Bob Anderson Shines in Frank, The Man, The Music

bob-anderson

Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson had an idea. His Musical Director, Vincent Falcone, had been Frank Sinatra’s musical director for years. It seems Frank gave Vinnie,  his arrangements. Frank told him, Keep the music going!

Bob and Vinnie are keeping the promise. They hired an incredibly talented make up artist, Kazu Tsuji. He works on him, for two hours each night, turning him into Frank!.. Kazu is the Oscar-nominated makeup artist who transformed Brad Pitt in the 2008 Film, ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’. (reference KazuStudios.com)

straight-outta-hoboken-sinatra-450

Bob Anderson as Frank!

He does the transformation of Bob to Frank,  in 2 hours, because the 3 hours he needed were too just too much for Bob on a nightly basis!. The face, the hair, amazingly accurate.

Then Bob does the rest, the posture, the walk, the mannerisms, the voice, OH, the Voice!

The show is produced and directed by Stephen Eich of the Steppenwolf theater in Chicago. The lighting and set design by Kevin Rigdon also of the Steppenwolf theater.

The bigger surprise in the show is the 32-piece orchestra. Not just any musicians; many who played with Frank. Along with bassist Bob Sachs, and guitarist Joe Lano, Drummer Tommy Check, the sax section, and many throughout the orchestra have played these charts with the man himself, Frank. .

vincent-falcone-color

Musical Director, Vincent Falcone

What great charts they are!  Chills will appear on your body many times during the 90-minute show.  The string section is big and lush.

I have been watching Bob Anderson my entire adult life. I was in the Casino De Paris show at the Dunes Hotel, when Bob performed at the Top Of The Dunes. This was a popular show where you would run into Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence, and Don Rickles in the elevator.

Following his career, I saw him at the Desert Inn, where one night I got pulled onstage and sang with him. He was always my favorite singer and entertainer. Bob moved to town from Detroit as a 22-year old, and worked with Nancy Sinatra, at the Sahara Hotel.  He is very gracious to his fans, always takes pictures with them, and gives them his time. Take note future entertainers, always greet your fans, they are why you are working!

Pre-Show at the Palazzo Theater.

Pre-Show at the Palazzo Theater.

The show is staged at the Palazzo Hotel, in the Palazzo Theatre; originally named The Jersey Boys Theatre. When the Palazzo was built, the showroom was designed to stand in the exact place as its predecessor, the Copa Room at The Sands Hotel.

Frank, The Man, The Music begins with the orchestra playing a medley of Sinatra favorites.

Simultaneously, screen projections on both sides of the theatre stage. You watch Bob finish his character transformation, walk through the hall, talk with a few people, and then enter stage right as if the film-transition is live every night.

The Sands HotelWhen he opens his mouth to sing, it doesn’t take long to forget you are no longer watching and listening to Bob, but Frank Sinatra.

The patter, the stories are fascinating, all done in character; and the party begins. Time stops and you ARE taken back in time.

Old Vegas is back, and you can hear him sing the Bossa Nova, a la Antonio Carlos Jobim. That musical period played flawlessly by guitar legend, Joe Lano!.  Then, you are whisked inside Capitol records for a reenactment of a studio recording session. 

Bob Anderson is a consumnate performer. This is evident, with the easy listening style and goose bump singing. He sings with ease, because he is a natural. I asked him if he warms up? He said, “Very little.” He sings along backstage in the wings and does a few scales. I understand this as a natural singer myself, I hardly ever warm up, and my voice is always  there for me.

frank-the-man-the-musicThis show is here only until the end of 2015, then it moves to New York. Tickets for  Frank: The Man,The Music can be purchased via Ticketmaster online or 702-414-9000. Thank you , Patricia Dockswell, Bobs Production Coordinator.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Bob Anderson Sizzles at the Suncoast

Bob Anderson and the band

Bob Anderson and the band

I have been watching Bob Anderson for decades. Way-back-when, Bob was at the Top of the Dunes, and Lee Greenwood was in a little piano bar, when I was the singing lead in The ‘Casino De Paris Show’ at the Dunes Hotel. Yes, the good ol days!

