The Laugh Factory, located on the mezzanine level of the New Tropicana Hotel has a very special guest stopping by for four nights only, beginning this Thursday, Oct. 23 through Sunday. Tom Wilson, one of the top comedians in the country, will take over the Laugh Factory stage for a unique package in live entertainment. Appearing with him is headliner Andrew Norelli who moves to the featured spot, with Timm Metivier hosting.
Wilson can be seen on a new one-hour comedy special for Image Entertainment, “Bigger Than You,” and has made appearances on all the popular talk shows, from “The Tonight Show,” to “CBS This Morning.” He has also appeared in more than 30 feature films, of which one is very special to him. It was his breakthrough role as the villain; bully Biff Tannen, in the 1985 film, “Back to the Future.” When the movie became a trilogy, he was asked to perform in those sequels again as Biff’s grandson, Griff and Biff’s great-grandfather, Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen. His famous catchphrases included: “Hello! Hello! Anybody home?”, “What are you looking at, Butthead?”, “Say hi to your mom for me”, and “Why don’t you make like a tree and get out of here”. In every, “Back to the Future” film, he always ended up in a pile of manure (in reality, a pile of decayed sphagnum and other plant matters) —in each instance, Wilson’s Tannen characters were always trying to kill or hurt Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly. He reprised his role as Biff and voiced various Tannen relatives in the franchise’s animated series. With the rise in popularity of the movie series, many people began to ask him questions about his experiences making the films, so he wrote a song about them titled “Biff’s Question Song.”
Wilson also voices many characters on Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and has been a recurring character on many TV series, including “Ghost Whisperer,” “Ed,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “Help Me Help You,” “Titus,” “Big Love” and more. He later went on to co-star in Wing Commander III, a video game with Mark Hamill, and its sequels. The character played by Wilson was Major Todd “Maniac” Marshall, a fellow starfighter pilot of Hamill’s character.
Andrew Norelli uses comedy to navigate his way through confusion and dismay. Whatever happens to him in life, he brings to the stage and lets the crowd in on his frustration and excitement. Credits include: “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Byron Allen Show,” “Live at Gotham,” on Comedy Central, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” and the nationally syndicated show “Comics Unleashed.”
Timm Metivier has been entertaining audiences for almost 20 years with his insights on life and the general silliness of society. He has performed in comedy clubs and for many Fortune 500 companies, and also had the good fortune to live and perform in England for several years. For the past decade, he has spent about 30 weeks a year performing on cruise ships all over the world.
Tickets for the 8:30 and 10:30 performances at the Laugh Factory are priced at $34.95 and $44.95. For information call 702-739-2411 or 800-829-9034.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
Spent a great evening in the Shimmer Jazz Cabaret at the Smith Center watching the “Wonderful Wizard of Song: The Music of Harold Arlen.” Now for many of you readers, I’m pretty sure you may recognize a few of his songs created during a career spanning from 1920, when he formed his first band, to 1976, when Harold more or less retired. But during that time Arlen is credited with composing more than 560 songs. The show, which just recently completed an off-Broadway run of 18 month in New York, was originally created right here in our little village (Las Vegas) by longtime Las Vegas resident singer, George Bugatti, along with the composers son, Sam Arlen (who resides in Vegas for six months, and the rest of the time in Florida), and “American Idol” musical director, Nigel Wright.
What really makes this musical so neat is that the cast is comprised of three outstanding guys and one terrific songstress, plus a wonderful guy at the piano, Bill Fayne. The Three Crooners and a Diva are: Bugatti, New York cast member Marus Goldhaber, and Las Vegas resident, Steve Judkins, with diva Antoinette Henry, of the New York cast, singing the music sung by such stars as Pearl Bailey and Ethel Waters, and other great singers. And, let me tell you, every one of them belongs on that stage. One of many highlights during the 80 minutes is the home made films and personal snapshots that are shown on a background screen during the show, which were furnished by his son, Sam.
There is always some discussion between the actors as they move the story along, from Harold’s early days of song writing to his greatest of hits, “Over the Rainbow,” for the Wizard of Oz in 1938. Just to name a few of the hundreds of hits Harold Arlen created, and which were part of the show, are: “Stormy Weather, “ “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “It’s only a Paper Moon” (composed in 1932), which was the song used for the ABC sitcom “Paper Moon,” in 1974. One of my personal favorites was “That Old Black Magic,” written in 1942, and of course the wonderful song, “The Man That Got Away,” in 1954, for the movie starring Judy Garland and James Mason, “A Star is Born,” for which Arlen wrote the music and Ira Gershwin the lyrics.
The closing song is magically presented with all four actors on stage facing the screen, the voice and picture of Judy Garland appears singing the song Arlen is probably best remembered for, “Over the Rainbow.” Slowly the singers turn to face the audience, and the magic continues as they take over singing the famous words that won an Academy Award. It’s just one of the best musicals I’ve seen in one-heck of a long time! I just hope it can find a home in our Village. It belongs here!
Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG) has chosen Preferred Public Relations (PPR) as the agency of record to handle public relations and promotional efforts. B&BHG has been serving Las Vegas for more than seven years with four restaurants – B&B Ristorante, Otto Las Vegas, Carnevino and B&B Burger & Beer – located within the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and The Palazzo. Featuring refined rustic Italian dining at its finest, B&B Ristorante offers an impressive wine list and menu that includes classic delicacies with an adventurous twist. Located inside The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, B&B Ristorante dry-cures its own charcuterie in-house to make coppa, lonza and sopressata, just to name a few.
Otto Las Vegas, Located in St. Marks Square inside The Venetian, features an ever-evolving menu of thin crust roman-style pizzas, antipasti meats and cheeses, salads, pastas and main dishes, accompanied with a relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for a quick snack, big group or family night out. Inside The Palazzo Hotel, Carnevino has a blend of the highest quality steaks and wine that Las Vegas has to offer. To maximize the flavor, Carnevino ages its meat beyond industry standards, which includes porterhouses and rib eyes aged a minimum of 90 to 120 days. The beef is often beyond regular USDA Prime standards for its marbling and flavor and is hormone and antibiotic free. It has also received numerous accolades including being named the “Best Restaurant on the Strip” by Vegas Seven. B&B Burger & Beer, located inside the Venetian Hotel Resort Casino, offers fresh local ingredients and tantalizing flavors for a dining experience that is one of a kind on The Strip.Guests can enjoy an array of delicious burgers ground fresh daily from USDA Prime Black Angus B&B Las Vegas beef, or try one of several award-winning shakes. Featuring a casual atmosphere with a unique menu of signature dishes made with the highest quality ingredients, Burger & Beer boasts a 2,000 square-foot space with an additional 100-seat outdoor patio overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard.
Well, gang, that’s about it this week.