one night only to celebrate Nevada’s cultural heritage. Proceeds will benefit The Smith Center’s education outreach programs. Tickets are $25 to $100. Some of the names already scheduled to appear include: Bob Anderson, Susan Anton, Cirque du Soleil, Véronic DiCaire, Clint Holmes, Human Nature, Jersey Boys, Robin Leach, Jerry Lewis, Frankie Moreno, Penn& Teller and many more backed by The Lon Bronson All-Star Band and boosted by the Las Vegas Mass Choir.

The Best of Jethro Tull will be played by Legendary prog pioneer Ian Anderson at The Pearl inside The Palms Resort on Sept. 19. My two segment interview with Ian will air on Sept. 18.

Sept. headline entertainment really heats up in September as evidenced by the length and quality of the names in “My Picks” this month. LVBST should have great choices for interviews!

My Picks: Rock of The 80’s-The Romantics, The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw, Tommy Tutone, Eastside Cannery, Sept. 5,
Jerry Seinfeld, Caesars Palace, Sept. 5 & 6, Jim Breuer, South Point, Sept. 5 & 6,Kevin Hart & Friends Comedy All-Stars, The Cosmopolitan, Sept. 5, Susie Essman, The Venetian, Sept. 5 & 6, Deana Carter, Sunset Station, Sept. 6, Neil Sedaka, The Orleans, Sept. 6 & 7, Gabriel Iglesias, The Mirage, Sept. 12-14, Arturo Sandaval, The Smith Center, Sept. 13, Deana Martin, South Point, Sept. 13 & 14, Marc Anthony, Planet Hollywood, Sept. 13, The Guess Who, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 16, Diana Ross, Caesars Palace, Sept. 19, Ray Romano, The Mirage, Sept. 19 & 20, REO Speedwagon, The Orleans, Sept. 19 & 20, Tony Orlando, South Point, Sept. 19-21, Tesla Eastside Cannery, Sept. 20, Joan Osborne, M Resort, Sept. 20, Rod Stewart, Caesars Palace, Sept. 19- Oct. 5,
Gordon Lightfoot, The Smith Center, Sept. 24, Bill Cosby, Treasure Island, Sept. 26, Daniel Tosh, The Mirage, Sept. 26 & 27,
Katy Perry, MGM Grand, Sept. 26, Paula Poundstone, The Orleans, Sept. 26 & 27, Ralphie May, South Point, Sept. 26-28, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Palms, Sept. 27, Jerry Lewis, Smith Center, Sept. 30, Lorde, Hard Rock, Sept. 30.

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Aug. Las Vegas Backstage Talk column

by Michele LaFong

August’s Las Vegas Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine and Gaming Today.

