Friday-Night-Fun with Tiff and Craig!

Our friends Tiffany & Craig Rathbun came to town this weekend to celebrate their 15th anniversary (I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since their wedding!!!) and oh my goodness, we had SO much fun together! They got in about 6pm on Friday night, and following appetizers (I found a FABULOUS recipe for Guacamole HERE), drinks and dinner (Ron’s famous Chili recipe!) we headed down to the strip for some good-old-fashioned Vegas fun! First we met up with some of their friends at the Palace Station for $3.00 Margaritas and video poker, and then we all headed over to The Artisan Hotel for a bit.

The Artisan Hotel Lounge

Wow, what a beautiful place (um…The Artisan, not Palace Station…come on, people, really…:))! Our friend Kye Brackett [choreographer, staging director and back-up singer for Barry Manilow…yes, the man is extremely multi-talented!] ALWAYS knows the hippest, coolest places to hang in Las Vegas, and he’s been talking about this place for years…but for some reason, we had just never checked it out before. We had heard that the old owners of The Artisan had gotten into some financial and “other” difficulty (you can read all about it HERE), but when we found out that it was just recently bought by Siegel Group (who also owns the Resort on Mount Charleston…and Ron and I LOVE that place!!!), we figured we’d finally check it out. Boy, were we impressed! Granted, the music was a bit loud for me (yes, I AM apparently getting old…), but the atmosphere, drinks and service were FABULOUS! I highly recommend checking it out for yourselves (1501 West Sahara Avenue). :)

But wait…there’s MORE! So, after The Artisan we decided to head over to Imperial Palace Casino to check out their Karaoke Club. Okay, now keep in mind that it’s almost 1:00am by this point, and unless I am gigging, I am usually fast-asleep by now…remember the “getting old” part???  Yeah, well…since none of us had to get up TOO early on Saturday, for a change, we thought “what the heck…let’s live it up…we can pretend we’re still young, and hip, and cool, right?!?!” Ha… So off we went. Well, 2 more hours, 2 more Margaritas, and LOTS of extremely bad karaoke later (except for OUR table, of course…MY friends were fabulous!), we figured it was finally time to head home. Of course, by the time we got home, had some leftover Guacamole and chips, and Tiff and I chit-chatted for a bit longer, it was almost 5:00am. Yikes!!!! And when I got up at 9:00am the next morning for rehearsal with the Girls, I felt every bit of it!!! Oh my goodness, I am SOOO not 22 years old anymore…and now I remember why we DON’T party like that anymore. Oh well, it was sure fun at the time! Thanks Tiff and Craig for a FABULOUS evening! Happy Anniversary!!!!

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AZ and PASNV Shows!

Ron Smith, Diane Pearson, Lisa Smith

Hello again! Can you believe it’s only been a week since my last blog post and I’m actually writing AGAIN! Pretty good, huh? So our gig in Arizona at the Roadhaven Resort this past week went FABULOUSLY (here we are pictured with Diane Pearson, Activities Director for the resort, after the show…what a JOY she was to work with…a really sweet gal)!  It was almost like a little “mini-vacation” for us. We drove in on Tuesday, had the show on Wednesday, and drove back on Thursday. We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott at Phoenix Chandler/Fashion Center, and let me just say, “WOW!” The hotel was absolutely gorgeous.  Brand new, beautifully decorated, great fitness center, a little bistro in the lobby that serves Starbucks coffee…I mean, really, just about every amenity you could think of! AND we got an incredible deal from Priceline.com…only $60 per night!!! And although we did hit some pretty scary weather on the way down and back (TONS of heavy rain and what felt like 45mph winds at times!!!), we made it safely and had a great time. And the best part? Diane is already talking about having us back again next year…possibly for Valentine’s Day! Here’s a copy of the review she gave us on GigMasters:

