History does repeat itself, and especially in Las Vegas when it comes to entertainment. They (the stars who helped to build those great showrooms of the past) do return now and then and are welcomed back with full showrooms, plenty of applauses, and lots of love. But the days of the big orchestras are gone. Today three or four synthesizers and a rhythm section does the job.
Barry Manilow, one of those who helped in the building our village back in the day, returned to one of the stages where he performed from 2005 to 2010 (I believe it was for five-years), the once International Hotel, then The Hilton, The Las Vegas Hotel, and today the Westgate Hotel & Casino. The stage at the Westgate is one of the last great showrooms constructed to allow for any type of show. The International Showroom was a massive showroom when it opened in 1969, seating a little over 1600 (it also had a few rows of VIP booths at one time) which today is mostly all theater style seating, and a balcony.
And Manilow uses the whole stage with a 10-piece band (including those synthesizers), and three fantastic back-up singers. He also utilizes every electronic device known to man to create a dynamic 80-minute presentation, including a 3-D film tour of his New York, telling little stories about himself growing up in Brooklyn, and how his grandfather realized that Barry had some musical talent, and helped him along the road to becoming what he is today. Barry also reminds his audience of his early days of making a buck-or-two by writing and performing commercial jingles.
But, the stories, the electronic stuff, and the 3-D glasses, weren’t what the sold-out audience had come for. Nope, they wanted to hear the 75-year-old sing the songs he was famous for, and does he deliver? You bet! He even does a sing-along with a younger Manilow, which I personally appreciated having watched him now over a span of nearly 40 years.
With a great deal of stage production Manilow delivers such wonderful songs (in no certain order mind you) as “Mandy,” “This One’s for You,’ “Looks Like we Made it,” “I Write the Songs,” “Can’t Smile Without You, “Could It Be Magic,” “On Broadway,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” and his closer “Copacabana.”
When the band strikes up the first notes to “Copacabana,” his back-ups appear on stage in colorful costumes, and that’s when a horseshoe metal walkway slowly drops from the ceiling and becomes a circular ramp over the heads of the main-room audience. It’s Manilow’s way of a salute to those seated in the balcony. By this time the audience is standing waving glow lights (given to you as you enter the showroom along with the 3-S glasses) and it’s a “Party!”
There are a couple of times when Barry sorta returned to those days when he had a 32-piece orchestra and just a piano on stage, and he sang his music. Those were favorite moments for this particular reporter. I loved his style then and his new style today. Barry Manilow is one of the last Icons who truly could say he worked in the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” when it really was. He sings the songs people remember and appreciate. Manilow knows how to sell a song and he receives in return a number of standing ovations. At the end no one wants to leave.
For reservations contact the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino Box Office at (800)-222-5361 or online at WestgateLasVegas.com. Tickets will range in price from $19.75 to $329.75 plus tax and applicable fees. There are no shows scheduled for August.
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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer will be the featured guests at a Sept. 13 autograph session before the Star Nursery 100 NASCAR K&N Series West race at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Harvick and Bowyer – who have combined to win nine MENCS races this season – will be joined by a number of popular drivers from NASCAR’s top three series at the autograph session, which will run from 6-7 p.m. inside the Dirt Track’s ticket gates. More drivers will be added to the autograph session in the coming weeks.
The Star Nursery 100 – the K&N Series West’s first race on dirt – begins at 8 p.m. and kicks off a full weekend of racing at America’s Racing Showplace. Following the Dirt Track race, action will then shift to the superspeedway with the World of Westgate 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on Friday, Sept. 14, a NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday and the South Point 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. Harvick, the 2014 Cup Series champion, will go for a Las Vegas sweep on Sunday as the South Point 400 kicks off the 2018 MENCS playoffs.
Star Nursery – which began its operation in 1983 and has seven of its 15 locations in Las Vegas – was title sponsor of the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series race at The Bullring in 2001. Southern Nevada’s premier garden center, Star Nursery also sponsored Las Vegas-born Kurt Busch during his NASCAR Southwest Tour Series championship season in 1999. The addition of the 100-lap K&N Pro Series West event gives the LVMS Dirt Track a powerful trio of events for 2018, along with the World of Outlaws FVP Outlaw Showdown Feb. 28-March 1 and the 21st annual Duel in the Desert Nov. 7-10. Top-tier NASCAR drivers are expected to be among the entries in the 100-lap race, and race organizers expect to announce specifics in the coming weeks.
