Foreword by Stan Lerner: determined to not leave Las Vegas before writing a work of some literary merit I contacted Rob Goldstein, the President of The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, and asked if he could facilitate my seeing the Phantom Of The Opera and Jersey Boys. So impressive were these two shows, that I felt it necessary to divide my effort and write not one, but two separate blogs. The first blog of this diptych depiction of Sin City at its holiest is posted both on downtownster and blogsincity as the “Phantom Of The Opera – And I”. I’ll mention here that while I’ve received no reaction from the The Venetian with respect to this blog—many readers have commented that it is perhaps the most beautiful piece I’ve ever written. Well, now as I contemplate how to continue our story I have something to live up to I suppose.
Last read from “The Phantom Of The Opera—And I”:
The dark figure with his face half-masked approached—The Phantom Of The Opera. To clarify, I am not speaking of the brilliant, Tony Award winner, previously seen on the most elaborate of stages. I speak now of the actual Phantom Of The Opera, risen from his chamber.
Seated next to me he said these words, “The lover of The Phantom Of The Writers, you are?”
“I am,” I responded, solemnly.
“A tragic state of being you’ve accepted—to be loyal,” his voice lowered to a whisper, “yes to be loyal to the giver of your talent and to not be seduced by those who love you for what is not yours.”
“I can’t live without what I’ve been given, so I am a slave to the giver…”
We sat in silence for some moments—waiting. Because there is a moment every day when there is pure truth in all-of-the world.
“Why does a man as handsome as yourself wear a mask?” I asked The Phantom Of The Opera who is perhaps the most handsome man I have ever laid eyes on.
A tear ran down his cheek, not for himself, but for I. “For the same reason, you great writer cannot look into a mirror. I wear the mask to hide not my face, but the ugliness that dwells in my heart…”
Our story continues:
THE JERSEY BOYS
The words of the phantom reverberated in parts of my soul that previous to our encounter I had not fathomed existed. Oh the complexity of the soul and the vexations it suffers. Why must I yearn for greatness? Why must I want for others to share my passion? Surely not from an evil, perplexed heart. You see it is indeed this goodness that continuously births the passion that feeds the darkness—and thus the infinite, alpha helix of my pained existence.
“There is another show, great writer, that you must see,” said The Phantom Of The Opera to I.
“No, this was enough. Should I see anything less it would diminish the euphoria I will forever experience when I think of the theatre, thanks to you.”
The masked face tilted towards I and slightly down, as the phantom is a few inches taller than my six-foot-one frame. “You won’t be disappointed. True there is no other performance that can equal my pageantry and my love of the feminine voice is universally known—still there is another voice in our time from the angels.” Pointing north towards the Palazzo. “And there is yet another question you must answer for yourself.”
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The awful question was with us now. “Why does the world resist that which would change it and make it better?”
The Next Day
The Black Angel Fred, assigned to my wellbeing by The Phantom Of The Writers, as previously explained, accompanied me into the restaurant known at the Palazzo as Zine Noodle. I paused for a moment to appreciate the exquisite décor. I made a mental note to thank Rob, Dawn, and Ashley for making sure that I had some sustenance before continuing my personal journey through their land of entertainment. And err not dear reader, I am always appreciative of the fact that I tread mostly in the realm of others and interject my own story without permission altogether. Many do not easily digest this fact, but it is necessary, if not necessarily understood.
Sally Lei escorted us to our very private table and much to my delight we ran directly into Danny Tarkanian.
“Hello Senator,” I said to the handsome former UNLV basketball star, turned lawyer, turned real estate developer, turned politician.
“I’m not a Senator yet, Stan. But I’m working on it,” Danny responded affably.
“Well you will be. The country needs guys like you to get involved and get things going back in the right direction. C’mon you’re sitting with us.”
“Okay, but I have an interview in an hour, I have to call into a radio station…”
So Sally had an array of wonderful food brought to our table. Funny, I had seen some criticisms of Zine Noodle on the Internet—none of which matched my own experience. Interesting it is to be criticized by those you do not know. The experience I have had with my own detractors is, that much of what is not said to your face is simply the fiction of angry and jealous minds.
“We really need to create a better environment for small business,” Danny continued, as we had been talking about some of his positions for most of dinner. “You deal with all kinds of businesses Stan, any new ideas?”
“If I start you’ll miss your interview,” I said, truly worried about delaying the future Senator.
“C’mon, just one.”
“Well take Las Vegas for example: there’s plenty of land, plenty of hotel rooms, a five hour drive from Los Angeles and no major motion picture studio. The state needs to give the land if need be to the person who is willing to develop a studio facility out here. And the Federal Government has to give Venture Capital a special tax incentive to invest in this type of project. Getting banks lending to small business again is a must, but most of the next big things come from VC…”
“And we need to create micro loan options for initial stage startups,” added Danny.
