Atlantic City casinos open 2011 season with pageantry, musicals and even a mystery. Read about all of the revue shows coming up in the casinos.
With all the doom and gloom about the recession’s effect on Atlantic City’s bottom line, we sometimes forget that tourists don’t care about profit margins. They will continue to flock to Atlantic City to have a good time, and Atlantic City has never lost its edge when it comes to providing entertainment versus the other East Coast gaming establishments, in particular the Pennsylvania casinos.
While the top-tier headliners usually book their A.C. stays during the spring and summer, that doesn’t mean the town’s showrooms are dark during the winter months and into early spring. Atlantic City showrooms have traditionally turned to revue shows in the first few months of the new year, and 2011 is no exception.
Over at Bally’s Palace Theater, the showroom will present an interactive show, Big Al’s Murder Mystery, Jan. 15-17. It won’t be the first time a casino has presented a show that gets the audience involved directly. Showboat presented Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding and Finnegan’s Wake in 2007.
Now Bally’s will try out an interactive murder mystery set in a 1920s speakeasy, Murder at Big Al’s, from Kathy Reed Productions in association with the locally based Melanie Rice Entertainment. “They are re-inventing Bally’s as a 1920s, Boardwalk Empire-esque venue and a request came to put a 1920s style show in the Palace Theater and see how it does,” explains Rice. “Hopefully, this show will work for them long term in the summer.” A smaller scale version of this same show was presented previously for a high roller event.
The appeal of this style of show is that a lot of it is improvisational. “There is an outline for what will transpire but how it transpires is unique [for each show],” says Rice. The Palace Theater has been reconfigured in the old-school casino showroom style of tables and chairs.
If you’re a regular patron at the Tropicana’s Tango’s Lounge, you might be wondering where Tango’s popular entertainer Marc Antonelli is these days. The talented young singer has earned a promotion, and will be working upstairs in the Tropicana Showroom with a show titled Marc Antonelli: From Unknown to Irresistible from Jan. 16 to Feb. 26. It will be his second shot in the big room after his One On One With Marc Antonelli played there this past October. Antonelli says that his new show is much bigger than his first headliner gig. “It runs the gamut of musical genres from Frank Sinatra to songs of the greatest tenors of our time — Mario Lanza, Luciano Pavarotti, and Andrea Bocelli,” he says, adding that Broadway hits from Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera will also be on the musical menu and that, “Broadway dancers and background vocalists enrich the experience. The show is versatile, hip, and, at times, edgy.”
Over at the Hilton, the casino is bringing back the classic variety format with Boardwalk Follies, Feb. 17 to April 3. The show will feature a revolving cast of performers, beginning with illusionist Michael Turco, a regular in town with his show Wonder. The show will also feature the Aerial Sisters with their aerial stunts, singer Jacklyn Maffucci and the Boardwalk Follies Dancers.
Harrah’s has reached out to the West for its show at the Concert Venue. Le Ombré: Seasons of Love, Feb. 11-20, presents a cast of world-class performers who combine acrobatics, contemporary dance and traditional shadow art using their silhouettes projected onto a large screen.
Stanford Le, vice president of marketing for Harrah’s Resort, says, “The producers of Le Ombré have created several unique and energetic shows in Las Vegas; this was a chance to bring a different style of high quality show to Atlantic City at Harrah’s Resort.”
Wrapping up the music and pageantry April 6-10 at Boardwalk Hall will be the return of a Cirque du Soleil production for the first time since 2006. Cirque du Soleil’s Alegría has entertained more than 10 million people worldwide since its world premiere in Montreal in 1994.
According to the Cirque du Soleil Web site, “Alegría is a mood, a state of mind. The name means ‘jubilation’ in Spanish … Kings’ fools, minstrels, beggars, old aristocrats and children make up its universe, along with the clowns, who alone are able to resist the passing of time and the social transformations that accompany it.”
• 'Murder at Big Al’s' Bally’s Palace Theater, Saturday, Jan. 15 at 3 and 8pm; Sun., Jan. 16 at 3 and 8pm and Mon., Jan. 17 at 3pm. Tickets are $25 and $30.
• 'Marc Antonelli: From Unknown to Irresistible' Tropicana Showroom, Jan. 16 to Feb. 26. Opening week showtimes: Sun. 7pm; Mon. 8pm; Tues. 3:30 & 8pm; Wed. 3:30pm, and Sat. 9pm. Tickets are $25.
• 'Boardwalk Follies' Hilton Theater, February 17 to April 3. Showtimes: Thurs., 8pm; Fri. 9pm; Sat., 8pm and Sun., 3 and 7pm. Tickets are $29.
• 'Le Ombré: Seasons of Love' Harrah’s Resort Concert Venue, Feb. 11-20. Showtimes: Thurs.-Sun., 8pm. Tickets are $25, $30 and $35.
• Cirque du Soleil’s 'Alegría' Boardwalk Hall, April 6-10. Showtimes: Wed., April 6, 7:30pm; Thurs., April 7, 7:30pm; Fri., April 8, 3:30pm & 7:30pm; Sat., April 9 at 3:30 & 7:30pm; Sun., April 10, 1 and 5pm. Tickets range for adults $35 to $79; children (12 & under) from $28 to $64; military, seniors and students from $31.50 to $67.50.
Exclusive, long-term deals are pretty much a relic today. Although there are a handful of artists whose value to a casino is worth a multiple-play contract, the vast majority of showroom bookings are one-and-done one-night-stands.
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