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Steve Rossi: May 25, 1932 – June 22, 2014
Show-biz Legend Steve Rossi was a frequent favorite in-studio guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show. I first met him in ’94 at my variety show “Vegas Live” starring Michele LaFong, at The Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino. He was very supportive, and came in frequently to watch the show, hang-out and schmooze…and what a fun schmoozer he was! Even back then he brought the party with him where ever he went. He is greatly missed. On June 26, in Steve’s honor we replayed his very first LVBST interview. It was incredibly colorful and entertaining. He shared his many experiences, lessons and stories in his amazing fifty-five year career in show business which covered everything from what it was like to room with Howard Stern many years ago when he was managing the frequently fired “Shock Jock,” to the real reason he claimed that he and Marty Allen could not get back together… not even for one last TV Anniversary Special that Steve claimed was offered to them last year for over a million dollars. The show is worth listening to and is archived on Lasvegasbackstagetalk.com.
Clint Holmes returned in-studio live on June 19, to update us on the exciting news of his new CD release, and monthly resident performances at The Smith Center on the first weekend of every month.
Mostly known for being the former co-host of ABC’s The View, Joy Behar will return to Vegas to perform a weekend of stand-up on Aug.22 & 23 as part of the new “Lipshtick Series” at The Venetian. She got nabbed-up pretty quickly after her successful engagement at The Orleans this past January. Apparently much of the general public was unaware of what an accomplished Stand-up Comedian Joy was. Back in the 80’s, when I was a touring headline comedian, I had a business called LaFong Productions. Joy was one of my top go to comedians that I booked in my 21 rooms. Come to think of it many of the comedians that I booked have done incredibly well in their careers including Kevin James, and Comedian and YouTube Sensation Vic Dibitetto, who recently got cast by Kevin in Mall Cop 2, teamed-up with Actor Nick Turturro (mostly known for his role in NYPD Blue.) I recently aired the lively interview with the pair on June 12, and it too is archived on our website. An edited video clip of Nick and Vic is posted on casinocenter.com
Comedian Russell Peters, currently a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing with Roseanne Barr and Keenon Ivory Wayans, returned on LVBST and will return to the Pearl at The Palms on Aug. 2 exploring new material and crowd work. “Although the taping for Last Comic Standing has concluded, the competition is still playing out every week on television and even the three finalists do not know the outcome! We taped three different endings and they do not know which one will be aired.”
Jay Leno returns to The Mirage on August 11, and Nov. 21 & 22. He puts on a very strong well-paced, fluff-free show that is definitely worth catching. Last month, I aired Part 1 & 2 of a long interview with Jay covering everything from his comedy writing to why he doesn’t have a team of security escorting him around like most other celebrities.
Jay explained the security question with a great story. “Once I was at one of these hotels, and they insisted on sending two security people to walk me to the showroom…so these two huge goons come up with suits on that look like they are made out of sofa material, and we walk into the casino… and as we’re coming through they were actually pushing people…literally shoving old ladies out of the way…and people were like “screw you Leno!” “and I’m like no let me stop and take a picture, sign an autograph…it takes an extra few minutes but everybody’s happy. Having security walk me to a show was so much worse!
Superstar Al Pacino will bring his “Pacino: One Night Only” show to The Mirage Saturday, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to step into Pacino’s world as he shares his passion for acting and directing in an up-close-and-personal setting in the Terry Fator Theatre. The evening will explore his life beginning in the 1960s when he performed Off-Broadway and will follow his career to present day. The show will include previously untold stories, never-before-seen clips, and a question and answer session. Pacino is one of the rare winners of the acting Triple Crown: the Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award.
Other Picks: Buckcherry, Otherwise, Hard Rock, Aug. 1, Caroline Rhea, Wendy Liebman, The Venetian, Aug 1 & 2, The Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Plain White T’s, Red Rock Resort, Aug. 1, Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone, South Point, Aug. 1-3, Journey, Steve Miller Band, Mandalay Bay, Aug 1, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Los Lonely Boys, The Palms, Aug. 1, Lady Gaga, MGM Grand, Weezer, Cosmopolitan, Aug. 1, Aerosmith Slash, MGM Grand, Aug. 2, Jonny Lang, Boulder Station, Aug. 2, Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Uncle Cracker, Golden Nugget, Aug. 8, Dirty Heads, Pepper, Aug. 8, Lisa Lampanelli, The Venetian, Aug. 8 & 9, Rob Schneider, South Point, Aug. 8-10, Aaron Neville & Dr. John, The Cannery, Aug. 9, Aries Spears, Mandalay Bay, Aug. 9, Kathy Griffin, The Mirage, Aug. 9, Lynard Skynyrd, Golden Nugget, Aug. 9, Counting Crows, Mandalay Bay, Aug. 10, 38 Special, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 10, Cesar Millan, “Leader of the Pack” Palms, Aug. 15, Whitney Cummings, The Venetian, Aug. 15 & 16, Yes, Hard Rock, Aug. 15, The Guess Who, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 16, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck, Hard Rock, Aug. 16, Daniel Tosh, The Mirage, Aug. 22 & 23, Dave Collier, South Point, Aug. 22-24, Rock N Blues Fest with Johnny Winter Band, Edgar Winter Band, Cannery, Aug. 23, John Legend, The Cosmopolitan, Aug. 24, The Summer Nationals Tour, featuring The Offspring, with Special Guests, Bad Religion, Pennywise, Stiff Little Fingers, Hard Rock, Aug. 27, The Adam Carolla Show, Treasure Island, Aug. 29, Bill Medley with McKenna Medley, South Point, Aug. 29-31, Joe Rogan, The Mirage, Aug. 29, Bachman & Turner, Cannery, Aug. 30, Keith Urban, The Cosmopolitan, Aug. 31.

