BWW Reviews: AMERICA'S GOT TALENT and, For A Few More Weeks, It's Yours To Enjoy In Las Vegas
March 18, 2013
America's Got Talent differs from other TV talent shows in that the contestants aren't all singers or dancers. Each individual does what he or she does best and, sometimes, the skills are, indeed, unique.
Human Nature Is Still A Must-See: The Same Great Show In A New Showroom
February 25, 2013
BWW Reviews: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET - A Whole Lotta Shakin' & Rock History Goin' On
February 20, 2013
A few weeks ago, after a sneak preview, I wrote that Million Dollar Quartet, 'based on its history and this 'sneak peek,' Million Dollar Quartet will be a major crowd-pleaser.' Well, it had its official opening at Harrahs in Las Vegas February 19 and, based on the performance and the crowd's reaction, it could run forever in Las Vegas.
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET: Sneak Peek At What Looks To Be A Winner
January 28, 2013
The party has already started in celebration of Million Dollar Quartet, the latest Broadway import to open in a permanent home in Las Vegas. And, I must note that it seems it'll be a party well worth attending.
BWW Reviews: ROCK OF AGES Sets a High Bar For Las Vegas Entertainment in 2013
January 11, 2013
At the very beginning of 2013, the entertainment bar in Las Vegas - generally a high one - has been set especially high with the opening of Rock of Ages at the Venetian.
BWW Reviews: 'The Phat Pack' Brings Las Vegas First-Rate Broadway Entertainment
December 26, 2012
The debut of 'The Phat Pack' to Las Vegas this month signified a wonderful gift to the city.
Shania Twain Proves She's 'Still The One' With A Beautiful Show
December 8, 2012
Shania Twain had been absent from performing for eight years. Her return, quite appropriately in a show called Shania Twain: Still The One, came December 1 when she opened at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. There, she shares he 4,200-seat theater with Celine Dion, Elton John and Rod Stewart and, in this excellent company, her show proves equal to them all. And with a huge stage she can pretty much do as she wishes. And, it seems, she wished for a beautiful show.
BWW Reviews: ZARKANA - A Beautiful Addition to Las Vegas' Cirque Offerings
November 17, 2012
Cirque du Soleil is to Las Vegas as, say, the Tour d'Effil is to Paris. Cirque shows have helped define the city since December 25, 1993, when Mystere took up permanent residence at Treasure Island. Today, Cirque shows play to about 9,000 people each night here. The latest Cirque entry is Zarkana and it is, indeed, a welcome addition to the city.
BWW Reviews: John Stephan: A Welcome Newcomer Who Brings Roy Orbison Along
October 8, 2012
When circumstances prevent one from reviewing a show immediately after seeing it, the reviewer may scuttle the review with the thought that it's old news. That's especially true in a city like Las Vegas where there's so much entertainment that's in town for a matter of one to three days. That happened to me once and might have happened again. But this time, circumstances prevented a timely review of John Stephan and not writing about him at all would have been wrong. This guy is so good and gives the audience such a good show, he demands to be written about and, of course, seen whenever one can.
BWW Reviews: Can WICKED's Oz and Las Vegas Happily Co-Exist?
September 9, 2012
This production of 'Wicked' the Stephen Schwartz (music and lyrics) and Winnie Holzman (book) musical based on the Gregory Maguire novel of the same name is gorgeous to look at and boasts a cast of first-rate professionals. Eugene Lee's sumptuous sets and Susan Hilferty's costumes have come to Las Vegas with a road company of outstanding talent.
Barbara Cook At Long Last Gives The Gift Of Her Music To Las Vegas
August 17, 2012
I first fell in love with Barbara Cook when I was a small child and was taken to see Plain and Fancy. What I remember to this day from that show is Barbara Cook coming onstage in a turquoise Lincoln Continental. The car had a black leather interior and she was dressed to match - turquoise sheath dress with black shoes, belt and hat. It was my ideal picture of what being a grown-up woman should be like (still is). Even though, I saw her many times after that and realized what a beautiful voice she possesses, that picture of her has never left my mind.
BWW Reviews: At The Sinatra Club- One Man's Story Of Living And Escaping The Mob Life
July 24, 2012
Sal Polisi will tell you he's gone from "racketeer to raconteur" and, indeed, he has. His one-man show, At The Sinatra Club, is unscripted but very, very interesting. He is, in fact, a highly skilled raconteur and he performed his show Sunday at Las Vegas' Clark County Library. The audience of 315 people was totally involved, responding to Polisi's words as if he were conversing with them individually.
BWW Reviews: Sondheim Dazzles In Las Vegas
July 16, 2012
I am not given to gushing but, with apologies for doing so, I am about to gush. You see, on Saturday evening, I felt very privileged. For on that night, I went to Las Vegas' gorgeous Smith Center for the Arts and saw Stephen Sondheim: A Life In The Theater, An Evening of Music and Conversation.
