Talking With Kevin Burke – September 11, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Kevin Burke

This week, Ira spoke with Kevin Burke. To listen to the interview click below.

Kevin Burke is the star of “Defending The Caveman at Harrah’s Las Vegas. He’s the Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year, and with more than 3,000 performances, he holds a Guinness World Record for Caveman. The show is presented nightly at 7 p.m. with additional matinees at 4 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays.

The production showcases Burke as a narrator trying to understand the timeless issue between the opposite sexes dating back to the Stone Age. Before the humorous yet sentimental tale found its home in Las Vegas, Burke headlined the show’s national Broadway tour.

Originally from Chicago, Burke has dabbled into acting, playwriting and directing earning him the title of “Entertainer of the Year” by the Annual Meatball Awards. Entertainment runs in Burke’s blood. His grandmother was a vaudeville performer, his grandfather was a standup comedian who toured nationally, and his mother is a singer. Fulfilling his family’s dynasty, Burke caught the acting bug young starring in his high school play “Dracula.”

Burke’s performing career began as a musician touring with numerous bands as a backup drummer. He then earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the Indiana University in Bloomington for acting and directing. Post-grad he put his talent to work playing Pooh in Timberlake Play House’s “Winnie the Pooh.” Burke refined his skills by becoming a certified stage combatant at the Society of American Fight Directors and has also studied physical comedy with the world-famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.

Shifting gears, he found his niche in comedy and went on the road performing standup at comedy clubs of all sizes for 15 years. His tour proved successful twofold after meeting his better half, Karen, performing in a comedy club at Raleigh, North Carolina. They have been married for over 14 years and have two children together.

Talking With Beatles Author Chuck Gunderson – September 4, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Chuck Gunderson

This week, Ira spoke with David Osborne. To listen to the interview click below.

Chuck Gunderson, author of “Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How The Beatles rocked America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966,” was raised in San Diego, California, the site of the Beatles’ eighth stop on the 1965 North American tour.

Gunderson was too young to attend the show, but he fondly recalls his older siblings spinning the records of the Fab Four as he grew up, which perked a life-long love for the band.

He has worked in the outdoor advertising industry most of his life, although his true passion is history. He holds two degrees in history—a B.A. from San Diego State University and an M.A. from the University of San Diego.

Having published a few articles over the years, Gunderson turned his sights to researching and writing this epic two-volume set on the history of the Beatles’ North American tours of 1964 to 1966.

With hundreds of photographs and images of rare memorabilia, it is a definitive reference for what is arguably the most important period in the Beatles’ long and winding career.

Talking With John Thompson (The Great Tomsoni) – August 28, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Johnny Thompson

This week, Ira spoke with John Thompson (The Great Tomsoni). To listen to the interview click below.

John Thompson is a versatile performer with a background of music, magic, comedy and drama. Thompson (The Great Tomsoni) got his start in show business as a musician and musical arranger. He has toured and recorded with “Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats,” “The Harmonica Gang”and “The Harmonica Jazz Quartet.”

Thompson later joined forces with a comedy team with whom he coauthored and co-performed three record-breaking revues for the New York and Chicago Playboy Clubs. It was during this period that he developed his successful comedy magic act, “The Great Tomsoni.” Thompson continued his comedy magic career in Nevada casino venues as a supporting act for such stars as Carol Channing, Eddie Fisher and Ed Ames, the Pointer Sisters, Jose Feliciano, Robert Goulet, Brenda Lee, B.J. Thomas, Vic Damone, and Diahann Carroll.

When wife and partner Pamela Hayes, actress and comedienne, joined the act, the billing became “The Great Tomsoni and Company.” The Great Tomsoni and Company have been the recipients of many awards: Stage Magician of the Year; Society of American Magician’s “Superstar of Magic” award; Academy of Magical Arts’ highest award; the “Performing Fellowship”; Prince Rainer’s “Prix S.B.M.”; and Magiques de Monte Carlo, Europe’s most prestigious magic award.

Talking With Danny Antonino – August 21, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Danny Antonio

This week, Ira spoke with Physical Therapist Danny Antonino. To listen to the interview click below.

Danny Antonino is a physical therapist who works with some of Las Vegas’ top entertainers, athletes, and executives.

