Showman succeeds doing what he loves


If you need no introduction to Bill Fayne, you may already have tickets for “A Love Story” this afternoon.

“I certainly have a core group of people that go to almost everything I do,” he says.

If you are not yet among them, I can tell you Fayne is one of those Kevin Bacon-game kind of guys. He came to town as Clint Holmes’ musical director and sidekick for their run at Harrah’s Las Vegas in the 2000s, and has worked with nearly every Las Vegas-based performer since then.

What I’ve noticed in recent years is how many things Fayne has been doing with no apparent incentive beyond the creative drive to do them.

“A Love Story,” for instance, commands $15 for Summerlin residents, $18 for nonresidents, at 3 p.m. today in the Starbright Theatre.

“Everyone will make a few bucks, but it’s basically a labor of love,” he says.

Fayne spent much of 2013 staging straightforward cabaret nights such as “Classic Broadway” and “The Great American Songbook” for 25 to 100 people at the Bootlegger Bistro. Today’s show is a little more involved. He and veteran choreographer Mistinguett set out to tell a love story through classic songs, set in a piano bar.

Classic songs such as “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love” and “Nice ’n’ Easy” fill in Fayne’s narration about a love triangle among characters played by George DeMott, Tara Palsha of “Vegas! The Show” and Anne Martinez, of the recently departed “Dancing Queen.”

“The one thing I have discovered, certainly in the last four years, is that there’s such a wealth of talent here,” Fayne says. “I knew that, but I had no idea there were so many people so into musical theater. Who loved musical theater more than anything else. All that talent gives me an open book.”

“A Love Story” is modest compared with the concert version of “Les Miserables” Fayne is doing next month. A full orchestra and 60-voice choir will be part of the fundraiser for UNLV’s fine arts department.

In late 2009, a preventive surgery resulted in a post-op infection of Fayne’s lungs, which caused doctors to induce a coma that lasted two weeks. A few years earlier, Holmes’ bout with cancer had driven him to pen a song called “If Not Now When.”

“When I got out of the hospital and started to recover, that song just kept resonating in my head,” Fayne says. “I have to do the things I love.

“There’s nothing better for me at my age than to surround myself with my talented friends who love what I love and just have fun doing it,” he adds. “None of us make a lot of money but that’s not the most important thing.

“I think about all that I’ve done in the past 15 years since I moved to Vegas, and all that I would love to do if I’m lucky enough to live another 15 years. That’s a long time. So who knows?”

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.