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Las Vegas performers keep their distance on YouTube series

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March 30, 2020 By John Katsilometes

Devon Alarid is not performing social distance from her sidekick, Stryker. That’s because Stryker is her 5-month-old son, apt to interrupt a conversation by crying out and grabbing the phone.

“He’s acting up,” Alarid says, managing the convo and the kid. “He does that.”

Stryker likes center stage. He should be on his mom’s new series — “The Socially Distant Show,” a rolling variety show posted daily on YouTube.

Alarid, a former cruise-line dancer and trapeze artist, co-founded the project with her friend Nina Kane. Both are original cast members in the “X Country” adult revue at Harrah’s; Alarid is also an ex-Vegas Golden Knights cheerleader. Kane is currently a cast member in “X Rocks” at Bally’s.

“The Socially Distant Show” was formed out of pure need, of course. Alarid and Kane created their YouTube channel under The Socially Distant Show title, and on March 16 began posting requests for video clips at thesociallydistantshow@gmail.com. They have set up a GoFundMe page to support the entertainers who appear. They have about three more weeks to hit their $10,000 goal.

Thus far, “SDS” has run across six episodes. The cast of entertainers has included VGK dance captain and former “53x” at Paris Las Vegas co-star Natali Tangherlini with Drumbots performer and freelance drummer Chaz Mattison; VGK in-arena announcer Katie Marie Jones, who is also a showgirl in Nathan Burton’s comedy show and “V — The Ultimate Variety Show” at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood; Vegas dancer and actress Olivia Hernando (“Grease” at UNLV and “Memphis” at Super Summer Theater); Dannii Moore of “X Rocks” and Coyote Ugly at New York-New York; “X Burlesque” comic Nancy RyanJen Ranalli of “X Rocks”; Murray Sawchuck of “Fantasy” and Laugh Factory at Tropicana with “Crazy Girls” emcee Dani Elizabeth; and Carnell “Golden Pipes” Johnson, famous for his national anthem performances at T-Mobile Arena and his lilting arias as a gondolier at The Venetian.

The show fires a few curveballs as it sets up interviews between the hosts and performers. This is how we found longtime Vegas stagehand Carl Koterwski tossing questions at Marie Jones; and how you will see yours truly in an upcoming episode introducing “Sexxy” producer and star Jennifer Romas.

“It’s been great seeing the response of this community, the power it has to come together when things are rough,” Alarid says. “We do it in a fun and enjoyable way. We’re epicenter of entertainment, the place to be for people who want to be entertainers and part of a community. I can’t wait to see us come back strong after this quarantine.”

Factory outlet

Laugh Factory in Hollywood is presenting livestream shows beginning this week. The first was Tuesday afternoon and the performances continue daily at 2 p.m., with such headliners as Jay Mohr and Craig Robinson dropping in.

The shows post at The Laugh Factory’s YouTube page.

“Everyone knows laughter is healing, and we need it now, more than ever,” Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada said in a statement. “Comedians are Doctors of the soul, and while many people are confined to their homes during this aggravating pandemic, we’re hoping to bring some contagious comedy and relief from the daily diet of depressing news.”

The Laugh Factory at the Tropicana, under the stewardship of operator/comic Harry Basil, is not participating. The room is not set up for livestream, and the hotel itself is closed.

Plying his craft

Comic, singer-songwriter-musician and column fave Dennis Blair has posted “The TP Song” on his YouTube channel. He sings from the confines of his bedroom closet (I recognize a few of those plaid shirts). A sample lyric: “Toilet paper, how I miss you, and I hope that I find you someday. Costco is all out, and Sam’s Club says maybe Thursday.” A Charmin, and charming, effort …


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