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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Toni Braxton, Steve Rossi-LVBST w/Comedian Michele LaFong

August 8, 2013 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM & Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

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Tony Braxton guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM KLAV in Las Vegas and The Web.  In a special national media conference, Braxton promoting her first national tour in five years, took on questions from everything from her bout with Lupus to her struggles with divorce, kids, and her huge success with her Braxton Family Values reality show on the WE network where the show, which is in its 3rd season.

Toni Braxton’s distinctive sultry vocal blend of R&B, pop, jazz and gospel became an instantaneous international sensation when she came forth with her first solo recording in 1992. Today, with more than 40 million albums sold worldwide and six Grammy awards, Braxton is recognized as one of the most outstanding voices of this generation.

Her talent was recognized by Antonio L.A. Reid and Kenneth Babyface Edmonds and soon her solo recording career was launched. Her music first came to widespread popularity on the soundtrack of the Eddie Murphy film “Boomerang.” The resulting self titled album sold ten million copies worldwide, spawning the classics “Another Sad Love Song” and “Breathe Again.” The album also resulted in her first two Grammys in 1993 as Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Another Sad Love Long” and another Grammy in the same category in 1994 for “Breathe Again.” In 1997, she garnered Grammys in Best R&B and Best Pop Female Vocal Performance categories.

The acclaim for her second album Secrets continued her mega success, selling more than 13 million copies in the U.S. and abroad following its July 1996 release. “You’re Makin’ Me High” became her first across-the-board No. 1 pop and R&B hit single and garnered another Grammy for R&B vocal performance. Release of “Unbreak My Heart” followed in the fall of 1996 and was recognized with the coveted Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It has become her signature song and ranks as the second top-selling single of all time by a female artist. The next album, The Heat, sold 2 million copies and brought her another million-selling single and best R&B Grammy with “He Wasn’t Man Enough.”

Braxton had successful runs on Broadway starring in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aida.” In 2006, she headlined her own show, “Toni Braxton Revealed” at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. The show which ran through April 2008, was a smash, but in the middle of the extended run she was diagnosed with micro vascular angina causing her to cancel the remaining dates. After a recovery period, she took time in 2008 to fulfill her big dream of appearing on the top-rated television series “Dancing with the Stars.”

Toni is appearing on Aug. 9, at 8pm at The Pearl Theatre, at The Palms H& C

To purchase tickets, please visit the Pearl Box Office, call 702-944-3200, visit any Ticketmaster location, call 1-800-745-3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com 

The Legendary Steve Rossi

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Steve Rossi guests in-studio on Las Vegas backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

He is half of the world famous comedy team of Allen and Rossi. At the age of six he appeared in ‘Going My Way’ with Bing Crosby, ‘The Johnson Story’ and over thirty movies. At the age of 16, Steve received a scholarship to The University of Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles and received a BA in communication, arts and theatre and in Latin and Greek. In 1954 Steve co-starred with Mae West in her sold out concerts all over America.

Steve teamed up with Marty Allen in 1957 and soon became America’s #1 comedy team. They Appeared in over 7000 television shows including frequent apperances on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’, and hold dubious honor of having to go on stage right after the Beatles created pandemonium on the show. They also guest starred on Perry Cumo, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, Mike Dougas and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Allen and Rossi were also regular guest stars on ‘What’s My Line, Hollywood Squares, Password and numerous other game shows.

Allen and Rossi starred in several Paramount films, most notably ‘The Last of the Secret Agents’ with the guest stars Nancy Sinatra and Ed Sullivan.

Steve also produced and starred in ‘The 25th Anniversary Allen and Rossi Special’ with guest stars Engelbert Humperdinck, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Redd Foxx, Martin Sheen, Ernie Borgnine, Rich Little, Jack Jones and Tony Orlando. Steve has produced 11 comedy albums and eight singing albums on such lables as RCA and Coumbia. He sold 2 million copies of his hit record “More”, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Steve Rossi also wrote and produced “Jimmy Stewart & Friends” starring Rich Little currently appearing at The Las Vegas Hotel.

On May 20th 2009, steve Rossi was inducted into Show Business Legends hall of fame at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas. Steve in celebrating his 55th year in show business and Is young enough to look forward to the next 55 years.

More about Steve Rossi here–>

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Nov. 29, 2012 Steve Rossi

The Legendary Steve Rossi

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Steve Rossi visits in-studio on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show on 1230am and The Web, with Comedian Michele LaFong and shares his many amazing experiences, lessons, and stories in his fifty-five year career in show business.

In this very interesting interview, Steve talks about everything from what it was like what to room with Howard Stern many years ago, when he was managing the frequently fired “Shock Jock,” to the real reason he and Marty Allen couldn’t get back together for even one TV Special last year that offered over a million plus dollars.

Steve Rossi is half of the world famous comedy team of Allen and Rossi. At the age of six he appeared in ‘Going My Way’ with Bing Crosby, ‘The Johnson Story’ and over thirty movies. At the age of 16, Steve received a scholarship to The University of Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles and received a BA in communication, arts and theatre and in Latin and Greek. In 1954 Steve co-starred with Mae West in her sold out concerts all over America.

Steve teamed up with Marty Allen in 1957 and soon became America’s #1 comedy team. They Appeared in over 7000 television shows including frequent apperances on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’, and hold dubious honor of having to go on stage right after the Beatles created pandemonium on the show. They also guest starred on Perry Cumo, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, Mike Dougas and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Allen and Rossi were also regular guest stars on ‘What’s My Line, Hollywood Squares, Password and numerous other game shows.

Allen and Rossi starred in several Paramount films, most notably ‘The Last of the Secret Agents’ with the guest stars Nancy Sinatra and ed Sullivan.

Steve also produced and starred in ‘The 25th Anniversary Allen and Rossi Special’ with guest stars Engelbert Humperdinck, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Redd Foxx, Martin Sheen, Ernie Borgnine, Rich Little, Jack Jones and Tony Orlando. Steve has produced 11 comedy albums and eight singing albums on such lables as RCA and Coumbia. He sold 2 million copies of his hit record “More”, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Steve Rossi also wrote and produced “Jimmy Stewart & Friends” starring Rich Little currently appearing at The Las Vegas Hotel.

On May 20th 2009, steve Rossi was inducted into Show Business Legends hall of fame at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas. Steve in celebrating his 55th year in show business and Is young enough to look forward to the next 55 years.

More about Steve Rossi here–>

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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