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Excitement Abounds in Las Vegas

Danny Gans

by Robin Roth

Danny Gans: Better than Ever

Danny Gans has most certainly earned his huge photo that lights up the Mirage Hotel and Casino marquee. He is without a doubt the brightest light on the strip!

What can be said about the king of impressionists? Danny Gans doesn’t light up the stage, he is the stage! HE IS hands down THE VERY BEST impressionist of all time! He has earned virtually every award in Las Vegas during his ten years as a Las Vegas performer. This is a man who clearly loves what he does! From the moment he takes the stage, he also takes the crowd into the palm of his hands. It is obvious that the 1,265 audience members love him and he loves them right back! Even though he has performed thousands and thousands of shows, Gans keeps each performance fresh. It is astounding how his impressions are dead-on, from his voice to his body language and facial expressions. Every pore in his body becomes the person he is impersonating. Danny Gans is a talent who is constantly changing to keep current and topical. He is ORIGINAL, unique, creative, overly brilliant, clever and funny, with impeccable timing…quite handsome, too!) It is breathtaking to watch how EASILY he mesmerizes each and every audience member. He is the performer’s performer, an ICON of impressionists and a role model for aspiring talent. Many try to copy him, BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE DANNY GANS!

It is almost impossible to do, but Gans seems to cross all age barriers with his repertoire of more than 300 impressions. I recommend this show for all ages, as everyone is taken into consideration no matter what music you like or what age you are! He averages around 75 voices per show, which is why you can see his show over and over again and be surprised and delighted.

Some of the shows highlights include his bit on Johnny Carson, which is so funny that you might actually hurt yourself laughing. His redneck section is priceless! I do not want to spoil all the highlights and singers, not to mention his section on some legendary actors in their most famous roles. It is better to see and hear him for yourself!

It would be wrong on every level if I didn’t give kudos to the stellar band members: Tim Manfredi, Bill DeLoach, Raphael Erardy, Dave Ringenbach, Pete Bresciani, Randy Crawford, and Fred Chanpoux. These fine musicians are as good as it gets, folks! In addition, sound engineer Lou Carto is who makes the sound so amazing, as well as the precise lighting provided by Fred Irish, Sara Patterson and Andrea Faulkner. The amazing management of Melanie VanBurch is what makes the whole production work.

As you sit in the Danny Gans show, you will be entertained with exciting yet clean fun. You will experience goose bumps and memories, joy and happiness, tears and laughter. You will be taken away on a journey into Dannyland which you will never forget. This show is an A+ says ME, the press around the world, hundreds of celebs and his audiences! Danny Gans started out with his dream of becoming a professional baseball player until his ankle injury put an end to that career! He may not be playing third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he’s hitting home runs nightly in the Danny Gans Theater, where he is living another dream come true! Be among the very lucky and run to see the Danny Gans show! YOU WILL THANK ME!

For reservations, call 702-796-9999. The 90-minute shows are at 8pm Tues. - Thurs. and Sat. - Sun. Call in advance, as Danny is a sold-out ticket.

Phantom of the Opera: The Las Vegas Spectacular

Anthony Crivello as The Phantom and Elizabeth Loyacano as Christine - Photo by Joan Marcus

Now appearing at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino (how totally apropos is that!) is the brand new production of, “Phantom of the Opera.” Broadway show-goers, I have seen “Phantom” dozens of times all over the world. It is truly MY favorite show. Therefore, I was a tad (okay, more than a tad) concerned about seeing the Las Vegas version, as it is not the entire, nor the original show. I was literally holding my breath before the curtain went up and started wondering how, why and what they were going to cut out? There are NO WORDS GRAND enough to describe how incredibly amazing this Andrew Lloyd Webber “Phantom” production was. Those of you who are like me, who know and adore the Broadway show, will NOT be disappointed by the changes. Every song you know and love from the original is LEFT IN TACT! Much of the dialogue form the Broadway version has just been trimmed to make it a more fast-paced show. No need to worry, “Phantom” purists, the show is every bit as “PHANTOMY” and MAGICAL!

As for the stellar cast--major kudos to Tara Rubin Casting--EVERY artist in the show has the finest singing voice I have ever heard ANYWHERE! These, nothing short of angelic, voices literally took my breath (that I was holding before the show began) AWAY! Not only did they sing so exquisitely, but their acting was not just acting… they literally transformed into their characters! STUNNING!

