Going back where she started from, Maxine Nightingale continues her acclaimed ‘Disco Lady’ show at Resorts through April 27
Maxine Nightingale has been atop the musical world and seen it come crashing down without warning. But no matter what the circumstances, she kept a cheery outlook and remained optimistic. That is how the 1970s disco queen from England, best known for her hit songs “Lead Me On” and “Right Back Where We Started From,” managed to survive the ups and downs of being a disco star.
It was an era that was embraced by many for its upbeat vibe, fueled by the soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever and the disco divas of the era, led by Donna Summer.
It was also a period that came crashing down a few years later. However, as happens for so many musical styles, dance music is once again leading the pop charts.
As part of that current wave, Nightingale has settled into a nice groove as the star of a show she designed called Disco Lady Starring Maxine Nightingale, now playing at Resorts.
Even before the show officially opened in late February, it was extended twice with additional shows, showing that audiences were anxious to relive their disco dreams.
Disco Lady is a simple show with pre-recorded music, four dancers, a video screen and Nightingale in the middle. There is nothing extravagant about it except for Nightingale’s musical talent and her joy in sharing her love of life with the audience. It is that palpable joy that makes Disco Lady a fun night out as Nightingale presents such disco era classics as her own hits plus “I Love the Nightlife,” a Miami Sound Machine medley that includes “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” and “Turn the Beat Around” and a tribute to Donna Summer that features “On the Radio,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.”
And, while most of us have hated this snow-filled winter, it has provided a nice change of pace for Ms. Nightingale as she disclosed in a chat with Atlantic City Weekly.
“I’m enjoying it,” admits Nightingale with a laugh. “I live in L.A. and when it is 80 degrees at Christmas you get a little annoyed. Walking the Boardwalk is fun for me. I know you guys didn’t like it, but I enjoyed walking the Boardwalk in the snow. That’s right up there with experiences. Growing up in Wembley [an area of Northwest London] I could never have imagined spending a winter walking the beach in Atlantic City with crunchy snow.”
Nightingale had the concept for Disco Lady brewing for some time but when she broached the subject with potential investors they weren’t interested. “I do loads of one-nighters around the country and I’ve seen a lot of the disco stars come out and do a couple of songs and I thought, ‘Surely we can do something a bit more exciting than this.’ I did a few shows with Nile Rodgers and Chic and it came to me that we could do a show with the best music of the era.
“I wanted to do a show that incorporated the best hits of the era and my own hit songs and began shopping it around” with, she admits, “No reaction. ‘Yeah. Sounds nice.’”
However, moving the timeline a few years forward to a one-night gig with Thelma Houston and Evelyn Champagne King in Atlantic City in 2012, and with the help of a booking agent, Nightingale put in motion the show that is now bringing out disco fans dancing in the aisles at Resorts’ Superstar Theater.
“So I have my dancers and my sequined costumes. My husband created all the musical tracks. Sometimes it amazes me because it turned out just the way I wanted it to. It’s working very well and audiences love it.
It’s got all the elements you’d expect from one of Atlantic City’s hottest nightclubs: the loud and pulsating rhythms of popular songs, a swirling light show and, perhaps the most essential ingredient, a frenetic and sweaty energy that never quits.
"You really have to think differently these days. There’s almost nothing you can do that will not be around the world in seconds. Nothing. So you have to behave, dress right, put your makeup on in the morning. I mean, someone could snap a picture of you looking really frazzled and put a caption with no context to it, making it appear that something’s going on that really isn’t."
IT HAS BEEN NEARLY 25 YEARS since the release of Rod Stewart's Blondes Have More Fun album, a disco-draped collection of '70s-era pick-up lines on which the Brit rocker asked the notorious question: "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" The record proved to be a turning point -- some would say a "low point" -- for Stewart's music career, a move that officially ended his "Rod the Mod" era and put an exclamation point on his later "Rod the Bod" phase. Gone was the ragged, gritty fusion of folk, blues and rock which he perfected on early solo efforts like Gasoline Alley, Every Picture Tells a Story and Never a Dull Moment. Stewart had crossed over into the land of high-gloss production, uninspired lyrics and dance-oriented numbers on his way towards the synth-pop sound of his MTV-friendly '80s work. Some good songs, but not many good albums immediately followed Blondes. There were the timeless radio-friendly hits like "Young Turks," "Baby Jane," "Infatuation" and "Some Guys Have All the Luck," and embarrassing albums such as Foolish Behavior and Body Wishes. By the mid-'80s Stewart had bottomed out with the heartless mush collected on his 1986 self-titled album, a 10-track collection that many agree...
SPEND SOME TIME IN ATLANTIC CITY AMID ITS FLASHY CASINOS, the fine restaurants, and the rolling beaches and Boardwalk, and you can’t help but marvel at how far the resort has come. But every step you take is still gently haunted by all that has been here before. Atlantic City wears its history like a comfortable old coat — tattered, but comfortable. From its days as a “health” resort in the 19th century, to its naughty and haughty days of irreverence during Prohibition (highlighted in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) to its eventual decline and then rebirth as an East Coast gambling mecca, Atlantic City and the region has been attracting visitors since its inception. In this issue, our first “Then & Now” issue, we look at Atlantic City’s long journey to get to this point in time. We look at a resort thriving...
If you survived the 1970s and can recall the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, you'll remember its signature song beseeching, "Let's do the time warp again!" That's the general impression y...
"You really have to think differently these days. There’s almost nothing you can do that will not be around the world in seconds. Nothing. So you have to behave, dress right, put your makeup on in the morning. I mean, someone could snap a picture of you looking really frazzled and put a caption with no context to it, making it appear that something’s going on that really isn’t. You have to be careful these days. "
If you’re ready to blast your way onto the dance floor and keep on truckin’ into the night, then Trump Marina is the place to be on Friday, Nov. 12 from 7-9pm for AC Weekly's Then & Now party at the Disco.
Ask The Geator Musical MemoriesBy Jerry Blavat--> Once again, greetings and salutations. Before getting to your questions, a quick reminder that on Friday, Aug. 31, the Hilton will present our Disco D...
These days, disco is kept alive by nostalgia. And 30 years later, one of the few artists who can take you "back in the day," and never disappoint, is Donna Summer. Just look back on the Queen of Disco's explosive career of 14 Top Ten hits, four No.1 smash hit singles, three platinum albums, two double platinum albums, and five Grammy Awards, among countless other honors bestowed upon her, and it's easy to see that Summer has proven herself as a force to be reckoned with over the years. The fairy tale began in 1974 when Summer, who was born in Massachusetts, was introduced to producers/songwriters Pete Bellotte and Giorgio Moroder while working on a Three Dog Night record. Together, they collaborated on a song called "The Hostage," which appeared on Summer's first album, Lady of the Night, released in Europe. While the song was embraced across the Atlantic, it was nothing compared to the response in the States with the subsequent album and single of the same name, Love to Love You Baby. Initially insanely popular in Europe, almost overnight, the record made a major breakthrough stateside when the title track caught the ear of owner and president of Casablanca Records,...