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Russell Peters, Richard Hatch, Clint Holmes-LVBST

July 31, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

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Russell Peters returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Celebrated comedian Russell Peters returns to The Pearl inside Palms Casino Resort on Aug. 2, 2014 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49, plus any additional service fees.

Russell Peters is back and exploring new material! After the very successful release of Notorious on Netflix, Peters finds himself back on the road putting together new material as he works through a handful of 2014 dates. Fans can be prepared for some crowd work and…some randomness, all mixed with the comedic styling Peters is known for.

This year has been big for Peters who signed on to be a judge for this season’s NBC “Last Comic Standing.” He joins the likes of Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans and JB Smoove as they search for the funniest talent in America (premiered May 22).

Peters spent most of 2013 touring with the Notorious live show which followed a string of special performances and appearances including being the first comedian to play Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center in November 2012. More than 10,000 fans attended the show, making it the largest comedy show ever in the history of the New York City borough.

Peters’ special, The Green Card Tour LIVE From the O2 Arena, was recorded in London in 2010. The special was broadcast on Showtime, Comedy Central, Netflix USA and Netflix UK. In 2009, Peters set a UK attendance record for the highest attendance for a one-off comedy show with more than 16,000 fans attending his show at the O2 Arena. Peters also went on to have the highest attended comedy shows at Sydney, Australia’s Acer Arena and Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena in 2010.

Starting in 2008, Peters was one of the first stand-up comedians to self-finance, self-produce and distribute his own comedy specials and DVDs, with Red, White and Brown and 2011’s, The Green Card Tour LIVE from the O2 Arena. The DVDs went on to sell more than 250,000 units across North America. Peters is currently developing original programming for Netflix.

Listed on the Forbes List as one of the top ten Highest Earning Comics in the U.S. in 2009 and 2010, Russell Peters has spent the past 23 years building a career to become one of the biggest comics in the world.

Doors at the Pearl will open at 7 p.m. and show time is 8 p.m. The Pearl Box Office is open daily from noon until 7 p.m. with extended hours on select event days. Follow The Pearl on Twitter at @PearlatPalms for concert announcements and event information.

Richard Hatch

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Richard Hatch has enjoyed international recognition for more than three decades. He has starred in such series as The Streets of San Francisco for which he won Germany’s Bravo Award (the equivalent of an Emmy Award), Battlestar Galactica for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe award and the role of Philip Brent, which he originated on ABC’s All My Children. Hatch’s recent projects include a steampunk pilot, Cowboys & Engines with Malcolm McDowell, After the Harvest, and his role as Klingon General Kharn in Star Trek: Axanar.
Richard began his theatrical career with the Los Angeles Repertory Theater. He starred Off-Broadway in several plays and musicals including the Obie Award winning play, PS Your Cat Is Dead, in Chicago. In addition, Hatch has starred in such movies for television as The Hatfields And The McCoys with Jack Palance, Addie And The Kings Of Hearts with Jason Robards, Last Of The Belles with Susan Sarandon, The Class Of 65, The Hustler Of Muscle Beach, and the cult classic Deadman’s Curve, in which he portrayed Jan Berry of the musical group “Jan and Dean”.
Hatch’s directing credits include the iconic “Second Coming” BG movie trailer, a short for White Wings, a period piece set in the 1920’s, and an episode of the award winning web series Silicon Assassin. He has also written, produced and directed an infomercial for the securities industry and produced his own reality series, Who the Frak.
A published author, Hatch has co-written seven Battlestar Galactica novels as well as a BG compendium, So Say We All. Richard is currently working to finish his epic Sci-Fi novel, The Great War of Magellan (GWOM), a story he developed over the last decade. During that time, Hatch produced a trailer, wrote a comic book series and launched a role playing game for GWOM. Richard plans to produce a web series for GWOM later this year.
When not busy with directing, writing and performing, Richard teaches the art, craft and business of acting, sharing more than 40 years of professional experience teaching workshops and intensives around the country. He also teaches a weekly acting class in Los Angeles. In addition to acting workshops, Hatch offers personal development workshops such as Moving from Fear to Self Mastery, Creating a more Successful Life, Becoming a More Powerful Communicator.
An active participant in social media, Hatch can be found interacting with fans on Facebook (Facebook.com/Richard.Hatch.Actor) and Twitter (@thumbfighter) as well as the social network on BattlestarGalactica.com. For more on Richard Hatch, including information on his workshops, visit his website at http://richardhatch.com.

