TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
It is now 25 years since Shania "Eilleen" Twain sang Somewhere over the rainbow & Somewhere Out There to an enthralled audience in central Ontario as a cast member of the Vegas North" group of talented singers and musicians entertaining at Deerhurst Inn.
This dream-come-true real life story had its start in Canada's Country music scene as "Eilleen Twain", then a young dynamo of talent that would go on to work six nights a week learning the roots and ropes of the Vegas discipline when she worked in the Canadian "Vegas North" show.
The work ethic for the cast and musicians came through the boundless energy and enthusiasms for show business of the music veteran, the late Bryan Ayres . Bryan was the seasoned veteran who produced the Vegas North revue at Deerhurst Inn, Huntsville Ontario as the entertainment director for the owner of the resort in the late eighties, Bill Waterhouse. It was Bill who was the man behind the scenes on the family owned property and he had a lengthy background of booking music stars in the sixties. He still makes his home in Huntsville After the Deerhurst show turned to a "Broadway style production under new ownership, Bryan's own career took flight as he ventured to the real Las Vegas and for more than a decade he was in the center of his show business dream in Las Vegas events and productions. He passed away After his retirement and is missed by those who came involved with his "Show Biz career. One of those who benefited greatly from Bryan's Canadian production, Eilleen Shania Twain has made it to the super star level of the entertainment business around the world and in December 2012, twenty five years later, took a bow as the curtain went up in Las Vegas on an all new era for her career. In Ontario, twenty five year journey from Vegas North show, to the "Real thing" there will be a "Taste of Champagne" saluting someone who made it to the big stage of "Vegas" .In the in what will be a long run in this "Solo Star" Shania show. One of the happiest is Nick Panaseiko who has made it a mission to preserve the memory of the shows producer, Bryan Ayres and the Deerhurst owner at the time Bill Waterhouse. Nick recalls "The big song for Shania in Canada was "Somewhere over the Rainbow" and you could see and hear that she meant every word. It is obvious how she got to the top. It was her unwavering dedication and her creativity and ambition to be a success had long ago had found respect from those who worked with her over twenty five years ago. In Toronto, in Huntsville, and elsewhere, their will be a salute will coming from former cast members and musicians who played every night back in the eighties at Deerhurst. I recall very well it was Bill Waterhouse the owner at the time who was responsible for the hiring of Shania, and as publicist for Deerhurst in its heyday of success, it will be a double salute for my lifelong friend Bryan Ayres who created the "Vegas North" production and who after it's completion back in 89, made his own way to Las Vegas for a long run of production, inventive presentations and booking entertainment at "Always Entertaining". Nick explains why he took on the publicity job and leaving the record business where he had promoted dozens of major acts including Kiss, The Rolling Stones,Liberace, and Johnny Cash. "I was taken with the talent of the musicians and singers and the fact they put their heart into their work night after night. That made my job a happy one because I wanted the public to know about the integrity of the performers and the star power of the show. " Nick enthusiastically recalls "Bryan brought me into the promotion position at Deerhurst because he wanted the word to get out to the public about the dream, and professionalism of the show. Bryan had the good fortune to work with an owner he greatly admired, the gracious and business savvy owner Bill Waterhouse. What we have here is a real life Cinderella story of Eilleen "Shania" Twain overcoming tragedy and hardship to make it to the stratosphere. Believe me, there is a great deal of respect coming from those who knew and worked with her over twenty five years ago. We captured the times and the behind the scenes activity in The Discovery of Eilleen Twain DVD, that gives a viewer an insight into the Opportunity to meet the Cast members as they personally reminisce about One of the kids in the show that âHit the Pot of Gold in Vegas! Somewhere Over the Rainbow Rainbow. Written by Mel Shaw