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Las Vegas dry cleaner featured in Netflix series ‘Worn Stories’

Updated April 1, 2021 - 8:07 pm

Oh, if these clothes could talk … wait, they don’t need to. Vegas personalities can handle that.

“Worn Stories” is a new Netflix storytelling, docuseries about the relationships folks fasten with their wardrobes. The eight-part series is based on Emily Spivack’s best-selling book of the same name.

The Netflix adaptation has premiered on Thursday, April Fool’s Day. The Las Vegas episode is No. 6, titled, “Chances.” Charo adds some vintage celeb power, introduced by Italian American Club host Angelo Cassaro and Judy Rossi’s mother, Delores Fassano. Well-known Vegas costume collector Grant Philipo, clothing designer John Delibos, and the professional wrestler Daisy (and her favorite flight attendant costume), are also featured. So is her in-ring rival, Mazzerati. Dan Del Rossi’s artist/sister Jodi Pedri makes an appearance, too.

From the show’s formal description, “Worn Stories” will explore “the often-overlooked memoirs in miniature living inside cherished articles of clothing from inspiring cultural figures and talented storytellers. By turns funny, tragic, poignant, and celebratory, each episode is based on a theme and features a mix of dynamic interviews, beautifully animated sequences, and archival footage to bring these captivating and often surprising stories to life.”

Producers have focused on a few locals who have a special connection to their clothes.

Series creators Jenji Kohan and Morgan Neville began filming on location in Las Vegas in December 2019, returning for additional, socially distant work during COVID.

The creators certainly filled the “animated” requirement.

They found Dan and Judy Del Rossi of Tiffany Cleaners, as a start. That led to one Tiffany’s delivery drivers, Joann Matarazzo, a genuine character of Sicilian descent who says of the whole experience, “My head is spinning, dude.” She’s known as “JoJo” in the show. (Disclosure: Joann picks up dry cleaning from my residence twice a week, and her appeal as a TV personality is no surprise).

And none other than Skye Dee Miles, the favorite Las Vegas cabaret star late of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, is also in the Vegas episode. Miles is in residency on Wednesdays at Cork & Thorn in the Arts District and also hosts the return of “Gospel Brunch Sunday” at DW Bistro at The Gramercy.

Miles is known to love her costumes, to the point that she took the stylish costumes at Mayfair Supper Club as a personal challenge. “It’s on! I’m upping my game!” she announced to the Mayfair cast (including her longtime friend and singer Jassen Allen) when she learned of the show’s bedazzled face covers.

Miles is shown in the “Worn Stories” trailer performing in a dark-purple gown with a canary-yellow boa during a show at the Sand Dollar in March 2020, just before the pandemic. (Another disclosure, I introduced Miles from the stage that night, and her appeal as a TV personality is also no surprise.)

“I don’t know if I’ll be on for 10 minutes or one minute or a few seconds,” Miles says. “I hope it’s well done, because you never know with these things, but it seems like it is. I just know they are talking about how people love their clothes, and I love my clothes.”

After the episode premiered Thursday morning, Miles was happy, posting on Facebook, “The entire episode is good with interesting characters!!! I come on at 15:45 after CHARO … I love CHARO … hoochie coochie coo!!”

The Del Rossis have founded a classic Las Vegas family business, originating at Commercial Center in 1970. The headquarters has since relocated to a warehouse facility on Henderson.

Dan Del Rossi initially wanted nothing to do with the series, even after being contacted three times over the phone by producers. Not until his wife, Judy, finally intercepted the fourth attempt was Tiffany Cleaners featured.

“They said, ‘We were trying to get a hold of the owner, and he keeps blowing us off,’” Judy Del Rossi says. “And I said, ‘Well, I’m an owner. Tell me about this.’ When they explained it to me, I told them, ‘You’ve got the right owner.’”

“I didn’t want a bunch of cameras around all the time. We tried that before,” Dan Del Rossi said, referring to an attempt at a reality series at the Commercial Center location more than a decade ago. ” It’s a pain when you have a business to run. We’ll see how this turns out. It seems like a good project.”

Through the Del Rossis, producers soon discovered Matarazzo, a 15-year Tiffany Cleaners employee and ambassador who crisscrosses the city dropping off and picking up dry cleaning orders. She talks of how to care for clothes, what cleaning a stain means and how emotionally important this attentive upkeep.

Thus, the producers wrapped the Vegas episode around Matarazzo’s travels. The show was on the button, as we say, in focusing on Matarazzo. “We got all your stuff!” is her typical call-out of delivery.

The idea was for Matarazzo to deliver a fur coat to The Smith Center. Instead, an alternative ending was drawn up, involving the delivery driver herself being chauffeured in a limo.

“They did a lot with me, a lot of interviews. They mic’-ed me up, went around with me, and thought it was cool how I was picking up and delivering clothes,” Matarazzo says. “I don’t know when I’ll actually see it, though. I don’t have Netflix. I’ll just wait until some producer emails me saying, ‘We are looking to put you in a show!’ I think, if someone like that sees me, fame and fortune awaits!”

But really, Matarazzo is 10 years away from 25 years with Tiffany Cleaners. The Del Rossis have only asked her to give two-week’s notice for this fame and fortune.

“I told Dan, ‘I better get a gold watch in 10 years,’” Matarazzo says, “and it better not be a Timex!” Right. What you wear really does matter.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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