Take my breath away, Charlene Darling

I am often asked, “Who lives like you?” And I say, “I don’t know that I would call it ‘living.’ ” But Saturday night was one of those only-in-Vegas evenings, and I’ll share it with you now.

First I went with my friend Beth Lano to the Berlin show at Ovation at Green Valley Ranch. Beth is the city’s foremost French horn-playing radio personality, and is also friends with Terri Nunn, the longtime lead singer of Berlin. These two met a few years ago when Nunn was a guest on the old Mike & Beth in the Morning Show on Star 102.7-FM (back when 102.7-FM had a spine, ha ha). “After three minutes, she was interviewing me,” Beth says. So we were given the backstage treatment, and I got to meet Nunn, dressed in this open-fronted, silver-snapped-fasted, black superhero costume she wore during the second half of the show. Nunn, who at age 47 is as hot as scorched toast, has a fantastic voice and even smells good. We all agreed to have breakfast together this morning, but of course it didn’t happen because (and this is a second-hand report) she was out late, taking in the Yellow Brick Road performance and singing “Barracuda” and “Highway to Hell” with the city’s great classic-rock cover band.

We missed that particular performance, as we were off to Bootlegger Bistro to sate a late-night pasta craving. Joining the standards-playing band in the main dining room was Maggie Mancuso. Who is Maggie? She’s the wife of veteran Vegas lounge veteran Gus Mancuso (a gifted musician who can play just about any instrument, especially those you blow into), and the woman who played Charlene Darling on The Andy Griffith Show. Maggie is one of those figures you know you know, even if you can’t place the face right away. She has been a location scout for films shot in Vegas (including Casino), and said she’s still popular among fans of the show and at reunion events, though she appeared as the sheriff-stalking Charlene on just five episodes.

When she said that, she just shrugged her shoulders. So did I. On this night, there wasn’t much more to say.

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