The K&N West Series brought races to the 1.5-mile speedway from 1996-2001 and to The Bullring from 2001-03, but the Star Nursery 100 will mark the first K&N event at the LVMS Dirt Track. The evening will also include a 25-lap IMCA Western RaceSaver Sprint Series race as well. Fans who have purchased 2018 annual passes to both LVMS NASCAR weekends and patrons who have bought weekend passes for either of the track’s tripleheaders are eligible for discounted Star Nursery 100 tickets for $25. Star Nursery 100 tickets are available to the general public for $35 apiece, and ticket prices will increase on Thursday, Sept. 6. Log on to LVMS.com or call 800-644-4444 to order tickets for any LVMS events.
The hugely-successful I LOVE THE ’90s TOUR will have a permanent home on the Las Vegas Strip when I LOVE THE ’90s – THE VEGAS SHOW opens at Paris Las Vegas Friday, Oct. 12. This 90-minute, immersive dance party will feature a live DJ, nostalgic video content, dancers and more, giving audiences the opportunity to rediscover the music that influenced and defined a generation and contributed to making the ‘90s a decade to remember. A rotating lineup of crowd favorites will headline the Las Vegas shows, with Salt-N-Pepa, Rob Base and All-4–One kicking off the residency. Other artists confirmed to take part in this unbelievable live experience include Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, Kid ’n Play and Dru Hill.
The opening line-up along with Dru Hill’s Sisqó treated surprised Paris Las Vegas guests to a pop-up performance inside the center-Strip casino the other evening. Hundreds of fans gathered to see the unexpected appearance which was accompanied by an announcement of the show’s October Las Vegas debut. The tour kicked off in 2016, quickly racking up hundreds of shows across the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. In just two years, the tour has become one of the most sought-after live events, selling out arenas and tickets worldwide with its rotating lineup of the ’90s’ most iconic acts. Produced by UD Factory in partnership with Universal Attractions Agency (UAA) and Salt-N-Pepa. The show will perform select evenings at 9 p.m. beginning Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. Ticket prices start at $69.99, plus applicable taxes and fees, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com starting Friday, July 27.
The city of Las Vegas and Sin City Opera present “A Night with The Flying Dutchman,” a contemporary telling of the classic opera by Richard Wagner. Performances will be held Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by calling 702-229-2787. “The Flying Dutchman” is the operatic tale of a mysterious sailor, cursed to wander the seas for all eternity, whose only hope of salvation is to find a love that can stand the ultimate test. When the Dutchman finally meets a maiden, who swears to be true, he thinks he is saved – until another suitor asserts his claim. Will Senta renounce her first love and release the Dutchman from his curse? Or will she banish him to his watery doom? Sin City Opera (SCO) Artistic Director Skip K. Galla will stage the production, which will feature the SCO orchestra and multi-media design by Andrew Kurcan Stephenson of Kurcan Studios. Eugene Richards III, a former fellow of the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices’ “American Wagner Project,” will star in this Nevada premiere of Wagner’s timeless work. The program has been funded in part by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information on this opportunity and other cultural events, visit www.artslasvegas.org or call 702-229-ARTS (2787).
The 42nd annual Mrs. America Pageant will once again return to its original home at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino this summer. More than 52 women will compete in the 2018 Mrs. America Pageant for the chance to represent the United States in the internationally-televised Mrs. World Pageant. A winner will be crowned during the final competition on Saturday, August 25, 2018. The Mrs. America Pageant, rich in history, was first held in 1938 and continued until 1968. The pageant was revived after a nine-year hiatus in 1977 at the-then Las Vegas Hilton by David Marmel who, after a career in professional athletics and television production, helped transform the pageant into the multifaceted event is it today. The event was the first, and remains the foremost, competition for the married woman of the United States. For nearly four decades, Mrs. America has epitomized excellence, professionalism, and the celebration of family values.
Well, gang, when Barry Manilow returns to the Westgate in September, don’t hesitate to reserve your tickets. I would suggest getting them early.