Danny Gans headlined on the Las Vegas Strip for 17 years as "The Man of Many Voices." He was named Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year for 12 years, and his production was awarded Show of the Year. Known for his versatile talent, his show was adored by fans worldwide.
Gans' childhood dream was to be a professional baseball player. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox after being named an All-American at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he was a Physical Education major. It was at Cal Poly that he met his wife, Julie. Later, he held a role as a third baseman in the film Bull Durham. After an injury ended his sporting career, Gans turned to the entertainment industry. His first years were traveling on the road, performing mostly at large, private corporate functions.
Danny Gans played Scott Babylon in the TV series Duet from 1987–1989, and reprised his role in the TV series Open House from 1989-1990. He also played a Wayne Newton impersonator on an episode of Roseanne. In 1992, he played Dean Martin in the CBS miniseries Sinatra. Gans played Roger in the TV series Silk Stalkings for 12 episodes, 1991-1992. Gans had an uncredited cameo as himself in the 2009 film Race To Witch Mountain. Seen surrounded by adoring fans, a smiling Gans signs autographs.
In 1995, he moved to Broadway to perform a well-received one-man show in the Neil Simon Theatre, but later decided to move to Las Vegas to reduce time away from his family, who lived in Los Angeles.
Gans began his Las Vegas stay at the Stratosphere Hotel in 1996. He moved to the Rio Hotel shortly thereafter, and then on to The Mirage in 2000. He was a permanent performer at The Mirage, where the Danny Gans Theatre was built for him by Steve Wynn.
In February 2009, Steve Wynn partnered with Gans to perform at Wynn's new and beautiful, Encore, the sister property to Wynn Las Vegas. The marquee on the Las Vegas Strip bearing Gans' image at one time held the record as the largest freestanding marquee in the world. And Danny Gans deserved it all.
His inaugural album, produced by Michael Omartian, was cross-marketed in both the pop and Christian music genres and sold in both mainstream and Christian music forums.
One of Gans' passions was caring for his vintage car collection. The family sold several of these treasures at auction this year. His truest passion however, was his faith in God, his wife Julie, and their three children, Amy, Andrew and Emily.
Roger Thomas, as executive vice president for Wynn Design and Development, created the interiors of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. He led the interior design of Wynn Macau, opened September 2006, and designed Encore Macau, opened April 2010.
Thomas was senior vice president and director of interior design for Atlandia Design, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mirage Resorts Incorporated. For 20 years, he designed the interiors of the company's many properties, including the Golden Nugget hotels in Las Vegas and Laughlin, and arguably the most important properties on the Las Vegas Strip – the Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio Resort.
While a recognized leader in interior design for the hospitality industry, Thomas also has designed corporate offices and aircraft interiors.
The Roger Thomas Collection includes signature designs of mirrors for APF Master Framemakers, furniture for Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman, collections for The Natural Carpet Company, Veneman, Fromental wall cover, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Boyd Lighting, Townsend Leather, and Samuel and Sons Passementerie.
Thomas was elected to the Hospitality Design Platinum Circle in 2005 and received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality in the same year. In 2008, Thomas was named "Designer of the Year" at The International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show® in New York. In February 2009, he received the 2009 Design Icon distinction from the World Market Center in Las Vegas, and in November 2009, he received the Jay Sarno Lifetime Achievement Award at the G2E expo in recognition of his significant career achievements in the field of casino resort interior design. Thomas is a member of Architectural Digest's AD100. In 2010, he was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree and received the Excellence in Design Award from the Interior Designers Institute.
An avid supporter of the arts, Thomas founded the Bank of America Nevada Fine Art Collection. He served on the boards of the Nevada Museum of Fine Arts, Neon Museum, Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art, Nevada Ballet Theater, and the Wheelwright Museum Santa Fe, New Mexico.
He has served on the Nevada Arts Council, a gubernatorial appointment; the McCarran Airport Arts Advisory Committee; and many more.
Thomas is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, MA. He received a BFA in Art History from Tufts University. His work has been published in leading journals, including Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Interiors and Hospitality Design.
