At my age (89) I’m outliving an awful lot of my friends, which of course is one way to start my story about a friend of many years who is no longer with us and is no longer in pain. Bill Acosta escaped the battle he fought with Parkinson since 2008 when he could no longer perform on stage to his standards.
Along with my friend, Nancy Barr, we sat in the showroom at the South Point knowing that we were watching the “Man of 1001 Voices” do his last song, impression, a few little dance steps, and of course the jokes. I had watched Bill over the years and without question I do believe his show that evening on Sunday June 9, 2008, was the best I or Nancy had ever seen.
If Bill, like all entertainers, strived to have that 100% perfect show over his star-studded career, he finally accomplished it that evening. Backstage, after the final stage bows, Bill Acosta smiled at his wife/manager Jeanne Bavaro, they hugged, and the rest of us tried to hold back tears that were slowly beginning to run down our cheeks.
Bill had officially called it. He would not be performing those impressions anymore on the big stage. Soon Jeanne and Bill sent out invitations to a party at their home. All the stars on the Strip showed up. Rich Little, Gordie Brown and Bob Anderson (three of the best impressionist in the world) were there. What a night that was! All I can tell ya is that was one hell of a night!
My roomie at the time was comedian Cork Proctor, so we had decided we would meet Bill at least once a month for lunch at his favorite restaurant on Sahara Blvd., across from Station Casino. So, every month we would meet for a couple of years. Bill would drive his truck to meet us. Wow those were great lunch times.
So now it’s time to honor a great guy. Bill Acosta died far too young on January 26, 2022. He was just 74. Jeanne, their daughter Angela (a dancer in the Legends show at the Tropicana) and her husband Brett Knudson; his son William Michael Acosta and his wife Nora, and Angela’s twin babies were at his bedside, when he left for the gold stage. Waiting for him was some of guys he used to do impressions of—Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny, George Burns, Gary Grant. You name them and they were there, giving him a standing applause as he arrived.
This Saturday, March 26, the family will hold a special “Celebration of Life” starting at noon–3:00 p.m. in the showroom at the Italian American Club on East Sahara. There will be a ton of entertainment with headliners like Clint Holmes, Frankie Scinta, and Frank Pizarro heading up the list who will honor their friend. Bavaro has assembled a final video of more than 50 entertainers who worked with Bill Acosta over the years, performing to the song, “Ho Do You Keep the Music Playing.”
I missed doing those lunches. I will miss his smile. But most of all his talent. If you never had the chance to see him on a stage somewhere in the world (he was everywhere) you saw magic.
Bill Acosta R.I.P.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
The Wonder Women of Metro Luncheon celebrates and recognizes female leadership in law enforcement and in our communities. Started in August 2017, the Luncheon honors Wonder Women in our community who are dedicated to public safety.
This year’s Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, March 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Milano Ballroom inside Caesars Palace. The keynote speaker is Missy Young, Chief Information Officer, Switch, who has demonstrated strong community leadership and has excelled in an industry typically dominated by men. Trailblazing women in our community previously honored at this event as keynote speakers include Diana Bennett, Kris Engelstad McGarry, Robin Greenspun, and Nikki Fargas.
The Crystal Sims Wonder Women Medallion will be awarded during the Luncheon to an LVMPD female officer who demonstrated compassion, determination, and optimism in the face of adversity. The custom gold and silver medallion are presented in memory of LVMPD Police Officer Crystal Sims (Las Vegas, 2020) who embodied these attributes during her service to our community and country.
In addition to raising important funds for the LMVPD Foundation, the event helps to strengthen the relationship between LVMPD and the Las Vegas community by recognizing and highlighting significant contributions of women in the department. Ticket and sponsor information click https://lvmpdfoundation.org/wonder-women-of-metro/
The Neon Museum is partnering with Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters to offer an exciting neon experience, in the air and on the ground. The new Neon Night Flight Spectacular takes guests on an unforgettable exploration through the history and splendor of the iconic sights that Las Vegas is known for – its neon lights.
