Bobby Black Photography
Wednesday, July 1, 2020 | 9 a.m.
The Mayfair Supper Club at Bellagio has made quite a bit of news recently as one of the first venues on the Strip or anywhere in Las Vegas to bring back live entertainment after the coronavirus-caused shutdown. Las Vegas-born singer Lisa Marie Smith is one of the cast members of the swinging show at the fountain-fronting restaurant and nightlife hot spot and she says she felt a combination of relief and anxiety when it was time to step back on the stage.
“I think I was nervous only because I didn’t want to get my hopes up that it would continue, that it might be too good to be true. But in terms of the art form and getting to do it again, it was really refreshing,” Smith says on the latest episode of the Sun on the Strip podcast.
“I love that there’s nothing like it. I [got to be] part of the creation and during that process, I was having a hard time envisioning what it would look like. But I’ll never forget doing the walk-through and getting to see it while it was still under construction, and it really hit me — there’s nothing like this. Everyone says their show is the most innovative and interesting thing and this actually met the expectations I had in my head.”
Singing at Mayfair is a very satisfying extension of what Smith has done in other Strip shows over the past eight or nine years. She has a background in musical theater and a degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music, perhaps an unlikely pedigree for a Vegas performer, but she’s found fulfillment in roles in former productions like “Pin Up” at the STRAT and “Baz” at Palazzo.
“I was 22 or 23 when I was cast as the singer [in female revue ‘Pin Up’] and that’s a big responsibility,” Smith says. “Looking back at the pressure of that, had I been a little older I would have enjoyed it a lot more, and I very much did, but had I not had those four years of experience, I don’t think I would be anywhere close to where I am now. That was the launching pad of my career here in town. It shaped me as an artist and as a person.”
Now she knows what she’s looking for in any potential gig on the Strip, that sweet spot where creative fulfillment and commercial success intersect. Those experiences also encouraged her to start her own project, the LMS Band, which was just starting to build momentum playing special events and corporate gigs when the pandemic pressed pause.
“I was able to help create this insane group of musicians and we were doing the normal stuff, what any lounge band or party band or corporate band does, but I believe it was a higher quality product,” she says. “I have so much pride in these musicians and how I could throw them a song and they would learn it on a break.”