Bobby Rydell and Michele LaFong at Suncoast Hotel & Casino
Went to the Suncoast Hotel & Casino Sunday evening to see an entertainer I hadn’t seen in years, but one I remembered from the ‘60s, when I first reviewed his show at the old Sahara Hotel & Casino. At the time, he was a hot number among the teenage crowd, and, that particular evening, he was the opening act for the great George Burns. Oh, his name? Why it’s Bobby Rydell.
Like I said, I haven’t watched this senior citizen perform in years—and that’s no body’s fault but this writer. My friend, Michele LaFong, had invited me as her guest, so off we went to the Suncoast. And, gang, am I honestly glad that I had the opportunity—it was a most amazing night!
First things first. LaFong, who has a weekly radio show on KLAV radio, is a comedian, impressionist, and a ventriloquist. She was Rydell’s opening act for the three evenings at the Suncoast. I had heard of her comedic skills, but had never seen her actually perform. So, I was going to see two acts of whom I had little first-hand knowledge.
I must say, Michele, is a damn good ventriloquist. After all, she should be—having been a protégé of the late, great Senor Wences, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 103.
Wences was one of many stars who became world famous by appearing on the Ed Sullivan “Toast of the Town” television show. The ventriloquist appeared on Sullivan’s show 43 times during its 23 year run on television. When LaFong appeared on stage, we noticed some props which looked vaguely familiar—they should, they were the same props given to her by Senor Wences before he died. She immediately began throwing her voice all over the showroom, which in itself is an amazing act. After a few minutes, she began to prepare her hand for the emergence of the most famous hand puppet in the world, Johnny. Michele was perfect, in my opinion (I watched the Sullivan Show every Sunday evening like millions of other viewers did). She also had the famous suitcase where a weird, little puppet named Pedro lived. It is a mystery to me why this lady, Michele LaFong, is not working full-time on a Las Vegas stage. I think Terry Fator is great, but I believe LaFong is unique, wonderful, and her act belongs to the millions who adored Senor Wences.
Contact Michele LaFong