The journey begins with luxury transport from most Las Vegas hotels to Papillon’s VIP terminal. Guests will board an EcoStar helicopter for a memorable flight high above the sparkling lights of the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown. After the helicopter tour, guests see the neon lights up close while they learn more about the unique history of Las Vegas and its iconic art form on a 45-minute guided tour at The Neon Museum.
The museum’s Neon Boneyard showcases more than 250 vintage Vegas signs with nearly two dozen reilluminated and the others dramatically lit from the ground on evening guided tours. The night concludes with a tour of the museum’s North Gallery and its immersive 360-degree audiovisual spectacular, Brilliant! Jackpot, an augmented reality experience that reilluminates unrestored signs and incorporates archival video and an iconic soundtrack to transport guests directly into Las Vegas’ history.
“Papillon Helicopters is proud to partner with The Neon Museum team to bring this experience to our guests,” says Irit Langness, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters. “This tour takes guests on a unique journey – exploring present-day Las Vegas aboard a luxury helicopter followed by a deep dive into the city’s rich history with The Neon Museum. It exemplifies both culture and adventure and is a must-do while visiting the neon capital of the world.”
“The Neon Museum is thrilled to offer the Neon Night Flight Spectacular, which showcases the majestic lights that Las Vegas is known for, in the most unforgettable way possible,” said Aaron Berger, executive director of The Neon Museum. “Starting with a thrilling helicopter ride to see from the sky the neon lights that welcome guests daily on the Strip and Downtown, then returning to the ground to see up close vintage Vegas neon signs that chronicle the city’s past, guests will leave awe-struck and with a greater appreciation for our history, culture, and unique art form.”
The Neon Night Flight Spectacular is offered for $179 per person every night, seven days a week, with times varying throughout the year. The experience lasts approximately 3.5 hours. Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters will provide transportation to the helicopter terminal and transfer to the Neon Museum. Guests will be responsible for their return transport following the Neon Museum experience.
For more information including tour schedule and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://www.papillon.com/las-vegas-tours/helicopter-air-tours/neon-night-flight-spectacular/.
The opera is heading to Laughlin. Edgewater Casino Resort’s E Center and Murphy Broadcasting are set to host a night of famous ballads and arias with “Tenors, Baritones and Sopranos – A Night at the Opera” concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 2.
“Laughlin draws music lovers of all genres, and we’re thrilled to be able set the stage for a romantic evening with award-winning songs and the storytelling that comes through listening to some of the worlds’ most beloved operas,” said Sean Hammond, senior vice president and general manager of Aquarius Casino Resort and Edgewater Casino Resort.
The “Night at the Opera” will feature 90 minutes of the very best arias, famous ballads, and beautiful music from some of the most popular operas performed by world-class artists. Concertgoers will enjoy selections from “La Bohème,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Madame Butterfly,” “Tosca,” “La Traviata” and “Les Miserables,” among other award-winning song selections.
“This is the third time we’ll be presenting ‘A Night at the Opera’ at the E Center, and we’re humbled by the extraordinary support we’ve received from Laughlin locals and visitors alike for each performance,” said Rick Murphy, owner of Murphy Broadcasting.
Tickets start at $35 and are available for purchase now at www.Edgewater-Casino.com.
The performance adds to the E Center’s and Laughlin Event Center’s impressive lineups, including:
- Old Dominion and Michael Ray on Saturday, April 9 at the Laughlin Event Center
- Easton Corbin on Saturday, April 23 at the E Center
- Sammy Hagar and The Circle, REO Speedwagon and Sir, Please on Saturday, May 7 at the Laughlin Event Center
- Pitbull on Saturday, May 28 at the Laughlin Event Center
- The Marshall Tucker Band on Saturday, June 4 at the E Center
- Clint Black on Saturday, July 9 at the E Center
Golden Entertainment’s Laughlin resort and casino properties will offer concert and room packages for fans. For more information about Aquarius Casino Resort, visit https://www.aquariuscasinoresort.com/entertainment and for information about Edgewater Casino Resort, visit https://www.edgewater-casino.com/entertainment.
Well, gang, that’s about it for this week. I’ll see ya maybe at the Celebration of Life event?