An absolute BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO for (did I say Bravo) the “Phantom” played by the BRILLIANT Tony Award-winner Anthony Crivello (he will make you cry and believe that he IS the Phantom); Christine played by gorgeous Elizabeth Loyacano with her miraculous voice (you will feel her from the stage); Raoul played by the very handsome and spectacular Tim Martin Gleason (never been played better); Carlotta played by Geena Jeffries Mattox with her heavenly voice and diva attitude; and Madame Giry mysteriously portrayed by Rebecca Spencer (she nails this character). I HATE to omit anyone in this tremendous cast, so go see them ALL and experience the same goose bumps I felt for over an hour and a half! Due to Lloyd Webber’s physically and vocally demanding music, the main characters have been dually cast.

It doesn’t stop there. The orchestra was as great as it gets… NO, GREATER THAN IT GETS! The extravagant sets (which you have NEVER seen like this in any other production, down to the grand chandelier AND the SETS IN THE AUDIENCE), state-of-the-art sound system and engineers, out of this world elaborate costumes, spectacularly choreographed by Gillian Lynne, incredible makeup artists, all come together under the direction of LEGENDARY Harold Prince.

“Phantom of the Opera” is the tale of the beautiful young Christine an aspiring opera singer who is being tutored by a mysterious man she thinks is her “angel of music,” sent to her by the spirit of her beloved dead father. In truth, her angel is the feared Phantom of the opera, a very sad, lonely, horribly disfigured man who hides behind his famous mask and lives in the eerie, dark and cold labyrinth beneath the opera house that he believes is his. The phantom not only falls desperately in love with Christine and her angelic voice, he also becomes obsessed with her. Enter Raoul, Christine’s childhood sweetheart. They quickly become engaged which is when all the trouble begins. DANT-DANT-DANT! This throws the poor phantom into a jealous rage, causing total chaos, bizarre accidents and fear thorough the opera house. Bottom line, confused Christine has to make a choice between her two loves. THAT IS ALL I AM SAYING ABOUT IT!

Whether you have never had the PLEASURE of seeing “Phantom” or you are a longtime fan and have seen it many times, DO NOT, and I mean DO NOT, miss this production! You will never forget this experience. After you join in the thunderous standing ovation, you will leave this elaborate theater wishing that, “The Music of the Night” would go on all night long!

A++ Enjoy! For reservations, call 702-4923960 (7 and 10pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and 7pm only Friday and Sunday. Beginning October 16, the schedule will be 7pm Monday and Friday, 7 and 10pm Tuesday and Thursday, 6 and 9pm Saturday and 5 and 8pm Sunday).

Air Supply: Still Soaring High

Air Supply – Photo by Robin Roth

You truly could not have known romance in the early ‘80s without playing the music of the Australian soft-rock group Air Supply. With their pure, amazing, incredible voices and their easy to identify sound you could feel THE love stronger with their help.

Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell met while performing in a Sydne Australia production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 1971, which is a lucky thing for all of us fans! They first started playing in pizza parlors, which they explained to the audience how tiring it was going home smelling like, pizza every night!

I have to say that this is one of my favorite bands of all time. Watching their concert, it was not only thrilling but exciting to experience that they INDEED deliver everything you hoped they would. The fantastic duo is better, stronger and more entertaining than ever. Their voices, even after all these years, sound as great as the original recordings. THEY ARE STILL AIR SUPPLY AND FLYING HIGH! Their songs are timeless. Russell and Graham had every person in the audience singing the lyrics to EVERY song they performed. Among the highlights were “Lost in Love,” “Just as I Am,” “Every Woman in the World to Me,” “All out of Love,” “Here I Am,” “Power of Love,” “Making Love out of Nothing at All,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Two Less Lonely People in the World,” and “Now and Forever.”

It was particularly nice for the audience to have the chance to touch, hug and take photos with them as they ventured (quite courageously I might add) into the audience for an entire song. They were gracious and kind to every one of their fans who wanted to spend a moment with them. (Talk about a memory of a lifetime!) Towards the end of the concert, they encouraged anyone who wanted to, to come up to the edge of the stage and hang with them for a few final songs. The concert concluded with an enormous standing ovation and leaving everyone there screaming for more and MORE! If you have the opportunity to catch Air Supply on tour, RUN and see them. After all, they are NOW AND FOREVER! SWEET DREAMS!

Lance Burton: The Best of the Best

Lance Burton hosts and acts in the most magical new five-six-minute "Magic Zone"

Appearing in the Lance Burton Theater at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino five nights a week is master magician Lance Burton. This is one of the BEST family shows in Las Vegas! William Lance Burton’s achievements are nothing short of a quintessential American success story.

