It’s fair to say Milwaukee Talk fans were upset that Mary’s casino show was in shambles. To say Mary Margaret considered her career in shambles too would be an understatement.
“That entire week she slept in her dressing room, doing anything at all costs to avoid making contact with her fans who were still camped out front of the WLKE studios,” Les Tremaine told The American Log.
“I spent the whole week trying to convince her that it was somehow my fault for not going over her set list with her,” Milwaukee Talk executive producer Allen Kew recalls.
“Mary has that likable star quality that people just can’t shake,” Vic Shell acknowledges. “There’s money in that. The suits in Ballast knew that too and they weren’t going to let all this good PR run down the drain.”
BALLAST, Janaury 15 – The Ballast Casino and Events Center has reached a new deal with Milwaukee Talk co-host turned singer Mary Margaret. And this one not only includes her but co-host Vic Shell, executive producer Allen Kew and stage manager Les Tremaine as well. It also has the blessing of WLKE station owner Honus Knox III.
According to the new contract, Margaret, Shell, Kew and Tremaine will perform Friday and Saturday evenings at the recently opened Ballast Casino and Events Center.
On this morning’s Milwaukee Talk broadcast, Mary Margaret explained The Chat Pack show will be an ensemble effort. “Vic will be our host/emcee, Allen will be a storyteller/straight man to Shell, Les (Tremaine) will perform a stand-up routine featuring his special brand of blue comedy, and I will bookend the evening with singing “Black Velvet”. You can’t get a more entertaining night out in Wisconsin than that!”
When later asked to clarify by The American Log, Mary confirmed that she will be singing “Black Velvet” at the beginning and end of each show and also “cutting up” with the rest of the cast during the show as well as modeling some of the apparel designed by her friend and right-hand chase producer, Jeannie Reesman.
The “Chat Pack” moniker, echoing the 1960’s Rat Pack in their Las Vegas heydays led by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., was coined by WLKE-TV3 station owner Honus Knox III during the closed door negotiating sessions with his lawyers and the lawyers from the Ballast Casino this past week.
Last week you’ll recall we showed you a clip about robust plans of Vic Shell being potentially immortalized on a then-mythical wall of fame which was “inadvertedly” spearheaded by Shell himself. The contrivance came to a standstill when it was nixed by Knox. But not to be defeated by one minor setback, Vic Shell’s proposition persevered with a little help from Mary Margaret.
In the wise, yet abstract words of Les Tremaine, “being immortalized takes a long time”.