Clint Holmes

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Emmy Award winner Clint Holmes returns to LVBST to promote his last weekend, Aug 1-3, before taking a hiatus from his monthly weekend engagement at The Cabaret Room at The Smith Center to make time to star in GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles – at The Venetian Theatre this fall. This groundbreaking new show will also feature a host of esteemed stars including  10-time Grammy award-winning vocal group TAKE 6, six-time Grammy nominee and DownBeat Vocalist of the Year Nnenna Freelon, and Stella Gospel Award and Grammy award-winning saxophone star Kirk Whalum. The show also introduces the Las Vegas Mass Choir, under the direction of James R. Smith and Edie Aikels, and features the Las Vegas All-Star Big Band, under the direction of pianist and conductor, David Loeb. This dynamic ensemble of all-star performers will celebrate the genius of American music, Mr. Ray Charles, through GEORGIA ON MY MIND, in the Venetian Theatre September 18 through October 29, 2014.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling The Venetian Box Office at 702-414-9000 or online at www.venetian.com. For more information on GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles and the musical performers, please visit http://bit.ly/VenetianGOMM.

 

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk column

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Feb. Las Vegas Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

by Michele LaFong

With the advent and popularity of Smart TVs, where it is now possible to watch web TV on your main set, alternative programming and new opportunities for entrepreneur talent for internet entertainment is growing daily.  This new popular trend couldn’t have been more evident than at the IAWTV awards, “the Oscars” of the Internet Shows held at The Rio H & C last month.

Many familiar faces were seen on the red carpet like “Fitness Celebrity”, and “Infomercial King” John Basedow, inventor and star of “Fitness made Simple.” Basedow was a presenter, and was also nominated for three awards.  When John guested on LVBST with Guinness World Record holder, Comedian Fran Capo, “World’s Fastest Talker, John explained what awards he was up for this year; “(Best Variety Series) is for CULTURE POP, my YouTube series where I take to the streets getting people’s opinions on the top entertainment, celebrity and pop culture news. The second is for FIT NOW with BASEDOW (Best Writing), in which I give fitness, exercise and nutrition tips for people to improve their bodies and lives, The third is for the work I do with Buzz60 Entertainment News (Best News Series) and that’s awesome since they’re one of the first companies to give me a job where I get to keep my shirt on.”  Both Fran Capo, and John Basedow’s interviews are archived on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com

Following a successful 7 month run at The Laugh Factory at The Tropicana, Legendary prop comic and watermelon-smasher Gallagher quietly closed his seven-night a week show on December 30.  It’s a wonder that this eccentric free spirited, flighty, highly creative, mad comedy genius could stay in one place for that long!  I’m definitely going to miss him and the backstage drama that always seemed to follow him.   I’m sure every comic that has worked at The Laugh Factory in the last 7 months, has a “Gallagher story” to tell!  When I asked what his plans were after his out of state gigs were over, his response was “wherever I end up!”  He explained his state of mind at this stage of his life quite well in a recent interview that I entitled “Getting really personal with Gallagher.”  That video can now be seen on casinocenter.com.

