Elvis, Marilyn and more ‘Legends’ sing your favorite holiday numbers at Bally’s to Dec. 31
Legends In Concert, the long running tribute show ensconced in the Legends in Concert Theater at Bally’s, is all dressed up for the holidays with a holiday themed set and Christmas music to get audiences in a seasonal state of mind.
This show features a particularly strong group of tribute artists presenting Carrie Underwood, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and a big finish with “The King,” Elvis Presley.
Taking the Elvis spotlight is Jersey boy Kevin Mills, who grew up in Cinnaminson, Burlington County. His love of Elvis growing up sent him to Memphis where, in 1990, he won the Images of the King Elvis tribute contest and more recently was awarded third place (in 2009) and second place (2010) at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest also in Memphis. Mills has enjoyed his time in Atlantic City and on the Legends stage as he reveals in this interview with Atlantic City Weekly.
How did you become an Elvis tribute artist?
When I was nine years old I was listening to Elvis music and Tom Jones and Michael Jackson, but Elvis stood out to me. I started mimicking him as a kid at family parties and stuff like that. I sang in choirs and after my teenage years I started a band. We did a fifties thing and played the Jersey shore. I did an Elvis song in the set and people said, ‘Man you sound like Elvis, you look like Elvis, maybe you should do a contest.’ I walked into this contest in Memphis in 1990 with 80 guys in jumpsuit and I was dressed as ’50s Elvis with a pink jacket on and won the whole thing. From there it just took off and I’ve been with Legends since 1993 [when he took over for Tony Roi in the Atlantic City show].
How do you like the holiday show?
It has a different feeling to it. The closing number is awesome and we got a standing ovation the other night. We are trying to give people some holiday spirit.
What is your favorite Elvis song to perform?
I love “Suspicious Minds.” I’ve been doing that song for 20 years and I never get tired of singing it.
People love the fact that you meet with fans after every show. Since some fans are so passionate about Elvis, have you had any over-enthusiastic fans?
Most fans are respectful but there are a few that go a little overboard. I did have to get a restraining order against one lady who was a bit of a stalker.
You’ve been in Atlantic City a long time. Do you have any favorite places?
The beach. I love the Boardwalk. I walk the Boardwalk every morning. My main concern when the storm hit was hoping the Boardwalk would still be there. And I like hanging out in Ventnor. Ventnor is awesome, and I love the Downbeach Deli [in Margate].
While the 'Legends' show will lose its current Atlantic City theater, Mark Kogan, manager of the Atlantic City 'Legends in Concert' show, is confident that a new home will be found. Says Kogan, “With the great relationship with have with Bally’s [Caesars Entertainment] we expect to be back in 2014.”
“When I put out my first two albums, they were dressing me up like I was going to be the next Justin Timberlake or how Justin Bieber looks today. That image just doesn’t work for me. But there is a type of music that works for me, it’s Christmas music."
Legends in Concert has been a mainstay in Las Vegas and Atlantic City for decades. One of the prominent reasons for its continued success is the show’s constant search for talented new performers. Over at Bally’s Legend in Concert Theater, the show just refreshed itself with a new cast May 25 and it represents a diverse spectrum of the music industry.
I’d always meant to check out the Ultimate Elvis preliminary contest that has taken place in Atlantic City the last few years. This year not only did I attend the event, I was asked to be a judge for the contest, sponsored by On Stage Touring, the Legends in Concert production company officially licensed by Elvis Presley Enterprises to do the contest.
Atlantic City, which hosted its first Legends show in 1985 at Bally’s (a long run ended in Oct. 31, 2005), plus return stops at Resorts and the Hilton, is back in town at Bally’s Palace Theater with a run through Sept. 4.
Legends in Concert, a staple of the entertainment scene in Atlantic City for about 13 years, made a quiet exit last year from Bally's Palace Theater. It was easy to assume that the entertainment scen...