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

 

A Chick Singers’ ME TOO

chick singers vegas Disclaimer:  Some Adult content …………………………In  the 70’s I worked in many local bands in hotel lounges. This was before I formed my own band, Jessica and Fantasy. The Russ Martino Band was one of them that I worked in right after my show at the Marina Hotel. Russ and I have remained friends for all these years, and later in the decade, was my arranger and Musical Director, with Jon Lexia, at the Dunes’ Casino De Paris show.

SIDE NOTE: Out of nowhere, I received a compact disc in the mail from Russ, a few months ago. He had recorded three songs from ‘featured vocalist days’ at the Dunes’ Casino de Paris show. What a flashback!

Back then, we were in the lounge at the Las Vegas Hilton. My dressing room was upstairs with the executive offices. I had to pass one exec, in particular, to get to my room, and he constantly, chatted me up, and detained me.  I can say it now,,, With the ‘Me TOO’ movement,,, he was the Food and Beverage manager

He just harassed me and left dirty magazines and trays of liquor and food in my dressing room,,,   Trays of food I did not want, and liquor I do not drink.     This went on for weeks, and escalated when I found glasses of cognac on stage for me…

One night he stepped out into the corridor, and pointed to a cot he had sent to his office! Not only did that leave me speechless, but there was a penthouse magazine in my dressing room with post-it notes.

Brandy Alexander

Brandy Alexander

I did nothing about any of this, and as a result of my inaction, Russ was instructed to fire me the next day. They used my measurements as the excuse.

The worst part about this situation was that my replacement was a girl named Brandy Alexander. I cannot tell you how much anger I felt.

My father was Vice President of the Musicians Union. When I spoke to dad about this he said “if you do, or say anything, you will never work in this town again”.  So, that was the answer I  lived with.

Now,,, My Bill Cosby story. When I was in the lounge with my own band at the Sands Hotel  and my name on the Marquee, I never thought I would have never been mistaken for a victim,  but Cosby did just that.  I was invited on my night off to see him at the Hilton showroom, and invited to meet him.  The room, suddenly cleared out,,, I realized I had been targeted by a Cosby Pimp,,,,. He persisted on my taking his WINE, I did not drink, and that saved me,,,, his hands were on me,,, all over me,,,  the bodyguard at the door, outside, and I barely got out,,, But I did,,,  I never told a soul UNTIL. the Cosby lawsuits started, and I kept reading on social media mostly men, saying they  the woman were all full of it,, and they were lying,,,, I let them have it!,,, after all if it were not for one drink,, It could have been ME…TOO.

Now,,, After the Jessica and Fantasy, years, I was in the ‘Casino De Paris’ at the Dunes Hotel.

I was the Female lead singer with Two male singers.  We did the opening and closing,, and alternated the ten minute solo spot in the middle,.

I had made dear friends of the Male dancers….. Females are not crazy about singers who barely work and make three time the money!!  sadly,,,,,  So, I am out late after work at El Jardin,, a very late night  Mexican place , entertainers would go after work.    Most of the guys were gay, and I was very safe with them,,,  my closest friend, was doing Shots, and got quite quite drunk,,,,  they all left me alone with him to take him home.   We had NO cell phones then,,,we had no GPS… so , I took him to my Apt, to sleep it off.  On the stairs up to my flat, he stared to get grabby,,,,He was into girls when he was drinking , obviously!.. OMG, I was in trouble,,, I never told anyone this.   I had Black and blue marks forming climbing the stairs with him , dead weight on me… I was in pain,,, and when we got inside,,, he threw me to the floor,,, he was tall, and heavy, I was 5ft 6 inches 110lbs,  ,,, that was very frightening,,,

This was It,,, my worst nightmare came true, I was crying and hurting, and what was I going to do?   I have never told anyone this,,,but the Me Too movement has given everyone including me, a voice to get it out.    The next night , I had to use Max Factor panstick make up on my bruises,,, my gowns were very small!!… and he Didn’t even remember.      

I am glad, the young girls I am coaching Now, will Not have to endure these incidents,,, Hopefully , they will have the courage to speak out, have a whistle, mace, gun,, whatever,,,, But I feel they have more of a chance than we did, back in the day……. 

 

 

 

This was the 70’s and I am sure I’m one of many, with a story like this. Now that I am older, I’m telling my stories, because I  believe they should be heard.

I won’t use names of people that abused power or gender on me, except for Cosby,, he is outed,, But I will get these things off my smaller-than-Brandy’s chest.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Singers: Beware of Managers

jessica-with-hatWhen I was singing at the Sands Hotel, in my late 20’s I had already been in the business long enough to know the ropes. This time, being all grown up, I did not check with my dad, and I let a con man sign me as a client. He talked a good game. Richard Cardinale was his name.

He was engaged to a waitress in the Copa Lounge where I was working for over a year. She had been an original Copa Girl in the showroom, and I figured he must be OK. Her engagement ring was huge, and as we found out later, was fake.

Richard put my picture on a full-page ad in the paper bragging about our partnership. I had used an accountant to take all the FICA, union dues, etc out of the bands checks, but Richard said his accountant would handle it from then on. FLAG!!!