“Lisa Smith and her husband Ron were awesome. They came to perform at our resort Jan 20, 2010. Together they performed music from their “Back to Broadway” show, non-stop top notch entertainment. Lisa and Ron are multi-talented. The audience loved them and the comments included ‘This was a Quality act!’ Everyone that attended this event was very impressed. They were very easy to work with and professional. I plan to re-book. It was a great night had by all, thanks to Lisa and Ron.” – Diane P, 01/20/10, Activities Director for Roadhaven Resort, Apache Junction, AZ

Following our Performance, January 24, 2010

Yesterday, Dangerous Curves performed at the Library District Performing Arts Center in the “New York, New York: The City in Song” Show put on by the PASNV (Performing Arts Society of Nevada). We sang a swinging’ 3-part arrangement of “Lullaby of Broadway” and our own trio version of “Girl in 14G”…also performing in the show were the very talented Laurie Caceres, Jim Hodge, Gary Oakes & Lou Garcia, Lee Hughes, Wes Winters, and Tony Arias & Lloyd Ziel. Tons of talent! Thanks Tom and John for inviting us to perform…we had a great time, as always!

Yesterday, the girls and I also received a sweet email from Lolly Sample, one of the ladies who hired us to perform in December at the ROWC Holiday luncheon at Nellis AFB. Here’s what she had to say:

“I’m so sorry for the delay in writing this to you, but before another day goes by, I wanted to let you know how much the ladies of the Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club (ROWC) enjoyed your performance at our December luncheon.  Your choice of songs was perfect, and your presentation was so inviting.  Many truly wanted to sing along.  It was a great kick-off to the holiday season.  We wish you continued success, and thank you again for making our luncheon a truly special event!”

Totally sweet, huh? Yeah, Id say it was a pretty good week! :)

American Idol Promo and Rehearsals…

Okay, so I promised I would write a least a few times a month, so I guess I am due for another post… :)

Nothing very exciting to write about this week, except that I did have a simple, yet surprisingly FUN gig on Tuesday! I was hired to take some “American Idol” t-shirts and a bunch of balloons over to KLUC-FM Radio Station 98.5 and deliver a Singing Telegram to the DJ/Hosts of the “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” Show. It was to promote the Season Premier of “American Idol” on FOX, and it went really well (they even had me sing it LIVE on the air). A big thank you to Chet, Lauren, and Spence of the Morning Zoo for being so great, and an even BIGGER thanks to JAM Entertainment & Creative Services out of Chicago for the getting me the gig!

Aside from that, I also had a couple of rehearsals with Dangerous Curves to prepare for our upcoming appearance in the Performing Arts Society of Nevada’s show next Sunday called “New York, New York: The City in Song.” We will be doing a trio arrangement of the song “Girl in 14G” and a really fun 3-part arrangement of “Lullaby of Broadway.” We worked out all the blocking/staging on Friday, and I think the audience is really going to like what we’ve prepared!

Ron and I also spent some time this week preparing for our Back To Broadway” show, which we’ll be doing on Wednesday at the Roadhaven Resort in Apache Junction, AZ. (By the way, a big thank you to our house-sitters who’ll be keeping an eye on things and taking care of our “kids” while we are out of town). Since we are adding several new songs to this special one-hour version of the show, it’s been a bit of work putting it all together. Here’s a rundown of what we’ll be including in the show:

  • Putting It Together – Sunday in the Park with George
  • Come Back To Me – On a Clear Day
  • Stars and the Moon – Songs for a New World
  • Do You Love Me – Fiddler on the Roof
  • Lullaby of Broadway/42nd Street – 42nd Street
  • I’m Not That Girl – Wicked
  • Suddenly Seymour – Little Shop of Horrors
  • Ya Got Trouble – The Music Man
  • Adelaide’s Lament – Guys and Dolls
  • You’re the Boss – Smokey Joe’s Café
  • I Won’t Send Roses – Mack and Mabel
  • Nowadays – Chicago
  • All I Ask of You – Phantom of the Opera
  • Stars – Les Miserables
  • And I Am Telling You – Dream Girls
  • Together, Wherever We Go – Gypsy

