Thursday, March 26, 2020 | 1:30 p.m.
The Las Vegas variety show lives on in a unique and connecting way thanks to “The Socially Distant Show,” created and co-produced by two longtime local dancers.
You can catch a new episode every night on the show’s Instagram and YouTube channels, each featuring a guest host and a performance and interview with a Vegas entertainer. Dancers Jada Paladino and Dannii Moone, singer Katie Marie, comic magician Murray SawChuck, “Crazy Girls” host Dani Elizabeth and musician and Vegas Golden Knights National Anthem-singing favorite Carnell Johnson are among the artists showcased so far, and the audience can help support these suddenly unemployed performers by making a donation to the show’s GoFundMe page.
Devon Alarid and Nina Kane, friends who met as dancers in the “X Country” burlesque show at Harrah’s Las Vegas, launched “The Socially Distant Show” as an effort to help their entertainment community.
“My husband and I were talking about how this is such a bad situation and [we are] so worried for so many of our friends,” Alarid says. “He’s watched me work in this industry and how so many of us live paycheck to paycheck, and the idea of the anxiety and panic everyone is going through is overwhelming. We wanted to start some sort of fundraising assistance, and the more we brainstormed, the more we thought, how cool would it be to have a little variety show.”
Alarid, who left “X Country” and performed in the VGK cheer squad until she took a break to have the couple’s first child last year, said the show has had a snowball effect; every entertainer they’ve approached has wanted to pitch in and contribute. And while the group is planning to disperse the funds raised to the entertainers who participate, many of the guests and hosts have already turned down the money so it can go to those who need it most.
“It’s been really cool because honestly, a lot of these people have had mental breakdowns in the last two weeks. They’re holed up at home and depressed but they’re still coming out to do this and that’s huge,” Alarid says. “Performers face rejection all the time and they’re used to it, but something like this when you’re not sure when it’s going to end, it’s very scary for them. So to come out from under your blankets and get out of bed and perform and do this incredible stuff for us all to enjoy, and to take our minds off things, it’s just huge.”
The goal is to create a new episode of “The Socially Distant Show” for each of the 30 days of the mandated quarantine.