Dangerous Curves in CT!

Dangerous Curves in CT

Dangerous Curves at "The Waverly" in Cheshire, CT

The weekend of January17th, Dangerous Curves headed back East to perform for a Private Party in Cheshire, Connecticut.  What a great time we had!!

Gret and her husband, Michael, actually went out a day early to visit with family (that’s where Gret’s from originally) and Karen and I flew out on Saturday together.  And aside from the 20 or so minutes of utter panic and Olympic speed running I went through when I realized I had left my brand new Blackberry Storm on the airplane (2 concourses away, just as we got ready to board the second plane in Cleveland, Ohio) and had to RUN all the way back to get it, the trip there was fairly uneventful. :)  Thank goodness I began exercising again a few months ago…geez!  Anyway, we arrived safely in Hartford, CT and Michael and Gret picked us up and drove us to where we’d be staying for the next 2 days.

The guest house where we stayed!

The guest house where we stayed!

First of all, I have to mention just how beautiful Connecticut is…particularly Cheshire, CT…COLD, but beautiful!  Secondly, talk about getting the “Royal Treatment”…we were blown away when we saw where they were putting us up for the weekend!  We had our own HOUSE!  Seriously…an entire  house, all to ourselves.  So great!!  Then Gret showed us the “welcome package” her mom had prepared for us…a bottle of red AND a bottle of white wine, gourmet cheese and meats, grapes, chips, salsa…you name it, it was in there.  Wow!!  They completely SPOILED us…and we loved it!

The next morning, following some good old-fashioned Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (apparently they don’t have Starbucks on every corner like here in Vegas), we headed over to “The Waverly” for our sound check and performance.  We were to be the guest entertainment for a family reunion/80th birthday party in their private room.  We performed a 45-minute set which included the following:

  • Love Being Here With You
  • Old Cape Cod
  • Cloudburst
  • Natural Woman
  • Faithless Love
  • Is This Anyway To Fall In Love
  • Judy Garland Medley
  • How You Live
  • Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens
  • Moon River
  • I’m A Woman

We closed with “Let There Be Peace On Earth” by special request from the family for Maize’s birthday.  The show turned out great…and the audience was SO appreciative.  Following the gig, we met Gret’s family back at the guest house for drinks, snacks, and fabulous conversation.  Okay, let me just say, Gret’s family is a RIOT!  Very, very fun.

Waiting for our flight back to Vegas!

Waiting for our flight back to Vegas!

On Monday morning, Karen and I were driven to the airport to begin our trip back.  Due to the weather (lots of ice in Newark where we had our connecting flight)  the trip back to Vegas took a bit longer than expected.  But the Continental Airlines staff was incredible throughout the entire trip (I highly recommend flying them whenever possible).  Besides, when you’ve got a GREAT friend by your side (and wine in your glass), nothing can get you down. :)  Seriously, we had an absolutely wonderful time on this gig…PLUS we got paid great money just for doing what we love to do.  What more could you ask?????

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Sunday Brunch with Friends

Claudia, Lisa, Karen and MIMOSSA's!

Claudia, Lisa, Karen and MIMOSAS!

On Sunday, January 11th, Ron & I, Karen & Jim Murphy, and Claudia & Dirk Smith went to my folks’ house for brunch, and it turned into a full day of FUN!  First we met about 9:30am and made breakfast (eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, biscuits, and OJ with champagne).  It was such a nice day, we were even able to eat out on the patio!  Gotta love that!

Following breakfast, the girls began a fun game of FARKLE at the patio table while the boys gathered in the den to watch football.  Have any of you ever played FARKLE?  It’s actually pretty fun!  FARKLE (sometimes spelled FARKEL) is a dice game where each player rolls the dice and accumulates points for various combinations.  You can also LOSE points depending on what you roll.  Very fun, but VERY competitive too!

farkle

Later, the girls played SCRUPLES (a fantastic game of ethical and moral questions…you tend to learn a lot about one another with that game!) while sitting around the fire pit.  Occasionally, the boys would join us during the commercial breaks.  When the football game(s) finally ended, it was time to eat again.  It was getting a bit chilly by this point, and my mom had prepared a great spread of sandwiches and salads. so we all went inside to eat and to begin making our lists for the “burning.”

burning-2burning-3What’s a “burning” you ask?  Okay, well, first of all it’s not as weird as it sounds. We decided to do a “burning” to help bring in the new year on a positive note.  All it means is that we wrote down on little pieces of paper anything negative that we felt like we were carrying around (specific fears, anger, crap that happened in 2008, etc.) and then we gathered outside by the fire pit and burned the pieces of paper in order to “get rid” of it all.  You know, a kind of a symbolic way to start 2009 with a completely fresh slate.  Corny, I know…but it felt good nonetheless.

jacuzziWe completed the evening with a dip in the Jacuzzi and then back around the fire pit for big mugs of Hot Chocolate with whipped cream on top. What a wonderful day…thanks mom and dad for hosting such a terrific monthly get-together (Uh, oh…I just realized next month it’s supposed to be at OUR house…not sure how we’re ever gonna compete with this one!). :) Love you guys!

“Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life!”

Sherrie’s Weekend Visit to Las Vegas!

Lunch at Maggiano's!

Lunch at Maggiano's!

One of the BEST things that happened right after New Year’s was that my best friend Sherrie was able to come visit for the weekend.  She arrived on Friday, January 2nd and was able to to stay through Monday, January 5th.  What a GREAT time we had!

That first night we went to dinner at PF Chang’s (of course!) then we drove over to Santa Fe Station Casino to play a few slots (I actually walked away with some WINNINGS for a change!) and to see a movie (we saw “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”…a LONG, but really good choice).  The next morning, Ron joined us as we headed out to “Fantastic Swap Meet” to look for some inexpensive covers for the new Blackberry Storm” phones from Verizon that Ron and I just got.  Afterwards, we drove down to the strip for lunch at “Maggiano’s” at Fashion Show Mall (always a favorite of mine), and when Ron left for work, Sherrie and I decided to hang out there and do a little shopping (well, Sherrie did most of the shopping…I just did a lot of looking).

Starbucks on Sunday morning after our walk...

Starbucks on Sunday morning after our walk...

The next morning, Sherrie and I got up early to exercise (we went walking for about an hour) and have coffee at Starbucks (which has always been one of our absolute favorite things to do together).  Oh my goodness, it was COLD on our walk!!!!  I don’t think people realize just how cold it gets in Vegas sometimes (you can see how red our cheeks are in the photo).  Anyway, it was so wonderful to just sit and talk and catch-up on one another’s lives over coffee.  It had been WAY too long since we’ve had a chance to do that!

That night, we all (Sherrie, Ron, Mom, Dad, and myself) went to dinner at Chinois, located at Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops, to celebrate my Birthday and our Anniversary.  What a great meal!  They always prepare a FANTASTIC gluten-free version of their Special Fried Rice for me when we go there…love it!

Following dinner, we went to see Bette Midler in concert at the Coliseum at Caesar’s Palace…WOOHOO!  We were so excited because we got the tickets for less than $50 a piece (they were having a special on tickets for Locals…love when they do that).  The show was awesome and Bette was INCREDIBLE!  She is such an amazing entertainer…always “on”…always funny.  Plus it was fun to see a couple of familiar faces in the show (my friend Kamilah Marshall is one of Bette’s “Harlettes” in the show, and our “Shades of Sinatra” sax/flute player Rob Mader is in Bette’s band).  If you haven’t had the chance to see the show yet, I HIGHLY recommend it…you won’t be disappointed…the girl knows how to put on a show!

As always, I was sad to see Sherrie go back to California on Monday morning, but she needed to get home and prepare to go back to work (she teaches 2nd grade and her “track-break” was coming to an end).  But I am so grateful for her never-ending and unconditional friendship, and the time that we DO get to spend together…thanks for everything Sherrie!  I love you…

Singing at the “Nevada State Veterans Home” – January 2, 2009

Gary Olds, Lisa Smith, Chuck Hoover

Gary Olds, Lisa Smith, Chuck Hoover

On January 2, 2009, I had the privilege of appearing as special guest artist (along with Gary and Chuck) at the Veterans Home in Boulder City, Nevada.  What a wonderful gig that was!

First of all, the musicians (Gary Olds – drums and vocals; Chuck Hoover – keyboards) are absolutely incredible…some of the best I have worked with.  I was truly honored that Gary called me to join them for the gig in the first place.  Secondly, the audience was just SO appreciative of everything we did!  We did about an hour and 15 minutes worth of music and they were so responsive and enthusiastic the entire time.  As I said, it was truly a “privilege” performing for them!

