weather icon Clear

Terry Bradshaw trades the gridiron for the Las Vegas stage

Updated August 2, 2019 - 9:48 am

Terry Bradshaw is running the no-huddle offense again. He arrives at a Las Vegas rehearsal studio having moved the chains, picking up a first down in an early morning television interview.

The four-time Super Bowl champ is once more behind center, barking out the next play. He’s assembling his backing band for “The Terry Bradshaw Show,” running Thursday through Sunday at Luxor, calling out, “You guys get ready, because I am going to sing today!”

But the Pittsburgh Steelers legend abruptly calls timeout.

“My phone!” he says. “Where is my phone? I just had it!”

The signal caller who suddenly can’t make calls performs a quick self-frisk. Nothing. He unloads his travel bag, where he can’t find a smartphone but does display a pair of gold-glittered sneakers (presumably for his upcoming stage show).

We walk to the parking lot, scanning the torrid asphalt and dodging grasshoppers. Nothing. There will be no immaculate reception of this mobile phone. The ex-QB fumbled it somewhere, or left it on the roof of the car that’s been carting him around Las Vegas.

“I’ll get Tammy to track it,” the 70-year-old Bradshaw says, referring to his wife of five years and the woman he calls “the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“I can’t worry about it now,” he says. “We gotta play on.”

‘Defining moments’

Bradshaw is scrambling, as is his custom, in his return to the Las Vegas stage. “The Terry Bradshaw Show” is an autobiographical showcase in which he stitches together musical numbers with anecdotes from his career.

He will be working from a script, but Bradshaw is naturally a funny individual. He recently took a phone call (before losing his phone, of course) by saying, “What a pig! I’m looking at my body. I’m on a diet and I’ve only lost eight pounds in three weeks. I’m looking at my belt here. I was in the fourth loop, but I tried that belt on the other day and it wouldn’t even fit … that’s sad!”

Bradshaw will be waxing nostalgic about his playing career, his “defining moments,” as he calls them, including his years with the Steelers and further back to college (where he replaced Phil Robinson of “Duck Dynasty” as QB at Louisiana Tech) and even his high school days.

The Blond Baritone

Overriding his shtick from the stage, though, is the fact that Bradshaw is a darn fine singer, recalling the resonant vocal styles of his late friend Jerry Reed.

Bradshaw also has been influenced by Glen Campbell and recently rediscovered the Everly Brothers, finding an old video of the duo performing at Royal Albert Hall.

Bradshaw has been playing that clip endlessly.

“I accidentally stumbled across the Everly Brothers … I sat there and I said, “Oh, my God, I have forgotten how great they were,’ ” says Bradshaw, who has opened for the Statler Brothers, Ronnie Milsap and Marty Robbins in his singing career.

“I bring up the fact that I hurt my arm and that’s why I had to retire (from the NFL), and so I follow that story up with ‘Bye Bye Love,’ ” he adds with a chuckle.

Bradshaw has put together a stacked lineup. His co-vocalists are “Fantasy” singer Lorena Peril and “Alice” creator Anne Martinez, a swing in “Fantasy” who just wrapped a series of concerts with Foreigner’s Lou Gramm and Asia featuring John Payne.

The blazing backing musicians are Tom Lipps on keys, Tommy Wayne on guitar, Danny DeMorales on bass, George Bryant on drums, Barry Van Wie on fiddle/guitar/mandolin, and “Smokin’ ” Joe Escriba as multi-instrumentalist.

Bradshaw is eager just to be in a band. During rehearsal, he calls another audible by lugging in a cooler full of brewskies. “Beer for the band!” he says. “Let’s take a break!”

‘I love to entertain’

The Luxor run is Bradshaw’s second foray with a Vegas stage show. He fronted “Terry Bradshaw: America’s Favorite Dumb Blonde … A Life in Four Quarters” at The Mirage in June 2013. That was a two-show sprint, followed by select dates around the country, including Bradshaw’s raucous return to Pittsburgh.

Those involved in the show in Las Vegas anticipated “Four Quarters” would soon return to the Strip. But Bradshaw’s life was derailed by the tragic death of his son-in-law, former Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas, in an automobile accident in September 2014. Bironas was married to Bradshaw’s daughter Rachel, a country music artist out of Nashville who had performed in her father’s show.

All plans for the musical production were halted indefinitely.

“All I could think of was my daughter, what she was going through,” Bradshaw says. “It didn’t seem right to go back onstage and be singing. It just didn’t feel right, and it took a lot of time to get back to where I felt comfortable doing it again.”

Bradshaw’s show is directed by Anita Mann, who helmed his original production and is the creator of the “Fantasy” adult revue at the Atrium Showroom.

If it all works according to the Bradshaw game plan, his show will perform whenever Carrot Top is dark.

“I’ll do the show for four days. Hopefully we can sell out the auditorium — it only holds 350 people, but you never know,” Bradshaw says.

“I don’t want to hear I’ve been canceled on the second night and have to tell everybody that I got an illness,” he adds with a laugh. “But I love to entertain. I love to sing. Just ask my wife and my dogs.”

As they say, save it for the stage. Or the gridiron.