As you can tell, it’s a really fun show to do. Tons of GREAT music from some of the best Broadway shows in history! Besides, we decided it would be fun to make the gig into a little mini-vacation for us by heading down there a day early and staying two nights instead of one.  PLUS we got a great deal on Priceline.com…only $60 a night for Courtyard by Marriott! SO, we’re really looking forward to this…I’ll let you know how it goes…

Have a FABULOUS week everyone! :)

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Okay, so as you can tell by my the fact that I am actually WRITING something, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is going to be to update my blog more often…like more than once every 6 months!!! LOL… So, I thought I would start the year with a few highlights from the past few months and give you a little update as to where things are now…

SEPTEMBER was a busy month for Ron and myself. First, we headed down to California over Labor Day weekend for my 20-year Young Americans Japan Tour Reunion…what a BLAST! So many people that I hadn’t seen in years…and they all looked fantastic (and surprisingly YOUNG…ya gotta love that about performers)! A HUGE thank you to Tiff, Craig & David for planning everything and putting in so much work to make sure the entire day was so successful…you guys are the best! Immediately upon returning, Ron and I went back to work preparing for the Heritage Makers Annual Convention, where we hosted the HM’s Got Talent competition, and performed a bunch of our own material, less than 2 weeks later. It was a LOT of work getting it all ready, but ended up being so much fun. Thanks so much to Doug, Brytt and Chris for inviting us to perform, and congratulations to the winners of the competition and to all who participated…you ladies ROCKED! The following week, I was off to the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco for a couple of days to sing an evening of Jazz at a swanky corporate event…got to sing all of my favorite music, wear a pretty dress, and I got paid too…gosh I LOVE my job!

Shades of Sinatra on Channel 13 News!

OCTOBER was equally as busy and also oh-so-much FUN! The first week was filled with special appearances with Shades of Sinatra as we went throughout Las Vegas (San Gennaro Feast, Radio Appearance on KJUL 104.3, Spotlight Appearance on Hit Parade, Television Appearance on KTNV-Channel 13 News) to promote our headlining weekend, October 3-4, at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. We added several new songs to the show this past year–You Will Be My Music, Lady is a Tramp [Ella & Frank version], The House I Live In, Winners, One For My Baby, Where or When, Please Be Kind, Don’cha Go Away Mad–and the crowd really seemed to love all the new stuff.  As a bonus, we also got to promote our brand new CD!

The next week (from October 7-12), Ron and I flew to Hyannis, MA to rehearse & perform with the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra for their Gershwin Pops Concert. Talk about FABULOUS and FUN! Wow, we could not have asked for a better experience. The symphony conductor, Jung-Ho Pak, is not ONLY one of the most talented conductors we’ve ever worked with, he is seriously one of THE NICEST people we’ve ever met! We cannot express enough what a wonderful experience it was working with him and with everyone involved with the orchestra…we are just so grateful for the opportunity we were given. The show turned out to be a wonderful success for all involved…the 1400-seat theatre was completely sold-out for EVERY night of the performance!

“Rhythmic razzle-dazzle, toe-tapping jazz and swinging tunes explode in a tribute to the indomitable master of melody, George Gershwin. From Broadway to the silver screen, from Fred Astaire to Sting, Gershwin’s creative output transcends musical styles and idioms with off-the-charts hits like An American in Paris, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, S’Wonderful, and Summertime.  An intriguing virtual performance of Gershwin’s famous Rhapsody in Blue combined with a dynamic singing duo, husband and wife team Ron and Lisa Smith, up the volume on a performance packed with entertainment.”

