Thursday, August 23, 2012

Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame Deals with Hwy.15 Widening and Eminent Domain


Photo of Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, 
Sat. June 2, 2012, by Cory of Blue Hair Media
The Burlesque Hall of Fame just wrapped up its 22nd edition of the Weekend Festivities in June, only to be informed soon thereafter that their storage facility is smack dab in the middle of a Hwy.15 expansion here in Las Vegas, Nevada. The deadline ends August 31, 2012. A heated campaign fundraising is under-way at Indigogo to help accommodate the rarities that are housed in storage, and to take the opportunity to move to a more expansive space.

A mission statement on the BHOF website (BurlesqueHall.com) states clearly what the Non-Profit organization -of which the museum is only a part- is all about. "The Burlesque Hall of Fame is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to inspire, educate and entertain the public, fostering an appreciation for and understanding of the unique history and heritage of vintage American Burlesque–including but not limited to the art, artifacts and personal histories of the art’s biggest names and brightest stars".

The Burelsque Hall as an organization has experienced a lot of reorganizing and a little drama in 2011 and 2012, not unusual for Non-Profit organizations where there is not one person in charge, but many. In 2011 according to Seven Vegas's Jason Scavone many long-time supporters had a heated split, including California's notable Satan's Angel who participated in a competing event the same time-slot as the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, entitled The Dixie Evans Burelsque Show, run by the woman responsible for keeping the Burlesque Hall of Fame going when friend and founder Jennie Lee could no longer do so. (Read it here). In 2012, Dixie Evans (Behind the Burly Q) was not in attendance at the new Weekender's location, the Orleans Hotel May 31 - June2, 2012.

The museum is being run by Interim Director Dustin Wax, who is leading the organization of the move. Dustin was unavailable for comment at the time of this article but told Geoff Carter on Aug. 23, 2012 “By upgrading our space, we’ll be able to acquire new material which will turn up in exhibits over time—and to make better use of some of the older pieces that need a lot of loving care to be made ready for exhibition,” Wax says.“I wouldn't say the situation is dire, though it’s a lot of work to do in a short period of time.” I'll say, and he didn't mention that it's been an average of 106 degrees here in Vegas for most of August, which is the hottest month of the Valley's Year.

You see, it's not a very big space that the museum has for storage, or for it's display (which are in two different locations). The historic Downtown area of Las Vegas houses the small display museum in the Emergency Arts building (a very snug spot), while the warehouse is across town apparently in the way of the Hwy.15 widening project (See about Hwy.15).

The Burlesque Hall of Fame is many things to many people. It started as a grass-roots effort to revive and preserve the art of American Strip Tease, and its artifacts in all their glory (previously Miss Exotic World, Helendale, CA.). It's a place for Legends to connect with up-and-coming current Strip-Tease and Burlesque Performers. It's an annual pageant, a party, an awards show, and a museum, but whatever it is to you, the bottom line is that it's time to dig-in and give a little, to upgrade the space to preserve the art collection. I did. No matter who you agree with, or what side of the politics you find yourself on, there is one thing everyone can agree upon: no where else on earth but at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum in Las Vegas can you see a colorized, autographed, photo of Mata Hari.

Burlesque Hall of Fame Site http://www.burlesquehall.com
Article by Frankie Tease

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Surf the Musical" Brings the "Beach Boys" Music to a New Generation and Closes a Month into Vegas Run


The allure of a musical set to original tracks of the Beach Boys was too much to bare. I decided to go check out the new show on the Las Vegas Strip which rolled out the red carpet July 17th, 2012. But just as I was getting 'on board' the surf hullabaloo, the show announced it would be closing August 15th, 2012, a month or so after it's official opening. Shucks, now I had to rush. 

Ticket sales seem to be the bottom-line reason to close, according to the Las Vegas Sun, which reported that the show would be closing early, and that it was never officially endorsed by the Beach Boys. Could the reason for its' closing simply be the lack of endorsement by the Beach Boys themselves like it's predecessor "Good Vibrations" which only ran a short time on Broadway? I surely hope not. 

