Took in the newest edition of Legends in Concert at the new Tropicana Las Vegas the other evening. Wow what a great edition to its history. In 1983 I met with a friend who introduced me to John Stuart, the founder of the Legends show. He was going to hire me to do the publicity before the opening at the then Imperial Palace Hotel. They had a six-week contract. I knew it would be a full-time job, so I directed him to a fellow PR person as I was full-time with Robert Goulet at the Dunes Hotel (long gone today). However, I would guess, I’ve seen just about every new edition since its opening 36 years ago, and a number of times between openings.
And, I’ve got to tell ya gang, this newest edition has to be one of the top three of all-time shows. There is a total cast of 14, which includes two back-up singers: Abigail Galloway and Hunter Gerard; eight dancers John Marr, Calvin Turner, Cassie Silvia, Natalia Oliveira, Kaleigh Jones, Kayli Konarski, Ciara Cornett, Angela Krpicak, and Rosie White. The music is presented live by Musical Director Howard Stroman at guitar; Jimmy Powers on Bass guitar; Joe Escriba on Saxophone & Keys, and Ryan Krieger hitting the drums.
The showgirl costumes are out-of-sight and beautiful as are the ladies. The dancers also do background for the headliners which include Pat Benatar, Freddie Mercury, Lady Gaga, and of course Elvis.
The newest edition to Legends is the host. I have racked my memory bank and I can remember maybe once or twice when they actually had an impressionist as a titled host. But, baby, do they have one now! Frank Marino as Joan Rivers is a home run! Frank has been away from the local scene for about a year, and I believe, it has given him a new prospective on his life and the future. His material as Joan is a mixture of old jokes and a bunch of new ones. Of course, the Ralph Mackie designed gowns are still a highlight, and Frank as usual uses his old set-up for the Mink stole joke. It’s a new highlight for a show filled with highlights.
First on stage of course is the six Showgirls in fabulous costumes, and are they beautiful? You bet they are! They take us (those who remember the days when there were large revues such as the Follies at the Trop, etc) back to those wonderful showgirls who graced the stages of the major hotel showrooms back in the day.
Marino (as Joan Rivers) introduces the four-time Gammy Award winner, as portrayed by Jill Marie Burke, the wonderful Pat Benatar. Pat hits the stage with a melody including “Treat Me Right,” followed by “We Believe,” and one of her biggest hits, “Love is a Battlefield.”
Next up came Fernando Castro who appears on the stage as the world-famous British singer, songwriter, and one-time lead singer of the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury. Wow! Right off the bat he lets go with a great impression of “We Will Rock You,” with “We Are the Champions,” “Bohemian Rhapsody, and closing his section of the 70-minute revue with “Viva Las Vegas.”
Lady Gaga, presented to the filled showroom by a wonderful impressionist, Tierney Allen, immediately performed a melody of country hits, then swung into “A Million Reasons,” after a quick clothing change while the dancers performed, she returned in a nice suit with a great hat and sat down at the piano and sang “Paparazzi” before closing out her show with “Shallow,” the hit song from the move, “A Star Is Born.”
And what would a Legends show be without an Elvis? Well, gang, there probably wouldn’t be a show, as that was why the original show got extended beyond the six weeks when it opened at the old Imperial Palace. And Matt Lewis, the current Elvis, is as good as it gets. He opens with “That’s Alright Mama,” followed by a two-song medley of “Burning Love and Suspicious Minds,” ending with a terrific “Trilogy: America, Dixie and Hallelujah.”
This is a show you can bring your grandkids to, believe me. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m..
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
In what has become a tradition every year, Las Vegas was once again the epicenter of this year’s Mexican Independence Day Weekend, with Live Nation Las Vegas bringing Latin music’s hottest superstars to the Las Vegas Strip to perform live in concert for more than 78,500 fans. The concerts, performed by 13 different artists at seven different venues throughout the city over the weekend, were a huge success as Latinos from across the globe flocked to Las Vegas for the annual celebration.
Mexican singer, icon, and one of the most successful artists in Latin American history, Luis Miguel, took over The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for four nights beginning Thursday, Sept 12. The newly-renovated venue also saw a crowd-pleasing performance from multi-platinum recording artist Enrique Iglesias on Saturday, Sept. 14, marking his only U.S. date in 2019.
Legendary singer-songwriter Marco Antonio Solís brought his spectacular “Y La Historia Continúa” tour to Mandalay Bay Events Center on Friday, Sept. 13, where he was joined on stage by his daughters, Marla and Alison, for a special performance. Saturday evening, global Latin music idol Maluma celebrated the holiday weekend by bringing his 2019 MALUMA 11:11 WORLD TOUR to Las Vegas. Capping off the weekend was legendary Mexican singer Alejandro Fernandez, who has become a highlight of each year’s line-up, performing over two hours of his iconic hits and being joined by a full mariachi band midway through the set. The show reached a fever pitch when the audience formed a gigantic Mexican flag by wearing red, white and green hats.
Fans were also able to enjoy the festivities outdoors at Mandalay Bay Beach, with Mexican alternative rock band Café Tacvba’s 30th anniversary tour on Friday, Sept. 13, and a fiery performance from Alejandra Guzmán, one of the most talented, energetic and daring singers from Mexico, on Sunday, Sept. 15. Iconic Mexican group BANDA MS performed at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for the first time on Friday, Sept. 13 as part of their 2019 tour, “CON TODAS LAS FUERZAS.” Gloria Trevi, the indisputable queen of Spanish-language music who never stops shaking up the industry with her incomparable, audacious and irreverent style, brought her “Diosa De La Noche” Tour to the popular venue on Saturday, Sept. 14 alongside Colombian pop phenomenon Karol G. Then, on Sunday, Sept. 15, Salsa king Marc Anthony and his band closed out the weekend, with everyone standing up and dancing to his infectious music.
Additionally, on Saturday, Sept. 14, rock band Maná returned to Las Vegas with their headlining “Rayando El Sol Tour” at MGM Grand Garden Arena, while Mexican singer-songwriter Pancho Barraza performed at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan, and Reik, one of the top Latin pop groups in Mexico, brought their Tour 2019 to The Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort. In addition to their Latin music content this past weekend, Live Nation Las Vegas also hosted concerts from Eric Clapton, Iron Maiden and One Republic, as well as two Bruno Mars residency dates, moving an additional 41,300 tickets.
World-renowned DJ, recording artist, producer, and electronic dance music pioneer Paul Oakenfold will appear at the first-ever ‘Storm’ Area 51 Basecamp experience at the Alien Research Center on the Extraterrestrial Highway for one night only Friday, Sept. 20.
Festival-goers will have the chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime, psytrance performance from the two-time GRAMMY® nominee as they celebrate the ‘Storm’ Area 51 movement with one of electronic music’s most revered artists. It is difficult to encompass the full magnitude of Paul Oakenfold’s career into just mere words; for more than three decades, he has elevated and shaped an entire genre and remains one of the leading forces in today’s global music scene. Additionally, Oakenfold is well-known for delivering incredible live performances in some of the world’s most unique locations, including performances at the Great Wall of China, Mount Everest basecamp and Stonehenge, among others.
Oakenfold’s performance will headline Friday evening following an exclusive screening of Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell’s hit Netflix documentary Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers. Corbell is helping curate the desert experience, delivering an event for both believers and the uninitiated to have a place to come together, learn more and celebrate the global cultural movement calling for greater transparency around what many believe to be decades of government secrecy surrounding UFO technology.
Well, gang, that’s about all for this week. Watch out for those weird flying things that are sure to show up and try to take some examples of us humans back to their planet.