The Rainbow Company Youth Theatre is a program of the City of Las Vegas, Office of Cultural Affairs that produces a full season of family oriented theatre. The Rainbow Company offers classes in all aspects of theatre for young people ages 4-18, a student ensemble program that provides professional level training to young people ages 10-18 in all aspects of theatre, and a touring show that goes into the schools to perform for nearly 14,000 young people each year. In conjunction with the tour show, study guides and workshops for elementary teachers and students are available. Rainbow Company also serves as a community resource for other theatres and schools throughout the valley.
The Rainbow Company was founded in 1976. The company's first production was Pippi Longstocking. In 1980, the Rainbow Company expanded to five shows a year. The classes continued to grow in size and number, as did the size of the Ensemble. National attention was garnered later that year with the production of Odd Man Out. An original script, the story focused on a dance teacher and her class of disabled students. Featuring a cast of young people, both with and without disabilities, the production was preceded by months of drama classes and an extended rehearsal process.
During the summers of 1984 and 1985, Rainbow Company produced the musicals Oliver! and Li'l Abner at the Spring Mountain Ranch.
In 1992, the show Stories of the Silver State (written and directed by McKenney, with music by J Neal) had an in-house run of two weekends, and then hit the road to local elementary schools. The touring show has since become a staple in the Rainbow Company season. Each year McKenney and Neal dust off their Nevada history books and create a new show, which entertains and instructs 14,000 school children annually.
Now in its 34th season, the Rainbow Company has put up some impressive numbers. The company has produced 167 plays, 50 original productions among them. More than 12,000 kids have taken a Rainbow Company class, and more than 500,000 people have seen a Rainbow Company show.
The current Rainbow Company staff consists of four full-time staff members who are exceptionally noteworthy for their longevity, teamwork and passion for the program. They are Karen McKenney, Artistic Director; Dr. Toni Molloy- Tudor, Education Director; Kristopher Van Riper, Resident Designer; and J Neal, Tour Show/Special Projects Director.
The College of Fine Arts Dean's Medal, created in 2011, recognizes persons who have made contributions of an extraordinary nature to the College of Fine Arts or one of its units.
The inaugural Dean's Medal is being awarded to Thomas Schoeman, AIA, FAIA.
Schoeman has been instrumental in the founding and positive development of the School of Architecture at UNLV. His leadership was one of the principal reasons the School of Architecture received its first NAAB accreditation in 1996. He has continued to support the School of Architecture by organizing his peer architects who give of their valuable time to assist the School by serving as guest lecturers, counseling students, and advising the School on best professional practices. He has also stepped forward individually to assist the School in difficult economic times. Thanks to his personal generosity, the School of Architecture was able to hire two outstanding new faculty. His gift also insured the Landscape Architecture program would continue.
As CEO of JMA for over 20 years, Schoeman guides the vision and strategy for the firm and has led the company from a small, local company to a large, nationally recognized design firm.
A native of New York City and graduate of the University of New Mexico, Schoeman moved to Las Vegas and joined JMA in 1979. His leadership has placed JMA as one of the most recognizable names in architecture, having been named the 45th largest firm in the nation in the June 2006 issue of Architectural Record. Recent major work by JMA includes the World Market Center, One Queensridge Place, the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Las Vegas and numerous projects for the Clark County School District, College of Southern Nevada, City of Las Vegas and the State of Nevada. Schoeman also serves as a Foundation Trustee for the College of Southern Nevada, and is on the Boards of the Clark County Public Education Foundation and the Desert Research Institute Foundation. His achievements have won him the American Institute of Architects' Nevada Silver Medal and the Desert Research Institute's President's Medal.
Schoeman is indeed a role model for all of us and especially UNLV students. He is the epitome of a civic-minded citizen who cares deeply about his community and the quality of education the community's children receive. He is a person who offers advice but also takes action. We are most proud to honor Thomas Schoeman with the inaugural College of Fine Arts Dean's Medal.