Tasse’s DEJA VU
A Tribute To Las Vegas
by Daniel McKernan
script snippets by Matt Baney
the years I have been one of Demi Tasse’s biggest fans. Always impressed with
her stylish elegance and meticulous attention to detail from head to toe when
she made public appearances. I secretly (and not so secretly) pined for her
when I heard she was going to do a show for the first time I was
naturally excited with anticipatory delight. And on Labor Day Weekend as the
Arts Project’s last show has a lot of pressure that comes with it.
couldn’t resist a pre-show call to congratulate her and see how she was doing:
Conversation with show’s
Director/Creator Demi Tasse
“There’s been a lot of anxiety: what
can you do that you haven’t seen already? I was inspired by the Imperial
Court’s shows in that big ballroom. I asked many times before the end of last
season and finally got p permission to do this.
Las Vegas has always
fascinated me, past and present.
2 weeks ago was our very first
rehearsal., rehearsing group numbers for the first time last Friday, Saturday
Friday night was the first time the
cast came together.
Luke Mahoney, of the Long Island
Leather Club, The Ravens from the outside joined George McGarvey here as set
2 weeks ago a gigantic boat unloaded
scenery and props, costumes from Luke’s garage
We had to wait nti after the
Doctor’s D Fund show was gone before we could begin.
I expect the look to be diffent.
I hope you enjoy it!
(Matt Baney’s voice over from booth:)
Arts Project is proud to present Déjà vu! To bobbie green, hey bobbi we
all here at déjà vu want to send our best wishes for a speedy recoverty to
you. We miss you. Tonight Bobbi’s roles will be played by Mark
So while we
are peeking into Demi’s extravagant dream state, I’m sure the action will be as
fantastic as the acts that played in those wonderful yesteryears in Las
Vegas. Ah, yes, Las Vegas, no other town in the world can compare.
No clocks, constant entertainment, the best food anyone can ask for and all the
sex you can buy...
and maid Bonbon LaRue: , “Hello,
Gorgeous!” Flowers from Frank “how
did I get here? I’m a bialy on a plate of bagels”
Demi’s Déjà Vu Dream with ghosts of Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley
the most lavish shows, sets, and biggest names in entertainment back in the
day. Short of a human sacrifice, if we are talking showy and lavish, then I
can’t think of any act more over the top than this
Doreen Rallo, wowed’em with “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
Newton SallyAnn Piacentino crooned “Danke Schoen,” , Elton John
Mark Costanzo did “Rocket Man,” at the piano, designer George McGarvey as the
Well, I am
speechless. Liberace was gay!? That’s a lot of competition for our
ladies. Oh yes, we also had the top ladies here. Somewhere a little
bit country and some a little bit of a belter a la Ethel merman.
Parton, Coco seduced in “Nine to Five”
sizzled in “Goldfinger”
ladies certainly kept their audience’s attention with their pure talents.
But they can’t touch this next team. Oh my God! Talk about edge of
your seat anticipation! These guys never failed to hype up the blood
pressure of the crowd.
course things do happen that we can’t control. Sometimes things really go wrong
that you just can’t prevent, you know? Why don’t we just sit back and see
what happens when you work with two of the most ferocious girls in Cherry
Grove….ooops, I meant Las Vegas. On with the show!
Siegfried Linda Dickerman
& Roy Barbara Hirsch offered a
new rendition of “What’s New, Pussycat?” (what’s new, indeed!)
forget that every show wasn’t always on the great stages. Yes some shows
were downtown at a less popular or glamorous hotel nearer to those legends of
the past the golden nugget and the four queens on Fairmont Street. Not
every act was top tier or a “smash”.
We can peek
in on one act that tried so hard to make it to the top, but unfortunately I
never quite caught on as a “Smash”…do you agree?
“The 20th Century Fox Mambo” featured Demi and backups Lee
Sharmat, Doreen, Eddie Galante, Ken Woodhouse, and Mark
know, this is Demi’s dream state, so she has poetic license to add
whatever she wants and I think she just wanted to do that number… Like this
from Demi’s dream sequence.
young lady showed the judges at a talent show she didn’t need any advice from
them! She LOST….and from that day forward she became a sensational star
in her debut movie. She even took home an Oscar…that’s TALENT!