CMA Awards - October 15, 2009

From Gershwin to Motown…just a few days later I had the opportunity to perform the following songs,

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Natural Woman
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
My Girl/Guy
Proud Mary

for the Motown themed CMA Awards at the Golden Nugett Hotel & Casino, dressed in 1960’s clothing, complete with big, blond wig & 3-inch Go-Go boots (ouch!).  The event planner/client, Jodi, turned out to be incredibly nice and even followed up by writing a fabulous review on GigMasters when it was all finished:

“Lisa was easy to work with, accommodating, talented, adorable and fun! Everyone loved her. I’d recommend her to anyone.” – Jodi Owens, Event Planner for Credit Management Association, Las Vegas, NV (Oct 15, 2009)

Lisa Smith

The next day I headed down to Riverside, CA with Dennis & Karen Michaels (two of my very FAVORITE people to sing with!) to perform for the BIA (Builders Industry Association) Awards Dinner at the Mission Inn Hotel. We were hired by Stargazer Productions to do a “singing waiters” gig…lots of GREAT MUSIC and I didn’t actually have to wait on ANY TABLES! Gotta love that!! Lol… :)

I ended the month (October 31, Halloween night) at Les Artistes Steakhouse at the Paris Hotel & Casino, singing an evening of Jazz Standards with Gary Stevens (piano) & Jeff Davis (bass). Their “regular” singer had another gig that evening so I got to fill in…what a great night!

Um, feel free to call me again anytime guys…seriously, anytime!

Dangerous Curves at Lupus Walk, 2009

Las Vegas Lupus Walk!

NOVEMBER was mostly about rehearsing for the numerous Christmas gigs coming up in December! In addition to getting ready for our annual appearance at the Las Vegas Lupus Walk (where we sing the National Anthem every year for the Alliance for Lupus Research), the gals of Dangerous Curves decided to take on a few more “challenging” arrangements for the Holidays, including a KICK “A” big-band arrangement of Jingle Bells that ended up requiring a few more rehearsals than we were used to!!!!! But the good news is, it really paid off! In fact, we’re thinking about keeping that new rehearsal schedule as we head into the new year…

November also marked the beginning of the 3rd month of our album “Girl Talk” being on iTunes…it’s been really fun to watch the sales increase month after month!  It’s been getting great reviews too!  In addition, we used this month to finish our EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and create a NEW website. You can check them both out by visiting us on the web at www.DangerousCurvesLasVegas.com.  And remember, you can follow us on Twitter AND Facebook as well!

Howard Hewett, Lisa Smith, Galaxy GlennThe only other appearance I had in November was as the opening act for Howard Hewett (legendary singer/songwriter & former member of the group Shalamar) at the Coker Foundation Annual Benefit Concert.  The event was hosted by the very talented comedian Galaxy Glenn and I presented 30 minutes of Jazz, Blues and R&B. To be quite honest, I was more than a bit nervous opening for such incredible talent…but everyone was extremely nice, and the concert turned out to be a HUGE success! Whew!!!!

Dangerous Curves, Christmas 2009Well, that brings us to DECEMBER! The beginning of the month was all about Dangerous Curves…with 7 performances in 5 days, the girls were quite busy!  On December 6th we had the opportunity to sing at all 3 services for the wonderful congregation of New Song Church in Anthem…we sang an absolutely BEAUTIFUL a cappella arrangement of Star of Wonder, written by Terre Roche (of the incredible vocal trio, The Roches). Thank you to Pastor Dave & Pastor Marta for always being so welcoming and for inviting us back again & again!

Immediately following those performances, we jumped in our cars and headed down to the Library District Performing Arts Center for the Performing Arts Society of Nevada’s Annual Holiday Show, where we shared the stage with some of Las Vegas’ best talent, including three of OUR favorite musical ladies, Kellie Wright, Cyndi-Lee Mack & Dolly Coulter. We premiered our new Jingle Bells arrangement AND sang a very fun rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town with Dennis Michaels, based on the FABULOUS Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters arrangement recorded back in 1943! Thanks Tom & John…we always have a great time performing in your shows!

