Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | 2 a.m.
She’s just 3-foot-6, but Las Vegas comedian Tanyalee Davis stands shoulder to shoulder with other comics who work in the trenches of comedy clubs.
Davis’ career is on hold for a couple of months while she recovers from major spinal surgery. A degenerative disease forced surgeons to operate on 23 of her vertebrae in early June.
“I was diagnosed with the problem in 1995,” says Davis, 37, who was at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital before she was sent home to complete her recovery.
Davis says her condition was causing her to lose feeling in her arms and legs.
“They were tingling all the time,” she says.
After the surgery she says she noticed an immediate change. Leg spasms disappeared. The tingling was gone.
“The morning after surgery I felt like I had new feet,” Davis says.
Her ordeal was taped for a British TV show — she has a large fan base in the United Kingdom, where she frequently performs.
After the show airs there, it may pop up on a network in the United States.
“Last year the producers shot a show about very tall people and it received such high ratings they decided to do a little people version,” Davis says. “They followed me around, beginning in May — shot my performance in London, flew to California for my initial appointment with the doctors there, and then they filmed the surgery.”
She says the show will air in Britain in September.
Davis and her husband, Marty Hiebert, have been at odds with insurers and some of her caregivers and medical professionals. “Some of the staff gets pretty blase,” she says.
But the problems have abated and Davis is looking forward to getting her act together.
“I’m scheduled to perform at the L.A. Comedy Club Labor Day weekend,” she says. “That’s my goal. I’m a mind-over-matter person.
“I’m a very independent person, but right now people are wiping my (bottom) for me. This is not my cup of tea.”
Mosaic breaks out
Mosaic, a six-man a cappella group that performs with George Wallace at the Flamingo, will make its Las Vegas solo debut Sunday and Monday at Harrah’s to benefit the Public Education Foundation of the Clark County School District.
“Las Vegas has been really great to us and has allowed us to achieve great success doing what we love, so we’re anxious to give back to this great city,” says Mosaic founder Josh Huslig. “With all the proceeds of this event going directly back into the schools, it’s an honor to be part of such a worthwhile program.”
The show will include renditions of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You,” Zapp & Roger’s “More Bounce” and TV tunes. As a special presentation, high school dancers will perform alongside professional Las Vegas dancers from the Stratosphere’s “Bite” and the Rio’s “Show in the Sky.”
The Public Education Foundation was established in 1991 with the goal of improving local public schools.
Details: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Monday; Harrah’s; $45; 369-5111
Bands help out one of their own
BestofBands.com, the Internet site devoted to artists and their music, and Cheyenne Saloon will host a benefit show to help out bass player Mike Watkins.
Watkins, a member of the band Nous, was diagnosed in 2006 with myxopapillary ependymoma — a condition that causes the spine to produce cancer cells that grow into tumors. He has undergone numerous radiation treatments and is no longer able to work.
Five bands — Anew Betrayal, Parannoyd, the Underground Rebels, Theory of Flight and Zeusphobia — will perform. All the bands, with the exception of Anew Betrayal, played alongside Nous during the Live Indie Rock Wars in April.
Details: Mike Watkins Benefit; 8 p.m. July 16; Cheyenne Saloon, 3103 N. Rancho Drive; $7, must be 21 or older; 645-4139