Best Overall Show – BAZ: A Musical Mash-up
All of the dozens of shows around the Valley tend to fall into just a few categories. Then there’s BAZ: A Musical Mash-up. A song-and-dance unlike anything Vegas has ever seen, it’s hard to describe…and an experience you will never forget.
That’s why, after two consecutive years as “Best New Show” (new name, location and cast allowed it to qualify twice), BAZ: A Musical Mash-up gets my award for “Best Overall Show”.
With three universally-renowned tragic love stories interwoven through a tapestry of contemporary hits, BAZ will have you dancing, crying, laughing and singing…all while rediscovering your love for musical theater.
With the most talented cast in the city, BAZ: A Musical Mash-up is one show that demands to be experienced and shared. Kudos to Palazzo for their continued support of this amazing achievement.
Worst Overall Show – Black Magic Live aka Vivica’s Black Magic
This one started out with an ugly anti-gay controversy and ended up as a sloppy assault on the senses. An unbearable amateurish concoction with no rhyme or reason, an indifferent cast and an emcee (D-list movie director Jean-Claude LaMarre) who argues with and badgers an audience he’s ill-equipped to handle, Black Magic Live is one reality-show baby that was delivered stillborn.
Audience abuse works fine if it’s meant to be comically shocking a la Absinthe. But at Black Magic Live, the insults are hurled without a single bit of tongue-in-cheek. “Don’t be touching my jacket with your greasy hands, lady. I don’t know you!”. Or how about “Sit down and shut the Hell up or you’re out of here!”.
After 60 minutes of this nonsense and at least four instances of audience members rushing the stage and stopping the show, I was out of there, too. Save your money and time. Turn your back on Black Magic Live.
Best Performance – Ruby Lewis (BAZ – A Musical Mash-up)
It’s almost unfair to select one individual from the best line-up on a Vegas stage. Alas, choosing a “Best Performance” winner must be done, if for nothing else than to provide counterpoint to the absolute worst.
Of all the amazing and gifted individuals who make BAZ the best show on the Strip, Ruby Lewis gets my choice for best performance. After a landmark performance on Broadway in PARAMOUR, Lewis returned to the For The Record Live family…and the Palazzo Theater…this summer.
Ruby’s jaw-dropping and emotional finale (Over The Love from The Great Gatsby) will have you gasping, wiping away tears and rising to your feet in applause. It’s the must-see moment on the Strip.
Worst Performance – Sammasseur (BAZ – A Musical Mash-up)
“Wooden”. “Uninspired”. “As nervous as a long-tailed cat in a rocking chair factory”. Those are some of the reviews that would have been deservedly slung at this writer had I been an actual cast member of BAZ – A Musical Mash-up. Fortunately, my participation was limited to an exciting and brilliantly-conceived “boot camp” experience for members of the media (you can read all about it here).
As an invited guest, I was privileged to go through the paces of a performer from choreography to costuming and make-up. Then an actual number in front of a selected (and very kind) audience of Venetian/Palazzo team members. I’m proud to say that nobody was hit when my shoe went sailing through the air during a kick….and I’ll leave it at that.
Myself with Ruby Lewis, Savannah Cross, Anne Martinez and Ron Remke…
Photos and Video: Sammasseur with additional courtesy of Palazzo Resort