This conversation was headed to the next level, a sense of excitement percolated from my blood through my brain because for the first time in a long time I was speaking with a man running for office that has the capacity to get it. But it was time for Danny to give his interview so I bid him farewell and made a commitment to myself that I would do what I could to help him in his quest to help others. You do see dear reader that because I have few worldly concerns in common with my fellow man I have a most unusual vantage point—I simply speak from a heart uncorrupted by self-interest.
Like the night before, our seats in the theatre that houses the Jersey Boys were only a few rows from the stage. Both the Black Angel Fred and I were struck by the sparseness of the room and stage—nothing like the palace, which The Phantom Of The Opera had built. Fear not my friends. The first few pages of the Holy Scripture reveal quit clearly that the Lord created nothing, before creating creation itself. The “Black Period” I called it when I painted my last show—a necessary step before my affair with words. But a challenge to fill such a space, it is.
The narrative began from a corner in Jersey. Tommy was a character to the exponential consideration. And Joe Pesci, yes that Joe Pesci, did much to bring this band of bandits turned musicians in a band together. But this is neither the time nor place to tell a story best witnessed in person. Recall, that I was there for one specific reason. Frankie Valli possessed the voice of, which the phantom had spoken, but such difficulties. Divorce, Tommy’s gambling and other debts to honor because it was the right thing to do, the death by drug overdose of his daughter, and the departure of the writer of the glorious words we have all come to know through the music.
One question. One song. The writer wrote one song that the Universe itself demanded Frankie Valli to sing. But the label would not release it. And the radio stations would not play it. Yet the writer persisted and like the ocean tasked with beating an enormous crag into sand his will and his money did not cease—not with something as important to the world as this at stake.
“It’s to be good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you…I love you baby and if it’s quite alright…Your like heaven to touch…”
And the words from this song, which is so much a part of our collective consciousness, a song that a few wanted all not to hear, the words embraced and consumed I and for the second eve in two cycles of darkness I obtained clarity—my work is not alone.
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“STAN LERNER’S CRIMINAL”
HOLLYWOOD BOOK FESTIVAL GRAND PRIZE WINNER
An intense page-turner based on the author’s true-life experiences.
“Stan Lerner’s Criminal” is the graphic and shocking account of the rise to power of the world’s most calculating and dangerous criminal…Sam Noah.
Sam Noah was handsome, intelligent, and charismatic. He came from a good family, had the perfect girlfriend, and attended UCLA where he ranked at the top of his class. Noah could have made anything he wanted to out of his life. But crime came naturally to him.
The story begins in 1984. The Cold War is at its height and the CIA is looking for still more funding for its covert operations around the world. Powerful men decide that there must be a go to guy. A man that will do whatever is necessary to finance the wars that Congress cannot be made aware of.
Sam Noah takes a job at a popular nightclub where he runs a smalltime ticket scam — and he begins to recruit the ruthless men that will help him build a narcotics empire.
When the FBI becomes a gathering threat to Noah, he forms an alliance with the CIA. His innovations — the crack house and the drive-by shooting — not only bring an unprecedented level of violence to the streets of America. They assure the powerful men who have engaged his services that Noah is indeed capable of doing the unthinkable.
The sale of cocaine makes him rich. His willingness to commit murder ensures that he will remain so.
Not since Hannibal Lecter has there been such a horrifying yet engaging mastermind of evil.
“Stan Lerner’s Criminal” transports the reader into the darkest of all places: the criminal mind. This is an unforgettable journey into the psyche of Sam Noah — the man behind some of the most brutal sins against humanity.
By the end of this unflinching tale, what may shock the reader the most is how he or she will ultimately identify with and root for this ruthless but brilliant “Criminal”.
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“In Development” is a hilarious account of a day in the life of Stan Peters—Hollywood’s most powerful and scummiest producer.
The day begins like any other day—a superlative, five-star breakfast at The Peninsula Hotel. However, the shocking news that there has been a change at the very top of the studio means that the perfect world of Stan and his closest associates could come to a sudden end—especially with a movie like “Two Jews and a Blonde Psycho” in development. The subsequent call from Brad, the new studio boss, confirms their greatest fear—their movie is in danger of being put in turn-around. A day of sex, manipulation, lying, betrayal, blackmail, and murder ensues — otherwise known in Hollywood as a happy ending.
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NINETY- NINE POSTS
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stan Lerner is an award winning-author whose diverse credits include the novels “Stan Lerner’s Criminal”, “Blast”, “In Development,” and the children’s book “Stanley The Elephant.” Stan Lerner is also the creator of the Las Vegas music spectacle “Night Tribe” and the writer, director, producer of the hit motion picture “Meet The Family.” Mr. Lerner was born in Montebello CA and has lived in downtown Los Angeles for the last fifteen years.
For more information about Stan Lerner please visit his author profile at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/stan