This week, Ira spoke with Dondino. To listen to the interview click below.
Dondino is a name that should be familiar to listeners who were in Las Vegas in the 70’s and 80’s. He performed in several venues, but his long-term engagement was 12 years at the Four Queens. Dondino has recently returned to his home, Las Vegas, from Branson, where he performed in his own theater with a cast of 30 musicians, dancers, backup singers and opening act.
Born in Italy and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he first set foot on stage at the age of 13. For the first decade of his professional career Dondino traveled the world with his concerts and nightclub act. His tightly choreographed, lush orchestrated shows mixed original work with old standards.
Dondino is the Founder and President of the Read To Me Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting literacy for children, and distributes free new, hardcover, bilingual (English- Spanish) children books to Head Start programs, Ronald McDonald Houses, children hospitals, and charities in need of books for children to take home.
This week, Ira spoke with Mary Wilson . To listen to the interview click below.
Singer, writer and legendary entertainer Mary Wilson performs at the Suncoast Showroom May 11 and 12.
While growing up in Detroit’s Brewster Projects, Wilson befriended Florence Ballard, Betty McGlown and Diane Ross at age 13. The quartet later formed a singing group, The Primettes. Wilson, Ballard and Ross were signed to Motown Records and became known as The Supremes.
The Supremes were nominated for a Grammy® Award in 1965 and 1966, garnering an unprecedented 12 No. 1 hits, including four in a row – “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Stop, In The Name Of Love” and “Back in My Arms Again.” In 1977, Wilson released her first solo album, “Mary Wilson,” which yielded the dance hit “Red Hot.” In 1992, Wilson released her first album in 13 years, “Walk the Line,” which included the single “One Night With You.”
Wilson became a best-selling author with her autobiography, “Dreamgirl… My Life As A Supreme.” The book has sold more than 250,000 copies in hardback, becoming one of the most successful rock and roll autobiographies of all time.
Wilson created a traveling exhibit of 70 gowns worn by The Supremes throughout the years and can be seen on tour at countless cities across the United States. The exhibit is currently being housed at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
This week, Ira spoke with Ann Hampton Callaway . To listen to the interview click below.
Ann Hampton Callaway, one of the leading champions of the great American Songbook, will perform, along with Tony DeSare and special guest, Landau Eugene Murphy, in “Jazz Roots: The American Songbook” at Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center Friday, April 26th. She has made her mark as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. She has become a mainstay in concert halls, theaters and jazz clubs as well as in the recording studio, on television, and in film. She is best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the hit Broadway musical Swing! and for writing and singing the theme song to the hit TV series, “The Nanny.” Callaway is a Platinum Award winning writer whose songs are featured on six of Barbra Streisand’s recent CDs. The only composer to have collaborated with Cole Porter, she has also written songs with Carole King, Rolf Lovland and Barbara Carroll, to name a few.
Callaway has been a special guest performer with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood and is featured at many of the Carnegie Hall tributes. She has sung with more than twenty-five of the world’s top orchestras and big bands, and has performed for President Clinton in Washington, D.C. and at President Gorbachev’s Youth Peace Summit in Moscow. Callaway performed with her sister, Broadway star Liz Callaway, in their award-winning show Sibling Revelry at London’s Donmar Warehouse. Their newest act “Boom!,” a critically acclaimed celebration of the baby boomer hits of the 60′s and 70′s, was recorded on PS Classics, which debuted in the top 25 on Billboard Jazz.
Callaway’s father was Chicago’s legendary TV and radio journalist, John Callaway. Her mother, Shirley Callaway, a superb singer, pianist and one of New York’s most in-demand vocal coaches, was recently featured at New York’s Town Hall, singing with Ann and her sister, Liz.
This week, Ira spoke with Brian Hurlburt. To listen to the interview click below.
Brian Hurlburt is co-author, with Jack Sheehan, of “City of Champions: the History of Professional Golf in Las Vegas. He is a lifelong Las Vegan who has chronicled the Las Vegas golf scene since 1993, after graduating with a degree in communications from UNLV. He was a co-founder of VegasGolfer Magazine and has been published nationally by GOLF Magazine. Brian has also appeared on various television and radio shows, including ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza.”
He is the founding editor of GolfLasVegasNow.com and MesquiteGolfNow.com.
Brian also authored “The Las Vegas Country Club: Chronicle of an Icon” and is the president of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame.