Dana Carvey, one of my favorite and funniest guests returned on LVBST to promote his upcoming dates at The Orleans Showroom, Jan. 31 & Feb.1.  Right off the bat, he did a very funny but scary impression of me…I hope it wasn’t as dead-on as it sounded!  Not only is he always upbeat, freshly hilarious, and topical, but he’s also one of the nicest mega-talents in show business.  Dana shared some of his comedy writing, and developmental process. “I tape all of my shows but it’s really hard to get myself to listen to it…yet it’s incredibly instructive.  I’m really hard on myself.”  After a show, from time to time, you might find Dana trying his luck out at The Black Jack tables. “Paul Anka taught me how to play… You gotta whack it.  You really gotta whack it!  I was reminded what Paul Anka sounds like when he’s talking…and I must say…it was a little eerie.  We touched on many interesting subjects including Mike Meyers and the possibility of more Wayne’s World projects.  The interview will air on Jan. 30.

Grammy Award-winning musician and acclaimed actor Meat Loaf will return to the RockTellz & CockTails stage at the PH Showroom inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.  Meat Loaf will perform 24 dates, beginning Feb. 13, kicking off the 2014 series.  Shows will be every Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday, Feb. 13 to April 8, at 7 p.m.  Meat always delivers a dynamic and dramatic show and is a very interesting character.  The legendary musical group and Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Jacksons are the next legacy artists of the RockTellz & CockTails series. The Jacksons, including Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, will perform 40 shows, beginning Feb. 20.  Thurs.-Sun. 9:30pm

I finally went to check out Golden Globe winner,Pia Zadora’s new nightclub show at Pia’s Place @ Piero’s.  Her residency there started in Sept. and is open ended Thursday-Saturdays at 9pm.  Pia Zadora is at home working the room, singing, telling funny stories, and even has special guest drop- INS like Jerry Lewis, Rich Little, Steve Rossi, and other notables.  Pianist Vince Falcone, former musical director for Frank Sinatra heads her quartet in an intimate, throw-back setting that recreates “Old Vegas”.  A great time!  Pia invited me to do some comedy…and next time I will…

Another gem not to be missed of headline entertainment without a cover charge is Singer/Piano player/Funnyman Michael Shane.  Shane was hand-picked by Steve Wynn, to perform at Wynn’s Tower Suite Bar, and is a regular on LVBST.   Michael keeps the night moving from behind the piano with never a dull moment and lots of personality.  He also takes requests and can’t be stumped.  I love it!  Like Pia, Michael is popular and puts on Special Guest Star drop-ins .  He can be seen on some Thursdays at Bootleggers Bistro at 5:30pm. Be sure to check their schedule as they don’t give out dates too far in advance.

Other acts not to miss this month include Comedian Amy Schumer, Feb. 7& 8, The Mirage, Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone, Feb. 7-9, Clint Holmes, Feb. 8, Smith Center, Clint Black, Feb. 13, The Smith Center, Dion, Feb. 13 & 14, The Orleans, Crystal Gayle, Feb. 14-16,  The South Point, Ron White, Feb. 14 & 15, The Mirage, The Eagles, Feb. 15 & 16,  MGM, Boz Scaggs, Feb. 15, Eastside Cannery,  Mike Epps, Feb. 15, The  Palms, Helen Reddy,  Feb. 15, The Orleans Showroom, George Lopez, Feb. 21 & 22, The Mirage, John Pinette, Feb. 21 & 22, The Orleans, Adam Carolla, Feb. 21, TI, Danny Wright, Feb. 23, The Smith Center, George Thurgood & The Destroyers, Feb. 27, The Smith Center, Rob Schneider, Jan. 30- Feb. 1, The South Point, , Ray Romano, Feb. 28 & March 1, The Mirage.

Your comments are always appreciated.

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Dec. Las Vegas Backstage Talk column by Michele LaFong

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Dec. Casino Player MagazineLVBST by Michele LaFong

The last couple of months have been extremely exciting and surreal for LVBST. We have been fielding a lot of questions regarding the video cameras that have been following me with my “stud-puppet” Paco, and LVBST around town.