This world champion magician who is leading magic into the 21st century has earned the titles of “A Magician’s Magician,” The First Blackstone Theater Award, member of “The Royal Dynasty of Magic,” as well as “Best Magician” and “Best Entertainer,” to name a few! Before the tender age of six, Louisville Kentucky native Lance was introduced to magic by magician Harry Collins. When the maestro performer asked for a volunteer, eager young Lance bolted up onto the stage. He now knew what he wanted in life and nothing would deter him from it. Burton was introduced to America by the late Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.” His enormous talent, superb mastery of this art, his charm, class, and style was displayed on national television and that one appearance put Lance Burton permanently into the pages of magical history! A STAR WAS BORN! Lance has not only performed at the Monte Carlo for the past ten years, but he has done several of his own TV specials. In addition, he has been a regular on several late night talk shows, performed for the likes of Presidents and royalty.

When Lance walks out onto his own theater, sporting his tuxedo with tails, speaking in his soft-spoken Southern drawl, he owns the audience! While he is brilliant at sleight of hand, Lance is equally adept with larger illusions. Among his many illusions you will see are gloves turning into doves, corvettes flying in the air (his favorite car), levitation, disappearing people, “Magic Zone” and okay, YES, men… six stunningly sexy show girls! Although Lance does include his own humorous moments, it is comedian/juggler Michael Goudeau that provides the real laughs and comic relief. He is an absolute RIOT! From juggling three beanbags to knives, chainsaws, bowling balls to torches, you will love him. He is famous for his trick of juggling three apples in the air while eating them. You will be hysterical watching this folks! YEAH, MICHAEL!

An added bonus is that kids can go up on stage with Lance to witness the disappearing…. Oh, I won’t spoil it! Or, your child can be the lucky one he picks to actually disappear…how bad can that be? I can happily recommend this FAIRLY priced show for all ages. Lance Burton is delightful, polished, smooth, charming and an enormously talented showman!

Be aware, if you are anything like me, you will leave this OUTSTANDING show bewildered and frustrated! HOW DID HE DO THAT?

“The Sopranos’ Last Supper”: Just Don’t ‘Fageddabout It!’ 


Cast of “The Sopranos’ Last Supper”

BADA-BING, BADA-BANG…If you are looking for a crazy interactive spoof dinner show that is FUN, MOB INTENSIVE, FUN, LOUD, COMEDY REDEFINED, and FUN, then this is your “Vegas Mafia Family” SHOW! “The Sopranos’ Last Supper” (directed by Ryan Sands and written by Kenny Silanska) is a hilarious comedy show where YOU will have a ball and perhaps maybe even, “Be Made”! Imagine being caught up IN the middle of the hit television show “The Sopranos.” You will be talking, dancing, dining, laughing, participating in the chicken dance and conga lines, entertained by, and hanging out with your favorite characters. It’s as if you are actually an invited guest at a Sopranos suppa! Yous gets my drift here? Hey, Im-a talking to yous!

Actually, it is Tony’s big party bash that you are invited to and played perfectly, I might add, by Lou Diamond. You will be running into a cast of 20, including Carmela, Tony’s wife, played with spunk, by Carrie Saloutos. Yous might also be bumpin into Toni’s daughter Meadow played by the very Italianesque and excellent actress Kara Cohen (a Jewish girl?). Don’t be surprised if Tony’s shrink Dr. Malfri played a little too well by Kellie Karl… beware, she is VERY drunk! You will also meet another mob girl and excellent singer, Dee Dee Diamond played by Janien Valentine who belts out, “Dancing Queen” and maybe even you! You will get acquainted right away with some of Tony’s associates including Uncle Junior Baritone (Lou Bellomo), Christopher Moltensanti (Tom Lynch), Paulie Whacknuts (Frankie DeAngelo), Philly the Leotard (Michael Delano), and Bobby Baklava (Jim Hitzke). These guys are not only excellent actors but good-ole-boys with quick trigger fingers, if you ‘knows’ what I mean! For the men who came to Vegas for the famous sexy dancers, don’t blow a fuse. You will get to see the VERY sexy Bada Bang Girls, Bambi (Rachelle Fournier), Coco (Noelle Bradford), Cinnamon (there is always a Cinnamon isn’t there) (Linda Cardona), and Cookie (Meagan Hensley). Look out for Rob Marrocco running around as well, he is a gas!

