By Marla Santos
Who hasn’t heard of Suzanne Somers? You might remember the mysterious blond in the white Thunderbird in American Graffiti, or watching her more than 150 appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Many remember the ditzy, loveable Chrissy Snow on the hit TV show, Three’s Company, or seeing Suzanne doing her own infomercials about the ThighMaster (that great workout tool that helped keep your thighs looking on-point). Others may remember seeing clips of her live performances around the world for our American troops. You might have read one of the 25 books that she’s written about diet, hormones and aging (14 of them became New York Times bestsellers). Some may remember her telling the world she was diagnosed with breast cancer and then opening up publicly about her decision not to undergo chemotherapy, and instead finding a natural alternative medical route to find her cure. Recently you might have caught her dancing on the television show, Dancing With The Stars. Since her early portrayal of a ditzy young blond, she has become a trusted health advocate and a successful entrepreneur. She has developed highly successful product lines and lectures on ‘A New Way To Age’. Suzanne is definitely one of America’s most popular and beloved personalities.
Now you can see and hear Suzanne at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. She will be entertaining for a total of 28 weeks through May 2016, in a room newly named after her called SUZANNE’S.
Back in the 1980’s, Suzanne entertained in Las Vegas at the very hotel she now appears, except it was then known as the Las Vegas Hilton. Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack were performing during those days, and it’s that very style of the sexy and glamorous “old-Vegas” that she has recreated with her songs and live band in her new SUZANNE Sizzles show—a sassy return to that heyday in an intimate 70-minute performance.
Suzanne’s biggest asset is her immense likeability. She’s funny, sexy, has a quick wit and bawdy humor, and takes pleasure in having a great rapport with the audience.
She credits being extremely comfortable in her own skin to being on the shopping channel for so many years where you have to adlib 16 to 24 hours on a given weekend. All the lecturing she has done has also made her extremely comfortable on stage.
There are three screens behind her that allow great close-ups of her as she sings, and taped clips play as she basically gives you a biography of her life. You’ll hear the story about how she met Johnny Carson and how she credits him with her break into show business, and see clips of her on The Tonight Show. You’ll hear about the director of Three’s Company telling her to “Jump, Chrissy. Jump!” and watch clips as it was back in the day when breasts were natural and they bounced and jiggled. Three’s Company was a hilarious sitcom about three friends who lived together platonically and was a monster success from 1977 to 1984, starring John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Suzanne. When she appeared on Dancing With The Stars, Suzanne dedicated her foxtrot dance and song, (using the Three’s Company theme song) to John Ritter, who died an early death back in 2003, just six days before his 55th birthday. “This one’s for you, John,” Suzanne tearfully said, and then posted an Instagram photo of she and Ritter saying: “A legendary comedian and even dearer friend. I love you, John.”
Of the 25 books that Suzanne has authored, she’s had five #1 New York Times bestsellers. One of those #1’s was her autobiography, “Keeping Secrets”. As an adult child of an alcoholic, she says she wrote the book for anyone who has experienced the terror, the violence, the shame and embarrassment of living with an alcoholic. In her book, “Knockout”, she shares the story of staring cancer in the face and the groundbreaking and successful cancer prevention and care—including chemo-free options. Now, after a decade of being cancer-free, she has written about her choices and an array of options to increase your odds of survival. Suzanne discovered ‘A New Way to Age’ and she became a trusted health advocate. “Sexy Forever” is about secrets for anti-aging and how to achieve natural hormonal balance. The “Sexy Forever Recipe Bible” contains over 400 of her healthy recipes, and who would guess that she’s a world-class cook, too? Her most recent book, “TOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not Sick”, debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list, and is an exposé on the dangers of living in a world that has become increasingly toxic to our health. She claims that black mold was responsible for her and her husband getting sick. The book explores links between toxic irritants and obesity, autoimmune disease, food allergies and cancer. There are currently more than 25 million copies of Suzanne’s books in print.
During the SUZANNE Sizzles show, Suzanne drops names of her friends, like Barry Manilow, who deeded her one of his non-singles, “I Was a Fool (To Let You Go)”, over a dinner at her house, or Eydie Gorme, who became e-mail buddies with her, but never got to hear Suzanne sing, “Guess Who I Saw Today”. She called Leon Russell to invite him to the show on opening night to hear her sing his classic, “A Song for You”.
Her choice of songs is in my opinion the weakest part of the show. I understand her wanting to do a throwback to the vintage-Vegas days, but I wish she had included a few more contemporary songs to mix in with songs like, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “A Cockeyed Optimist” and “I Was a Fool (To Let You Go)”. A few well-known No. 1 hits would have considerably livened up her show.
Suzanne and the Westgate Resort have collaborated and will open the Suzanne Somers Spa in late summer that will be featuring all of Somers’ organic skin care, organic hair care products, and all of the Suzanne Organics Cosmetics. The Suzanne Somers Organic Spa Café will serve healthy food based on recipes from Somers’ series of bestselling cookbooks. Suzanne says: “Don’t be surprised to see tequila and steak as an option. It’s Las Vegas, after all. It is real food that has not been sprayed, does not have growth hormones or any of the things that I think are bringing us down.”
Suzanne has lived life well. She has six grandchildren and still possesses a youthful spirit, and that’s part of what the audience likes about her onstage. SUZANNE Sizzles is really a culmination of all that and that’s why she’s been such a success. And to tell the truth, she just looks and sounds great.
SUZANNE Sizzles is a 70-minute show performed at 7 p.m. five days a week
at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino (dark Sundays and Mondays).