Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2014

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Guest Columnist:

Mark OToole: ‘It’s a pleasure to work in this city as a performer’

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Crooner Mark OToole performs at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.

Mark OToole at the Hard Rock

Crooner Mark OToole performs at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. Launch slideshow »
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Mark OToole.

Dozens of unsung heroes who go nearly unrecognized among Las Vegas headliners are the backbone of the valley-wide entertainment scene. Today as our summer guest columnists wind down, we salute two hard-working musicians. They live and work here and help make Las Vegas the Entertainment Capital of the World.

While I was away on my travels, numerous personalities stepped forward to pen guest columns. Vegas DeLuxe thanks them all, and we hope that they’ll be back next summer. Now before the fall frenzy starts anew, it’s time to meet performer Mark OToole, who in 2007 beat stage four lymphoma, was given only four months to live and now has a regular gig at Rampart and who most recently performed at the Smith Center.

We tip our hat to Mark, who won as a vocalist on “Star Search” in 1994. As a lounge singer, he’s played numerous casinos, including the M Resort and is now at Rampart every Wednesday evening and at Sunday brunch.

After two decades of performing on the Strip to my most recent endeavor at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, I have been blessed and most fortunate to be one of those performers who believes that they have the privilege to say I have made it in Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World.

There are many who still say “I’ve never heard of you,” but that’s OK. It’s a pleasure to work in this city as a performer, and I’ll keep it up for years to come.

I’m honored to have had many awards bestowed upon me through the years, including “Star Search” vocal champion, Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year and Best Lounge Performer by the Entertainment Consumer Exchange.

I’ve released an album, “The Crooner,” which I’ve been lucky enough to perform for audiences across the country. Despite my hectic schedule, I now have a place to call home at Rampart.

I perform my one-man show every Wednesday night in Addison’s Lounge from 6 to 10 p.m., and I couldn’t be happier. I have been putting on shows at Rampart for more than a year now, where I sing a mix of my own material along with great classic hits. It’s always packed, and everyone knows your name — including mine!

The folks at JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, which is connected to Rampart, have asked me to perform at the acclaimed restaurant Ceres. If you’ve never been to Ceres, you owe it to yourself.

It’s a gorgeous restaurant encircled by breathtaking gardens and waterfalls that offers an American breakfast selection of pastries, made-to-order omelets, delicious eggs Benedict, healthy dining options and more.

Once a month, I will be singing for your supper — or, in this case, brunch, as I host Ceres’ Sunday Brunch with Mark OToole. I serenade guests as they enjoy their meals.

I’ll see you there! Oh, and BTW, tell them Mark OToole sent you.

Be sure to read our other — and final — guest columnist today, the beautiful Nina DiGregorio, a former New Yorker who moved here to call Las Vegas home and launch Bella Electric Strings.

Thanks to all of our guest columnists while I was away. There were inspirational stories, tales of dedication and determination from young and old, headliners and the not-so-well-known. They were interesting, fascinating and perfect summer reading. We’ll do it again next summer, but now we get ready for all the 24/7 action of the fall frenzy.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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