There is a plot to this story, but I won’t spoil it. Find out first-hand who tries to rat out Tony!

I also must tell you about the four-course, gourmet, chef-crafted, all you can eat Italian dinner, including a glass of wine and dessert (with catering by Krave). It is surprising just how outrageously terrific the food is! It has to be or HEADS WOULD ROLL! So come VERY HUNGRY! Wayne Bernath, the show’s Public Relations manager, told me this is a must see show and he was right! So, now that the mob is back in Vegas, eat, drink, BE merry, dance, and join the loveable mafia… DON’T BE A WISE GUY! DO IT!

“The Sopranos’ Last Supper” takes place at The Harmon Theatre at Krave at the Aladdin Casino & Resort. You must be 21 or over to attend. Call 877-333-9474.

Italian Restaurants in Las Vegas…

The Bootlegger Bistro: Real Italian Home Cooking, Entertainment and Fun

Bootlegger Bistro’s Veal Parmigiana – Photo by Robin Roth

I LOVE THIS PLACE! This is a restaurant with a deep and rich history. Louigi Zoia, “The Bootlegger,” and Maria Zoia, “The Bootlegger’s wife” moved to Canada in the 1900’s to give their family an opportunity to reap the rewards of the good life. Maria Perry began cooking at the age of 12 with her grandmother (Maria), creating magical authentic Italian recipes. Maria and her husband Al Perry left Niagara Falls for West Las Vegas where they opened up several fine Italian restaurants. In 1973, they premiered The Bootlegger Bistro. It instantly become THE PLACE TO BE and still is, to this day.

Some things, thank goodness, NEVER change. Al, who is now 91, and Maria, 88, show up every morning to prepare the secret recipes, along with their daughter Lorraine. They still run this amazing, classic restaurant. They love celebrities and the celebs love them back, which is why they regularly hang out at this 24/7 restaurant. Look around you while you dine, for you never know who will show up! There is a variety of entertainment seven nights a week, so don’t plan on leaving too quickly. Dining at The Bootlegger Bistro should be a whole evening!

The food (all of it) is unbelievable and oh so authentic. You can taste the home cooking in every bite. The dishes are SIMPLY WONDERFUL and plentiful! The décor is rich, warm, comfortable, casual, and inviting. DO make reservations for dinner, as you don’t want to be shut out. By the way, they also have Early Bird Specials. Just call 702-7364939.

I want to tell you about a few of my favorites signature dishes. For starters, go ahead pass on your diet and have the Bootlegger Mixed Antipasti, that way you won’t miss out on too much. YUMMY! It is all fresh, tender, and crisp without being oily. Don’t miss out on the Insalata di Caesar. For your main course, I know this sounds boring, but the Chicken Parmigiana della Casa was the BEST I HAVE EVER HAD…EVER! The Capellini al Pomodoro was terrific, OH and do add the shrimp or chicken. The Seafood del Diavolo served over a bed of linguini (served hot, medium, or mild) was out of this world. Treat yourself and add the lobster. The Scampi Classici, Lasagna, Fettuccini Alfredo, and Ravioli (meat or cheese), Vitello di Lorraine, and the Salsiccia Alberto are ALL sensational as well. This ENTIRE menu is authentic, original, and proven to sustain the test of time. It is one of the finest casual, MODERATELY PRICED, Italian restaurants in the city! YOU CAN’T GO WRONG! Everything is prepared fresh daily. For the dolci, I recommend the tiramisu, the cannolli and the chocolate cake. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!

Bootlegger Bistro is located at 7700 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Visit www.bootleggerlasvegas.com.

Il Mulino: Truly Stunning

Il Mulino desserts – Photo by Robin Roth

Are you looking for an elegant dining experience that you will never forget and food creations that will forever be engrained in your tastebuds for its delectable, rich, authentic, northern Italian flavors? If so, then Il Mulino is your must dine at restaurant! Everything on the menu is virtually an explosion of unparalleled flavors blended to create stunning and creative recipes.

The credit belongs to the culinary, artistic, imaginations of the Masci brothers, Gino and Fernando. The brothers were born in Abruzzi, Italy and apprenticed in Rome, where they perfected their creations of traditional Italian foods. They opened their first restaurant in New York. From your very first bite, you will actually feel as though you have been transported to the beautiful country of Northern Italy. Bravo, Gino and Fernando!