All I am at liberty to reveal at the moment, is that we are under development for our own unscripted reality series that is unlike any other. A short edited clip of me & Paco, with my neighbor, Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Al Bernstein, can be viewed on casinocenter.com

Currently, my biggest beef with reality TV is that it is not real. The main characters often conjure up conflict and drama that is superficial, one dimensional or more fake than all the boobs and lips in Hollywood combined together!

For some strange reason…with my life nothing ever needs to be made up nor exaggerated for the sake of television cameras. Off-beat characters, unforeseen conflict and ridiculous storylines continue to play out in the “World of LaFong,” rarely taking a full day off!

Too bad that the cameras were not yet rolling when I went to see Ray Romano backstage at The Mirage last month. It was “de ja vu” for me. Not only was Ray pretty much the same, nice, unassuming, really funny guy that I had once hand-picked to open for me in the late 80’s, but it wasn’t ‘til after our visit that it dawned on me just how much Ray is the exact same guy on and off screen in the “Everybody Loves Raymond” television series.

On NOV 24th, fellow comics pitched in to do a benefit for Singing Impressionist Pam Matteson at the PLAZA HOTEL. Pam has brain cancer, no health insurance, and the medical bills are piling up. Amongst the special guest stars were Louie Anderson, Gordie Brown, Rich Little, Clint Holmes, The Coasters, The Michael T Band, and Budd Friedman, original founder of The Improv, and many more. If you missed the benefit but still would like to make a donation of any kind, go to Pam’s husband, Tim Biddle’s facebook page; scroll down and you’ll find a connection to a website that says DONATE NOW.

Legendary music icons and Grammy Award winners, Brian Wilson (co-founder The Beach Boys) and Jeff Beck (Yardbirds) performed at The Pearl inside Palms Casino Resort as part of a co-headlining North American Tour. The show was nothing short of spectacular!

Towards the end of the show they were all on stage performing together! It was a sight to behold, and truly unforgettable.

Speaking of unforgettable, Comedy Legend, Marty Allen finally made it in to the studio with his co-star and wife, singer Karon Kate Blackwell. They were promoting their then upcoming shows at The Plaza Showroom. It was great to see them again. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them several times on different cruise lines over the years. Not that I performed on so many…it just so happened that the majority of the time when I was booked … so were they! We also performed in Atlantic City together when Marty hosted Senor Wences’ 100th Birthday Tribute at Bally’s Hotel & Casino with Special Guest Mickey Rooney. Marty Allen is best known however, for being half of the Legendary Allen & Rossi comedy team. Together, they appeared on over 700 television shows including 44 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. They recorded 16 comedy albums, the title of one using their signature catch phrase of “Hello Dere!” Allen said “We were into the act and I just went blank… and I looked at Steve and said, ‘Hello dere . . . hello dere.’ Then suddenly everyone in the club was saying it – hello dere.”

Now, at 91 years of age, Marty Allen has 91 reasons to go blank on-stage, but doesn’t… most of the time, and even when he does… his failing memory turns into a fresh, new, running-gag in the show. His improvisational skills kicked in every time it became obvious to the audience that Karon Kate was correcting him, whispering the jokes into his deaf ear… which got him even bigger laughs! Marty may not always remember every joke but he seems to have no trouble remembering how to make audiences laugh.

My picks for December: Wynonna & the Big Noise, is at The Orleans Showroom Dec. 6 & 7,

Ron White, is at The Mirage Dec. 6 & 7, 13 & 14, The Black Crowes appearing at The Hard Rock, Dec. 13.

Sinbad, is appearing at The Orleans, Dec. 14.

Country superstar Shania Twain who is a headliner at The Colosseum at Caesars will serve as the Grand Marshall of Opportunity Village’s Las Vegas Great Santa Run on Saturday, Dec. 7. Marking the 5k’s ninth year, Twain will join thousands of Kris Kringle’s downtown for the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser.