A star-studded cast of Broadway & TV performers put their all into this highly modernized production called "Surf the Musical" with its roots in California, 1962. It started strong with "Surfin' Safari" and hot-ticket Tony-winning Broadway Director Kristen Hanggi (Rock of Ages will open at the Venetian 2012 on the Strip) gave us at least 20 other high-level well-sung original Beach Boy tunes belted to recorded (and at times live) music. The show was geared toward every age, with vintage tie-ins that anyone who lived in Southern California in the 60's (even if in the latter half, like myself) would cherish (including life-sized projections of vintage postcards, maps, and shots of the coast and beach). There were fun scenarios that everyone could get behind like surfing-singers, several hot-rod vintage cars, bonfires at the beach, and pretty boys and girls in bathing suits. Who wouldn't watch tan, tone bodies dancing and surfing with huge wave backdrops?

Story? Yes there was a story. It seemed to be a mix of "Beach Blanket Bingo" meets "Grease" meets "West Side Story" at its' core - I was never complaining -  and is based upon the novel by Burton Young. I'm sure it was no accident that some cast members had played Broadway roles in "West Side Story" and "Grease", as well as "High School Musical" (such as  the lead male and female).

The production had enthusiasm, momentum, and so much Broadway-quality singing, dancing, and choreography, that you wouldn't know its' sales had been suffering (local residents took advantage of two-for-one, kids free discounts during the last weeks). But people came out in August post-olympics and the seats looked fairly full the night before closing, August 14. In short, it was: small-town Cali. Girl loves guy, girl surfs with guy, guy announces he has to leave town for big dream record deal, girl gets stolen by bad-boy surfer, boy returns to town, boy gets girl back by singing "Little Surfer Girl". Boy, girl and bad-boy, all make-up and shake hands singing "gotta keep these love good, vibrations a-happening with us", leading into the song "Good Vibrations" as their finale.

For me the strength in the production was it's ability to weave the story so cleverly around already-written lyrics that have stood the test of time, and to interject original scores in-between the classics that weren't too bad. In essence the story was simple and shallow (like many musicals) and I loved it. They brought the song "T-Bird" right into the story by literally having Dad take Brooke's T-Bird away (that was the car her dad bought for her Mom before she died). And when Brooke breaks up with the bad-boy boyfriend (Alex Ringer as Rip (West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Naked Boys Singing), he goes to Rhonda singing "Help Me Rhonda, help me get her out my heart". Or when Rip's car goes racing, it launched the cast into a mean version of "409" with catchy lyrics like "giddee-up giddee-up 409, nothin' can catch her, nothin' can touch my 409".

This heart-lifting production made the annoyance I had with the inundation of Beach Boys music as a little girl, just melt away. This musical showed the Beach Boys sang timeless music, which is generationally enduring. The Father-Daughter duet of "In My Room" was spectacularly carried off by Tony Award Nominee Robert Torti as Paul the Dad (Starlight Express - and many other originating roles), as well as the lead female Brooke (Lauren Zakrin (Wicked). The harmonic song, (which had always seemed romantic to me) fit perfectly as a daddy-daughter moment, and was precious. It seems the ballads stole the show because the other real stand-out moment was when Tanner (Marshall Kennedy Carolan) and Brooke sang a duet, walking on the pier at night (ah, memories). The duet was dominated by the vocal delicacy of Carolan when he sang  (from "Wouldn't it Be Nice") "...happy times together we'd be spending, I wish that every kiss was never-ending..." at which  time he hit a peak note that would have made the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson proud. The audiences couldn't resist a huge applause-break mid-song as he hit the note. It was great. He and his girl were ascending in a hanging car seat floating up the rafters, as a huge electronic backdrop of a Ferris Wheel shone behind them. It was a prize moment of the show, maybe the most outstanding. But it also competed with many heart-throb moments of solos with Riley Costello (13: A New Musical, Bye Bye Birdie) who played Brooke's younger brother Nelson. This is a young  man who's soprano voice and spot-on skills wowed the crowd many-a-time, grabbing minor attention from the stars. 

A cast break-out was Nikki Tuazon (Charlies Angels, Hanna Montana, CSI) who stole the show as a triple-threat offering superior acting, dancing and singing. Nikki played Rhonda. You know, the "Help Me Rhonda" Rhonda. She vindicated all who were ever named Rhonda. Her overall presence brought a lot of joy and spice to her part. The supporting cast were all stunning, including lime-light actor Adrian Zmed as Nick (T.J. Hooker, Chicago, Bachelor Party) who was the mentor to all the surf kids via his "Surf Shop". He did a cover of the song "Heroes and Villains" a lesser-known tune of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks and it was received half-heartedly by the audience, unlike his other singing scenes which were received well.