Antonino graduated from California State University, Northridge with degrees in Physical Therapy and Exercise Science. With more than 19 years of experience as a physical therapist, he is one of the few in the State of Nevada that is Board Certified in Orthopedics. He is also certified in the McKenzie Method and Graston Technique.

Educationally conscious, he has presented at various state and national physical therapy conferences, participated in a year-long manual therapy course, a three month Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation residency program, more than 60 field continuation courses, and is McKenzie trained as a manual therapist.

As a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Antonino gives back to the community as an adjunct faculty member for the Doctorate Physical Therapy program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Physical Therapy Assistant program at the College of Southern Nevada. He is a member of the APTA and served as Southern District Chairperson for the Nevada Physical Therapy Association.

Talking With Celebrity Chef Mary Sue Milliken – August 14, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Mary Sue Milliken

This week, Ira spoke with Celebrity Chef Mary Sue Milliken. To listen to the interview click below.

Mary Sue Milliken is co-chef/owner of the popular, critically acclaimed Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, serving upscale, modern Mexican food in a hip, urban cantina setting. She is also co-chef/owner of the gourmet taco truck phenomenon, the Border Grill Truck.

A pioneer of world cuisine since the creation of City Café and CITY Restaurant in Los Angeles in the 1980’s, Mary Sue is a preeminent ambassador of authentic Mexican cuisine, setting the standard for gourmet Mexican fare for over two decades.

Always a trailblazer, Milliken was the first female chef to work at Chicago’s prestigious Le Perroquet in the late 1970’s, going on to train at a Michelin 2-star, female chef owned restaurant in Paris, and later joining a handful of progressive women chefs to found Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.

A business partner with Chef Susan Feniger for more than 25 years, Mary Sue is co-author of five cookbooks, including Cooking with Too Hot Tamales, Mesa Mexicana, and City Cuisine. Mary Sue co-starred along with Susan in 400 episodes of Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour,” and has appeared as a guest on everything from “Iron Chef America” and “Oprah” to “Good Day LA,” “The Today Show” and most recently competed on season three of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” raising $40,000 for Share Our Strength.

Talking With Michael Monge – August 7, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Michael Monge

This week, Ira spoke with classic vocalist Michael Monge. To listen to the interview click below.

Michael Monge, performing at Encore’s Eastside Lounge, draws inspiration from the musical icons that put the Las Vegas Strip on the map. His vocals reflect the timeless lounge performers who made Las Vegas the entertainment capital of the world.

Monge covers hits from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin (among others) and takes a classic approach on contemporary songs from John Legend, John Mayer and others.

He has played venues throughout New York and the East Coast. “There is something special about performing in a lounge,” said Monge. “There are no barriers or stage to separate you from the audience. It becomes one shared experience where you see the smiles, shake people’s hands and dance together.”

Monge performs, accompanied by a three-piece band, in Eastside Lounge at Encore Wednesday-Monday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Talking With Peter Noone – July 31, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Peter Noone

This week, Ira spoke with Peter Noone. To listen to the interview click below.

Peter Noone and Herman’s Hermits, performing at the South Point August 1-3, are responsible for such hits as I’m Henry The Eighth, I Am,” “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “There’s a Kind of Hush,” and “I’m Into Something Good.”

In a multi-dimensional career that has garnered respect from his colleagues and millions of fans worldwide, Noone is the professional’s professional. As a child, he appeared on the British television shows Coronation Street, Knight Errant, and Family Solicitor, and went on to study acting at the Manchester School of Music and Drama.

In 1963, he joined a Manchester beat group, the Heartbeats, whose name was changed shortly thereafter to Herman & the Hermits and eventually shortened to Herman’s Hermits.” His career with that popular recording act sold well over 50 million records, at times eclipsing the Beatles themselves in sales.

His career includes critically acclaimed stage performances in two Broadway shows during the 1980s, including “The Pirates of Penzance,” to his roles on the silver screen. He appeared as Herman in two films, 1966’s “Hold On” and 1968’s “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter”; was one of the few bright spots in 1978’s “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”; and performed in 1982’s “Rockin’ the Night Away: Life From Palm Springs,” 1996’s “Hullabaloo,” Vol. 8, and 2000’s “The British Invasion Returns.” In 1999, he sang the end theme to the Kirk Douglas film, “Diamonds.”


