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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Carlos Mencia, Esteban-LV Backstage Talk w/Comedian Michele LaFong

Sept. 13, 2012 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Comedian Carlos Mencia returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show on 970 AM KNUU, now 1230AM in Las Vegas and The Web.  In a candid  “comic to comic” videotaped interview at Treasure Island, following Mencia’s phone interview on our radio show, Carlos reveals the true story behind his lack of popularity amongst his comic peers, since his success on “Mind of Mencia” on Comedy Central.

On the road with his “C 4 URself” Tour, comedic superstar Carlos Mencia. Mencia has appearances on television shows including “In Living Color” and “An Evening at the Improv.” In 2000, he released a comedy album called “Take a Joke, America” that showcased his brand of confrontational humor. In 2002, he received a CableACE Award nomination for “Best Stand-Up Comedy Special” for his HBO special, and was featured on “Comedy Central Presents” later that year. In early 2005, “Mind of Mencia” debuted on Comedy Central, which drew an average of 1.5 million viewers. His most recent Comedy Central special, “New Territory,” debuted in December 2011.

His acting credits include starring opposite Ben Stiller and Michelle Monaghan in 2007’s “The Heartbreak Kid,” and in 2010 he starred in “Our Family Wedding” with Forrest Whittaker and America Ferrara.

Mencia will be featured in Comedian Michele LaFong’s Syndicated Monthly “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” column in Casino Player Magazine.

For more about Carlos Mencia, click here–>

You can catch Carlos Mencia at Treasure Island

Treasure Island Theatre, Fri. Sept. 14th 9:00pm

Reservations

Musician “Man in Black” – Esteban

Esteban,  will be live in-studio on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show on 970 AM KNUU, in Las Vegas, and The Web.

The magical artistry of “Esteban,” and his guitar, will make its debut at The Smith Center, Thursday, Sept. 13, and Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. A Las Vegas resident, “Esteban,” will perform along with his daughter, violinist Teresa Joy, and his band of outstanding musicians. Show times are set for 7 p.m.

After a relentless pursuit in Los Angeles, Segovia finally permitted Esteban to play for him in 1974. When Segovia heard Esteban play, he invited him to Santiago de Compostela, in northern Spain, for master classes. After these classes, Segovia invited Esteban to Madrid to study privately with the maestro in Segovia’s famous 4th floor studio. For four years, Esteban studied with the master in Spain and in the U.S. In 1978, Segovia gave Esteban his endorsement. Esteban returned to the U.S. and began touring.

Since then, Esteban has topped the Billboard charts many times with his numerous albums, videos and DVDs, and has had first-time music history successes never before accomplished by any guitarist. He has been on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for his famous appearances and record-setting album sales on Home Shopping Network.

More about Esteban here–>

You can catch Esteban at The Smith Center, Cabaret Jazz Theater – Sept, 13th & 16th – 7:00pm
Reservations

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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