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.


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”.


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.


                                                            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.


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




Click HERE to read this article via the awesome 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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




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


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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