A seesaw show business life
My boss and very dear friend, Tibor Rudas is resigning as vice president of Entertainment at Atlantic City’s Resorts International Casino. Tibor plans to open the general public’s eyes to the miracle of Luciano Pavarotti’s voice. Today he is at Resorts Cabaret Theatre on Paradise Island. He has decided to filch the show’s manager and make him his second in command for his Pavarotti venture. I receive a call. “Rahn I want you to move to Paradise Island, and be Show Manager here.” Hmm, it seems I’m a pawn.
“Tibi (familiar form), I think I would like to stay here at Resorts.” Tibi does not respond well to alternative ideas, but complies. I am now on my own in the seismic world of casino employment.
After several years of changing ownership, Resorts falls under the mantle of Merv Griffin. This is Nirvana. I do well and Orllyene and I are given a fling in Manhattan. Next, I receive a gold wrist watch for years of faithful service. A change in Hotel President and my job is abolished. Bit of a shock. Now what?
The Human Resources Department has the answer. If I sign a document saying I will not press “Age Discrimination” charges, Orllyene (job also kaput) and I will receive a “Pot of Gold.” Retirement, here we come, and return to Las Vegas.
Tibor Beckons. I fly to Monterey.
“Rahn, I want you to arrange for the USC Music Majors to be ushers for the THREE TENORS CONCERT at Dodger Stadium in July, and I want Orllyene to do the VIP seating.” Moses has spoken.
I get back on the plane, fly home, break the news to my darling wife and call USC. All is possible, plus I hornswoggle The Trojan Marching Band into performing during intermission.
Culture, not home runs fills the air at Dodger Stadium. The VIPs include Bob and Dolores Hope, Frank Sinatra and his present wife, a scattering of Kennedys, and President and Barbara Bush, who are seated with Tibor and Lee Rudas.
The show is flawless and finishes with Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti teasing the crowd with encore after encore. Time for me to drift to the staging area where a gala party will be held. The night’s sky is filled with stars and perfumed by the fragrance of Elysian Park. “Who is that sitting over there in the dark?” I ask a security guard. “It’s Bob Hope. He’s waiting to meet Placido Domingo.” I stroll over. “Mr. Hope, may a join you?” and he gestures for me to sit down. “I haven’t met Domingo. I know the other two” and in moments I hear a trove of wartime USO stories and tales of his attendance record at the Paramount Theatre in New York.
Abruptly it all ends. A thunderous roar of applause tells us the show is over.
Orllyene arrives, and we bee-line-it to the line of VIPs. “This gentleman doesn’t have the correct ID pass to attend the gala,” a music major explains. I glance up. “I don’t think that will be necessary. Have a nice evening, sir.” It’s Gregory Peck.
Ron Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org