BWW Reviews: Oak Ridge Boys - Still Mighty & Better Than Ever
July 8, 2012
I once asked a friend of mine what it was like seeing a certain legendary performer in concert. Her reply was, "It was a privilege." Well, if you ask me today what it was like seeing the Oak Ridge Boys at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas this weekend, my reply would be the same. It was indeed a privilege.
Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular — Just Two More Months Until The Music of the Night Is Stilled
June 28, 2012
Try as they might to be objective, it is the nature of the job that causes reviewers to be subjective. The response to a play, film, book or a piece of art or music is rooted in who the reviewer is. What is his or her life experience? Birthplace? Education? Etc?
Summer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theatre Picks - Las Vegas!
June 7, 2012
The best of the best in Las Vegas this summer!
BWW Reviews: Murray SawChuck - Magic & Comedy Make a Show That's Fun for Everyone
June 6, 2012
His face is familiar and so are his hair and black-rimmed glasses. You've seen him on Pawn Stars, America's Got Talent, Celebracadabra and lots of other TV shows. Stick-thin with a shock of platinum blonde hair styled like brush bristles, he describes himself as what the child of Andy Warhol and Lady Gaga would look like. But Murray is much more than what you've seen on TV and what he looks like.
BWW Reviews: Glen Campbell's Goodbye Tour: Poignant? Yes! But Nonetheless A Terrific Night Of Music
June 4, 2012
Like many in his audience, I didn't know what to expect when I went to see the Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour on June 2 at The Las Vegas Hotel (used to be the Las Vegas Hilton). When it ended, I felt privileged that I'd had the opportunity to be in the audience.
BWW Reviews: Rich Little Celebrates Jimmy Stewart & Friends
May 11, 2012
No, I don't have that kind of sixth sense. And, no, I wasn't alone. There were a few hundred people sharing the experience. That's what went through my mind as I watched impressionist Rich Little perform his new show, Jimmy Stewart & Friends at The LVH (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) on press night.
BWW Reviews: Santana Begins Residency at the House of Blues!
May 4, 2012
I had the good fortune to go to a great party Wednesday night. Well, it wasn't officially a party. It was, officially, the first of Santana's 31-show 2012 residency at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. (This residency extends into 2013 with those dates to be announced.)
Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth Reveals A Man of Wit and Charisma
April 16, 2012
Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is the undisputed champ's first foray into live stage performance and, it turns out, it is funny, profane, moving and somewhat enlightening. People who see it expecting huge revelations or confessions of wrongdoing in, say, his tumultuous marriage to Robin Givens may be disappointed. But Tyson is nothing if not entertaining. He's got a great sense of humor and is pretty realistic about himself and his life.
BWW Reviews: JERSEY BOYS in Vegas - Same Terrific Show In A Beautiful New Home
March 26, 2012
The Jersey Boys have moved south - at least in Las Vegas, that is. The show has moved from the Palazzo Resort Hotel in Las Vegas a few blocks south to Paris Las Vegas, taking up residence in the theater the hotel refurbished when Barry Manilow opened there in March 2010.
BWW Reviews: Chazz Palminteri In A Bronx Tale: The Kind of Theater Too Seldom Seen In Las Vegas Is Back
March 13, 2012
If you come to Las Vegas looking for the mob - or if you live here and want to enhance your visit to the new Mob Museum (which visitors and tourists alike should make a point of visiting) - you should stop by the Terry Fator Theatre in the Mirage between now and next Tuesday to Chazz Palminteri is performing his solo play A Bronx Tale.
Davi Sings Sinatra: A Journey To Vintage Vegas Guided By A Master
February 24, 2012
If you Google "Las Vegas entertainment" you'll get thousands of links to shows. Many of these shows claim to bring back the vintage vibe that made the city famous for its entertainment in the 60's. You'll also get lots of entertainment where people impersonate the entertainers who frequented the city then, most especially the Rat Pack. Some of these shows are fine, fun trips down memory lane. But Davi Sings Sinatra, in the Venetian Hotel and Casino showroom this weekend, is much more.
BWW Reviews: Jewtopia Live: Modern Jewish Culture Explored and Explained
February 21, 2012
Jewtopia Live is a trenchant look at the culture that has grown up around Judaism in America. It opens at a Jewish singles event where we meet Chris O'Connell (Jeremy Rishe), a Christian who wants to be Jewish, marry a Jewish girl and, thus, have a wife "who cleans" and who "swallows" and whose very presence will enable him to never have to make another decision. His childhood friend Adam (Bryan Fogel) undertakes to teach him about being Jewish.
BWW Reviews: The Scintas - The Spectacular Next Generation Keeps Up The Family Tradition
December 6, 2011
Something extraordinary happened in the showroom at the Suncoast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas this weekend. A star was born.
BWW Reviews: Kris Kristofferson - In A Word, 'Timeless'
November 28, 2011
At 8 pm the lights went down and, very quietly, Kris Kristofferson walked alone onto the stage of the Orleans Casino showroom. There was a black metal music stand to the right of where he stood. On it were a set list and, it seemed, a harmonica or two. He carried a guitar and a harmonica in a holder. He began to sing and, for 90 minutes or so, it was just Kris Kristofferson and his music.
