Friday Night’s Gig at PRESIDIO!

Had such a great time on last night’s gig at PRESIDIO Restaurant at The District at Green Valley Ranch! I have to admit, though, I was really nervous going into it.

To begin with, we had a brand new guitarist on the gig (John Falbo), whom I had NEVER played with before, and even though I had my regular keyboardist & drummer (Tony Branco & Gary Olds) with me, 90% of the music we ended up doing was NOT the classic jazz stuff we usually do TOGETHER. Scary! And although I’ve sung Motown, R&B & some Rock in the past with other bands, I’d say close to 50% of what we did last night was completely brand new to me as well. LOTS of new songs! But, guess what? It turned out great! John was flippin’ A-MAZING on the guitar…really, really incredible. And Tony and Gary are such pros..listening to them, you would think they’d been playing that stuff together for years.

So I’d like to send out a HUGE thank you to Perry Bruno (manager of PRESIDIO Restaurant) for having us there…seriously, one of the NICEST guys in Vegas AND a really fantastic musician himself (he sat in on drums during the last set for a totally kick-a$& rendition of  “Teach Me Tonight”….very, very fun!).

Here’s some video from the gig that I posted to YouTube this morning:

Not sure when we’ll be back, but if you get a chance, go check out the restaurant…really great food and the nicest staff ever! PRESIDIO Restaurant (formerly Kennedy Tavern), 2235 Village Walk Drive, Suite 141, Henderson, NV 89052

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Suncoast VIP and Press Event!

Lisa Smith, Suncoast Showroom, Sept 16, 2010 (photo by Erwin Flacks)

This past Thursday, my band and I had the immense privilege of being the opening AND closing entertainment for the Suncoast Hotel & Casino’s private media & VIP event, unveiling their newly renovated, GORGEOUS showroom! Accompanying me were incredible musicians Mike Clark (piano), Gary Olds (drums), Geoff Neuman, (bass) and Mikole Kaar (saxophone). We did about 30 minutes of music at the start of the event (mostly jazz & big band stuff) and then I was given the honor of introducing David Nolan, Assistant General Manager of the Suncoast Hotel & Casino, who said a few words. Following that, the Las Vegas Tenors (Bobby Black, Teddy Davey, Bill Fayne), The fabulous Scintas (Chrissi, Joe, & Frankie Scinta, along with Peter O’Donnell), Kelly Clinton-Holmes & Mollie Tennant (singing the famous Garland/Streisand arrangement of “Happy Days Are Here Again”) and the multi-talented Domenick Allen (former lead singer of Foreigner) each did a number…wow, so much GREAT talent on one stage!!! There was even a special toast given by the one-and-only Cloris Leachman (who is appearing THIS weekend in the showroom). Following the toast, my band went back on stage for another 30 minutes to close out the event. OMG, I had so much fun!!!! Seriously, SO MUCH FUN! Fingers-crossed that I get to do more of these kinds of events… (hint, hint…for anyone out there listening?????) :)

“Dangerous Curves” at Starbright Theatre!

Dangerous Curves at Starbright TheatreQUICK ANNOUNCEMENT! Mother’s Day weekend, May 8th, 2010, at 7:00pm, Dangerous Curves (Karen Merstik-Michaels, Margaret Menzies, Lisa Smith) will be performing their show “Girl Talk” at the beautiful Starbright Theatre in Summerlin. “Girl Talk” is true potpourri of time-tested audience favorites. From classic songs by artists like the Andrews Sisters and Judy Garland to the Billboard Hits and Broadway melodies you’ve come to love…plus a special inspirational section dedicated to all the wonderful Moms out there!

We will be accompanied by some of the BEST musicians in town (Tony Branco on piano/keyboards, Jeff Davis on bass, and Gary Olds on drums) and are excited to be joined by special guests Fifth Avenue and singer/guitarist Ray Jon!

Here’s a quick run-down of the show as it stands right now:

  • SING into LET LOVE BEGIN
  • NATURAL WOMAN
  • 1940’s RADIO MEDLEY (Sentimental Journey, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Old Cape Cod, Lullaby of Broadway)
  • HOLD ON (with special guest artist Ray Jon on acoustic guitar)
  • CLOUDBURST
  • FAITHLESS LOVE
  • IS THIS ANYWAY TO FALL IN LOVE
  • SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (special arrangement by Trini Garza)
  • IF YOU HADN’T, BUT YOU DID
  • UNEXPECTED SONG
  • JUDY GARLAND MEDLEY (Get Happy, You Made Me Love You, The Trolley Song, San Francisco, Rock-a-Bye My Baby, Smile, Mr. Monotony, The Man That Got Away, Over the Rainbow)
  • I’M BECOMING MY MOTHER
  • HOW YOU LIVE
  • HEAR MY SONG
  • GOD BLESS AMERICA (special acapella arrangement with special guests Fifth Avenue)
  • MOON RIVER
  • AIN’T NOBODY HERE BUT US CHICKENS
  • I’M A WOMAN

Make sure you see this FANTASTIC show…it’s the PERFECT Mother’s Day gift!

Here’s all the info!

One Performance Only!
Starbright Theatre
Saturday, May 8, 2010
7:00-8:30pm

$15 Sun City Residents/$18 Non-Residents

TICKETS ON SALE 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM 8 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Show tickets may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle community centers. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. (Ticket price includes LET)
Call the box office for more info: (702) 240-1301

Starbright Theatre, Sun City Summerlin
2225 Thomas W Ryan Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89134
Click HERE for Map & Directions via Google Maps

Gig at Addison’s Lounge, Rampart Casino

Last weekend, Friday, February 5th, I had the opportunity to sing with the wonderful Gary Olds Trio (Chuck Hoover on keyboards; Jeff Davis on bass; Gary Olds on drums/vocals) at Addison’s Lounge, Rampart Casino, over in Summerlin. What a great night we had! The room was absolutely packed and the crowd was awesome. To be honest, I was a bit worried going in because the casino had accidentally switched the dates in their advertising and some people came expecting to the group “Sixties Sensation” (who were actually there THIS weekend instead), but it turned out to be a really good thing. Mostly because it gave us the opportunity to play a HUGE range of styles (Jazz Standards & Big Band Music, R&B & Motown, Country & Blues, 1950’s-60’s Pop Oldies, etc.)…they loved everything we did, which was GREAT!

Here’s a little video I put together from that night:

As you can see, it was a lot of fun. And what a FABULOUS little venue that Addison’s Lounge is! The drinks are very reasonable, and they have LIVE music in there every Friday and Saturday night (can’t say that for very many places anymore). You can see a schedule of upcoming groups by clicking HERE.

The other really great thing about that night is that Ron got off work early enough to come and join my mother and me there (Ron did all the video-taping…so sweet :)). Just want to say a REALLY BIG thanks to the extremely TALENTED Gary Olds for bringing me in on the gig. I had an AMAZING time…you guys were a blast to play with! Um, let’s do it again real soon, okay??? Hee, hee…

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

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