The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast

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My Special Guest - Dani Elizabeth

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My guest for this episode is a Vegas Showgirl - and I'm not talking about the "showgirls" you see strolling the strip, posing for pictures with tourists.  I mean, a LEGIT Las Vegas Showgirl.

Dani Elizabeth began dancing as a small child - and she just never really stopped.

Growing up in upstate New York, Dani studied marketing & advertising in University and continued to dance through her college years with her school's dance team, an arena football team and even performing as a superhero at a Six Flags theme park.  From there, she was off to Los Angeles, where she had the opportunity to train with a world-renowned Broadway dancer & choreographer.

From LA, she headed to Vegas where she joined the cast of of one of the most legendary shows in Las Vegas history: Donn Arden's "Jubilee" at Bally's.  She performed there until the show's closure in 2016, following which she joined the cast of yet another legendary Vegas show, "Crazy Girls" at Planet Hollywood, where she's since worked as a dancer in the production and now serves as the show's host.

Dani & I talked about all of this during our conversation, as well as how she's been staying busy during the COVID-19 shutdown - including launching a new business with her fiancee, who also happens to be another Vegas headliner.

If you want to keep up with what Dani is up to, be sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  To see Dani performing live in Crazy Girls, visit the show's official website for tickets & info!

My Special Guest - Jen Kramer

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Las Vegas is officially the magic capital of the world, currently playing host to multiple magic shows - not to mention some of the legendary performers who've graced the Vegas Strip throughout its history.

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Jen Kramer, who's currently headlining "The Magic of Jen Kramer" at the famed Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, which she opened in May 2018.

Named "Female Magician of the Year" by the International Magicians Society and recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree by VEGAS INC, Jen has also appeared on Penn & Teller's "Fool Us", Penn & Teller's "Try This At Home" and "Masters of Illusion".

Jen joined me for the podcast to talk about how she became interested in magic, the time she spent attending Yale & founding the Yale Magic Society, her charity work with Magicians Without Borders, how she landed her Vegas headlining gig...and much more!

If you want to learn more about Jen and check out some her amazing illusions, you can visit her official website, subscribe to her YouTube Channel or follow her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

The Show Goes On…

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There's no question that the COVID-19 outbreak, lockdown and the subsequent limitations on re-openings have been extremely tough on everyone in Las Vegas.  But one of the hardest hit segments are the people involved in the entertainment industry.

After 7 long months, shows are finally starting to re-open along The Strip and my guest for this episode is one of those people who's found himself trying to sort out performing during a pandemic.

Vin A. from The Bronx Wanderers is back to chat with me once again.  Since the last time we talked, A LOT has changed.  Early in 2020, the band made the move from the Linq to Harrah's and then shortly after that, the world closed down and they were forced to figure out what came next.

Vin & I discussed the various projects he's had the chance to work on during the shutdown as well as how he - and other Vegas performers - adapted to stay busy & stay in front of their audiences.  Vin also shared his thoughts on what the future may hold for entertainment in Las Vegas from the business side, the performer side and the audience side.

You can stream Vin A's latest original tracks, "Know Where (To Begin)" and "Mantra" on Apple Music & Spotify and be sure to check out all the videos from his VINDemic sessions on his YouTube Channel - including the incredible video for "Know Where (To Begin)".

My Special Guest - Justin Michael Rodriguez

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If you've found yourself strolling through The Linq on a recent Las Vegas trip, there's a very good chance you've seen my guest for this episode of the podcast performing.

Justin Michael Rodriguez is one of the performers in the show Extreme Live - a very cool, high energy, interactive show at the Linq.

Justin and I chatted about the time he spent growing up in Las Vegas, scoring a lead in the touring production of a major Broadway show, his brush with boy-band fame and his thoughts on the future of entertainment in Vegas.

If you want to keep up with what Justin is up to, you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.  Also, be sure to follow the Extreme Live Show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

My Special Guest - Sarah Hester Ross

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My guest for this episode of the podcast is someone I've been trying to connect with for awhile, but up until now our schedules just never clicked.  I'm a HUGE fan of hers and anytime I have a chance to see her perform, I know I'm going to have an awesome time!

Sarah Hester Ross is an incredibly talented musical comedian & singer-songwriter.  And if you've spent time in any of the duelling piano bars on the Vegas strip, there's a good chance you've seen her play.

