VEGAS! THE SHOW
A TOUR YOU CAN’T MISS
By Antonio and Rosemarie Avanzato
The journey begins in a junkyard of old casino signs with a former casino worker taking the audience on a voyage through the years that have passed from the good old days. If you’re from that era or know about that time, then you get sucked in with the hypnotic sound of the live band, the sensational voices and the visual of the extravagant costumes adorned by the all fit men and women on the stage. That’s only the beginning. Now that the music and the dancing has drawn you in to a spectacular opening, you wonder, what can top this?
Of course, the acts between costume changes are there to kill time and to try to amuse. Amuse they did, starting with the muscular Hula-Hoop man, who simultaneously managed to twirl a dozen or more hoops around various parts of his body. Equally funny and entertaining were the trio dancing as midgets to the Village People’s “YMCA”, the Parrot guy, and the Siegfried and Roy impersonators were also a treat.
The live band blares back into cue with the swinging duo of the day, Louis Prima and Keely Smith. Their crazy, frenzy duet gets your hips moving in your seat, as you look around and feel comforted that you are not alone. The music keeps rolling as the entertainers of the day are introduced with a cameo of a tune they were known for: Wayne Newton, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and Lena Horne, just to mention a few. And the band—did I mention “live” band? The band, conducted by Jerry Lopez, relentlessly keeps on playing to the mesmerizing, swinging beat. The young interpreters gave the era justice with their music, choreography and dancing.
The Rat Pack was the segment we were waiting for. The costumes were authentic, the singing brilliant, and the comedy skits were funny anecdotes of the trio. On a serious note was a scene depicting Frank Sinatra convincing the casino owners to allow Sammy Davis Jr. to walk through the front door, as all black entertainers were forced to come in the back. That was a milestone at the time.
Special attention to detail was given to each act and all sceneries. Dean Martin’s real name was used on the vegetable cart, “ Crocetti’s Vegetable Stand”. Sammy belted out “Candyman”, followed by a well-choreographed extravaganza of the “Can-Can Room”. The navigation of each dancer flowing to their next position on the dance floor was pure perfection.
Then came Elvis. The singer, Josh Strickland, was dressed in the famous white suit, silhouetted by the bright red “ELVIS” lights. Josh was not out to do an Elvis impersonation (there’s enough of them in Vegas) instead, he used his gifted, natural voice, to give a powerful performance of a lifetime. He also sang “Viva Las Vegas”, with a background of gospel singers joining him to a spectacular finale.
The journey continues with artists Tom Jones, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Earth, Wind and Fire, Sonny and Cher, Tina Turner and more. Savannah Smith came out as Tina Turner and left the audience stunned with her natural beauty and voice.
With economic and artistic cuts in the world, this show did not spare any details. The band was top notch with keyboards, electric guitars and bass, percussion and an outstanding horn section. This was the real sights and sounds of the Vegas nightclubs.
Josh Strickland ended the journey, dressed in Elton John attire, while a large screen played a video of the birth, the growth, and changes Las Vegas has incurred. Vegas! The Show sends the audience on a journey through time, leaving one with a sweet melancholy of the years that have passed and a true spirit of the Las Vegas that once existed. They succeeded.
Vegas! The Show performs at 7:00 and 9:00pm nightly in the Saxe Theater inside the Miracle Mile Shops of the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino VegasTheShow.com • 866-932-1818