From; Norm Johnson

For: column 6-3-15

People often ask me what it was like on the Las Vegas Strip in the “good old days,” when the best entertainers in the world drop in for a week or two of work. Those questioners, and you readers, only need go to the Suzanne Somers showat the Westgate Hotel and judge for yourself. She’s a throwback to those wonderful nights in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and even a bit of the ‘90s.  They knew one thing—give the audience your best performance every damn night.  Don’t “call it in” like some entertainers do today.  She’s an entertainer who loves to bring back those glorious days that’ll never return, and she’s having fun doing it.

Suzanne Somers, one of America’s most popular and beloved personalities, and for years a top-selling Las Vegasheadliner, steps back onstage in the re-done cabaret newly named  “Suzanne,’” to debut her sophisticated nightclub act at the hotel.  Launched on Saturday, May 23, “SUZANNE Sizzles” will entertain for a total of 28 weeks through May 2016. We saw the show last Thursday and we were blown away with the wonderful band, the totally re-modeled stage, and with her. This is a gal who has had to work her way up the ladder for a number of years. She tells little stories about how she accidently got this job or that during the 70 minute's she in front of you.  
During her years in Las Vegas in the 1980s, Somers was recognized as one of the best female entertainers by media and fans alike for her show, which she starred in at the Westgate Las Vegas when it was known as the Las Vegas Hilton. I remember something that was important to me and a few others, like Esther Lynn, when HIV/Aids was first bursting at the seams. With Esther leading the way, we reached out to a few entertainers to see if there would be any interest in putting together a benefit for the epidemic. We got positive results so the late Stardust Hotel gave us its marvelous showroom for Sunday, June 14, 1987. The first one to jump in was Suzanne. Eventually we ended up with more than 20 Strip entertainers appearing.  The show was supposed to run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  But before we knew it entertainers, not on the list, began to show up and we ran an hour over. It was in front of a Standing-room-only crowd for all three hours.

With “SUZANNE Sizzles,” Somers is creating a cool, sexy return to the heyday of the Rat Pack and the Great American Songbook. Accompanied by her band, and singing the songs that made you fall in love, the setting is elegant and the environment intimate, with cocktail seating. The show transports audiences back to the days of lush sound, glamour, and luxury. And let me tell ya, she still look as cute and sexy as she used to when she was much younger. And those legs wow!  Suzanne recently also appeared on ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” 10th anniversary season.

 “SUZANNE Sizzles,” a 70-minute show, is performed at 7:00 p.m. five days a week, dark Sundays and Mondays. On sale now, general admission tickets are priced at $79 (taxes and fees included); VIP and meet-and-greet tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino Box Office at (800) 222-5361 or online at For more information or to book accommodations, call (800) 732-7117.
In addition, the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino opened the Suzanne Somers Spa, featuring all of Somers’SUZANNE Organics Cosmetics, organic skin care, and organic hair care products, and the Suzanne Somers Organic Spa Café, serving food based on recipes from Somers’ series of bestselling cookbooks.

The Laugh Factory, located on the mezzanine level of the New Tropicana Las Vegas, is presenting an outstanding combination of stand-up comedy this week, through Sunday, beginning with headliner Michael Davis, a dynamic lady and a resident of our village, Kathleen Dunbar, and the hosting duties going to Dylan Mandlsohn. 

Comedian-juggler Michael Davis is most famous and recognized for his five classic appearances on “Saturday Night Live.” His dry wit and masterful juggling act have also landed him appearances on such shows as “The Tonight Show,” and “David Letterman,” as well as invitations to the White House to perform for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. The New York Times said, " Mr. Davis is an inspired deadpan comedian.  I was as close as I have ever been to rolling in an aisle with laughter.  Nothing could top him." From nightclubs to TV, Broadway to Vegas and living rooms to corporate stages, Davis has successfully performed on every type of stage and for every type of audience.


“Edgy,” “honest” and “hilarious” are words audiences use to describe Kathleen Dunbar. Kathleen’s comedy tackles a variety of topics such as motherhood, aging, family and today’s youth with razor-sharp sarcasm and quick, precise timing. Dunbar was named 2003 Female Comedian of the Year by the Entertainment Consumers Exchangeand since then, she’s been honored with numerous awards. She is currently headlining at clubs and casinos across the country


Dylan Mandlsohn’s rubber face and array of charismatic stand-up characters have made history by making him the firstCanadian comic to be a back-to-back finalist at the prestigious San Francisco and Seattle Comedy Competitions. Hitting his mark at Montréal’s world-famous Just For Laughs Festival and the Boston Comedy Festival, led Mandlsohn to be selected to perform for The Comcast Network, spreading his wings into new television and film territory. Additionally, Mandlsohn recently starred in his own “Comedy Now!” special for The Comedy Network and CTV. Inspired by the greatJim Carrey, the legendary Johnny Carson and Rich Little, Mandlsohn uses his own brilliant comedy to entertain and challenge social norms by pushing boundaries that promote forward thinking for his audiences across the globe. Tickets for the 8:30 and 10:30 performances at the Laugh Factory are priced at $34.95 and $44.95. For information call 702-739-2411.


Another one of America’s most endearing stars, Barbara Eden, will be appearing at the Suncoast Showroom on Saturday, June 20. Hosted by Hollywood reporter Bill Harris of “Showtime” and “Entertainment Tonight” fame, Eden will be "out of the bottle," and sharing with the audience the moments that made her a star. During this one-of-kind event, she will reveal untold stories about her co-stars, including big screen stars like Paul Newman, Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood , and television Phenom’s including Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Cher, Dean Martin and especially her irrepressible co-star on "I Dream of Jeannie," Larry Hagman. The evening includes an interactive question and answer element with the audience.  In 1965, Eden became an instant household name with her hit NBC TV series, “I Dream of Jeannie.”  The network series ran for five seasons and continuously airs in syndication. 

Throughout her career, Eden starred in 25 feature films, five network TV series, 19 top-rated network made-for-television movies and spent many years throughout her career headlining in our village in the desert.  People Magazine named Eden one of America’s 200 Greatest Pop Icons of the 20th Century.  She is also the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Broadcasters Hall of Fame and TV Land Television Network.
Eden’s memoir, “Jeannie Out of the Bottle” debuted at #14 on the New York Times “Best Sellers” list in 2012 - encapsulating the memories of her colorful life and remarkable Hollywood career spanning more than 50 years. Showtime begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from $15.95, plus tax and fees. Tickets can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming box office, by calling 702.284.7777, or visiting

I’m just wondering if these two iconic ladies will get together and talk about those wonderful days when they headlined on the Strip?

Well, gang, that’s just about covers it for this week.  I’m out of here!

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