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.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
The Hangover is served at The Crack Shack in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Khine Moore, executive chef at The Crack Shack at Park MGM in Las Vegas, makes The Hangover with a fried chicken breast or thigh dipped in honey-butter, sprinkled with Crack Seasoning and topped with an egg. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dessert Before Dinner winner Becky Quan
Nine of Las Vegas’ top women pastry chefs offered original creations built around Girl Scouts Trefoils shortbread cookies Saturday night at Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada’s annual Desserts Before Dinner Gala. The top dessert, as voted on by the audience, was an homage to Good Humor’s old-fashioned Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars created by NoMad’s Becky Quan. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Chef Sammy D is cooking again in Las Vegas
Sam DeMarco served his first public meal since returning to Las Vegas on Sunday, with a pop-up brunch at 7th & Carson. And the veteran of the First Food & Bar, Rattlecan and Sam’s American has more in store for the downtown spot. The chef, known as Sammy D. to his friends, is taking on a consulting chef role with restaurant that will see some of Sunday’s offerings added to the regular menu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Carl’s Donuts in Las Vegas celebrates National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day
Carl’s Donuts, a Las Vegas-based company that’s been serving the city since 1966, celebrates National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day with specialties themed to fall. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars" has a new store - VIDEO
Rick Harrison, the Pawn Stars co-star and owner of Gold & Silver Pawn, talks to the Review-Journal’s John Katsilometes about his soon-to-open Rick’s Collection retail outlet of mostly mid-century masterworks at the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pok Pok Wing at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas serves Pad Thai Thamadaa - VIDEO
Because of popular request, the 1-year-old Pok Pok Wing at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas serves Pad Thai Thamadaa, with shrimp, ground pork, neither or both. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trial by Fire cocktail at the Golden Tiki in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Adam Rains, head bartender (also Grand Poobah and a few other things) at The Golden Tiki in Las Vegas, makes one of the bar’s tiki drinks, (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gordon Ramsay renovating Las Vegas steakhouse - VIDEO
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is preparing to re-launch his Paris Las Vegas restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cats owners compete for top show awards
The annual Jazzy Cats event is taking place at the Rio Convention Center this weekend attracting cats owners from around the country and the world to compete for the top show awards. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas serves blackened Cajun catfish - VIDEO
Troy Remer, sous chef at Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, blackens Cajun catfish on the grill before serving it with mashed potatoes and collard greens. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Gold Encrusted Filet Mignon at Mr. Chow - VIDEO
This just may be the gold standard for the filet mignon. Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has introduced The Gold Encrusted Filet Mignon, which is coated with real 24-karat gold. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Working as a mermaid in Las Vegas - VIDEO
McKenzie Kawano works as a mermaid at the aquarium at the Silverton in Las Vegas. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinkbox Doughnuts opens third store in Las Vegas area
Las Vegas-based Pinkbox Doughnuts, which opened its third store at 9435 W. Tropicana Ave., specializes in doughnuts such as the new Station Wagon, with Butterfinger; pink-velvet Pretty in Pink; and hybrid Glazed DoughCro Bites. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal, with image courtesy of Pinkbox Doughnuts
Starbucks brings back Pumpkin Spice early
Starbucks declares Aug. 27 the first day of fall as they make their pumpkin spice items available a full month early. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bachelor Party Fra Diavolo at Carmine’s in Las Vegas
Roberto Leon, a line cook at Carmine’s at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, makes Bachelor Party Fra Diavolo with eight pounds of lobster, a pound each of mussels, clams and shrimp, two pounds of pasta and two gallons of sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'American Idol' auditions in Las Vegas
“American Idol” was in Las Vegas Monday looking for singers to compete in its upcoming 2020 season. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegan part of the Harlem Globetrotters
Scooter Christensen, who grew up in Las Vegas, will play with the Harlem Globetrotters at The Orleans in Las Vegas Sunday, Aug. 25. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terra Rossa Returns To Red Rock. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort is set to open on Aug. 26.
Hubert Keller’s Backyard Kitchen
Chef Hubert Keller of Fleur and Burger Bar shows off his backyard kitchen in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Watermelon Mojitos and Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Bartender Cassy Leedom and Chef Norberto Ortega make a Watermelon Mojito and Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas celebrates National Fajita Day
Cook Ruben Fuentes and general manager Taylor Pulliam of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas prepare steak and shrimp fajitas with the restaurant’s signature fiery treatment. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pasta Shop Ristorante serves a watermelon-shrimp salad
Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson serves a summer salad that combines watermelon with greens, feta and shrimp. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Factory Kitchen in Las Vegas makes classic affogato
Jorge Luque, pastry chef at The Factory Kitchen at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes affogato with two simple ingredients - house-made gelato and fresh espresso. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review Journal with image from The Factory Kitchen)
The Cereal Killerz Kitchen serves over 100 cereals
Christopher Burns, owner of The Cereal Killerz Kitchen at Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson, makes a Milk & Cookies Shake from his more than 100 varieties of cereal. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in Las Vegas makes a State Fair CrazyShake
Bianca Zepeva, a shaker at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes a State Fair CrazyShake with a kettle corn rim, caramel, corn-based ice cream, popcorn brittle, crushed kettle corn, sprinkles and a cherry. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Balboa Pizza Company makes Thai peanut chicken wings
Irma Perez, kitchen manager at Balboa Pizza Company at The District at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, near Las Vegas, brines chicken wings for 24 hours before roasting and frying them and finishing them in various styles such as Thai peanut. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
New Venetian pool deck
Final touches are currently being added to the hotel’s main tower pool deck, which consists of five pools. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who is Vegas Vic? (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada State Museum Director Dennis McBride explains the origins of the Vegas icon.
Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas serves a 4-pound Big Island Feast Burger
Cindy Sun, general manager of Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas, makes the Big Island Feast Burger with 2 1/2 pounds of the house bacon/beef blend, Napa-cilantro slaw, six slices of American cheese, a can of grilled Spam, six slices of chargrilled pineapple, four fried eggs and a drizzle of teriyaki and serves it with macaroni salad. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)