This week, Ira spoke with Andy Marx . To listen to the interview click below.
Andy Marx is an award-winning writer and photographer, who currently has four films in development at various studios. He recently recorded and released a CD featuring his grandfather’s songs, “It Had To Be Gus” and features Andy and his jazz trio and big band playing the standards that Gus Kahn wrote. The CD is available on iTunes.
Prior to his screenwriting career, Marx was a well-known journalist and columnist who covered the entertainment industry for a number of high-profile publications, including Daily Variety, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Us and Premiere, eventually expanding his focus to the convergence of Hollywood and Silicon Valley.
Considered to be one of the industry’s most authoritative New Media experts, Marx served as the West Coast bureau chief of Interactive Week and pioneered the use of podcasts as a media tool, becoming the first to produce advertising-supported podcasts.
In addition to his work as a screenwriter and journalist, Marx has written, produced and appeared in numerous entertainment-related segments for American Movie Classics and Showtime. In 2000, he received a Telly Award for his script for “Galaxy Quest: the 20th Anniversary Special,” which appeared on Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel.
Most recently, Marx completed his first novel, “Royalties,” a roman a clef based on Marx’s family heritage: His paternal grandfather was the legendary entertainer, Groucho Marx, and his maternal grandfather was, as mentioned above, the renowned songwriter, Gus Kahn.
With his family lineage and voluminous knowledge of Hollywood, Marx is an in-demand speaker throughout the world.
Marx resides in Beverly Hills with his wife and three children.
This week, Ira spoke with Bob Miller, Nevada’s longest serving governor. To listen to the interview click below.
Bob Miller, Nevada’s longest serving governor (1989-1999), has written a new autobiography, called “Son of a Gambling Man,” published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press. The book traces Governor Miller’s journey from a casino family to the governor’s mansion.
The son of a gaming pioneer, Bob was directed away from the glitz and glamor of the Las Vegas tourism experience toward a more traditional upbringing – focused upon pursuit of a non-gaming career in legal advocacy.
While studying law, Mr. Miller worked during consecutive summers as a police officer for the Los Angeles and then the Las Vegas Sheriffs’ Offices. He became a member of the Clark County, Nevada and American Bar Associations in 1971.
Miller joined the District Attorney’s Office and shortly thereafter served as a lower court jurist – an elected office.
He left the bench to serve as Clark County’s District Attorney – another elected position. Miller became the first district attorney in Clark County ever to be re-elected – and had no opposition for this unprecedented second term.
Miller became Governor of Nevada, succeeding in mid-term the sitting governor who had been elected to the United States Senate. He then served two full terms, a total of ten years. As governor he became the CEO of a 14,000+ employee business with over thirty diverse departments and hundreds of operating divisions ranging from gaming regulation to economic diversification, from infrastructure management to growing Nevada’s international tourism and economic development market share.
To download the interview in its entirety, right click on the following link and select “save target as” or “save link as” INTERVIEW LINK.
This week, Ira spoke with Jarrett & Raja . To listen to the interview click below.
Jarrett & Raja bring their unique blend of magic, music and comedy to “AGT Live in Las Vegas” at the Palazzo Showrooml through April 14.
The duo, now residents of Las Vegas, has performed on stages in New York, Las Vegas, Far East Asia and Europe. They recently returned to Las Vegas following a two year engagement in Singapore.
Jarrett was trained by legendary magician Harry Blackstone Jr. Raja studied for five years as a classically trained pianist at the world famous Juilliard School in New York City.
They met in Manhattan when Jarrett was booked at the legendary Friar’s Club. He discovered that there wasn’t a sound system but there was a great piano. Jarrett was aware of Raja’s accomplishments at Juilliard and invited him to accompany his magic. The two were an instant hit and have performed together ever since.
This week, Ira spoke with Vicki Lawrence . To listen to the interview click below.
Emmy award winning Vicki Lawrence will be starring in “Vicki Lawrence and ‘Mama’: A Two-Woman Show” at the Suncoast Showroom, March 23-24.
During her senior year of high school, Lawrence sent Carol Burnett a letter inviting Burnett to come see her performance in the local fire department’s “Miss Fireball Contest” and included a newspaper article mentioning their resemblance. Burnett, looking for an actress to play her sister in a new variety series, attended the event. The rest is television history. “The Carol Burnett Show” premiered in the fall of 1967 and Lawrence starred in the show for 11 years thereafter, earning one Emmy® Award and five Emmy® nominations.