Surfset Las Vegas, the latest revolutionary workout trend from ABC’s hit program “Shark Tank,” will partner with Dress for Success Southern Nevada for a one-day donation drive on Saturday, Dec. 7, when a portion of each $20 class fee will go to the charity. Surfset offers four different styles of classes – Burn, Build, Balance and Blend – call 702-503-4780

Our friend, Comedian/Actor Bill Engvall is returning to The TI, on Dec.6 & 13, after an extremely respectable showing, staying alive in the very competitive ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Not very much is ever expected from the Celebrity Comics on that show! Bill first made a name for himself as part the Blue Collar Comedy Troupe with Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, and Larry the Cable Guy. Larry will be appearing at The Pearl Theatre, at The Palms Hotel & Casino on New Year’s Eve.

Jerry Seinfeld always puts on a great show. He is appearing at Caesars Palace, Dec. 26 & 27

Steve Miller Band, the Doobie Brothers, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Dec. 28

Cedric the Entertainer, appearing at The Mirage Dec. 29 & 30, Fleetwood Mac, appearing at MGM Grand, Dec. 30, Kristen Chenoweth is appearing at The Smith Center, Dec. 31.

Another extremely popular headliner, that always sells out is Tony Orlando. Tony is the ultimate showman that always delivers a contemporary, “a feel good” engaging, hard rocking show! He and his wonderful band return to the South Point Showroom on New Year’s Eve.

Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong, wishes you a very Happy New Year!

Your feedback and comments are always appreciated.

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Bill Cosby, Graham Russell, Michael Shane-LV Backstage Talk w/Comedian Michele LaFong

May 24, 2012  6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

The Legendary Bill Cosby guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Over the past century, few entertainers have achieved the legendary status of William H. Cosby Jr. His successes span five decades and virtually all media, remarkable accomplishments for a kid who emerged from humble beginnings in a Philly project.

In the 1960s, his stand-up act was a coast-to-coast sensation, spawning a string of hilarious, best-selling comedy albums, which went on to win eight Gold Records, five Platinum records and five Grammy Awards. His role on TV’s I Spy made him the first African-American to co-star in a dramatic series, breaking television’s racial barrier and winning three Emmy Awards. In the 1980s, he again rocked the television world with the The Cosby Show, a gentle, whimsical and hugely successful series that single-handedly revived the family sitcom (and rescued NBC).

Bill Cosby will be Michele LaFong’s Cover/Feature Interview in “Getting Personal with the Stars” June 2013 issue of Casino Player Magazine.  He is also in LaFong’s “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” Syndicated Column in Casino Player Magazine 2013.

For more about Bill Cosby, click HERE.

You can catch Bill Cosby at Treasure Island, The TI

Treasure Island Theatre, Friday May 25th 8:00pm

For reservations

Musician / Song-Writer – Graham Russell of “Air Supply”

Australian soft-rock group Air Supply quickly became a staple of early ‘80s radio after their first smash hit, “Lost in Love.” Performing together for more than 30 years, Air Supply returns to The Orleans Showroom for three shows Memorial Day weekend.

Producing 30 albums and more than 15 hit singles, Air Supply is renowned around the world, touring in Australia, Asia, India, the United States and the Caribbean. In 2008, Air Supply was named No. 83 on Billboard’s top 100 musical acts of all time – the only Australian band on the list.

For more about “Air Supply”, click HERE.

You can catch “Air Supply” at The Orleans

Orleans Showroom, Fri-Sun May 25th – 27th 8:00pm

For reservations

Musician / Entertainer – Michael Shane

Performing professionally since the age of 11, Michael, most recently, was hand-picked by Steve Wynn to entertain his guests at the Las Vegas mega resort Wynn, as in-house entertainer. In his 30 year career, he has performed in thousands of shows with dozens of stars including Wayne Newton, Gallagher, Debbie Gibson, Brooke Shields, Clint Holmes, Kool and the Gang, the Righteous Brothers and countless others.

For more about Michael Shane, click HERE.

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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