When you first walk into this 120-seat, relaxing, dimly-lit, sexy restaurant with its rich mahogany mirrored walls and gothic-style chandeliers, you know you are in for a romantic evening, relaxing time with friends and family or a successful business dinner. No matter whom you are dining with, OR what the occasion, it will assuredly be successful at Il Mulino!

All the dishes are made fresh daily on the premises. The moment you are seated you are presented with a lovely complimentary antipasti and bread. You will not be rushed here, so splurge on them. Don’t forget to get your favorite bottle of their MANY fine wines to complement your dish.

To start with, I HIGHLY recommend that you try any one of the pasta dishes which you can order as an appetizer. If you don’t and opt for one of the other stellar appetizers, then it is an ABSOLUTE MUST as your entrée! DON’T miss the pasta! It is all incredible, but I personally recommend the Spaghettini Bolognese, the Capellini Il Mulino, or the Paglia d Fieno alla Papalina. The last time I had pasta this perfect was in Italy! For other entrée suggestions, any one of the following is a YES! If you are a shrimp lover, than go for the Scampi alla Romana with melted cheese on top, OH LORD, that’s what I’m talking about! It’s worth the hours in the gym the next day! The superb and tender Rack of Lamb will be paradise for you lamb lovers! As for me, there was ONLY the Osso Bucco! I don’t care where the brothers studied their craft, this had to be their MOTHER’S SECRET recipe. Nothing can describe how perfect they nailed the Osso Bucco, from the tender meat to the sauce that was literally bursting with flavors, to the presentation. I would not speak a word as I devoured this breathtaking dish!

One would think I could not possibly have room for dessert. Ya, right… think again. How could I possibly pass on their Tiramisu, (light and delicate) their Flourless Chocolate Cake, (to die for) or the Ricotta Cheesecake (unique and original).

Il Mulino is worthy of their fame and ALL the hype about it. Tell them the Blonde sent you! I’M GOING TO THE GYM!

Il Mulino is located on the top level in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. For reservations, call 702-492-6000

Tintoretto: Casual Atmosphere with Gourmet Cuisine

Tintoretto manager Maria Rosa – Photo by Robin Roth

Tintoretto is WONDERFUL, RELAXING AND CHARMING! I love this restaurant! If you are looking for a quick, casual dinner with an ‘authentic’ trattoria outside feel, (even though it is inside) serving EXCELLENT food, Tintoretto is your BEST bet. I highly recommend you stop in for dinner, especially if you are catching “The Phantom Spectacular” or Blue Man Group at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino. Tintoretto is also open for a delicious breakfast and lunch as well. It stays open till 1:00am. Due to the exciting and bustling traffic of the Venetian shopping mall, you can also do some awesome people watching here. In addition, you can enjoy watching real people statues from 12 to 8pm. If you come for dinner, you simply have to say a HUGE hello to the lovely, bubbly, filled to the brim with energy Italian manager (from Italy) Maria Rosa! I simply adored this lovely woman. She is uniquely gracious and hospitable with her non-stop smile that you will actually feel as though you are dining in her own home.

The food is surprisingly perfect. All the pastas, breads, sauces and pastries are homemade. The bread is outrageous and hard to stop eating, perfect for dipping into the superb sauces. DO start with the prosciutto, mozzarella and tomato (note the mozzarella is also homemade) with their special dressing. I recommend the Veal Parmigiana which is so delicious due to their special mozzarella and sauce. I also recommend with all my heart the best baked Lasagna I have ever had. Oh my goodness, lasagna perfection. (OK…YES…EVEN BETTER THAN MINE!) The blend of sauces and cheeses is nothing short of artistic. For a lighter cuisine, perhaps you should go for the linguine with shrimp in a light tomato sauce. Another suggestion is their penne with tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella…simply delightful and light. If you are not in the pasta mood, then go with the fabulous and tasty grilled salmon with herbs. The pizzas are also a great choice as well.

SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT, as Tintoretto has without a doubt some of the finest pastries in the city. I won’t even take the time to tell you about the various choices as there’s an entire case filled with many pastry, cookie and cake selections. If you don’t find one you LOVE here (and want to take an extra back to your room with you), you won’t find it anywhere! THIS, you will remember forever! The atmosphere here is laidback, comfy and cozy which makes it a perfect spot to gather with family and friends.

I enjoyed this restaurant so much, that for the VERY first time, I took the food home with me. I think that just about says it all. GO and say a hello from THE BLONDE to my servers Juan, Modesto and especially to my favorite Italian lady, Maria Rosa!

Call Tintoretto at 702-414-3400.

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