THE STARDUST, LAS VEGAS PERFORMERS AND CREW REUNION 2006

From Las Vegas, Nevada, USA:
LIZ ELLIOTT LIEBERMANN

In the immortal words of Noel Coward, “I have been to a marvellous party…………………”

The Stardust reunion was a truly wonderful event with dancers, acts, crew and creative teams represented from 1958 to the present! It’s really difficult to describe what happened because I spent the entire evening talking and laughing to people I hadn’t seen for years, (with the occasional glass of vino thrown in, which could possibly account for my lack of cohesive recollections).

The evening began with a cocktail reception which was a log jam of laughter and ”Oh my God, is that really you?” and “Darling, you look fab. Who’s your Dr.?” Many familiar faces, some old, some completely brand new!

I saw my old boss, Fluff Le Coque, in a corner quitely puffing away on a fag…(to the American’s reading this…a cigarette) She looks fantastic and was so happy to see so many of her former dancers. Breck Wall had a picture of Fluff, Jillian Hrushowy and myself for Call Back magazine so look forward to seeing that. I think around 6 pm the doors opened and we flooded into the ballroom as ‘This Joint is Jumpin’ from Enter the Night was re-created by Terry Lovern and Sandi Ross. (the dancers were actually from ETN, and they were very agile!!).

The food was delicious and the Mariano Longo Quartet played whilst we stuffed ourselves, in between photo ops and much chatter. Lou Anne and Terry Loverne welcomed everyone (I believe there were almost 700 people) and Jen Paige and Austin Ray sang “We’re Still here.” The ‘Notorious’ fashion show number was also recreated and among the performers were Heather Victorson,Valerie Chapman Elliot, Liz Larkin and Pam Langevin. They all looked so beautiful. (note to show directors…..please can we have some more elegance like that on the Strip….this ‘in your face, bump and grind’ is getting OLD!).

The 5 decades of entertainment were represented by guest speakers:
Gillian Kabet, Jim Hodge, Jill & Lenny Raider, Wayne Albritten & Heather Victorson, Stan Melvin & Shirley Allen and The Volontes Don Thompson & Scott Beldin, Barbara Beverly, Dawnie Sachs, Gordon Cornish (at piano), Carl Lindstrom & Kenny Maslow (of Beach Blanket Babylon fame), Aki Levin, Austin Ray and Kenny Kerr (who was in fine form!), ‘Little’ Peggy March sang and the Chairman of Boyd Gaming Group, Bill Boyd made a lovely speech about the contribution that all present had made to the growth of Las Vegas and to it’s future.

I don’t think he mentioned the contribution of ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal and Tony ‘the ant’ Spilotro but I have friends who remember certain performers being marched out of the casino at gun point, and of course, the lovely moment when Frank Rosenthal told Miss Bluebell to put the “fat British cows back on the plane to England!” Yes, she did have a tendency to the more buxom lasses from the Yorkshire moors now didn’t she?

From then on the night remains a bit of a blur save for Sal Angelica passing me and saying, “Why is everyone talking so lovingly about Donn Arden? They all hated him when he was alive!”

Congratulations to Lou Anne. She made it a night to remember and let’s hope we do it again soon! Lesley Anne Bandy won the raffle….an original Terry Ritter painting. And my pal Su Kim Chung was there from Special Collections at UNLV (ed: University of Nevada, Las Vegas). She has been so instrumental in cataloging, caring for and championing the great showgirl collection in the library. That era is a large part of our culture and history. I know that some of the proceeds were being donated to this collection.

Liz

(ed: amongst her credits, Liz, was principal dancer at London’s Talk of the Town,)