Here’s a run-down of some of the songs we included in our set:

  • God Bless America – Lisa and Gary
  • Straighten Up and Fly Right – Lisa
  • You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Gary
  • At Last – Lisa
  • Makin’ Whoopee – Lisa
  • Lullaby – Gary
  • Route 66 – Lisa
  • Wee Small Hours – Lisa
  • What You Won’t Do For Love – Gary
  • Danny Boy – Gary
  • Love Is Here To Stay – Lisa
  • My Funny Valentine – Lisa
  • Sweet Caroline (by request) – Gary and Lisa
  • Sentimental Journey – Lisa
  • America the Beautiful – Lisa and Gary

On a side note, the activities director of the Veterans Home mentioned to me that they are actually at a low occupancy right now, and there is no waiting list for the first time in years!  She said that many more people actually qualify for full care than even realize it.  If you know anyone (a US veteran, OR spouse of US veteran, OR a parent whose children all died during war time service in the Armed Forces) who might be in need of 24-hour skilled nursing care, please check out the Nevada State Veterans Home.  It is an absolutely beautiful 82,000 square foot facility, full of caring staff and nurses.  They have three neighborhoods, including one neighborhood offering two levels of secured care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementia related illnesses.  The Nevada State Veterans Home has been recognized time and time again for its modern amenities, exceptional programs, and full continuum of care.

We don’t have a board of directors requiring us to make a profit. What we are all about is ‘Caring for America’s Heroes!'”  – Gary Bermeosolo, Administrator

To find out more, visit their website at http://www.veterans.nv.gov/veterans_home.html

Let’s Toast to a GREAT 2009!!!!

Karen Murphy, Claudia Smith, Lisa Smith, Janet Rogers

Karen Murphy, Claudia Smith, Lisa Smith, Janet Rogers

On New Year’s Day, we gathered at our friend Karen Murphy’s house to celebrate the beginning of 2009! Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE living in Las Vegas???  Here were are outside, by the pool, on the first day of January…no jackets at all!  Love that!

Anyway, after eating way too much food and enjoying several glasses of wine (well, mom drank soda while the rest of us had wine) the boys retired to the living room to watch football while the girls gathered around the kitchen table to play a fun game of RACKO (never heard of it? neither had I…but it turned out to be quite fun…even if we did kinda make up the rules as we went along :) ).

Wayne Rogers, Dirk Smith, Ron Smith, Jim Murphy

CHECK OUT THESE MANLY MEN! Wayne Rogers, Dirk Smith, Ron Smith, Jim Murphy

What a great afternoon…friends, food, AND fun!  What more could you ask for???  I can already tell…2009 is going to be awesome!!!

New Year’s Eve: Gigs, Gigs, and more Gigs!!!

New Year’s Eve was a VERY busy day from start to finish!  Ron and I headed to the Suncoast Casino at 7AM for soundcheck/rehearsal for my “Shades of Sinatra” gig at NOON first.  It was such an early call because it had been since July that the entire cast and band had performed the full 1.5 hour show together…so obviously we needed a bit of rehearsal (plus we added a couple of new songs, especially for New Year’s Eve, that needed some run-through).  Turned out to be a GREAT show!!!  Very fun, and we had a FULL house!  Of course many of our “regulars” were in the audience, but it was fun to also have so many newcomers in the audience who had never seen the show before.  Lots of great compliments and many new fans!

1) "Shades of Sinatra" Promotional Photo; 2) With the family AFTER the show!

1) "Shades of Sinatra" Promotional Photo; 2) With the family AFTER the show!

Following the show, we grabbed some lunch at Wendy’s (chili and baked potato….Mmm, Mmm good!) and headed over to the Rampart Casino for another gig…this time as special guest singer with the Gary Olds Trio at Addison’s Lounge. What a GREAT band….can’t wait to work with them again in the future!

Following that gig, we drove downtown and the family dropped ME off at the Four Seasons/Mandalay Bay for my DIVAS UNDERCOVER gig and dropped Ron off at the Paris Hotel for his special event (he was hired as a host/announcer for their special Rewards Members’ New Year’s Eve Party…he got paid WAY too much money for WAY too little work…but I’m certainly not complaining! :) ).   My gig on the other hand was a bit more work, but lots of fun and also very good money.

Emily Thrasher, Gret Menzies, Lisa Smith; 2) DIVAS Poster; 3) Champagne at Mandalay Bay AFTER gig

1) DIVAS UNDERCOVER: Emily Thrasher, Margaret Menzies, Lisa Smith; 2) Our DIVAS Poster; 3) Champagne at Mandalay Bay with Gret AFTER the gig

I was filling in for their regular DIVA Jennifer Joseph (some of you may remember her from Wayne Newton’s “The Entertainer”…I was filling in because she had a gig at the RIO Hotel NYE night) and Gret (from “Dangerous Curves”) was filling in for DIVA’s regular Kellie Wright (who was busy with a band gig in Primm that night).  Considering 2 of the 3 DIVAS were subs, I have to say we kicked A–!  The audience loved our show, and it was so much fun to perform with Emily again (we used to work together at Le Provencal Restaurant years ago…girl can SING!!!!!!). Plus, it was great to work with Blair Farrington (producer/director/choreographer) again…he is such a great guy and an awesome talent!