Let’s see how she’s doing tonight……
Hudson Bella“And I Am Changing” from curlers to her own kind of glam
“Fever” “Is That All There Is?” in one of
her several crowd pleasing cimedy numbers was wheeled in, turned to face crowd,
delayed lip synching and given emergency oxygen
these women were just icons, and some of them should have known when to
close up shop. Sometimes enough is enough and that’s all there is.
Some just didn’t get the memo…..oh well, she’s still an icon even though she’s
not with us anymore!
better than one as Demi and Angela sang duets ” One Less Bell to Answer” and “A House Is not a Home.”
icons, superstars, divas and bitches. I know, the first name that
comes to mind is Philomena, but its not her. Common mistake as I
thought the same thing. But I guess if you want to roll those
words into one, you would probably come up with one of the most famous
superstars of all time…or maybe two?
you get more than you bargained for….imagine dealing with two Barbra’s….
and Edie SallyAnn and Bella were less than in love with “This Could Be
The Start of Something New”
But in another
case, we have a couple that brought the house down every time they walked on
stage. And later on they lifted her on stage. I remember growing up
to their albums playing in our house 24 hours a day. For some reason I
always wanted to be her. Things that make you go
HUMMMM? real crowd pleasers and now they are right here in Cherry Grove!
Our next superstar is still going,
in fact she’s even found her way right here last year to cherry grove, pins in
her legs and all!
Rivera Donna Pirhana smoldered in“Kiss of the Spider
Rita….Rita,Chita…I can never keep them straight. But I do know that was chita
from kiss of the spider woman….and in cherry grove, that was perfect
in Demi’s dream, to this day you can come to Las Vegas and see this
upscale entertainer. When will she ever retire? I guess when you
get her salary you don’t give I up so easily. Who else gets a theatre
built just for her! Don’t worry, if you miss her this year, you can get
to see her next year and the year after that and the year after that and the
year after that…her voice will go on, and on and on…..oy!
Celine Angela elegant in
“Coming Back to Me Now”
could have been that song from titanic! Well like I said, we’ll see her
next year and the year after that and the year after that.
This next tune
was recorded in Vegas in the 1960’s at a lounge show by four unknown
showgirls. Those ladies would never know that years later it would become
a drag queen’s anthem. Yes! Every drag queen in one way or another
has performed this number. Being in the sound booth of the theatre for
over 20 years, Alison and I can attest to that.
should thank these playgirls tonight for bringing us this little ditty from the
lovelies Bella, and Demi, Panzi, Bonbon outdid each other
challenging, “If You Don’t See What You Want up Here (lay down, brother, you’re
the 60’s were really the start of some of the greatest rock and roll groups
ever to grace the stages of Las Vegas. Once again we would have to go on
for weeks to bring them all to you. So here’s just a few.
Coco, Angela, and Donna doing "Be My
with Manhattan Transfer Trickle,
Trickle," Linda, Ruth, Barbara, Susan, and Lee
Demi, papoose strapped to the saddle, deadpanned “Half Breed”
with a papoose strapped to the saddle, The horse delivered a “contribution” to
the culinary delight of toothless squaw Panzi – in another of her
Midler Freeta Chews, delivered a show stopper “When a Man
Loves a Woman” reminding us how we have missed her.
Ken and Bella led us into the very grand finale
full cast bookended by nubiles Gina Garan
and Jackie Carlson Demi thanked: Matt Baney and Alison Brackman, sound
and lighting, and Michael Romanelli. Luke Mahoney, Michael T. Mehmet worked with
George on evocative sets, Luke also costumes, Arthur Cohen and David
Medina, stage crew under stage manager Martha.
Oh what a
time. I can’t remember much from those fun filled nights, but I think
I had a good time! In fact, the BEST! The flow of alcohol at the
tables and slots was legendary and most of us took full advantage of these amenities.
It also lubricated our wallets and made our money flow to the casinos for
gambling and entertainment.
Did I say
the best? Yes I did! Well, they say you always save the best for
last. But we can’t use that word last, because they are always sayings
it’s their last farewell performance…thank god they lied!
pix by Jeannie
still struttin' her stuff
Love coyly flirting as a brunette
cute as a button
Plenty (and his sister)
Again! Good ‘n Plenty
Woodhouse and his mini kiddy theater