John Di Domenico’s portrayal of Donald Trump is so much like the mob as described by Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in “The Godfather Part III. “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
That’s not the only line that applies to Di Domenico’s presidential portrayal. “No soup for you!” is another.
Di Domenico has combined pop-culture forces with Larry Thomas, famous as “The Soup Nazi” in “Seinfeld” some 25 years ago. In a memorable episode, Thomas played a Gestapo-fashioned deli manager whose requirements for ordering soup were so unbending he was known as “The Soup Nazi.”
If a customer strayed from his orders, it was, “No soup for you!”
Di Domenico and Thomas were paired by Boomer Naturals, which sells a variety of wellness products. The two cut two versions of a “No Mask, No Soup!” marketing campaign, one in which ends with Di Domenico-as-Trump wearing the mask. He refuses in the “alternate” clip. Both videos have been posted on the BoomerNaturals.com website, put up for public vote.
The company has not yet provided an update on which version is leading, but the clip that has been made public of Trump wearing the mask has attracted 1.6 million views on Facebook.
Di Domenico was also reunited with Mikalah Gordon as Melania Trump. Gordon, a former Las Vegas resident who moved to L.A. last year, was a finalist on season four of “American Idol” in 2005 and a co-vocalist at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at the Cosmopolitan. In character, Gordon says from behind her mask, “I’m being held against my will!” and wears a green jacket that reads, “Still Don’t Care.”
The videos were recorded Aug. 5 at Levy Walker Studios in Las Vegas.
The twin clips represent yet another example of the marketing appeal of Di Domenico’s Trump. The character has led him to “The Howard Stern Show,” “The View,” Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show and produced more than 2 million followers on TikTok.
“It’s like, I’m Joel Grey and Trump is my character from ‘Cabaret,’ ” Di Domenico said in a phone chat Tuesday. “I can leverage it creatively, to do something else, even for the next 20-something years, and that’s great.”
Di Domenico remembers the original “Soup Nazi” episode from November 1995, the seventh season of “Seinfeld,” and returned to the series to refresh his memory. He found that other than an appearance in the 1998 series finale, that character never appeared on the show again.
“It was really interesting to meet Larry, and talk to him about this character he’s so famous for,” Di Domenico said. “I have been playing Trump since 2004, off and on, but he did this character once, 25 years ago. It’s really incredible. It’s the kind of character that can open doors for you through your entire career.”
Di Domenico has walked the artistic tightrope in his Trump character. He writes material for the portrayal that will appeal to both sides of the political aisle. His repeated exaggeration of crowd size, as in the video, “What a turnout! There must be 3,000 people here!” is a rare example.
“Every single utterance of this guy plays into everything we are doing, it affects our health, money, friendships and everything is divided,” Di Domenico said. “He has inserted himself, because of his personality, into our lives at every level. People loved or didn’t love Ronald Reagan, or Bill Clinton. But there has never been a dividing line like this.”
Phil the Space
Tickets are on sale for Las Vegas Philharmonic’s six curated chamber music concerts performed live at The Space, as part of the venue’s ongoing streaming partnership with BroadwayWorld. Tickets are $30; go to TheSpaceLV.com or LVPhil.org to connect.
The series opens at 6 p.m. Sept. 24, with the “Spotlight On New Beginnings” program, as Philharmonic Music Director Donato Cabrera conducts principal flute Christina Castellanos and pianist Lisa Maresch. The presentation features works from Ian Clarke (“Deep Blue,” “Orange Dawn”), Stacy Garrop (“Phoenix Rising”), Otar Taktakishvili (“Sonata for Flute and Piano in C Major, Aria”), and Mike Mower (“Sonata Latino”).
The program kicks of a series of six programs scheduled on select Thursdays through Dec. 17, all with small ensembles in The Space’s main room. Performances include conversations with Cabrera and the featured musicians.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) September 15, 2020
Santa Fe soars
Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns’ return of “The Healing” at Copa Room at Bootlegger Bistro on Monday night was a boffo experience. I was honored to be in the Essential VIP seating area for this one, joining the technical crew for this landmark performance, streamed live on the band’s Facebook page. They’ll be back at 6 p.m. Monday for the 50-minute sets.
Keeping up the chops, as they say, Santa Fe plays its second virtual concert on Royal Caribbean’s Facebook page at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The show runs an hour and features the entire 16-piece band.
The plate show
Showing its never too late to pick up a skill, Penn & Teller are both learning plate-spinning. This is for the next season of “Fool Us” on The CW, which begins shooting in October.
Vegas entertainer Jonny Bird is offering “Taste of Vegas — A Unique Mediterranean Cuisine Dinner Experience” at Red Palms Mediterranean Cuisine on the Strip. The restaurant is located in the same strip mall as Mosaic on the Strip theater. Dinner seating is 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, with Sunday brunch seating at noon.
The business is not promoting any live entertainment or headliners, but this is the type of format that lends itself to ambient music. And Bird has been known to perform ambient music. Figure it out.
Call 702-807-7682 for pre-paid reservations, as walk-ins are not available.
Another ambient opportunity has opened up at The Strat, which has returned live entertainment to Remix lounge from 8 p.m.-midnight on Saturdays. There are appetizers. There is a singer. And also a microphone.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.