There were many great entertainers that made their mark in Las Vegas. Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin. Even Elvis Presley wowed audiences in Sin City. But when you hear someone talking about Mr. Las Vegas, you know they’re only talking about one man: Wayne Newton.
Celebrating 50 years in show business this year, Mr. Newton has conquered every arena he’s tried his hand in. Best known for his signature song, “Danke Shoen,” as well as hits like “The Summer Wind,” “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast,” “Years” and “Red Roses For A Blue Lady,” Newton boasts over 30,000 solo shows in Las Vegas alone.
Fans may have also caught him on television (from “Bonanza” to an appearance on the 5th Season of “Dancing with the Stars,” with many great performances in between) or in such films as “License to Kill,” “The Adventures of Ford Fairlaine” and “Vegas Vacation.”
Now, at the age of 70, Newton is taking his act on the road, giving fans all over the country a taste of his Vegas-style show. He’ll be appearing this Saturday evening, September 15, 2012, at the Prairie
Band Casino in Mayetta, Kansas. While preparing for his upcoming Midwest appearance, Mr. Newton took the time to answer some questions for Media Mikes:
Mike Smith: You’ve achieved a rare career milestone by celebrating 50 years of entertaining. After all of those years do you still approach each show the same?
Wayne Newton: Yes. I never take for granted walking out on those boards. Every audience is new and they deserve the best show that I can possibly give. At my shows, the first song is planned and the rest of the show depends on the audience. What I think that particular audience would like to hear. It keeps it fresh for the audience and all of us on stage. Most of all, the musicians can never sleep during the show (laughs)
MS: You spent the early part of your career opening for such legendary entertainers as Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason and George Burns. Did you have a favorite to work with?
WN: I have been very lucky to have worked with, and learned from, so many incredible talents. Not
only the ones you mentioned but people like Lucille Ball and Bobby Darin. They really took me under their wing and each of them taught me and helped me in so many ways that I could not just pick one. I would not have the career I have without each of them.
MS: You showed off your skills when you appeared on “Dancing with the Stars.” As the show is now going the route of having previous stars return would you consider doing it again?
WN: Do what again? (laughs) Seriously, I loved doing “Dancing With the Stars” and dancing with the amazing Cheryl Burke. I made a lot of incredible friends that I remain close to still today. But it was really difficult. Not the friend part, the dancing part. You have no idea how much hard work goes into it and I don’t know if I would do it again. But then again, they would have to invite me.
MS: You recently lent your voice to the “Fallout: New Vegas” video game. Is this a medium you’d like to get more involved in?
WN: Having never played a video game in my life I found it fascinating. I had voiced animated films in the past but nothing like this…where what I say is decided by the player. Because of that option I had to do so many responses to the same situation. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out until the premiere party for the video. I am more amazed at the response from young people who play the game. It’s made me very popular at my 10 year old daughter’s school!
MS: You’ve had some memorable screen roles in films like “The Adventures of Ford Fairlaine” and “Vegas Vacation.” Did you ever consider making acting a full-time profession? And is there a role you’ve turned down that, in hindsight, you wish you hadn’t?
WN: I love acting and would love to do more of it. I prefer to do roles that are not “Wayne Newton”…roles that give me an opportunity to do things that are so out of character for me. I was able to do that in films like “Ford Fairlaine,” “License to Kill” and “40 West.” And while I don’t regret turning down any roles I am very careful with what roles I choose. I have to find a redeeming quality in any character. Even the villains. And sometimes there just isn’t one. I also have to be careful when I play “myself” because I have to make sure I don’t cross the line of “What Wayne Newton Would or Would Not Do.” (laughs) Referring to myself in the 3rd person can get very confusing. I have to protect “Wayne Newton” even though I truly am “Wayne Newton.”
For more information about Mr. Newton’s appearance this weekend please click here: http://www.pbpgaming.com/wayne-newton/