Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Star Encounters In Vegas

There is a type of random encounter that allows me occasionally, albeit rarely, to meet entertainment celebrities in Las Vegas, which is amazing considering that my current health condition does not allow me to get out and about that much.

DAMN IT! I just re-read this first sentence and you must know that it is a bit of a lie --- there really are no coincidences and the "random encounter" is really a logical result of my wife's paramedical insurance job, where she is definitely "out and about" with her job as a nurse who does mobile physicals. She occasionally meets famous people as part of her job. I tag along and act as a combination car driver, porter, and "body guard" ( LOL ).

I met Criss Angel long ago this way before I knew who he was. I was clueless. I had the nerve to ask Criss' business manager what Criss does for a living ! I met some well known casino executive who will remain anonymous, who comped me to see shows like "Hairspray". And I also missed some of the trips with my wife; for example, when my wife met Teller from "Penn and Teller" --- he talked !! --- my loss in not meeting him , since I'm such a magic / illusionist fan. She also went to the home of Suzanne Somers and met Mike Love of the Beach Boys --- again my loss...

It is somewhat hard to write about this stuff, because I don't like "bragging" and I am not really by nature a "name dropper" --- I beg your indulgence -- but if I do encounter a celebrity, say, in a restaurant, I do find it hard to leave them alone and not say "hi" or at least ask for an autograph. Many years ago my wife and I were having New Years' day dinner at The Sands Hotel ( now you know it was many, many years ago ! ) and the late Redd Foxx came over to our table and talked to ( joked with ) my wife. Probably because she was staring at him and his wife. He asked her what she did for a living and she, SOMEWHAT startled and out of character for her, meekly replied "Nurse?". He told my wife "Please stay close--- an old man with my bad health may need your services soon !! ". Funny memories. There are others, but I won't bore you anymore. I am sure that many other people have had similar encounters. The real point is that living in a place like Vegas ( or New York or LA ) makes it more possible for anybody to have these fun "chance" meetings with celebs.

Meeting George Bugatti

One such pleasant encounter recently occurred at the Casa di Amore restaurant where my wife and I shared Thanksgiving Dinner. I met the house resident lounge entertainer extraordinaire George Bugatti. George currently performs Tuesday through Saturday 6-10 PM at the Casa di Amore; he is the perfect entertainer for the "Old Vegas" ambiance of this great Italian restaurant. If you don't recognize the name, George is a "crooner" in the tradition of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. George also performs songs from the 50’s 60’s and 70’s.

George's credits in his bio are so impressive. He sat and chatted with us for a while. He suggested ( and I would like ) to visit LA sometime to review the next running of his musical play "WIZARD".

"George is currently starring in “WIZARD” The Musical Story of Oz Composer Harold Arlen which is touring Performing Arts Centers across America. His business partner Sam Arlen, the composer’s son, also stars in this Broadway-bound show"

"George Bugatti created the Three Crooners expressly for the Arlen songbook. Featuring George Bugatti, Alistair Tober and Johnny K, the Three Crooners have settled into a six week run in the Las Vegas showroom after recently completing a 20 city tour, of America's most beloved Jazz based standards.
Although many might think of the Rat Pack when they hear the word Crooner, a term first adopted for Bing Crosby and later used to describe the likes of Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, The Three Crooners have their own distinctive style, namely George Bugatti's unmistakeable masculinity and unique gift for melody and phrasing, and influences from mentors like Tony Bennett. With his relaxed style and Malibu surfer look, Johnny K, is more like the Chet Baker of the group, while Alistair is the broadway triple threat with many impressive TV and movie credits."

Video Promo For Debut Of "Wizard"


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