Sarah & I talked about her musical background & how she made it to Vegas, some of the shows she's been involved with in her time in the city and how she's been building her online presence with the amazing material she's been posting on her various social media channels.

If you want to see what Sarah is working on make sure to follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Tik-Tok.  Also, go subscribe to her YouTube channel and check out her website!

NOTE: I've been made aware of a claim against Sarah Hester Ross surrounding her recording, releasing & monetizing a musical work to which she allegedly did not receive permission or licensing to do so.  The interview for this episode of the podcast was recorded approximately 2 weeks prior to release of this episode and any reference to the allegedly infringed upon musical work has been removed from this episode of the podcast.

My Special Guests - The Black Donnellys

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I made my first visit to Ri Ra Irish Pub in the Shoppes At Mandalay Bay back in June 2019 and reviewed the experience on Episode #24 of the podcast.  As I described it at the time, everything about Ri Ra was "authentically Irish".  Sitting in this pub in a mall in Las Vegas felt exactly like sitting in the pub in Dublin - and a lot of things helped contribute to that...from the food, to the drinks, to the staff, to the music.

And that's where the people joining me for this episode of the podcast come into play.

My special guests are Dave Rooney and Dave Browne of The Black Donnellys.  They're the resident house band at Ri Ra in Mandalay Bay.

I talked to the guys about growing up in Dublin & the band's origins in Ireland, how and why they made the move to Las Vegas, their various Guinness World Records and their brand new documentary film An Irish Story: This Is My Home.

Of course we also talked about the COVID-19 pandemic and how they've been keeping busy through the Vegas shut-down.

If you want to learn more about Dave & Dave and the Black Donnellys, visit their official website - which includes info on where you can watch An Irish Story: This Is My Home.  Also make sure to follow the band on Instagram and Facebook - where they've been performing live shows.

And if you want to learn more about the tragic real-life story of The "Black" Donnellys - from which the band took their name - check out the website,  Heaven & Hell on Earth - The Massacre of The "Black" Donnellys.   On the site, you can read all about the family, the murders and the aftermath - including the TWO trials that followed - as well as look through archival evidence from the events.

My Special Guests - Makenzie Fly & Colin Cahill aka “Mak and the Cheese”

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My special guests for this episode are Las Vegas entertainers - and married couple - Makenzie Fly & Colin Cahill.

Before COVID-19 shut down Las Vegas, Makenzie was one of the leads in the show, Sex Tips For Straight Women From A Gay Man at the Paris and Colin was a member of the cast in Spiegelworld's newest show, Atomic Saloon at The Venetian.

When they were forced out of their respective gigs by Coronavirus, the pair wanted to keep performing - so they launched Mak and the Cheese.

Makenzie & Colin joined me via Zoom to chat about their life before the shutdown, predictions on what Vegas shows might look like when things re-open and whether or not Mak and the Cheese have a future beyond the pandemic!

Be sure to check out & subscribe to Mak and the Cheese's YouTube Channel and enjoy their music including:

- "You Can't Spell Virus Without Us"

- "Don't Cough on Betty White"

- "The Quarantine 15" (as performed for the Mondays Dark Livestream Telethon)

- And "Spare Me a Roll"

Also, follow Mak and the Cheese on Instagram and Facebook!

My Special Guest - Murray The Magician

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I've had a lot of entertainers as guests on the podcast, but this episode marks the first appearance by a magician on the show!

My special guest is Murray Sawchuck aka Murray The Magician.

Murray has been a long-time headliner in Las Vegas; he currently has a residency at The Laugh Factory at the Tropicana and he recently signed on to be a part of the entertainment with Fantasy at The Luxor.

Murray & I talked about his growing up in British Columbia, when he decided that magic was going to be "his thing", what it's like living and working in Las Vegas, his appearances on TV including "Pawn Stars" & "GLOW" and how he's managed to grow his YouTube channel to almost 2 MILLION subscribers.

Murray was also kind enough to perform a few quick magic tricks for us AND show off his very cool collection of vintage Vegas memorabilia.  Head to the official Jeff Does Vegas YouTube Channel to check out those videos...and more!

If you want to learn more about Murray The Magician head over and check out his website; follow him on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook and be sure to subscribe to his YouTube Channel.

 

My Special Guest - Vin A.

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My special guest for this episode of the podcast is Vin A. of The Bronx Wanderers...