The show was young in nature, spectacularly digitally colorful, and never stopped moving at a very fast-pace, even if predictable. Hey it's a musical - of course it's predictable. What I loved is that Director Hanggi did not medley-ise the show until the end. We got mostly whole performances of the original score-sheets of the Beach Boys hits, but super young, talented voices doing it. That in itself was an adjustment - the really young part.  It just made me think... "Wouldn't it Be Nice?" if the show were to come back somewhere, sometime, soon?

Visit SurftheMusical.com and fawn over cast photos.

Photos by Frankie Tease
I met a couple young ladies attending the show who willingly posed for the camera. See, it does appeal to today's youth!































After the show I caught the same young ladies with their souvenir beach balls thrown by cast to audience at the end of the show. I also saw grown men carrying beach balls covetously.






























Tickets sales for "Surf the Musical" ceased 8/15/12 at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. The Planet Hollywood Showroom houses adult-themed evening show "Peepshow" almost nighty starring Holly Madison of Playboy fame.




























Photos and article by Frankie Tease of Las Vegas

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

eBook: The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.1 Hits Retailers World-Wide

For immediate release 8/30/12 (updated from 8/13/12)


The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol. 1 
hits eBook Newsstands World-Wide


Frankie Tease (The Candy Pitch, Tease Time, Vegas Seven, FrankieTease.com) who was originally born in Long Beach, CA., has been a resident of Las Vegas, NV since 9/11/11, and she hasn't wasted any time. Recently she has collected the best articles she's written from her new Vegas home in 2012, and put them in an eBook, giving readers insight into culture, stage, and glamorous stars, from Fabulous Las Vegas. Setting up to publish (BookBaby) a series biannually, Frankie has already interviewed some of Vegas's best."It wasn't hard creating the first in the series: The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.1, with the amount of entertainers to cover in the Las Vegas area" according to Frankie Tease, who will become a published author for the first time with this effort.

At first attempting to publish a downloadable digital magazine, Frankie said "It became clear early-on in this project that there were far more distributors who carry eBooks, so an eBook was the only sure way to get these amazing stories to the subjects' true fans across the globe". A Collection of articles was the solution, and the book was conceived.

Available for eBook download as early as September, 2012, Frankie hopes to reach fans of Burlesque, Comedy, Culture, Music, and Las Vegas, around the world as the book is released to seven other distributors world-wide beginning including the international iBookstore, and American-based Kindle to name two of seven distributors. Subjects include: Lisa Lampanelli, The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2012Dita Von Teese's Strip Strip Hooray! Show, Dirty Martini,  Canadian Director Jonathan Joffe of Burlesque Assasins Film, Performer Michelle L'Amour of Chicago fame, Director Mark Mori of Betty Page Reveals All Film, Arizona Rockabilly Sensations the Moonlight HowlersViva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 15, and Burlesque star Melody Sweets of Absinthe Las Vegas, to name a few.

Further details available at FrankieTease.com

###

author / press contact email : MissFrankieTease@gmail.com
author cell-phone : 702 372-2004
publisher: BookBaby
base city: Las Vegas, Nevada
e-release date: from September 2012.
website: FrankieTease.com

more...


The Five W's about Frankie's Book:



The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.1: Jan.-June, 2012. 


What:
The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.1 is an electronic semiannual e-publication covering a few select exciting genres in Las Vegas, Nevada, published by BookBaby. Though self-titled, the articles have little to do with their author who serves as the "#1 Fan" type of reporter. Frankie has been covering Entertainment stories from Las Vegas since 9/11/11, and has been an entertainment writer since 2009 (Portland, OR.). As a life-long performer, an experienced producer, and a choreographer of Ballroom and Burlesque for many years, she's no newbie to stage production. Frankie brings her enthusiasm for the arts to each article, using her connections with amazing entertainers to get great stories.

