This week, Ira spoke with entertainer/producer George Bugatti, who has written “Trial on the Potomac, The Impeachment of Richard Nixon,” which was staged off Broadway and filmed. In this episode of Talk About Las Vegas, George talks about his obsession with presidents, and particularly Richard Nixon; his discovery of a book, The Real Watergate Scandal by Geoff Shepard; his decision to write the play based on that book that ponders what would have happened if Richard Nixon had a trial; how he chose Rich Little to play Richard Nixon in the play; the most important thing he learned from writing it; and why he is glad he wrote something that is “bigger than me.”
George started studying music at the age of 5 and attended the prestigious High School of the Performing Arts in New York, followed by the highly competitive Julliard College, where he honed his skills as a classical pianist, for a short time, before tragedy befell the budding classical pianist.
He performed for seven years at the famous Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, from the Grand opening in 1991 to 1998. It was there that George first met Steve Allen. Allen produced George’s first CD “Oh, What A Night For Love” and then invited him to appear in the stage version of the original “Tonight Show” with original cast members Jonathan Winters, Louie Nye, and Bill Dana at venues like the House of Blues in Los Angeles and Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.
In 1998, Steve Wynn, invited George (along with Michael Feinstein and John Pizzerelli) to open Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas.
George received critical acclaim for his NYC Debut at Carnegie Hall on December 12, and again on May 14th, 2003 where he not only vocalized but also performed on piano, a suite of his favorite works, arranged by Peter Nero.
Most recently, George wrote and starred in “The Wonderful Wizard Of Song: The Music of Harold Arlen,” a project which he co-created with the composer’s son, Sam Arlen. The show made its New York City debut on December, 2012.
It is the only Broadway Musical ever created and work-shopped in Las Vegas.
In October 2014, “The Wonderful Wizard of Song” came home for a three date run at The Smith Center in Las Vegas.