Las Vegas Backstage Talk

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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John Pinette, Bill Medley-Las Vegas Backstage Talk w/Comedian Michele Lafong

Nov.8, 2012  6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

John Pinette returns on “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” Radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong, and updates us on the latest drama in his life.  He also speaks of his dealings with Frank Sinatra, and other celebrities that he has had the pleasure of knowing, including Joan Rivers.

Pinette, a former American Comedy Awards Stand-up Comedian of the Year, received his big break in 1991 when he was asked to tour with the legendary Frank Sinatra. Since then, Pinette has starred as Edna Turnblad in the hit Broadway musical “Hairspray,” opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie “Duets,” alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Junior,” and with John Travolta in “The Punisher.”

On the small screen, Pinette has guest-starred on numerous television shows, including “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,” “ALF,” “Seinfeld” and “Vinnie & Bobby.”

In January 2007, his Comedy Central stand-up special and DVD, “I’m Starvin,” was released as a follow-up to his successful CD, “Show Me The Buffet.” His most recent one-hour Comedy Central special, “John Pinette: Still Hungry,” premiered in July 2011 and is available on DVD.

More about John Pinette here–>

You can catch John Pinette at The Orleans
Orleans Showroom, Fri – Sat, Nov. 9th & 10th – 8:00pm

Reservations

Singer / Songwriter – Bill Medley

Bill Medley speaks to LaFong on LVBST Radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong about the details of his long, blessed career as both a solo artist, and his early success as being half of The Righteous Brothers.

Medley is a seminal figure in the history of American music. He is perhaps best known as half of the unmistakable duo, The Righteous Brothers. Their raw emotional rhythm and blues sound essentially created the genre “blue-eyed soul.” In the mid-1960s, the Righteous Brothers became a fixture on Top Forty radio with hits like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,” “Just Once in My Life,” “Unchained Melody,” and “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration,” creating an ultra- dramatic take on Sixties pop romance.

As Medley segues into a new portion of his career, he’s also performed duets publicly on occasion with his daughter, McKenna, who has her own show in Las Vegas. But he has no plans to find another permanent singing partner. Instead, Medley expects to strike out one more time on his own, with the stage serving as a safety net from which he’s still able to make a connection-with the fans who continue to adore both The Righteous Brothers and Medley’s powerful bass, but also with his own passion for music. Not that his rare gift makes him any different from the people who inhabit the audience. “My friends that I see on a daily basis are guys I went to junior high and high school with,” he notes. “It just has kept me very, very sane. So when I go out on stage to perform, I really feel like I’m one of those fans. I understand how they feel.”

More about Tony Bill Medley here–>

You can catch Bill Medley with McKenna Medley headlining at South Point.
The Showroom at South Point, Fri. – Sun., Nov. 9th – 11th – 7:30pm

Reservations

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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