I had known him earlier when he and my sister were in a relationship, so we have a lot of history. Bob had his start very fast, with appearances on Johnny Carson, and performances with George Burns…  too many to mention, here.

He is not only an impeccable singer, but a superb impressionist.  The art and style of the cabaret singer is a gift, and completely natural. This rings true when you see Bob’s show. He is at ease, and has a beautiful audience rapport.

I could listen to him sing standards all night, however, his loyal fans expect the impressions Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr;, and Tony Bennett among others.

When you witness a true talent such as Bob, it takes you back to the time in Las Vegas, when headliners dominated.  When the lounges were percolating 24 hours a day, with great bands. I feel badly for the younger people who come here, and find a new Disneyland of mostly mediocre lounge bands, and too few of them.

Bob Anderson Suncoast

Bob Anderson & Jessica Marciel

In the days of true Vegas Glam, you could find, Keely Smith, Kenny Rogers, Lou Rawls and Sam Butera in the lounges, Yes, the lounges. They had cover charges, dress codes, and little round tables with , yes, you guessed it, SERVICEWhat? Service, in glass , not plastic cups. Now how much money do you think is saved by using plastic cups, instead of glass?

In the audience at the ‘Suncoast‘ Friday night, was Pia Zadora, Monti Rock III, Steve Rossi, and even Joe Williams widow, Jill.  I was there with two great singers, we could have been 10 if we had gotten the word out faster. next time we will.   If you haven’t heard Bob sing ‘Guess Who I Saw Today? ‘ , ‘Midnight Sun’ or ‘Angel Eyes’, you haven’t lived.

Besides Bob’s talent and superb backing musicians, the more subtle elements that lift his show include:

  • Designing a show set that includes standards and less familiar songs, that all hit the mark.
  • His recognition of important performers attending the show, never leaving the feeling that he is ‘name-dropping’.
  • Band interaction, particularly with Musical Director, Vincent Falcone, is familiar and comfortable, allowing Bob to change-up a song choice, on the fly, without missing a beat.
  • Embracing his fans, through relaxed banter from the stage, plus lingering after the show to pose for photographs.

So, next time you read about Bob Anderson, appearing anywhere, do yourself a favor, and go see a real pro, a consummate entertainer, with a band, that included legends, like guitarist, Joe Lano, bass, Bob Sachs, Musical Director Piano, Vince Falcone, and drummer, Mike Meechem. 

You can thank me later:) See you there.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

 

When good is good enough

I always thought you had to be a great singer to make it in this crazy business.  Perhaps that is because when I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, there were few bad singers. Most of the singers were Great! Amazing! Then the 60’s came along, and they put special effects on Lesley Gore, who is a great songwriter, not singer, and  special effects on Carole King, who I love, but not considered a great singer.

The rock groups just had to look hot. Mick jagger, Herman’s Hermits… They couldn’t sing.  Loved Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Grace Slick. Lot’s of others were not singers but stylists or just screaming.

So, have we lowered our standards? Or is the average public who are swooning over Aaron on American Idol, are they just tone deaf?  It is sad that you can be spotted by a producer because you have an exposed belly button {Shakira}  and they make you a big star. She has vibrato you can surf on, yes she is in tune, and I’m being picky.

I just miss the old days when you could go any where and hear real talent. Singers such as  Jerry Tiffe, Bob Anderson, Denise Clemente, Jeaneane Marie, Jerry Lopez, Tony Davich, Lenny Lopez, Jamie Hosmer, of Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns. These guys can sing. The hotels don’t seem to care enough to give us quality entertainment.

The Chef Michael at Tommasino’s where I work now, said “Jazz never brings money in, they sit and order water or coffee” So, I said, “Charge a cover?” There is a demand or there would be no coffee and water orders. maybe they are twelve steppers?   People, Charge a Cover, I will pay to hear good jazz, funk, R&B or really good anything. At Tommasino’s when I work with  Mike Shane we make great tips, because we talk to the audience, we do their songs, we are funny.

When working with the “Jazz” pianists, brilliant pianists, we make minimal tips, perhaps $5-15.  People want personality, and they want variety.  Driving out to Pahrump to this dream job is heaven, they appreciate me, and I feel like I am pleasing them.

