It’s all laughter when Ritch Shydner, Tina Giorgi and Alan Bursky invade the Laugh Factory, inside the New Tropicana Las Vegas, on Monday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 25. The comedy shows in the Laugh Factory bring an amazing, one-of-a-kind brand of comedy not only to the Tropicana entertainment lineup, but also to the Vegas Strip. It doesn’t matter what night of the week or what day of the month it is, the Factory is always full of the hottest comedians in the business – many are superstars from the big screen, others are up-and-coming Las Vegas comedians. Regardless of who is performing, the one thing we know for sure is that you will be rolling on the floor with laughter.
Ritch Shydner has over thirty-five years of experience as a stand-up comedian and writer. Shydner has made numerous TV appearances on shows such as “Late Night with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show” with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. Ritch played Al Bundy’s co-worker on “Married with Children,” and made guest appearances on many other shows such as “Designing Women” and “Roseanne.” He was able to translate his modest success on TV into an obscure film career, appearing in Steve Martin’s, “Roxanne,” and Eddie Murphy’s, “Beverly Hills Cop II,” before moving on to minor roles on smaller pictures. He also wrote material for Jeff Foxworthy’s Grammy nominated comedy albums “Totally Committed” and “Big Fun,” and wrote for Ron White and Jay Leno. In 2010 Shydner produced and performed in “I Am Comic,” an award-winning documentary on the world of stand-up comedy.
Tina Giorgi is a crowd-pleasing intelligent comedienne. Reviewers refer to her performances as “comedy with a brain.” She has been featured on CBS’s “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,” Fox’s “Comics Unleashed” and Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.” Giorgi can also be heard weekly on the New York radio show “Mulrooney in the Morning.” Tina’s proudest acting accomplishments occurred recently with her participation in the first original plomedy, “Shut Up Sit Down & Eat,” a hilarious night of Italian dysfunction has been taking the theater community by storm. She co-wrote and co-stars in the groundbreaking comedy with four other stand-up comics. The show is currently running off-Broadway in New York City.
Alan Bursky has a reputation as a comedian’s comedian and a legend among his peers. He made his national television debut on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” at the age of 18 — making history as the youngest comedian to ever appear on the show — a record he holds to this day! The appearance led to a guest-starring role on “The Partridge Family” and many other TV shows. After finding himself etched in a dark part of comedy history with the tragic death of his best friend and roommate, Freddie Prinze, Bursky took a brief break from performing and began a new career as a talent agent, booking the likes of Steve Martin and Rodney Dangerfield. But the lure of the spotlight and microphone proved too powerful. Still young and still vital, Alan returned to the comedy stage in a successful “second act,” working television shows, nightclubs and theaters with stars like Drew Carey and Jerry Seinfeld.
Show times are 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., with tickets ranging from $34.95 to $54.95. Call 702-739-2411 for more Information.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
Last Saturday night this reporter checked out a new show in the Cabaret Jazz room at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, produced by a long-time friend George Bugatti called “Portraits of America,” which will begin a 24 city tour in two weeks. I must tell you that this is hopefully a forerunner of the future of entertainment in Las Vegas. It’s not a totally new concept, but then it is a new approach to telling a story with music. There is no time to get bored, nor are you looking at your watch wondering when it’s going to end?
The 90-minute show keeps your brain totally entertained! The concept is easily explained: There are hundreds, if not thousands of songs using a City or State in the title or within the music itself. Bugatti has taken the concept and picked a couple dozens of them as the base for the show. But, what really makes this show new, is the brain is not idle: it (you) is not only listening to the song being presented, but you are watching beautiful photos depicting that particular city, with interesting little notes telling a brief history of why that photo was used. There-fore your brain is listening, seeing photos and reading all at the same time. It’s a marvelous way to watch a live musical presentation.
“Portraits” as presented Saturday featured a trio comprised of Bob Sachs on bass, Paul Stubblefield on drums, percussionist Dave Ringenbacgh, Bugatti on keyboard and piano, and a talented line-up of guest vocalists. The Las Vegas show, this particular evening, had the great comedian Marty Allen hosting the production, and of course telling a couple of wonderfully funny and timely jokes. Adding to the premiere event was the appearance of two very special guest artists, the “straight person” for her husband Marty’s jokes, singer Karon Kate Blackwell, and Nelson Sardelli, long-time Vegas entertainer and film star. Based on an idea by Bugatti’s longtime agent, Eric Amada, “Portraits” is the second show developed by Bugatti in his hometown of Las Vegas to tour the country and have a national stage presence. Musical arrangements are by Steve Rawlins and Gary Anderson.
To give you an idea of the musical selections, “Portraits” starts right off with “Take Me Home Country Roads” and “America the Beautiful” presented by the entire cast of Bugatti, Blackwell and Sardelli, quickly followed by “New York, New York,” with George telling a little story about Billy Joel before he goes into “New York State of Mind.” “Walking in Memphis,” “Left my Heart in San Francisco” are just two more cities highlighted with great photos and brief history’s. “Route 66,” performed by Paul Stubblefield, was a huge crowd pleaser. Then it’s Ms. Blackwell’s turn to excite the audience with the great Jimmy Webb’s hits performed originally by Glen Campbell, “By the Time I get to Phoenix,” and ‘Galveston.” Sardelli returned to the stage to perform “Houston” and “Stars fell on Alabama.” Let me tell you this right off, Nelson is still in top form with a beautifully rich voice despite his partial retirement. Karon does a fantastic “Midnight Train to Georgia” that literally brought the audience to their feet. The rest of the show saluted “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Johnny B Good,” “Please come to Boston,” “Moonlight in Vermont,” and “My Kind of Town/Chicago” medley. Bugatti who worked at the piano, or his keyboard, while singing the majority of the songs, began to wrap up the show with “Weekend in New England,” and a very rare “Here’s to Las Vegas,” originally composed by Barry Manilow and never recorded. George told an interesting story on how he found the sheet music. Nelson closed his portion of the show with a show-stopping “The House I Live In.” The final number was a fantastic musical tribute sung by all three, “Stand Up America.”
“Portraits of America” should find a home somewhere on a stage in Las Vegas. It’s a show everyone can enjoy from a teenager to a great-grandmother/dad.
Just a little reminder that the public has been invited to the local premiere of movie icon Jerry Lewis’ latest endeavor, as he returns to the Big Screen to star in “Max Rose,” a movie about a retired jazz musician whose wife recently passed away, this Saturday (Sept. 24) at 1:30 p.m.
The plot involves Max, who is devastated by the loss of his wife, discovering a piece of his wife’s jewelry that has an intimate inscription from another man, causing Max to have doubt about his entire marriage and life. While searching for the mysterious suitor, Max explores his own past, accepts his declining health and finds hope where least expected.
The special VIP/Media matinee screening will take place at the Village Square Stadium Cinemas located at 9400 W. Sahara Avenue. The phone # is 702-838-0490. Mr. Lewis and many celebrities will be attending. Immediately following Max Rose, Jerry Lewis will participate in a Question and Answer segment with the audience. There are a handful tickets for sale at the same price of a regular movie ticket. Your ticket will include the Q&A with Mr. Lewis. Tickets can be purchased through Fandango.com, Regmovies.com and Movietickets.com. You can also purchase tickets at the box office.
Well, gang, that’s it for another week.