Why:
Desiring a world-wide readership to match the world-class entertainers she has interviewed and reviewed, Frankie decided to take the online articles and turn them into an eBook consisting of the most popular reads from the website (to be published each half-year) and adding exclusive stories and photos, which have never been published. The book is in ePub digital format and is now available for download at eBook retailers near you or on your favorite device (please see list below for details).

Who:
Don't miss exciting interviews, reviews, and photos in The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.1 includingComedian Lisa Lampanelli (NBC, Comedy Central), Director Mark Mori of Bettie Page Reveals All Film (Building Bombs), Dita Von Teese (Bizarre, Playboy, Crazy Horse-Paris, House of Blues) Strip Strip Hooray!, Jonathon Joffee, Burlesque Assassins, The Big SixDirty Martini (Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque, Cannes Best Director winner: Tournee'), Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 15Imogen Kelly (Australia), The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2012 (Las Vegas), Si Cranstoun (of UK's Dualers), Moonlight HowlersMelody Sweets (Absinthe), Michelle L’Amour (America's Got Talent, Naked Girls Reading), Renea LeRoux (Burlesque Assasins), and Armitage Shanks (Burlesque Assassins), and photos by: Blue Hair Media, Rene Gastelum, Jonathon Joffee, 53deluxe.com, Into the Gold Photography, and Frankie Tease.

Where from:
The topics of this book's edition include International Artists and events that have come through or will come through Las Vegas, Nevada, from: Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and the United States. Features from U.S. cities include: Willsonville, AZ., New York, NY., Seattle, WA., Chicago, IL., Los Angeles, CA. and fabulous Las Vegas.

Where & When to get it:
Check out  The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.1  on your favorite eBook Reader according to the dates below: 

  • iBookstore - available 9/27/12 as early as 9/13/12 [devices supported: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch].
  • Sony - available TBA 2012 [Sony Reader]
  • Barnes & Noble- available TBA [Nook eReader]
  • Kobo- available by 9/20/12 [Kobo eReader]
  • Baker & Taylor- available TBA [iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo Reader, etc.]
  • Copia- available date TBA [Copia eReader, iPad, Nook, Sony eReader]
  • Gardner's- available by 9/27/12 [iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo Reader, etc.]


more...
Though covering many vintage-focused themes and artists, the book is full of exciting current and modern content and photos, creating a wonderful juxtaposition of eras and genres. Whether you are fans of the Burlesque, Comedy, the Culture of Las Vegas, Music, or just looking for a fun informative read to stir your imagination, you will find it in the Best of Frankie Tease Vol.1, Jan.-June 2012

For updates visit FrankieTease.com

###
author / press contact email : MissFrankieTease@gmail.com
author cell-phone : 702 372-2004
publisher: BookBaby (Portland,OR.)
author base city: Las Vegas, Nevada
e-release dates: from September 2012 
website: FrankieTease.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Norm McDonald Back at Standing-Up, Appearing at Orleans Hotel, Las Vegas, Aug. 10,11, 2012


Many of us recognize the name Norm Macdonald from the 80's and 90's when he had a long run as a comedic actor on Saturday Night Live. His stint as anchor of the hilarious 'weekend update' recurring act on SNL, came after he was one of the comedy writers on the NBC show. 

A couple decades have given way to a generation of people who love the odd-styled Canadian. His wit is dry and absurd at the same time, his timing impeccable after years of working with TV and comedy greats like Roseanne Barr, Dennis Leary, Artie Lange, Will Farrell, and the Producer of SNL: Loren Michaels, to name a few.

Some of the impressions that may have stuck with audiences most include Bob Dole (hilarious) and Burt Reynolds (classic stuff!). Macdonald is currently the star of the "Sports Show with Norm Macdonald" on Comedy Central, where he dissects topical sports news, funnily. Catch his 2012 tour with two nights at the beautiful Orleans Showroom only. I'm sure this show will fill-up fast.

Orleans Hotel and Casino Showroom $27.50-$55 Aug. 10, 11, 8pm (children age 4+ only) OrleansCasino.com (702) 492-3960. You can also purchase tickets at The Orleans Box Office: Sundays -Thursdays, Noon - 8:00pm, Fridays & Saturdays Noon- 10:00pm.

This article was written by Frankie Tease, a Las Vegas resident as of 2011, an entertainment writer since 2009. Email Frankie