Classic casino fare and classic rock rules, with a few notable exceptions like Norah Jones, Kid Rock
THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT Norah Jones would be coming to Boardwalk Hall, that Kid Rock was bringing his cocky self to the Taj, that 311 and The Roots would bring their rock 'n' rap to the Taj, and that the Borgata was hosting Maxim's Fantasy Island music festival, broke up an otherwise old school summer entertainment lineup. Back in 1980, sociologists predicted that the post-war baby boom generation, born between 1946-1964, was so large it would dominate American culture in successive decades. From the looks of the music and comedy scheduled this summer along casino row and the marina properties, I'd say that trend is right on and outta-sight.
Old School Casino You can't get more old school than Wayne Newton, July 23-24, and Liza Minnelli, July 2-3, at Harrah's. Resorts has Tom Jones June 24-27, and smooth Smokey Robinson July 24-25. Paul Anka continues his exclusive contract at Borgata Aug. 13-15. Also scheduled to perform this summer are Lou Rawls at Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall July 26, presented by Trump Plaza; Patti Labelle, July 17 at Borgata; The Temptations, June 25-27 at the Trop; Bobby Vinton, Aug. 6-8, at Resorts, and Dick Fox's Golden Boys with Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Bobby Rydell, Aug. 27-29 at the Hilton.
Classic Rock and Disco Fever Feeding the Baby Boomer crowd means plenty of classic rock, and multi-act nostalgia shows. Borgata presents David Bowie May 29-30, a makeup show for his December postponement. The Borgata also has Bob Dylan on June 6. Rod Stewart headlines for Caesars Entertainment at Boardwalk Hall July 10.
The Taj presents Aerosmith with Cheap Trick June 12, and Kiss with Poison July 17. Steve Gietka, vice president of entertainment and public relations at the Trump properties, explains, "We have more venues and strive to have a well-rounded entertainment program ... and we're not just taking care of our clients; we've spent a lot of time promoting to the ticket-buying public. We're trying to help establish Atlantic City [as a great concert city]."
Trump Marina has George Thorogood June 25, the B-52s July 24, and Pat Benetar July 25. Caesars chips in with Chicago July 22-25 and Huey Lewis & The News July 27-29. The Hilton presents a free beach concert with America June 29 and Cyndi Lauper Aug. 13-15. Tropicana presents The Moody Blues June 18-19. The ever-popular themed multi-act shows are sprinkled in the line-up. The Hilton has A Walk Down Abbey Road June 12-13 with Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons and Denny Laine. Taj presents Discomania starring KC and the Sunshine Band, the Village People and Evelyn "Champagne" King July 30-31; the Sands goes retro with a disco-themed '70s Explosion May 29 & 30 starring Deney Terrio, Tavares, Musique and the Trammps.
A Few Good Laughs Borgata presents master rant man Dennis Miller June 5. Dave Chappelle headlines there July 2, and Bill Maher July 10. Resorts is making Whoopi May 28-30 with Ms. Goldberg, and rings out the summer with Jerry Seinfeld Sept. 4. Trump Plaza, presenting its shows in the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall, has Don Rickles with Joan Rivers July 17. Caesars goes for the TV connection with Richard Lewis, Jeff Garlin and Shelley Berman from Curb Your Enthusiasm May 29-30, and the trio of Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Brian Proops from Who's Line Is It Anyway? July 16-17. Caesars also has George Carlin July 9-11 and Lewis Black Aug. 13-14. Trop presents a Philly comedy show with David Brenner and Dom Irrera July 16-17. If that's not enough laughs for you, Trop has the Comedy Stop, plus Borgata's Comedy Club and The Improv at Resorts all providing great comics year 'round.
Youth Movement Don't despair, fans of today's music. Boardwalk Hall has Norah Jones Aug. 21. The Taj offers Incubus with The Vines June 24, Kid Rock July 4, and 311 with The Roots July 10. Trump Marina presents Fuel June 11. Trump's Steve Gietka says, "We take some chances; our line-up shows we are alive and kicking." He added, "The end of our summer will be as headline-worthy as the start."
Borgata hosts the two-day Maxim Fantasy Island party with music by Velvet Revolver and other bands June 26, and The Darkness and other acts June 27. Larry Mullin, Borgata's Executive Vice President of Marketing is thrilled that Maxim settled on the Borgata. "We did something with Maxim [a private party] at the Super Bowl in Houston. Their parties are legendary in Los Angeles, New York and Miami. They were looking to do something open to the public on a much bigger scale and came to see our property." As a result, nine acres outside the Borgata will be transformed into "Fantasy Island," a non-stop party and concert venue. Mullin adds, "We can't let it out of the box yet, but we will be making additional announcements in the next two weeks." He did say to expect additional outdoor concerts.
Crooners Chris Isaak, the romantic crooner with a rockabilly side, checks into the Marina July 10-11. Caesars presents an evening with the woman who is still one of my favorite Miss America winners despite that infamous scandal, Vanessa Williams June 11-12. American Idol Clay Aiken heads for Caesars July 30-31. Michael Bublé brings his contemporary twist to an old school sound June 11-12 at the Taj. The ultimate crooner, Johnny Mathis, is at Harrah's Aug. 6-7. Hispanic heartthrob Marc Anthony is at the Taj June 26.
Jazz and Blues Saxman Boney James is at Borgata June 12, and Dave Koz & Friends check into Trump Marina July 16. Also at the Marina, the great blues double bill of the Robert Cray Band and Buddy Guy, Aug. 28.
Odds and Ends Ruben Blades sings with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra at Adrian Phillips Ballroom June 19. There are two male revues scheduled, The Thunder From Down Under June 15-20 at Trump Marina, and The Chippendales July 9-10 at Harrah's. Magic man David Copperfield is at Caesars Aug 5-8. Boardwalk Hall presents Luminaire, a show that combines illusions with choreography and music June 18-19. The Hilton presents ABBA -- The Music July 10-11. The Taj presents a "Reality Revue" with stars from reality TV shows Aug. 6-8. n
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