Rick - Short Signature

Rick Michel's Blog

Someone said, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” to me the other day - no, I’m not going to share the details! - and I realized that this phrase has become so ingrained to our American culture that it seems almost like some ancient proverb, some advice your dad may have passed onto you with “the talk” when you came of age. So, as often happens with me when my interest gets piqued, I started doing some research and what I found is surprising. Read More

Whenever I see a billboard highlighting the performers for that venue, I can’t help but think of old-time Las Vegas and Reno with Rat Pack stars’ names lit up in big, bold letters - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. - inviting you inside to see a show you know you’re going to enjoy. Picture the original Ocean’s Eleven stars, those icons standing confidently in front of the Sands Hotel’s sign, as straight and tall as the letters themselves. That’s Vegas and that’s the Rat Pack all summed up in one classic film. And guess what? Now they’re doing another remake, but with an all-female cast. Read More

Frank Sinatra did a number of pop covers in the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s and some worked, while others didn’t quite resonate with the audience or fit his voice and style. I’ve written about the rather strange choice with Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” and today the subject is another potentially odd selection - “Both Sides, Now.” Read More

Summer is in full swing and that means plenty of hot weather, days by the water with lots of great food, and music, either outdoors or bathed in priceless air conditioning. The Rat Pack had many summer hits; it’s the season that revolves completely around love and relaxation. For me, music is the most important part of every summer recipe and I find myself drawn to a few staples that may have slipped your mind that I’d like to share. Read More

With a few shows under our belts, everyone involved with the Sammy’s Showroom 50th Anniversary Celebration is getting more comfortable with each other, which means even more fun and natural clowning around. As our chemistry continues to click, I become even more aware of the ease the Rat Pack had on stage because they were such good friends and that camaraderie is most apparent with the comedy they delivered with such ease. They all had an innate gift for joviality and, if you look closely, you can even find evidence of Frank Sinatra’s penchant for fun in some of his songs. Read More

My run at Sammy’s Showroom, Harrah’s Reno has barely begun, but I’ve already noticed that there’s definitely a special atmosphere working this stage immersed in all the history amassed during the 50 years we’re celebrating. Sammy’s story is legendary and he worked incredibly hard to make it in show business, but it took a team to accomplish as much as the Rat Pack did, not only here in Nevada, but globally too. This famed group with a somewhat motley reputation broke down doors to make America a better place for everyone, no matter what their skin color, religion, or anything else. Read More

Now that I’ve headed a little north to Reno, I’m realizing that Nevada Rat Pack history is hardly limited to Las Vegas. Sure, everyone knows about Frank Sinatra, Jr.’s kidnapping from Harrah’s Lake Tahoe when he was only 19, and Sammy’s Showroom right here in Harrah’s Reno is famous for its headliners, but before the Vegas strip became the king of gambling destinations, the cool kids were heading for Reno and Lake Tahoe to hobnob with the stars and see some first-rate entertainment. Read More

Perhaps nobody has noticed, but given my profession, I often wonder what happened to the art of impersonations? It seemed every entertainment act used to showcase them, but today you’re really limited in where you’ll see them performed. Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are the only two that come to mind. Where did they go? Read More

Frank Sinatra was the first pop music icon - he essentially invented those over-the-top displays of teen angst we are now so familiar with as manic kids scream and swoon over their favorite music idols. The Beatles came along in the 1960's and took the world by storm, creating their own version of pandemonium among a new generation of teenagers, following in the footsteps of Frank and, after him, Elvis. With the longevity of The Voice’s career, the two superstar entities were bound to cross paths, so how did they get along? Read More

Fifty years is a big deal; it was 1966 when Bill Harrah opened an intimate showroom in Reno that would become one of the premier venues of its kind in America - Sammy’s Showroom was named to honor the man who was the opening night act and regular headliner, Sammy Davis, Jr. Now, he’s set to return … sort of. I will be starring in an almost three month run of the Sammy’s Showroom 50th Anniversary Show where I’ll pay tribute to Sammy and the top headliners that have performed, and should have performed, this historic room. Read More