Talking With Dave Koz and Cuba Gooding, Sr. – July 24, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Dave Koz-Cuba Gooding Sr.

This week, Ira spoke with Dave Koz and Cuba Gooding, Sr.. To listen to the interview click below.

Acclaimed saxophonist Dave Koz, along with friends Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot, will perform in Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center on Saturday, August 2, at 7:30 p.m.

Nine-time GRAMMY® nominee Dave Kozremembers the first record he ever purchased – Tower of Power’s 1974 album, Back To Oakland. It had a powerful impact on him, as his latest album, Summer Horns, shows. Teaming up with three of his most talented and trusted colleagues – Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Mindi Abair –Koz revisited the music that made him want to pick up the saxophone in the first place: classic tracks from Tower of Power and other brassy juggernauts that ruled the airwaves from the late 1960s through the ‘70s – bands like Sly & the Family Stone, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears.

Over the decades, the saxophone has opened numerous doors for Koz. He’s played with such artists as Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Shelby Lynne, Kenny Loggins, U2, Barry Manilow, Michael McDonald, Luther Vandross and Rod Stewart. He’s become a platinum-selling artist with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is also known as a humanitarian, entrepreneur, radio host and instrumental music advocate.

Cuba Gooding, Sr will be joining forces with Soul On Fire for 90 minutes of original material, including the new release of “Everybody Plays the Fool,” in Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center on July 26 at 8 p.m. .
With more than 40 years under his belt as an entertainer, lead vocalist Gooding continues to entertain audiences around the world.

Gooding’s vocals were sampled by Grammy Award winning songstress Alicia Keys, on her smash single, “You Don’t Know My Name,” which, early in 2004, held the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart for nine straight weeks.

Having achieved chart topping hits with the Main Ingredient, Gooding continues his musical legacy by pairing up with his son Omar Gooding to produced a rap infused old school groove on the project 2 Good, while simultaneously working on his own current project Rebirth.

Talking With Elisa Fiorillo Dease – July 17, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Elisa Fiorillo

This week, Ira spoke with Elisa Fiorillo Dease. To listen to the interview click below.

Elisa Fiorillo Dease (a.k.a. Elisa Fiorillo) is a Las Vegas-based singer with pop royalty connections and a wide range of musical influences, including classical, R&B and jazz. A Philadelphia native, she catapulted to national attention after winning the TV show “Star Search” at the age of 15.

Dease has worked with Prince since 1990, and joined his New Power Generation (NPG) as a regular background singer in 2009. Through the years, she has also recorded many independent projects, including the worldwide hit, “Who Found Who,” with acclaimed producer John “Jellybean” Benitez, and the album, “I Am,” which Prince co-produced.

Dease’s latest project is the duo The Dease & Reese Project, a jazz/funk/R&B collaboration with Nashville-based guitarist Tyler Reese. Their debut album, “Life in 20,” explores many of Dease’s personal experiences over the past two decades, including domestic violence, love, faith, food addiction and motherhood.

Talking With Ted Nugent – July 10, 2014

FotoFlexer_Photo Ted Nugent

This week, Ira spoke with Ted Nugent. To listen to the interview click below.

Rock music legend and “Motor City Madman” Ted Nugent will be performing at the Orleans Showroom on July 12.

Nugent initially gained fame as the lead guitarist of the band “The Amboy Dukes” before embarking on a solo career. He was known throughout his early career for using Fender amps, which contributed to his signature sound, and for playing the hollow-body Gibson Byrdland guitar. Nugent began touring annually in 1967 and averaging more than 300 shows per year.

Commonly recognized as the world’s leading guitar showman, Nugent’s no-holds-barred career spans five decades of multi-platinum hits. Throughout his career, Nugent has released more than 34 albums and has sold a total of 30 million records.

Nugent’s 1970s hits, including “Stranglehold,” “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Wango Tango,” and “Great White Buffalo,” as well as the 1960s “Amboy Dukes” hit titled “Journey to the Center of the Mind,” remain popular today and are played on classic rock and active rock radio stations across the globe.

Nugent has also appeared in several popular television series, including “Miami Vice,” “That ‘70s Show,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” and “The Simpsons,” along with reality shows “Surviving Nugent,” and “Forever Wild.”