After the show (which fortunately got done early, by 9pm!!), Gret and I walked over to Mandalay Bay for some champagne and to wait for Ron to finish his gig (since Gret’s husband, Michael, was performing with “Rich and Famous” at Blue Martini that evening, Gret didn’t have to be anywhere right away).  At about 10:30pm, I met Ron and his brother Gary and we drove back to my folk’s house for more champagne and to watch the New Year’s fireworks on TV.

new-years-at-folks-house

Overall, a thoroughly EXHAUSTING  but wonderfully FABULOUS day!  Very fun from start to finish.  Idon’t know about the rest of you, but I am certainly looking forward to 2009.  I really feel like this is going to be a GREAT and SUCCESSFUL year for all us…no where to go but up!

HAPPY 2009 EVERYONE!  God bless…

To find our more about “Shades of Sinatra” please visit our website at www.ShadesOfSinatra.com

To read about DIVAS UNDERCOVER and Farrington Productions, visit their website at www.FarringtonProductions.com

Smith Family Christmas!

Christmas was filled with FAMILY this year!  And although Ron did have to work on Christmas Eve day doing a slot tournament at the Flamingo, he was home by about 7pm, so we could all enjoy Christmas Eve dinner and open presents together.

christmas-eve-08-montage So many wonderful gifts this year…WAY more than we expected.  Some of our gifts included: a bottle of PEPI Pinot Grigio (my FAV!), Starbucks gift cards, a new IPOD Nano (a super-easy way to play our background tracks at gigs), a bread-maker from Ron’s mom, Broadway’s Lost Treasures DVD collection, new underwear and bras (which I picked out and then had to wrap up :) ) and a new MP3 Recorder for rehearsals.

Trying out our new Mistletoe Ball from mom and dad!

Trying out our new Mistletoe Ball from mom and dad!

Then on Christmas morning we all gathered at my mom and dad’s house for Christmas breakfast before Ron had to head off to the Flamingo again for another day of hosting slot tournaments.  Following breakfast, Ron’s mom and brother and I headed back to our house to relax for a bit, then about 4pm we all headed downtown to meet Ron for a movie (we saw “Seven Pounds” at the Orleans….EXCELLENT movie!).

1) Lisa and Daddy; 2) Ron and his mom, Gloria; 3) The family (my mom was taking the picture); 4) Ron's brother, Gary, and Ron; 5) Lisa and Mom

1) Lisa and Daddy; 2) Ron and his mom, Gloria; 3) The family (my mom was taking the picture); 4) Ron's brother, Gary, and Ron; 5) Lisa and Mom

Ron and Lisa Smith

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2008

What a fun, family-filled Christmas it was.  I only wish my brother and his family could have been here to share it with us.  Hopefully next year…

Wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and an AMAZING new year!

Love Always, Ron and Lisa Smith

“Shades” Promotional Appearance at Sun City Summerlin

Lisa Smith and Teddy Davey

Lisa Smith and Teddy Davey

On Monday, December 22, I was a guest entertainer (along with Teddy Davey of the “Las Vegas Tenors”) at the Sun City Summerlin’s World Travelers Club Holiday party.  Ed Mathews, Desert Productions, asked Teddy and I to sing a few songs to help promote the New Year’s Eve shows (“Shades of Sinatra” in the afternoon and the “Las Vegas Tenors” that evening) at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino.  We only had to do three songs each, so it was relatively quick and painless. :)

I began with a really fun arrangement of “Makin’ Whoopee” (an easy crowd-pleaser), then did “Nowadays” from Chicago, and finished with “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” (which included a truly shameless plug for our New Year’s show).  Teddy went next and sang his 3 songs, including an original song by Tommy Deering (which I can’t remember the name of right now, but it was really good) and “Danny Boy” (which was GORGEOUS!).

"Shades of Sinatra" Poster at Suncoast Hotel & Casino

"Shades of Sinatra" Poster at Suncoast Hotel & Casino

After the party, Mom and Dad and I decided to head over the Suncoast Casino to play a few slots and have a drink or two.  I noticed that they had FINALLY put up a poster for our New Year’s show in the lobby (although why they chose to use a photo that is almost 2 years old, rather than the new one we sent them, I will never know :? ) so of course I HAD to take a picture in front of it.  I still get SO excited anytime I see a poster in a casino with our picture on it…how lame is that??).

Anyway, we played “Hot Shots Progressive” for a while (our absolute favorite game) and actually walked away with $10 more dollars than we walked in with!  Woohoo!!!!

Gotta LOVE Las Vegas!

To find out more about “Shades Of Sinatra” and watch a short promo video, visit our website at www.ShadesOfSinatra.com

For information on Teddy Davey and the “Las Vegas Tenors” visit www.LasVegasTenors.com