The Bronx Wanderers have been headlining on the Las Vegas Strip for the last 3 years and at the end of 2019, they celebrated their 1000th Vegas show.  Fronted by dad Vinny Adinolfi - a recording industry legend in his own right - the band features sons Nicky & Vin A. as well as several of Vin's high school friends.

Vin and I sat down for a conversation during one of my recent Las Vegas trips.  We chatted about the history of the Bronx Wanderers, what it's like performing & touring with family and what life is like in Vegas.  Vin also took us "behind the curtain" on the topic of producing a show in Las Vegas & also did a great job explaining the high turnover on shows on the Vegas strip.

For information, tickets and showtimes visit The Bronx Wanderers website.  Also, be sure to check out Vin A's podcast "What The Cl#ck?!?".  Check it out on Apple Podcasts OR check out the video version!

My Special Guest - Mark Shunock

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My special guest for this episode of the podcast is someone who I've talked about a lot in past episodes of the show; in fact, some of you think I talk about him a bit too much...but I'm hoping that by having him on, you'll understand why I spend so much time talking about him & the events he puts together.

Mark Shunock is the creator & host of Mondays Dark, a twice-monthly charity event that raises $10,000 in 90 minutes for local Las Vegas charities.  For just $20, people have the chance to head to Mark's off-strip venue, The Space, to see some of Vegas's top talent donate their time for some amazing causes.

More than that though, Mark is a friend.  In fact, in the 6 years that I've known him, he's become one my closest friends.  He's been there to support my wife and I through some tough times and when I told him I wanted to launch this podcast a year ago, without hesitation he offered to help in any way he could.

In fact, without Mark, this podcast might not even exist; many of the conversations I've had on this podcast are because of connections I've made through him, Mondays Dark and The Space.

Mark was kind enough to take time to sit & chat with me to share the story of the origin & evolution of Mondays Dark, talk about how he & his wife Cheryl have made Las Vegas their home and some of the big projects he's been able to put together at The Space.

Mondays Dark will be celebrating its 6th Anniversary on Monday, December 9th at the Pearl Theater at The Palms - but beyond that they'll be reaching a major milestone as they get set to partner with their 100th charity marking ONE MILLION DOLLARS raised for local Las Vegas charities!

For information & tickets to the Mondays Dark 6th Anniversary show, visit the Mondays Dark website.

Be sure to follow Mondays Dark on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates on upcoming shows & events.

Also, follow Mark Shunock on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

My Special Guest - Jimmy Denning

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For almost 3 years, Tenors Of Rock have been headlining on the Las Vegas Strip, performing Classic Rock...with a twist.  They made their Vegas debut at Harrah's in January 2017 and have since made the move to Planet Hollywood, performing 7 nights per week.

My special guest for this episode of the podcast is Jimmy Denning, one of the founding members of Tenors Of Rock.

Jimmy and I connected backstage at the Sin City Theater before a show where we chatted about his musical career, the formation & history of Tenors of Rock, life in Las Vegas and some of the side projects he's picked up since moving to Vegas - including his jump into the podcast world.  He also shared a random David Hasselhoff anecdote and I made things awkward by telling him that my wife loves him.

If you're headed to Las Vegas, be sure to get your tickets to check out Tenors of Rock LIVE!  And if you're a boxing fan, check out Jimmy's podcast Sin City Sluggers and follow the show on Twitter to find out which boxing legend he'll be chatting with next.

 

My Special Guest - Lisa Marie Smith

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My special guest for this episode is Lisa Marie Smith.  Lisa is a Las Vegas-based singer, dancer & model.  She's appeared as a headliner in shows on the Vegas strip at the Stratosphere and the Palazzo.  In late-2017, she signed her first record deal with Fervor Records and in November 2018, she released her debut self-titled EP featuring her single, "Get Closer To Me".  Lisa is currently in the process of launching her new band project, LMS.

Lisa is also one of my closest friends.  In the time we've known each other, she's become like a sister to me.  I've introduced her to Canadian delicacies like All-Dressed & Ketchup Chips, Buttertarts and Nanaimo Bars and she's taken me and my wife out to some awesome Vegas restaurants, bars and shows.  Lisa has been there for me during some very tough times and I've been fortunate enough to be able to do the same for her.

During our podcast conversation we talked about growing up in Las Vegas, touring around the world performing on cruise ships, her charity work, her vocal teaching and we also talked about some of her recent personal physical struggles.

Follow Lisa on FacebookTwitter & Instagram.  Stream her EP on Apple Music and Spotify or download from iTunes

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