After the Burnett show ended, Lawrence went on to guest star in numerous hit television series including “Laverne & Shirley,” “Love Boat” and “Murder She Wrote.” But she is probably best-known for her TV series, “Mama’s Family,” which aired from 1983 to 1990.
Most recently, Lawrence had recurring roles in “Hannah Montana” and “Phineas and Ferb.”York, to rave reviews.
This week, Ira spoke with Chef Angelo Sosa. To listen to the interview click below.
Award-winning Chef Angelo Sosa is a two-time Bravo “Top Chef” ‘cheftestant’ appearing on Season Seven and “Top Chef” All Stars. He is the author of a cookbook, “Flavor Exposed: 100 Global Recipes from Sweet to Salty, Earthy to Spicy,” released in 2012. Now he has introduced his first Las Vegas-based restaurant, Poppy Den, an Asian gastropub that features unique combinations of spices, herbs and other fresh ingredients.
Chef Sosa was born in Connecticut and raised in a family where meals were serious affairs. Sosa, the youngest of seven, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with high honors after running the kitchen at the Escoffier Room in Hyde Park, New York, one of the institute’s highly acclaimed restaurants.
Throughout his career, Sosa has worked with culinary masterminds including Christian Bertrand and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. After opening Acqua with Bertrand in 1998, Sosa served as executive sous chef at TanDa and worked in the Bahamas at the Ocean Club at Dune restaurant. It was Bertrand who referred Sosa to Vongerichten, with whom he worked at his celebrated New York restaurant, Jean Georges. Following his time at Jean-Georges Sosa opened Vongerichten’s highly notable and trend-setting eatery, Spice Market, as executive sous chef. Sosa then became the executive chef at Yumcha in New York’s West Village, where his interpretation of modern Chinese cuisine gained widespread acclaim.
In 2005, Sosa turned his attention to consulting, working for noted industry players including Stephen Starr’s Buddakan, Asian-Mediterranean hot-spot LOFT, Morimoto, Alain Ducasse’s Spoon Food & Wine in Paris, among others.
In 2009, Sosa launched his fast-casual restaurant, Xie Xie (shay-shay) in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. This venture won him StarChef’s “New York’s Rising Star” award for “Best New Restaurant Concept.”
He then formed Sosa Consulting Group, then launched Social Eatz as executive chef and owner, designing a menu that reinterprets American cuisine with flavors from across Asia. Sosa’s Bibimbap Burger at Social Eatz earned “Best Burger in the Nation” from Eater.com. In January 2012, Sosa unveiled Añejo Tequileria in Hell’s Kitchen to rave reviews. Añejo has since earned “Best Margarita in New York” from the Village Voice, as well as a Michelin Recommendation in early 2013.
To download the interview in its entirety, right click on the following link and select “save target as” or “save link as” INTERVIEW LINK.
This week, Ira spoke with Clint Holmes . To listen to the interview click below.
Clint Holmes, named Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year three times, Singer of the Year four times and awarded the Sammy Davis Jr. Foundation award, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of his residency at Cabaret Jazz inside The Smith Center. He will be performing Friday, March 8, Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10.
Holmes comes by his talent naturally. His father was an African-American jazz musician and his mother a classically trained opera singer from Great Britain. Clint admits it was the best of two musical worlds. “My mom taught me how to sing correctly, and my dad taught me how to enjoy it.” Casual elegance describes Clint’s presence on stage. His musical selections range from contemporary to classic, with jazz and opera thrown into the mix.
In the world of theater, Clint, along with Nelson Cole, created the book, music, and lyrics for the musical, “Comfortable Shoes.” Clint starred in the world premiere of this musical at the legendary Papermill Playhouse. His latest musical, “Just Another Man” with Larry Moss and Bill Fayne, had its premiere at the Nevada Conservatory Theatre at the Judy Bailey Theater at UNLV.
In April of 2012, he premiered a major cabaret piece, “Remembering Bobby Short,” a loving homage to the man who defined New York cabaret. It was performed at the legendary Cafe Carlyle, where Bobby Short held court for more than thirty years. In July of 2012, he premiered another major work, “This Thing Called Love-The Music of Cole Porter and Paul Simon,” directed by Larry Moss, also at the Cafe Carlyle in New York, to rave reviews. He received the Bistro Award for Major Engagement at Gotham Comedy Club in New York on March 4.