After a few months, with nothing happening in my career that I, myself, didn’t make happen, I grew a little uncomfortable.

Then, another singer from the Dunes, Casino De Paris show, who I would years later replace oddly enough, told me he was also “managing” her. We decided to hire a private eye.

Before we even got a report from him, , on the news was an arrest, in Lake Tahoe. Richard Cardinale was arrested for, bigamy, fraud and many other little interesting charges. Diane, the waitress was the most hurt from this, but I had to repay the guys their taxes, dues and whatever things come out of paychecks. It cost me, but I learned a bigger lesson. That wasn’t even his real name!

Investigate! In those days we had no internet, so it was harder and expensive to do it, but not doing it could have cost me a small fortune had it gone on.

When the other singer and I raided his office to get our promo and tax info, he had all the fake documents and law degree (also fake) on the wall.

I think some of these young innocent singers on American Idol. The ones that don’t make it, may be approached by people who may not be the real thing. You can get so caught up in the desire to sing for a living, that you forget to really protect yourself.

Recently, I signed with two managing partners because we had a common goal to make a musical together. I saw my attorney with the document, and he gave me changes to make. I chose not to make the changes because they were small, and I wasn’t doing it to get rich, I wanted to do this project.

The result was very sad, when the celebrity I was to portray was difficult to nail down, we thought it had a chance,  then, one of my managers died suddenly, Very suddenly,  he  was fine Sunday and gone Monday. After the shock and sadness, which we are still going through, I dissolved my agreement with his partner and the project  was dead.

I’m sad that it won’t happen. It was going to be fantastic and thrilling and my swan song to go out with something so huge.  Now as I just concentrate on teaching. I have more time, time on YouTube to look for talent, and  I’m not impressed with talent I see on Idol, this season. I find YouTube singers much better than the ones that being called, “brilliant” or “great”. I have yet to see brilliant or great since Carrie Underwood.

I realize that I’m in a small club who have the same opinion. I hear on Facebook, from other people who do think these singers are brilliant. But then again, The Beverly Hillbillies ran for a long time, and the public is not very choosy when it comes to art or entertainment. I am not a snob, I just think we should have standards, I love sitcoms like the The Nanny but I know it isn’t art. It’s crap dressed up like comedy.

So my advice to hungry artists out there is this. Do background checks and see an entertainment attorney before you sign on the line. It can save you a lot of money, time and heartache.

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

It’s all about the ‘juice’ – Wayne Newton and more

In the 60’s and 70’s, you had to know someone to work in Las Vegas. In the 60’s. I was too young for casinos  and didn’t care, because I was rocking the concert scene as an opening act, in big arenas.We were the “FREE CIRCUS” and quite good. Performed mostly originals, some covers. Opening for Santana, Three Dog Night, Cream, The Grateful Dead, Steppenwolf, Electric Prunes, Sweetwater, and every super-group that played Las Vegas.

Wayne Newton

Wayne Newton

Then I was in plenty of lounge groups as the “chick singer”, The Sunshine Company, Spiral Starecase, and Commonwealth, the best group that toured the Playboy clubs. I got plenty of life lessons from living on the road, touring all the clubs, and living out of a suitcase.

When my bass player boyfriend in Commonwealth, Jorge Casas wanted to go back to Miami to finish his college degree, I was opening for Gallagher at the Marina Hotel, and we kept getting held over week after week after week. I just didn’t want to leave. He went to Miami, got his degree, paid his dues and in the 80’s was discovered by Emiio and Gloria. Jorge has been with Gloria Estefan ever since!!!

After the Marina showroom engagement ended, it was time to really roll up my sleeves, and make a name for myself. Ha! I couldn’t get arrested. No One would even give me an audition.

The entertainment directors were not interested in me at all. At that time, my dad , Irv Kluger, was the vice president of the musicians union.  He suggested I call Wayne Newton for “juice.” That is what we call a connection, in the biz.

Wayne had wanted to import a musician from out of state, and dad gave him the OK, so he owed daddy one. And he liked daddy. I called Wayne using dad’s name. He told me to come see his show that night , visit his dressing room with a demo and he would see what he could do.

I was 26 or 27 and dressed up pretty hot, and played him my demos. He called in Walter Kane (Howard Hughes’ right-hand man), then in charge of all Summa hotels. Walter loved me, and told me he wanted to see my group on Monday at the Frontier Hotel. I put together a quartet, rehearsed a few tunes, and voila!, an open ended contract with Summa. We worked mostly at the Sands Hotel as “Jessica and Fantasy” I hired a public relations representative, Judy Gold. We worked non-stop for 2 years. My name in lights, and even on the Sands postcard!

Even with all that publicity, tv, radio, news print, when Summa started selling off the hotels, we were let go, and guess what, I couldnt get arrested!!!  AGAIN!!

I wound up auditioning for Donn Arden and driving to Reno for the big production show “Hello Hollywood Hello” at the MGM Grand Reno. After that, “Casino De Paris” at the Dunes.

Without juice, my name was never in lights again.

When you hear the term: show business, the business can be nasty. It is all business and don’t ever forget it. Learn from it and remember that who you know is often more important than what you know.

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