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Getting Personal with the Stars

It’s Showtime!

Whatever you do, don’t miss these headliners!

By Michele LaFong


Last month on, we featured some short, edited, backstage interviews.  Thanks so much for all your feedback. It is very much appreciated, and we are paying attention to your comments. I passed on every lead that came in for Gallagher regarding interest for his gaming software/gambling technology that he invented to keep slot players in casinos as entertained as they are with online.  I will keep you posted!

I was at Gallagher’s new show at The Laugh Factory at The Tropicana last night, and was stunned that he had such a packed room on a Sunday night.  Word must be getting out fast that he is still very funny even without smashing watermelons!  He seemed fearless about trying new material on stage, and is masterful at working the crowd.  He will continue to perform his 7 p.m. show, at least through the summer.

Another very popular headliner on the “casino circuit” is Pat Benatar/Neil Giraldo.  I was blown away with their performance at the Pearl Theatre, at The Palms last month.  After my interview with singer/songwriter Neil Giraldo, Pat Benatar’s long-time “hit-writing” husband, visionary, and co-star of over 30 years, I felt like I knew them both for years.  I never considered myself a real fan of their music, but after seeing them live, I cannot recommend their show enough!

Another star that didn’t disappoint was the legendary Dave Mason, who was performing at the Pearl Theatre, the following week.  When I interviewed him by phone, he seemed a little low key—but on stage he came out strong and sustained interest and energy throughout.  I also liked that he explained how his hit songs came about.  It was hilarious when Dave revealed that he was not making a “fashion statement” by wearing shorts on stage. But rather it’s that he forgot to pack his pants!

Comedian/actress Wanda Sykes also put on an excellent show at the TI, and had the packed room in stitches throughout.  I am still laughing about her reference to what happens to a woman “downstairs” after menopause “…that no one ever warns us about!”  I was very surprised immediately following the show, when Wanda told me that some of the material she did was being tried out for the very first time. (No one would ever have known!)

Dr. Julio Garcia, Plastic Surgeon to the Stars, returned on LVBST to warn us about the many new in-office procedures which promise us a look of “instant youth,” but may not necessarily make us look better. He gave some great tips on the best way to find a really qualified plastic surgeon, and the many ways we can shave-off years instantly without surgery. He has agreed to offer free consultations for Casino Player readers for the month of August providing you mention Casino Player magazine at the time that you make the appointment.

The August line-up of popular headliners appearing in Las Vegas includes Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Rick Springfield, mostly known for “Jessie’s Girl,” and his acting role on “General Hospital.” When he guested on my radio show last year, the response was amazing.  Springfield was so popular with our listeners that our Michigan affiliate station WROM Radio, reported that after 400,000 listeners clicked in—it shut down their entire site!   Rick is performing at The Orleans Showroom, August 3-4.

Another recommended headliner is five-time Grammy winner BJ Thomas, mostly known for the hits “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.”   Thomas was one of the most unassuming and “down to earth” stars that I’ve ever met.  He is genuinely shy, has never been comfortable with his fame, and still always gets nervous when performing.  It’s adorable!  I witnessed him being really hard on himself last year back-stage, following a stellar performance, in which he received three standing ovations!  Thomas is returning to The Suncoast Showroom on August 10 & 11.

Another exciting show coming is The Monkees.  I was lucky enough to have opened for them on their first re-union tour at The Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas back in ’94.  It was only Davey Jones and Mickey Dolenz that were from the original group, but it was still a great show and the crowds just loved it!   It will be interesting to see all the remaining members of the original line-up, Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork perform together.  It’s such a shame that Davey Jones is no longer with us.  The Monkees will perform at the Grand Events Center inside Green Valley Ranch Resort on August 10.

“Gregory Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theatre,” has returned to the V Theatre at Planet Hollywood with daily performances at 2:30 p.m. This veteran of the Russian circus, was a finalist on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” He is the only one I’ve ever seen that has many trained cats doing amazing things in his show.  He is scheduled to return on our program, and this time around bring some of his trained animals.

Actor- impressionist Kevin Pollak, is headlining The Improv, at Harrahs on August 30 & 31.  What a treat!  I interviewed him last year at the World Series of Poker tournament, at the Rio.  Kevin was playing poker against Carl Reiner, and many other celebrity, and non-celebrity Poker-champs. (He is the only celebrity that placed in last year’s competition.)  Pollak shared tips on having “the best poker-face,” and explained how different the game of poker is in tournaments.  Kevin Pollak’s edited video and others are now posted on

I’m always open to comments, feedback, and questions.  Please stay in touch via facebook, twitter, or email.  ‘Til next month…


Michele LaFong is the host of syndicated radio show Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong which airs Thursdays, and Saturdays from 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. PST, on 1230 AM KLAV, in Las Vegas, and streams live on The Web. Visit or



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