How the Mob shaped Las Vegas



By: Terence Way  Photos by: Su Phelps and Jeff Kutash

Jeff Kutash and Michael Franzese are two of the most interesting men in the world, and they would like to tell us a story- with a bit of song and dance.  Jeff has won many entertainment awards while being around many of the biggest names of entertainment. Believe it or not, one of Jeff’s many stories include his dance troupe providing John Travolta private dance lessons before he rose to superstardom in Saturday Night Fever. In another story, Jeff helped young Michael Jackson with new dance moves before his iconic performance on Motown’s 25th anniversary special in 1983.

Now, as the creator of “A Mob Story”, he wants to tell the true story of how the mafia helped shape today’s Las Vegas, instead of how it’s typically portrayed theatrically. As an added bonus, it even features a real-life New York mobster boss of the Columbo crime family- Michael Franzese.

Michael’s father survived his own 50-year federal prison sentence (dating back to 1970) for mob underboss activities.  However, at his peak, Michael himself was once listed in the top twenty of Fortune Magazine’s richest mob bosses, raking in seven figures per week!  He dealt with the likes of John Gotti, was countlessly pursued by law-enforcement (including by Rudy Guiliani), served nearly ten years in prison, fell in love and got married, became a Christian, walked away from his former life, and became a motivational speaker!  (Yes, and he’s still alive to tell us about it!)

While Michael is the heart and soul of “A Mob Story”, and its lead investor, his wife and daughter will also be deeply involved as choreographer and player, respectively.

As the creator, producer and director of “A Mob Story”, Jeff Kutash was a sought-after choreographer while serving as a live show attraction director for many big stars such as, Elvis Presley, Dick Clark, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tom Jones. In Hollywood, he produced many television shows before moving to Las Vegas to create “Splash”, which was Las Vegas’ first aquatic show, winning “Las Vegas Show of the Year” twelve times. And now, after more than two years of background work and technical challenges, he and Michael are bringing us “A Mob story”.

This production is scheduled to open September 25th at the Las Vegas Plaza Hotel & Casino. For veterans, Jeff Kutash is offering a two-for-one discount by showing their Veteran’s ID. For more information, please visit