BWW Reviews: Elton John's Million Dollar Piano A Solid Gold Addition To Caesars Colosseum Offerings
October 31, 2011
Elton John has joined Celine Dion and Rod Stewart as an alternating headliner at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Nominations Now Open For 2011 BWW Las Vegas Awards!
October 10, 2011
The inaugural BWW Best of Las Vegas Awards brought on spirited competition and a great deal of interest. Now, the nominations for the 2011 awards are open.
BWW Reviews: Rod Stewart: The Hits — The New Must-See Show In Las Vegas
August 25, 2011
Last night, Rod Stewart conquered Las Vegas. Opening a two-year run at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace - where he will alternate with Cline Dion and Elton John - he had the audience of 4,100 on their feet, singing and cheering.
BWW Reviews: LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS: A Visit With Friends
August 17, 2011
Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna came into the spotlight in the 60s. Accomplished writers and actors, theirs is one of the more enduring pop culture partnerships. Lovers and Other Strangers, their 1970 collaboration - first a play, then a film - told the story of their wedding in the Culture Clash of extended Italian and Jewish families.
BWW Reviews: Engelbert Humperdinck: A Classic Performer Does A Classic Show
July 25, 2011
Lots of people dismiss those singers who have been entertaining since the 1960s (or before) as 'oldies' acts, hauling out the old hits, looking old and, in all, nicely nostalgic but sort of sad. And, sometimes, that's true. But. There are also certain entertainers who vividly remind one of the golden days of vintage Las Vegas - before $2,000 bottle service in ultra lounges and celebrity DJs. There was time when entertainment in Las Vegas showrooms was special, with the with an only-in-Las-Vegas ambiance that signaled to audience members that they were in for a special, memorable evening.
Cabaret: Living & Thriving In Adelaide, Australia
June 29, 2011
On June 25, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival wrapped up its 11th annual celebration of that art form in grand style, proving that the art of cabaret is very much alive.
BWW Reviews' Great Talent In Adelaide: Mark Nadler, Lisa Hunt, Gillian Cosgriff
June 16, 2011
The Adelaide Cabaret Festival brings a vast variety of entertainment to South Australia. For proof, just look beyond the main stages in the 2,000-seat Festival Theatre and the 600+ Dunstan Playhouse, the most traditional performing spaces in the Festival Centre.
Dateline Adelaide, Australia: The Annual Cabaret Festival Dazzles From The Very Beginning
June 14, 2011
The gathering of extraordinary talent from around the world that is Australia's Adelaide Cabaret Festival has begun. And, through June 25, 44 stunningly talented individuals and groups will entertain and, in many cases, amaze.
BWW Reviews: This Is Harmik As Tom Jones: The Tribute Artist and His Guests Provide A Diverting, Different Show
June 6, 2011
Before I came to Las Vegas, I'd group all celebrity impersonators together. Most of them (like Rich Little) did several impersonations while some, like Vaughn Meader, did one person. (Of course, when his subject, JFK, was assassinated, his career was over.) But, whatever the number of people they did, they were copying the individual. But, since I've moved here, I've become quite familiar with another group of entertainers who 'do' their subjects, but are not impersonators. They are, instead, 'tribute artists.'
BWW Reviews: Vegas: The Show!: This One Deserves The Exclamation!
June 2, 2011
Think about it: How many times have you seen the title of a show or movie with an exclamation point on the end? There's Oklahoma! Airplane! Three Amigos! Mamma Mia! Hot Shots! Oliver!....and those are only a few. Some of them actually, depending upon your response, may have deserved the exclamation. Most, however, do not. An exception to this general truism is Vegas! The Show.
Earl Turner Is Back Home And He Is Very, Very Welcome
May 22, 2011
Not being one given to exaggeration, I can say in all honesty that Earl Turner is the best solo performer in Las Vegas. Well, sort of.
Earl is certainly the best, one of the people who earned Las Vegas the name "The City of Entertainment." But, sadly, he's not here often enough these days. Like so many other talented people, the economy has sent him packing, to other cities, on cruises - and Las Vegas-based entertainers are a staple of cruises these days - to anyplace there is work. In his case, that is a pity.
Earl Turner is his generation's Sammy Davis, Jr. (Remember, no exaggeration!) He can sing, he dances and is a fine actor, too. While his show doesn't feature the latter, it certainly showcases his singing and dancing. He is also the only man I've ever seen perform And I'm Telling You (from Dreamgirls) and do it as well as Jennifer Holliday did.
Broadway In The Hood: A Talented Troupe Pays Tribute To 'The Best of Broadway'
April 25, 2011
In the very best "show must go on" tradition, the performers of Las Vegas' Broadway In The Hood troupe battled mics that didn't work and lighting that didn't always shine to perform The Best of Broadway Las Vegas April 21 at Texas Station Casino.