As many of you know I have been around this town of mine for more than 50 years. I’ve had the honor and pleasure to meet, and to work with, some of the greatest entertainers who ever walked on to a stage. You name the headliner and I probably have a little story to tell ya. What makes me feel so darn good is when I get to see an offspring of those stars performing on a big stage right here in our Village. One of those moments happened a few years ago when the husband of a daughter of Dean Martin, contacted me about Deana Martin, who was going to be performing at the South Point Hotel & Casino.
Another longtime friend was her conductor, Vince Falcone, who not only conducted and played the piano for a friend for more than 10 years, Frank Sinatra, but also conducted for another great friend, Robert Goulet. Lots of connections with this young lady, that’s for sure! Since that first night when she walked out on that stage, it couldn’t get any better. She is a beautiful and talented entertainer. Deana is also a wonderful person to get to know, and her husband, John Griffeth, couldn’t be a better partner or friend. And you know what: they met on a blind date on my birthday, Valentine’s Day. Now how many connections does one person need to know that they are special? A little bit of off-the-record info: if you are standing in line after the show to meet Deana, the odds are that you’ll also meet John, who will be walking alongside the line greeting everyone as they wait. I personally think that’s pretty neat!
So now we jump to today and this coming weekend. Deana Martin is back at the South Point again, beginning Friday, May 29 right through to Sunday evening, May 31, with all shows at 7:30 p.m. It’s a totally new show, and her Las Vegas audiences will be the first to see and listen to the entire show: “Big Band Swing,” is what their calling the production. Normally Deana comes in with a great band, but this time she’s got a Big Band that’s comprised of 18 musicians who at one time or another actually played with the Big Bands of a certain era! How great can it get? From the moment she walks on stage, Deana Martin, backed by her swinging orchestra, takes her audience on a contemporary and exciting musical journey through the Great American Songbook, and the legendary superstars of the twentieth century. Deana’s “Big Band Swing” honors the renowned voices, composers and arrangers who crafted the soundtracks of our lives.
In this electrifying musical revue, Deana sings hot new arrangements of hits popularized by Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin, Dinah Washington and others, including her iconic father Dean Martin and “Uncles” Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr (those three will always be a part of her shows). You’ll also enjoy a contemporary presentation of your favorite songs like Beyond The Sea, Everybody Loves Somebody, Destination Moon, That’s Life, Memories Are Made Of This, That’s Amore; and fresh new songs like: Where Did You Learn To Love Like That, Read Between The Lines, and Stuck In A Dream With Me.
In the words of noted Jazz Reviewer Don Heckman: “Added to that Deana performs more far-ranging titles, including I Love Being Here With You, The Lady Is A Tramp, Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You, and Miss Otis Regrets. That’s a group of songs that would challenge the skills of most artists in the contemporary pop music world. Deana handles it with an illuminating blend of musicality and interpretive skill.”
One of the many highlights of a Deana performance is the electronic duet of True Love, with her father performing via video. Critics and audiences agree that this is a moving and emotional experience that always brings a standing ovation.
“Deana Martin’s Big Band Swing,” has all the essentials of classic concert entertainment: the world’s best music, personal and often hilarious recollections from Deana’s life and career, interaction with her audience, plus her innate musicianship. Deana is undeniably authentic – a living connection to the greatest era in entertainment!
Axs.com reviewer Allen Foster states: “It’s no wonder she is hailed as an important voice in the annals of popular music. As an all-around entertainer, Deana Martin is without equal.”
Treat yourself and those you love to this very special evening of entertainment. Ticket prices range from $30.00 to $40.00, and reservations can be made by calling, 702-797-8055 or visiting the website here.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
Hailed by icon Tony Bennett as “the best vocal group I’ve ever heard,” all-vocal group MO5AIC (Mosaic) returns to Las Vegas with a completely new show, and residency at Bally’s Las Vegas. Beginning Friday, June 5, the five-member, a cappella sensation will perform five nights a week in the Bally’s Windows Showroom. MO5AIC performs an all-ages show Thursday – Monday at 9:30 p.m. Presented by AFG Entertainment, tickets are available for performances through Dec. 7 and can be purchased at any Las Vegas Caesars Entertainment Box Office or by calling (702) 777-2782.
MO5AIC consists of members Josh Huslig, Heath Burgett, Jake Moulton, Corwyn Hodge, and Roopak Ahuja. MO5AIC’s show features a unique blend R&B, pop, rock, jazz, big band and Top 40 songs, all performed with a twist and with no instruments. The show will include audience interaction and will showcase the members’ endearing and entertaining camaraderie and humor. Fans of the A Cappella quintet are sure to be delighted in the additions to the new show. MO5AIC promises not only new staging, fresh ideas and the latest in technology, including a looping demonstration by founding member Josh Huslig but the group has added a variety of new songs to their catalog including hits by artists Sam Smith, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. The guys are also bringing back some of their standards, as well as introducing a “History of Vegas Songs” retrospective honoring songs from “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin to “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.
“MO5AIC is thrilled to once again be performing in Las Vegas,” said Josh Huslig, who founded MO5AIC in 2002. “We are honored to be part of the Bally’s line-up of performances and tradition of great talent. We couldn’t ask for a better home on The Strip.”
SMI Founder O. Bruton Smith has been elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The following is a statement from Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Executive Chairman O. Bruton Smith regarding Wednesday’s announcement that he will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016:
“When I found out that I was nominated, I realized how much this meant to my family and the 15,000 employees that work for my companies. Now I realize how much it means to me. It will truly be an honor to be remembered at the Hall of Fame along with people like Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Glen Wood, Junior Johnson, Darrell Waltrip and so many others who helped build this sport. That’s what I’ve tried to do my entire life. I’m a frustrated builder who had a knack for promoting races, and it’s been fun to always try to push the sport to greater heights for the fans. From the first World 600, I’ve always wanted the fans to leave with something spectacular to remember about their experience. Even if they don’t remember who won the race, I want them to remember the pre-race show and having the time of their lives. I want fans to know we’re always working to build the best facilities for them and that’s who I really owe this recognition to. The millions of fans who’ve attended our race tracks all of these years are the ones who really deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. They’ve built the sport right along with us, and I want to sincerely say thank you to them and the voting committee.”
Smith is considered the preeminent speedway promoter and entrepreneur who revolutionized motorsports entertainment over the course of seven decades. Smith’s first major speedway endeavor began when he partnered with racing star Curtis Turner to open Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., in 1960 and held the first World 600 that year. His racing empire of motorsports facilities has grown immensely under Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI), which currently owns and operates Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, and Texas Motor Speedway. He also founded Speedway Children’s Charities in 1984 for the betterment of children and the result has been donations of more than $42 million over the years to charities across the country. Smith has also been inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2007), National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame (2006), and Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame (2008).
Well, gang, that’s about it for this week.