On Wednesday, December 9th, we performed for the ROWC Annual Holiday Party out at Nellis AFB. We did 30 minutes of music, which included:

  • Star of Wonder
  • Love Being Here With You
  • Old-Time Radio Medley (Sentimental Journey, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Old Cape Cod)
  • Cloudburst
  • Jingle Bells
  • Moon River
  • Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town

We had a wonderful time, and the ladies were so complimentary. A big thanks to Virginia & Janet for inviting us!

The next day, December 10, Dangerous Curves appeared on the Hit Parade Show at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. Hosting that day were the incredibly talented Mark Giovi & Robin Vincent (of “Swing City Dolls”). We sang Jingle Bells & Star of Wonder. As always, we just LOVED performing for the Suncoast crowd…they are always so appreciative of everything we do!

We finished the week at Studio 8 Ten, downtown in the Art District, performing for their Annual Holiday Open House on Friday evening. We presented an hour of music (a mixture of Holiday music and some Dangerous Curves’ favorites) for the guests and staff. And talk about a wonderful cause…here’s a little information about Studio 8 Ten:

Studio 8 Ten is a non-profit arts and crafts studio providing paid training and employment for adults with disabilities in Las Vegas’ Transition Services supported employment programs. Resident artists train in the design, production, and sales of over 50 different handmade products, all unique to our company, and learn the specifics of running their own business. Studio 8 Ten fosters pride, self-sufficiency, and self-esteem by providing positive interaction with the community and opportunities to show off their personal talents. All proceeds from sales in the gift shop go directly back into the program to purchase supplies, upkeep facilities, and pay the individuals for their efforts.

Just before our performance at the Stirling Club, December 15, 2009

The following week, Ron and I performed a 30-minute version of our popular “Christmas Thru the Decades” Show for the Towne Club Holiday Luncheon at the Stirling Club at Turnberry Place. This is such a fun show to do because it includes all the BEST Holiday music from the 1930’s thru the 1960’s! Songs such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1934), Baby It’s Cold Outside (1944), Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (1944), Let It Snow (1945), White Christmas (1947), Blue Christmas (1957), What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve (1960), Please Come Home for Christmas (1960), Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (1960), You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch (1966), and more…

(Note: The years given above are based on certain recordings of the individual songs, not necessarily the year the song was written.)

The week of the 21st, Ron and I performed the show 2 more times. First for the Foreign Travel Club Holiday Party (20-minute version of the show) at Desert Vista Community Center in Sun City Summerlin, and then out in Boulder City for the residents & staff of the Nevada State Veterans Home (full 1-hour show). Both audiences were so wonderful and appreciative…particularly at the Veterans Home. It is one of our all-time favorite places to perform! Thanks so much Angela for having us back again this year!

To see available shows OR to book Lisa & Ron Smith for YOUR event, please visit www.BeyondTalentProductions.com

New Year’s Eve found me at 2 different gigs at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. The first was with Shades of Sinatra for our New Year’s at NOON Show in the main showroom, and the second was an evening of Jazz at SC Prime Steakhouse for their New Year’s Eve Dinner. Accompanied by the FABULOUSLY talented Dehner Franks on piano, it was an evening I will not soon forget! Completely wonderful in so many ways. To begin with, the restaurant is absolutely stunning, the food is spectacular, and everyone that works there is so nice. Secondly, it was such an HONOR to work with Dehner! He is so incredible and so much fun to sing with. I need to say a HUGE thank you to Glenda Zuhse (who recommended me for the gig, was SO sweet & accommodating the entire evening, and even arranged a Birthday cake for me!!!!) and Terry Jenkins for giving me the opportunity. Thanks for everything!

And that about wraps it up…2009 was quite a FULL year! I am grateful for so many things in my life–my family, my friends, my health, having a “job” that never feels like a job, those who actually take the time to read this blog :), etc–but I am MOST thankful for my dear, sweet, sexy, hard-working husband who is my best friend and supports me in everything I do…I love you so much honey…thanks for a great year!

Look out, 2010, HERE WE COME!