July 4th weekend is the quintessential definition of patriotic and, this year, the celebration has been taken to a new level with two nights of Americana at its finest — a USO Show and a Rat Pack tribute.
Night one recreates the type of show that Bob Hope was famous for bringing to the troops. The show is hosted by Hope impersonator Bill Johnson, who brings out the humor and the goodness in one of America’s most beloved characters. This experienced comedian has entertained for USO (stateside and in the South Pacific), and upholds the traditions with dignity and honor covering a wide range of Hope’s favorite topics including our nation’s Armed Forces, Washington, D.C., the game of golf and Hope’s dear friend, Bing Crosby, played by impersonator Peter Petty, who also brings Cab Calloway and Bobby Darin to the USO table.
As with any USO show, there is a cavalcade of talent onboard including eye candy from Truckee’s own Marilyn impersonator, Sherry Lynn Laboissonniere, who will work the crowd and get the male members of the audience going. For the gals, Elvis impersonator Rob Ely is on hand to undulate as the king of rock ‘n’ roll. Ely accurately portrays all eras from the 50s rocker, to the sexy 1968 comeback black leather, as well as the smoldering young 70s white jumpsuit with high-energy, signature Elvis moves.
The show will cover various periods of entertainers including Sister Swing, who will double up as both The Andrews Sisters and The McGuire Sisters. This trio captures the Big Band Swing era, bringing back the three-part harmonies of the 30s and 40s.
And, for the perfect capper the show brings back the dream team of Frank and Dean to complete the ultimate variety show. Dean is portrayed by Bob Caudle of The Dean-O-Holics out of Sacramento, who has been doing USO shows on the East Coast and thought it would be a great Independence Day ticket for the Cal Neva. Teaming with Dallas Sinatra impersonator Dave Halston, the duo worked to bring all the talents together to make this show a hit. The result is an entertaining mix of comedy, as well as duets among the different performers and is guaranteed to deliver an impressive evening of talent.
The following evening, the Rat Pack in all its glory takes the stage. Caudle and Halston return, along with Nicholas Brooks from Las Vegas as Sammy. Delivering all the classic Rat Pack trademarks, there will be jokes, camaraderie, music and lots of improv.
“We never know what to expect,” Caudle says of the group, adding that the performance is often regulated by the audience. “We feed off the crowd.”
All have worked together on countless gigs and really embrace the characters. And one thing is certain, they are having a great time.
“We’re having as much fun, if not more, than the audience,” Caudle says. “We’re always laughing. Thank God it’s part of the characters.”
Caudle, who has been doing Deano for almost a decade is always looking to improve and enhance the performance.
“We keep it fresh,” he says.
The USO show plays on July 5 with shows at 5 and 7:30 p.m. The Rat Pack Tribute plays on July 6 with shows at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Both shows are at the Cal Neva. Tickets are available at the Cal Neva (cash only) or online at brownpapertickets.com, keyword Cal Neva. For more information or booking, contact Bob Caudle at (916) 771-8585 or visit thatsamoreentertainment.com.
USO Show, Friday, July 5 | 5 & 7:30 p.m. | Rat Pack Tribute, Saturday, July 6 | 5:30 & 8 p.m. |$28/show| All ages | Cal Neva | Crystal Bay, Nev.