Leave it to John Di Domenico to trump his own surprise birthday party.
Di Domenico, a master impersonator and one of the country’s busiest Donald Trump impressionists, proposed (successfully) to his girlfriend, Michele Rothstein, owner of Balloons With a Twist of Las Vegas. The couple were on a weekend trip to the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara, Calif., when Di Domenico suggested a pre-brunch walk on the beach Sunday morning.
He led Rothstein to heart-shaped design of rose petals, took a knee and proposed. The whole scene, including a pro photographer, was a surprise. Michele’s answer (“Yes!”) was not.
But that was just the beginning of the couple’s adventure. They flew back to Las Vegas, where Michele had spent the previous five days organizing John’s surprise birthday party Sunday night at the Scare attraction at Town Square.
The soon-to-be newlyweds managed to keep these secrets from each other for the better part of a week.
“So the whole time I was planning his surprise party last week, he was planning a surprise engagement for me, unbelievably on the same day,” Rothstein says. “It was truly serendipitous. My favorite part was being able to announce the engagement on stage in front of all of our friends.”
Di Domenico arrived and was floored at the cascade of “Surprise!” shouts from about 100 well-wishers, none of whom knew of his marriage proposal that morning.
“I was more than surprised,” Di Domenico says. “I was totally shocked. I thought we were going to a quiet dinner.”
Rothstein soon took the mic to tell the crowd that, earlier that day, “John got down on one knee!” and flashed her engagement ring. More cheers.
Di Domenico and Rothstein are a well-known and active couple around VegasVille. Rothstein founded Balloons With a Twist, which furnishes ambient balloon designs for corporate, civic and charity events throughout the city.
Di Domenico has become a nationally renowned Trump impressionist, performing more than 50 times on the Fox News “Red Eye” late-night show and also “Fox & Friends,” along with more than 50 appearances on “Conan” and such international shows as “Today” in Australia. He won the national Trump tribute competition on “The View,” the international Laugh Factory comedy club contest, is the voice of Trump on Randy Rainbow’s upcoming Christmas album and stars on the Amazon Prime comedy special, “Fake News a Trump Story.”
Di Domenico also performs as Jay Leno, Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Wayne Campbell of “Wayne’s World,” Dr. Phil, Sean Connery and Ozzy Osbourne, among others.
Di Domenico also wants to develop a stand-up act apart from all of his array of impressions, but the demand (and revenue) from his character work is too enticing. As he says, “I’m like Al Pacino, ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.’”
Di Domenico still has time to work up an act outside of Trump & Co., which he wants to bring to the stage. When he opens that show, expect a lot of balloons.
What Works In Vegas
Frank Marino as Joan Rivers in “Legends in Concert” at Tropicana Theater. Marino has reportedly improved sales by about 200 tickets per show, sometimes doubling the previous sales for the long-running tribute production.
Still, there is no plan to return or extend his time in the show or his portrayal of Rivers, which is to be retired on June 19, a night before Marino’s 55th birthday. Marino is planning a new “Divas Las Vegas” venture on the Strip next spring.
Of his return to the stage in “Legends,” Marino says, “My favorite part of performing at the beautiful Tropicana in ‘Legends’ is all the hotels that turned me down. I hope they see how many people we’re doing, and how many people they might’ve had at their properties had they had faith in me.”
Cool Hang Alert
The upcoming lineup at Dispensary Lounge is a free-for-all (well, if you’re 21 and over) for jazz fans. From 9 p.m.-midnight Wednesday, it’s the Jazz Jam, starring master musicians Uli Geissendoerfer (keys), Charles McNeal (sax), Angelo Stokes (drums) and Steve Flora (bass). From 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday it’s vocalist Indra Jones, and from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday it’s the great Gary Fowler. The latter two performers are backed by the Geissendoerfer Trio. Dispensary is in the strip mall at 2451 E. Tropicana Ave. If you find a stage next to a water wheel, you’re in the right place.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram