Revisit Your Love for ‘WAR’


The legendary funk-rock band brings their hit-filled tour to CANNERY CASINO….

With a band named WAR, you know that there is plenty of depth embedded within the lashing guitar licks, distinctive rhythms, and passionate vocals. Born out of the cultural turbulence of the 1960s, WAR was anything but a proponent of violence. One of the first multi-ethnic groups to break into the mainstream with titles like “The Cisco Kid”, WAR stood for cultural equality, peace, and harmony. And more than five decades later, their message couldn’t be more relevant.

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Blending funk, rock, jazz, reggae and Latin influences into their own distinctive sound, WAR is often called “The original street band”. Formed in 1969 with over 50 million records sold and 12 Billboard Top 40 hits, WAR had a huge impact on cultural fusion. Sadly, the racism, civil unrest, and prejudice of decades past have once again reared their ugly heads. Thank goodness that WAR is back on tour, sharing an appeal for positivity with songs like “Why Can’t We Be Friends”, “Spill The Wine” and “The World Is A Ghetto”.

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Many of WAR‘s shows have been historic events, some in ways that would become painful memories. Jimi Hendrix joined the group onstage in 1970 for what would be his final live performance. The very next day, he passed away. Band member Papa Dee Allen suffered a brain aneurysm and died during a show in 1988. But love, loss and a belief in the healing power of music have continued to propel the band forward.

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                                                            Lonnie Jordan of WAR

As with any long-running troupe, the line-up of WAR has changed frequently throughout the years. The one constant has been singer/songwriter Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan. A native of San Diego, Jordan has enriched the band with his distinctive vocal style while also playing percussion, guitar, and keyboards. He’s seen the group rise from small clubs in southern California through their nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. That same year, they released their newest album EVOLUTIONARY.

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Growing up as a young man in the Viet Nam era, Jordan might not have realized the lasting impact that he and his “Low Rider” bandmates were about to make on the world, but it was certainly their intention to try:

“Our feeling was if we can have the name we have and make positive music, we can use our instruments as weapons and use our name to make war on war.”

            – Herald & Review, 8/3/07

WAR performs at Cannery Casino on Saturday March 14th at 8pm. Tickets start at $29.95 (plus taxes/fees) and can be reserved by clicking HERE

Photos: War The Band via Facebook

 

 

‘EXTRAVAGANZA- THE LAS VEGAS SPECTACULAR’ EMBRACES SIN CITY’S SHOWGIRL LEGACY


Click HERE to read this article via the awesome BestOfVegas.com site and save $27 on tickets to EXTRAVAGANZA.

The famed Bally’s Showroom on the Strip is often referred to as the birthplace of the iconic Las Vegas showgirl. Whether that’s true or not can be debated, but the classic Donn Arden production JUBILEE! performed there for an incredible 35 years. Now, the spirit of that famed revue and the showgirls themselves are set to return in a new variety show called EXTRAVAGANZA – The Vegas Spectacular.

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Set to premiere on March 14th, EXTRAVAGANZA – The Vegas Spectacular will feature an international cast of more than 30 artists and performers. It’s directed by Hanoch Rosènn, the creative force behind WOW – The Vegas Spectacular at Rio Hotel Casino. And while the two share similar DNA, EXTRAVAGANZA will lean a little less towards “family-friendly” and a bit more towards the sensual and passionate.

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Advance buzz on EXTRAVAGANZA has centered around an extremely sexy cast of athletic and graceful performers. Guests can expect to be mesmerized by thrill-inducing acts that feature aerialists, acrobats, comedians, ventriloquists, and dancers. Some of the most astonishing feats of Sin City’s entertainment heyday will return, too, including the infamous “Globe of Death”.

Fans of Downtown’s Fremont Street Experience will surely remember the terrifying “Globe of Death”, a gasp-worthy stunt in which several high-speed motorcyclists roar around at top speeds while inside a spherical cage. The “Globe of Death” ranks with CELESTIA‘s “Wheel of Death” as one of the most popular and frightening daredevil acts ever to be performed in the city on a regular basis.

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EXTRAVAGANZA will also include a salute to Vegas icons like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, this time via state-of-the-art hologram technology. LED video screen backdrops, elaborate costumes, and large-scale sets will transport guests through several decades of songs, dances, and variety acts that laid the foundation for contemporary epic productions like Le Reve – The Dream and Michael Jackson ONE.

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Director Rosènn was inspired by the success of WOW – The Vegas Spectacular (two years, over 1,000 performances and counting) to create EXTRAVAGANZA as a tribute to Las Vegas and its legacy of entertainment.  “The show is my homage to this amazing city – bringing not only tremendous and unique performers from all over the world – but, also, some of the most iconic and thrilling acts, as well as, the return of the classic showgirls, who made the Jubilee Theatre home for so many decades.”

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EXTRAVAGANZA – The Vegas Spectacular premieres March 14th. It will perform Thursday through Tuesday at 7pm with an additional 9pm show on Saturday. Click HERE to purchase tickets starting at only $48 (plus taxes/fees).

Photos: Caprio Media Design for EXTRAVAGANZA – The Las Vegas Spectacular

 

 

INSIDE THE PREMIERE OF ‘RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE LIVE’ AT THE FLAMINGO


Daring new revue holds star-studded red carpet gala for premiere performance…

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Click HERE to read this article via the awesome BestOfVegas site and save $42 on tickets to RuPaul’s Drag Race Live!…

Drag performance has been an entertainment mainstay for centuries. From Shakespearean times to Milton Berle, from Tootsie to Mrs. Doubtfire, audiences have long enjoyed gender-reversal characterizations. Vegas, in particular, has embraced the art form with Frank Marino as the longest-running headliner in Sin City history. Now Frank and other Sin City “divas” are facing fierce competition from RuPaul’s Drag Race Live! at Flamingo.

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Last week’s splashy red-carpet premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Live! was a star-studded gala featuring celebs from the worlds of fashion, entertainment, media and of course, plenty of drag queens. A pre-show party with themed cocktails was held at Flamingo Patio Bar, adjacent to WERK ROOM.

The outrageous WERK ROOM is an interactive retail outlet and make-up salon designed to complement the new production and immerse you in the world of drag. There, guests can experience a mini-transformation and get their own cosmetics, accessories, and gifts to take home.

Of course, it was curiosity about the show itself that brought out the crowds, and the famous Flamingo Showroom was packed to capacity. What could have been a clumsy attempt to modernize drag entertainment in less-capable hands became one of the biggest surprises to hit the Strip in years. The fully-conceptualized production, directed by RuPaul herself, features a soundtrack of new original songs and exciting choreography by Jamal Sims (Disney’s Aladdin – 2019).

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A rotating cast of six “contestants” takes the audience, by way of song and dance, through various personal experiences and how they came to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race. They explore the ways that the long-running TV series changed their lives and what it means to influence our ever-changing and troubled culture. Never preachy, the storyline acknowledges the difficulties faced by those of alternate lifestyles while maintaining a tongue-in-cheek perspective brimming with positivity and love.

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No expense has been spared to bring RuPaul’s Drag Race vividly to life on a stage. Flamingo’s showroom has been outfitted with amazingly realistic video backdrops, dazzling LED curtains, a booming sound system, and eye-catching sets. Costumes and make-up design are suitably outrageous, and each featured “queen” is given an opportunity to shine in solo numbers. Following the TV show’s format, RuPaul then has them compete in various challenges before a big showdown to determine the winner.

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Fans of La Cage and DIVAS may think that drag queens are simply celebrity female impersonators. That may have been true in the past, but no longer! What makes RuPaul’s Drag Race Live a complete re-invention of traditional drag is that this time, the “ladies” themselves are the stars. Every performer has created a unique character and persona, each with their own legion of rabid fans.

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The exception is Derrick Barry, the world’s best-known Britney Spears impersonator. Barry is a Vegas local who’s achieved international stardom thanks to appearances on television shows like America’s Got Talent and years of live performance. But it’s his personal journey into show business and through worldwide acceptance that’ll capture your imagination.

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Along with Barry, the opening cast includes series favorites Asia O’Hara, Kameron Michaels, Naomi Smalls, Vanessa “Vanjie” Matteo, and Yvie Oddly. They’re backed by the “Pit Crew”, a troupe of sizzling shirtless muscle boys whose dance skills could make the Chippendales envious. It all comes together in an outrageous night that redefines drag shows…and Las Vegas stage productions as a whole.

At a press conference the next morning, RuPaul stated that he hopes to see the show expand beyond Vegas, perhaps even to Broadway. But for the time being, he’s just very excited that RuPaul Drag Race Live! has become a sparkly and explosive reality. “The show is a smash hit” he exclaimed to the cast. “The show is a smash hit!”.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Live! performs Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 9:30pm. Save $42 by ordering tickets at BestOfVegas

Photos: Denise Truscello via The Publicity Lab, Sam Novak

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE JETS BRING NOSTALGIC ‘80’S AND ‘90’S FUN TO V THEATER


The unforgettable 80’s family band brings their own top hits and many more to PHo’s V Theater…

Click HERE to read this article and purchase tickets through the awesome BestOfVegas site.

No matter what era you grew up in, chances are that you’re a fan of 80’s and 90’s music. Even today’s teens know how great the era was, thanks to the lasting influences of Tina Turner, Queen, Elton John, and boy bands like NKOTB. Now you can groove, funk and jive through the greatest years of pop music with the breakout band that made it real…The Jets.

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Now playing at Miracle Mile’s V Theater, THE JETS – The 80’s & 90’s Experience is a fast-paced jukebox of the songs you know and love. Original members LeRoy, Haini and Rudy Wolfgramm are joined by sister Etivise Haunga, cousin Vannessa Naeata, LeRoy’s 18-year-old son Evan and keyboardist Mychael Pollard.

The Jets were originally comprised of the eight eldest of seventeen siblings from the Wolfgramm family. They were the first breakthrough entertainers from the island kingdom of Tonga. Gifted with natural talent and great looks, their incredible family dynamic shines through every set. The group pumps out memorable covers of dance, rock, pop and that unmistakable Minneapolis funk made famous by Prince and Morris Day.

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The 80’s and 90’s Experience opens with a lengthy medley of The Jets‘ own favorites and those made famous by C + C Music Factory, Grammy winner Jody Watley and Madonna. Barely pausing to catch a breath, they dance through the material of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, TLC, Fugees, Will Smith, Destiny’s Child…even Vanilla Ice.

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Of course, the show truly shines when The Jets revisit their own smash singles. With eight top-ten hits and three certified Gold and Platinum albums, the music of The Jets seemed to be everywhere at their peak. They appeared in the soundtracks for movies like Beverly Hills Cop II, Karate Kid Part 3 and Whoopi Goldberg’s Burglar, and their songs continue in rotation on many Adult Contemporary stations today.

It’ll be hard to believe that three decades have passed when The Jets deliver such classics as “Cross My Broken Heart”, “You Got It All”, “Make It Real” and of course “I’ve Got A Crush On You”. Decked out in colorful outfits that evoke the 80’s, they provide their own musical accompaniment, playing drums, guitar and keyboards while dancing across the stage and up and down the aisles.

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The boundless enthusiasm The Jets maintain during their performances is absolutely contagious. If there really is a fountain of youth, it exists back on those Polynesian islands of the Wolfgramm family tree. And you’ll feel like a teenager, too, when you see The Jets – The 80’s and 90’s Experience. It’s a soaring time capsule you’ll want to open again and again.

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The Jets perform Tuesday through Saturday at 7pm. Save up to $50 on tickets now with Best of Vegas.

Photos: Sam Novak, The Jets

5 Reasons To Revisit ‘VEGAS! The Show’


Epic production revisits decades of legendary Sin City superstars…

Click HERE to read this article and purchase discounted tickets through the awesome BestOfVegas site.

Las Vegas earned its title as the City of Entertainment through years of world-class headliners. From Tom Jones and Tina Turner to Dean Martin and Gladys Knight…they all paved the way for the stars of today. And you can revisit every one of these legendary performances in VEGAS! The Show.

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The long-running VEGAS! The Show (at Saxe Theater inside Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops) is as fresh as the day it opened nearly a decade ago. It’s a large-scale treat with massive sets, superb choreography, an outstanding setlist and much, much more. Whether you’re new to Vegas entertainment or a longtime devotee, VEGAS! The Show is a journey through the decades that’s not to be missed. Here are five reasons why:

THE PRODUCTION DESIGN IS UNRIVALED – The sets, costumes, and props for VEGAS! The Show have a wonderfully authentic feel. From the glamorous showgirl headdresses, tuxedos and top hats to the retro-cool chic of a 50’s soda shop, you’ll believe that you’re actually experiencing a trip through time.

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Various segments take you to the groovy days of Sonny and Cher, the gritty streets of Sinatra’s New York City, a naughty can-can at the Moulin Rouge and a visit to the candy store with Sammy Davis Jr. There are even a two-level bandstand and a mock-up of the Neon Boneyard, downtown’s final resting place for those iconic neon signs.

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A WHIRLWIND OF VARIETY ACTS – Following JUBILEE‘s well-established format, the larger sequences in VTS are punctuated by a collection of specialty acts. You’ll never know who will step out from behind the curtain, from acrobat Yasu Yoshikawa and juggler Michael Holly to the troupe of riotous physical comedians known as The Quiddlers. Each one is guaranteed to amaze, amuse and keep the show moving at a breakneck pace.

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LIVE BAND and SINGERS – Many of today’s productions have recently eliminated live musicians as a cost-saving measure. Not so at Vegas! The Show, where audiences are treated to a crackerjack eleven-piece band. Piano, horns, drums, and guitars bring you a musical experience that no pre-recorded track could ever emulate. VTS‘s amazing singers do double-duty, offering authentic recreations of familiar stars while delivering stunning vocalizations in their own style. Which brings us to…

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AN ALL-STAR CAST – Since the very beginning, Vegas! The Show has been a whos-who of Sin City stars, both current and in-the-making. Ballroom dancers Alejandro and Sarah Domingo became featured performers in Palazzo’s BAZ. Broadway star Josh Strickland (Disney’s Tarzan) was a lead singer for many years. Eric Jordan Young and Jaclyn McSpadden have gone on to outstanding musical productions like Cocktail Cabaret, BAZ and Postmodern Jukebox.

Today’s line-up is just as impressive. America’s Got Talent alumnus Samantha Johnson delivers stunning renditions of the hits of Gladys Knight, Lena Horne, and Tina Turner. Vocalist JT Seumalu belts out Wayne Newton‘s “Danke Schoen” then smoothly shifts gears to an Elvis gospel tune. Elijah Rock is wonderful as host “Ernie”, who takes you through the years while crooning Sammy’s “Candyman” and “Once In A Lifetime”. He and many more are accompanied by over a dozen stunning dancers.

NONSTOP HITS – Get ready for a rousing parade of timeless favorites. “Midnight Train To Georgia”, “I’ve Got You Babe”, “What’s New Pussycat”, “If I Can Dream” and “Shining Star”…they’re all here. Disco, funk, jazz, lounge standards and the big-band era get the VTS treatment in epic style. Seumalu brings the show to an emotional climax with “Rocketman” as videos of hotel implosions return us to present-day Sin City.

The Golden Era of Entertainment may have come and gone, but thanks to Vegas! The Show, the legacy will live on for a long time to come.

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VEGAS! The Show performs nightly at 7pm (dark Sunday) with an additional 9pm performance on select evenings. Tickets start at only $54 via BestOfVegas and can be purchased by clicking HERE

Photos: Sam Novak, Vegas! The Show, JT Seumalu/The Quiddlers via Facebook

Chippendales Announces Sizzling Guest Hosts for 4 Shows Only


MTV heartthrobs Joss Mooney and Rogan O’Connor are the latest and hottest guest hosts to melt the stage at Rio…

Click HERE to read this article and purchase tickets through the awesome BestOfVegas site…

The men of Chippendales have always been trendsetting in the world of the male revues. Innovative and daring, they’ve raised the bar and set new standards for celebrity guest hosts, too. From Tony Dovolani and Nyle Dimarco (of Dancing with the Stars) to supermodel/actor Tyson Beckford…if they’re hot, you know that they’ll eventually be strapping on the signature collar, cuffs, and bowtie. After all, who could resist the appeal of the gold-standard Chippendales brand?

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                     Joss Mooney (left) and Rogan O’Connor are best friends in real life…

Last year’s guest stint with Jersey Shore alumnus Vinny Guadagnino set new records at Rio for the long-running production. MTV‘s “Keto Guido” returned for a second round, proving that audiences were thirsty to see their favorite hunks up close and in the flesh. Now Chippendales has answered the call once more with special guests Joss Mooney and Rogan O’Connor.

Mooney and O’Connor have been individually sending shock waves through the airwaves via appearances on programs like MTV’s THE CHALLENGE: World of War 2, FINAL RECKONING and EX ON THE BEACH. It was only a matter of time before these two athletically-gifted men-about-town would come face to face in the real world.

                               The boys don their cuffs and collars for the first time…

What could have been a disastrous, competitive head-butting has turned into the ultimate bromance. Now the pair are best pals and affectionately known as “Jogan”. Sexy, unstoppable and a true force of nature, the fit Brits will make their way onto the Chippendales stage for four shows only on January 24th and 25th.

“Guys like Joss and Rogan fit the bill as great looking, athletically fit celebrity talent who enhance the Chippendales experience when strategically integrated in the show.” says Kevin Denberg, Chippendales Managing Partner. “We’re excited to have them on board.”

                         Dance captain Ryan Kelsey takes the guys through their paces…

And you’ll be excited, too, when you see what Joss and Rogan have up their sleeves…and under their shirts. Could a resident gig be in their future? That remains to be seen, but with such a loyal fan base, they’re likely to sell out all four scheduled performances right away. So don’t take any chances. Order your seats today.

Chippendales tickets start at only $38 (plus taxes/fees) at Best Of Vegas. 

Photos: Chippendales, 11 Degrees

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW ‘CELESTIA’ STAR VIP EXPERIENCE


Cosmic circus production invites guests to be a part of the show…

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE VIA THE AWESOME BESTOFVEGAS.COM WEBSITE…

In today’s era of heightened reality, the world of entertainment continues to become more immersive. From 3-D movies to interactive video games, audiences yearn to be a part of the action. Now The STRAT Hotel Casino invites you to ascend to the cosmos of CELESTIA with ‘VIP Star Experience’.

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CELESTIA fondly harkens back to the days of pure circus artistry that many of us grew up with. Live music, death-defying acts, dazzling lighting and a large cast of international talent come together under a glorious Big Top that is unlike anything Las Vegas has ever seen. The interior of the tent is awash in astral projections that transport the audience beyond the planets and to the furthest reaches of the galaxy.

                                         CELESTIA is appropriate for all ages…

Star VIP Experience allows up to eight guests at a time to witness the magic of CELESTIA right on stage with the performers. You will feel the heat as flaming batons fill the starry sky and gasp in awe as acrobats sail through the air, mere inches from your seat. Surrounded by musicians, dancers, aerialists, and contortionists, you’ll be drawn into the show in a way never before possible.

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The journey of CELESTIA‘s characters culminates in the Wheel of Death, a massive spinning structure on which two daredevils run, jump, skip rope and flip. As a VIP Star, you’ll feel the rush of air as the Wheel of Death spins faster and faster. Your seats will rumble from the shockwave created by the giant device, and your heart will skip a few beats as you witness this amazing climax closer than ever before.

CELESTIA‘s new VIP Star Experience is more than an artist’s-eye view of the performance. As a participant, you’ll be welcomed into the Big Top through a dedicated entrance, where you’ll receive a commemorative laminate, hot fresh popcorn, and a cocktail or beverage. Members of the cast will greet you before the show begins and personally escort you to your onstage vantage point for 70 minutes of award-winning excitement.

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Individual photo opportunities wrap up the Experience, including onstage pics with artists in front of the famed Wheel of Death. Then you’ll receive a tote bag filled with CELESTIA merchandise before returning to the Earth-bound confines of your everyday world.

Since opening, CELESTIA has set itself apart from its Vegas counterparts in numerous ways. The Big Top’s north-Strip location makes CELESTIA a unique gateway to the city’s Arts District. Late last year, the show’s outdoor courtyard began hosting Artists’ Square, a weekend showcase provided free-of-charge to local artists. Performance pieces and stationary exhibits will greet visitors each Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.

Every Friday and Sunday at 4pm, CELESTIA hosts an Open House inside their 30,000 square foot tent. Also complimentary, these 30-minute forums give new visitors and returning fans alike the rare opportunity to meet performers and learn what it takes to be a part of the circus. You can witness their challenging training techniques and enjoy awe-inspiring demonstrations of their amazing skills.

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                 CELESTIA is perfect for groups of friends. Tickets start at only $29…

CELESTIA performs Wednesday through Sunday at 7pm with an additional 9pm performance on select weekend nights. The show is appropriate for all ages. Click HERE to order tickets through BestOfVegas.com. 

Photos: Sam Novak, Bobby Watson, CELESTIA via Facebook