Just yesterday I was lamenting the dearth of possible fallback positions for entertainers bounced from this or that casino. Heck, even the formerly volatile V Theater is enjoying its first stable lineup of shows since forever.
Sadly, we can add Scarlett and her Seductive Ladies of Magic (aka Abraca-Sexy) to the casualty list. With Charo literally and figuratively ailing, the Riviera's formerly robust lineup of shows is getting Slim-Fasted in a hurry.
Hopefully, somebody else can find a spot for Scarlett and her red bikini. Or she might take a cue from Bobby Slayton, who's literally getting out of town. So might Barry Manilow. However, we ran this down for a Question of the Day last week and the smart money has him taking up residence at the long-empty Paris-Las Vegas showroom. If Manilow can't break the jinx on that theater, nobody can.
I hope WizardOfVegas.com gets my Vintage Vegas review up before the show becomes history, because this Zowie Bowie extravaganza is an act of the so-bad-it's-good variety. It has the potential to go into posterity as one of the great Strip trainwrecks of all time.
Despite not having seen Vintage Vegas, Steve Friess channels the experience uncannily well: "I missed, for instance, what must have been a pretty disastrous opening night at the Monte Carlo for Zowie Bowie and its Vintage Vegas act ... even our most obsequious of entertainment scribes trashed them ... the idea here is that a major theater on the Strip is now given over to the alleged romance of Old Vegas. When it fails, I wonder, will anyone (else) suggest that maybe it wasn’t the execution that flopped, but the fact that people are bored with the effort to relive a bygone era?"
Having witnessed the completely pointless Rat Pack covers of spicy-as-mayonnaise Matt Goss, I'm inclined to agree. The 'retro' shows that work best -- like Rick Faugno's once-a-month showcase at South Point -- are ones in which the artist takes familiar material and makes his/her own. For Faugno, the songs associated with Frank Sinatra or Fred Astaire are as fresh and vital today as 50 years ago, and it comes through in his performance.
Much the same could be said for the Motown covers of Human Nature, a fantastic act that's literally crimped by management's determination to pack the absolute maximum number of tables into the Imperial Palace showroom. Memo to Rick Mazer: If you take 8-12 tables out, people will actually get up and dance, instead of merely wishing they could.
Speaking of showrooms, is there a smaller, crappier one than that at O'Shea's? You have to feel sorry for the performers who are relegated to this broom closet. Given the general disrepair evident at the Irish-themed casino, my best guess is that Harrah's Entertainment has decided to just let the place to go to hell until such time as they're ready to gut it and make it an anchor of their proposed off-Strip retail/restaurant mall.