Travis Cloer, Jeff Leibow and Deven May of “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas arrive at the grand opening of “Smokey Robinson Presents Human Nature: The Motown Show” at The Venetian on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.
Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 | 5:59 p.m.
During an appearance Wednesday night at Composers Showcase in Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Jeff Leibow noted that he was approaching his 25th anniversary of being a cancer survivor.
Save for his wife, Melody, hardly anyone in the room realized Leibow was a cancer survivor. He noted the anniversary, then said, “I’m not going to give away my age, but when I was 19 … oh, I guess I just gave it away.”
The audience laughed, but it seems the man who plays Nick Massi in “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas has been cancer-free since being diagnosed with teratocarcinoma and successfully treated all those years ago.
What we know about Leibow already, aside from his stage portrayal of Massi, is he is dogged in his fundraising efforts for the Neurofibromatosis Network. The Leibows’ daughter, Emma, suffers from NF, and the most recent “NF Hope” concert and auction held Oct. 20 raised $79,000 to fight the disease.
As I found during a follow-up phone chat with Leibow last week, his story is full of surprises. This week’s Monday List is the Top Five Things You Didn’t Know About Jeff Leibow:
5: He Has a Degree in Zoology: Leibow studied marine biology at UC Davis in California with the hopes of becoming a marine mammal veterinarian.
4: He Plays Oboe: This was among the instruments he learned as a child and played as a teenager in Santa Monica, Calif., but shelved when he became interested (with some parental “encouragement”) in veterinary medicine. He also learned to play flute, piano and guitar.
3: He “Chickened Out” of “The Sound of Music”: When he was in high school, a friend persuaded him to audition for Santa Monica High School’s production of “The Sound of Music.” He had sung in a classic-rock cover band but when the audition approached, he backed out for an acute case of stage fright — and long regretted that decision.
2: The Musical “A Chorus Line” Changed His Life: The Davis Musical Theater Company issued an open call for the local production of “A Chorus Line.” Remembering his earlier ducking of “The Sound of Music,” Leibow was determined to at least perform the audition, if only to prove he had enough courage to sing in a Broadway musical-style audition. He wound up winning the role of Mark in the show.
1: He worked for NASA: Leibow also has been trained to write computer codes and worked for a time in the San Francisco Bay Area for a company called Silicon Graphics Inc. He was laid off in a 1,000-empoyee sweep of the company but was snapped up by NASA to help develop the agency’s digital planetarium show. “I installed the computer and essentially ran the planetarium,” he says.
All of which is ideal training to play the guy who refers to himself as the “Ringo” of The Four Seasons.
Smith Center for the Performing Arts The Smith Center for the Performing Arts offers a blend of performances by resident companies and touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus features three performance spaces, which includes a main performance area with more than 2,000 seats. This downtown cultural center of Las Vegas looks to educate, entertain and excite community members.
To provide and preserve a high-quality performing arts center that is embraced by the community and recognized as a vital force by supporting artistic excellence, education and inspiration for all.
To entertain, educate, enrich and inspire the southern Nevada community.
Thanks to the generous support of our dedicated founders, members, donors and community partners, The Smith Center continues to provide a wide variety of services for Southern Nevada residents, including access to world-class performances, inspirational Education and Outreach programs for students and teachers, and a unique space to host events, meetings and special occasions. Celebrating our fifth season, we depend upon public support to fulfill our mission and serve as the Heart of the Arts® for many years to come.
With ticket sales covering just 75 percent of our operating budget for each season, the remaining 25 percent comes from the community we serve. Philanthropic support at all levels helps provide programming that entertains, educates, enriches and inspires. By giving to The Smith Center, you play a vital role in providing an important resource for our community.
There are many opportunities to volunteer and play a direct role with your community’s performing arts complex. Volunteers engage with staff and patrons to enhance experiences at The Smith Center, and can serve in various capacities including tour guide/docent, usher, security team member or community ambassador. As important members of The Smith Center team, volunteers help us remain financially sustainable and provide numerous services for the community. Please show your support for The Smith Center’s mission by gifting your time and unique skills.
Members’ annual support provides crucial resources for The Smith Center’s artistic programming, education opportunities and cultural enrichment each year. There are a variety of giving options and levels, and Members receive exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes opportunities based on their level of support. To learn more, please visit www.thesmithcenter.com/support-us/members.
The Encore Society recognizes those generous donors who have included The Smith Center as a part of their estate plan. Corporate Sponsorship is available to companies to underwrite all, or part, of a program, performance or event.
Fanfare! is The Smith Center’s young progressional networking organization, open to anyone with an interest in the performing arts who is between the ages of 21-40. And our Show Dedication allows for the celebration of an individual or special occasion with unique recognition opportunities during a specific performance.
The Smith Center provides world-class performing arts and outreach and education throughout the Southern Nevada region.
The organization originally formed in 1996 as the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Myron G. Martin President and CEO Donald D. Snyder Chairman Dr. Keith Boman Vice Chairman Mark Tratos Secretary Michael Yackira Treasurer David Dunn Alan M. Feldman Richard Haddrill Fred Hipwell Nancy Houssels Todd-Avery Lenahan Scott MacTaggart Jerry Nadal John Nelson Richard Plaster Rory Reid Kim Sinatra Roger P. Thomas
361 Symphony Park Ave Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas,
NV 89106 702-749-2000
Paris Las Vegas The Paris Las Vegas transports visitors to the City of Light. Paris Las Vegas captures all the details of Paris, right down to the cobblestone sidewalks and half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. Wrought iron street lamps line the 85,000 square foot casino with the legs of the Eiffel Tower sit in the middle of 1,700 slots and 90 table games.
Guests can dine at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, but beware, it's by reservation only. Diners can watch the world pass by at Mon Ami Gabi, a fine French restaurant where the most popular tables are the ones outside facing The Strip. Dining isn't just limited to the French, Asian restaurant Ah Sin is host to many dishes from the Pacific Rim. If you've just hit the jackpot on the casino floor, try the $777 Kobe beef and Maine lobster at Le Burger Brasserie.
Famous pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre opened a branch of his renowned pastry shop on the cobblestone-lined Le Boulevard, a street filled with intimate shops and restaurants, all underneath a blue cloud-filled ceiling. Strolling along Le Boulevard don't be surprised to see an extremely lifelike bronze statue move, that's because it's a real person
The City of Light doesn't go dark after dark. Anthony Cools - The Uncensored Hypnotist checks inhibitions at the door and pushes the limits of the audiences mind and body. Sitting right above the restaurant is nightclub Risqué, Paris' ultra lounge that is as fun as it is fantastic.
3655 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas,
NV 89109 702-967-4111
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