Sandy Kastel remembers Danny Gans

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Danny Gans left us. The first time I saw his show was at the Rio Hotel and Casino. Since that first night I saw him perform several times through the years; bringing friends and family.

Many of us watched as Danny Gans built an amazing career for himself in Las Vegas. When Steve Wynn built a large theater in the Mirage, his audiences just kept growing.

People from around the world discovered a treasure when they watched Danny Gans on stage, transforming himself in a matter of seconds from one performer to another with just a change of a hat, a wig or a scarf, a cigarette or a glove, a song or a smile.

It was a shock when I heard the news on the radio that morning. I couldn’t believe it. No one could.

When I think of Danny Gans it brings a smile to my face. He made us laugh, he made us cry. As he took us on a journey down memory lane, he gave us laughter and food for thought.

He was also an example for those who ever had a dream crushed for one reason or another.

When life threw him a curve ball and his baseball career ended suddenly, Danny Gans embraced his ability to make people laugh by impersonating the entertainers he grew up watching on TV.

In his show, for a brief moment, his audiences were transported to another place and time as Danny Gans paid tribute to others in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Danny Ganz was an incredible showman. I saw him often at charity events and parties, where he was always gracious and accessible to his fans. Danny Gans was a true entertainer.

Sandy Kastel, Author Life Choices: Navigating Difficult Paths ‘Detours’

Danny Gans
October 25, 1956 – May 1, 2009

dannygans1A long time headliner in Las Vegas, Danny Gans was known as “The Man of Many Voices.”   Before he went into entertainment, Gans played baseball for the Durham Bulls, but an injury derailed his sports career so he set his sights on Broadway where he perfected his one man show.  In 1996, he moved to Las Vegas, starting at the Stratosphere.  He eventually moved his show to the Rio, the Mirage, the Encore, and most recently, the Encore.  The sign advertising his show is reportedly the largest free-standing marquee in the world.  In 1992, Gans portrayed Dean Martin in the CBS miniseries, Sinatra.  Danny Gans died unexpectedly at the age of 52.  Reports indicate that Gans died of an accidental reaction to prescribed medications he was taking.