In Vegas lounges, the tourists are getting off their feet, have not slept, and could care less about what you do. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago, we did lounge SHOWS  we entertained, we connected, now they are dance bands.  When did good become good enough?

I miss the old days, when after work at 2am you could catch a dozen or so great acts still playing til 6am. Then you could drive up to Mt. Charleston, watch the sun come up, grab breakfast and sleep til 2pm.  I have to say, I am glad that I am the age I am so i was there in those days.

When I met Cary Grant at valet parking with Walter Kane.  My car was kept out front waiting for me: Star Treatment.

What a memory. I’ll cherish those days forever.  Yes, you needed juice to get a gig, but you better be GREAT not GOOD to keep it.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Great sources for Las Vegas entertainment news

I ran into my old publicist, Esther Lynn, at the Bob Anderson show last weekend. I have known her since 1976, and she has been a wonderful source of news in print ever since.

I mentioned how upset I was that I had no idea Bob had been in town with Andy Williams at the Las Vegas Hilton. His name was not mentioned, anywhere! Also, he had been at the Rampart Casino and it was poorly advertised.

She said “Start reading my online gossip column.” Well, there you have it.  I had lost touch with her, and now I know.

I have had a link on my site as long as it has been up for my  friend Jerry Fink who was a big fan of my father, Irv Kluger. He had written numerous stories on him, as well as myself, so I want to remind you to go to his entertainment blog: THEJerryFink.com

Jerry has a great knowledge of where to find the  music. He loves live music and he won’t let you down.

I’m taking my own advice and not going to miss another Bob Anderson moment if I can help it!

Are you aware that there is a great Italian restaurant in Pahrump!! Live music every night. Tom Saitta, yes of the car dealerships, is trumpet player/singer and has opened a place “Tommasino’s” with alternating Mike Shane, and Tommy Deering at the piano.

Tom sits in and others come in from Las Vegas and sit in. I plan on doing this as soon as I have an early day ending from teaching. They start at 5pm and go to 9pm but keep going as long as they have an audience. Check this out. It’s not a bad drive for great food and great music.

Thank you Esther, Jerry and Mike Weatherford. And all of you who help us find the music!!!!

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Can Las Vegas be the entertainment capitol again?

Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson

I went to the Cannery Casino, Saturday night, after a very long day of teaching. I  wouldn’t nornally go anywhere after such a day, but the consumate  entertainer, Bob Anderson, was in concert for only two nights, and I could not miss him. I felt he would heal my exhaustion. He did not dissapoint.

I have known Bob since the 70’s, and he really is one of the best singers around. He moved to Branson, MO, with his wife Karen, in 2005, after losing the Desert Inn room he had occupied for years. All my singer friends would gather at the Desert Inn for a sure-fire night of great music and great fun.

WE were there the night a waitress won a million dollar jack-pot, right outside the showroom. That had a tragic outcome, when a year later she was hit by a drunken driver and was in a tiny sports car, she was paralyzed.

I  have memories of Bob at the Top of the Dunes also, when I was in the Casino de Paris , he was  upstairs, so after the 2nd show,, up I would go sharing the elevator with people such as Tony Bennett and Steve Lawrence who were there to see Bob.

Top of the Dunes

Top of the Dunes

Bob Anderson has that magic, that ease of connecting with the audience, and singing his heart out. He also does obscure songs that you don’t hear all the time.  After the show, he comes out and mingles and lets his fans be close to him.

This is what I miss about Las Vegas. I cannot go anywhere and see a show like Bob’s; in an intimate setting with a brilliant trio or quartet..

Did I mention he also does singing impressions? He is amazing at them, but even without the impressions, I think he would be just as popular.  A lot of old time Las Vegas performers are there to see him, Cork Proctor, Babe Pier, Dennis Bono, and me.

I know Las Vegas has changed and will never go back. It is full of Cirque shows and the lounges are mostly just dance bands.

I miss the days when the lounges were little show rooms, Even when I was in the lounges, I did a show, I  performed and we entertained, and no  one does that now. When someone tries to do it, it fails, and closes.  Times have changed and I am so glad that I was a part of the old Las Vegas, I  got in at the very end of it, so,

I have wonderful memories and got to know people like Bob.

Jessica Marciel

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