Revue at Resorts brings the Jazz Age to vivid life
The anticipation began with the Moonshine Follies billboard that showed off a leggy dancer’s lovely derriere. Now that the musical revue has officially arrived at Resorts, we can report that the athleticism of the dancers was not exaggerated, with costumes that accentuate the fine figures on display.
Even better news is that the show produced by Mario Bazinet continues the excellent quality he has presented in previous shows locally such as Best of Broadway and Piano Men. A combination of terrific song selections, a live band, outstanding singers, the aforementioned dancers and the outstanding costumes reflecting the Roaring '20s/Jazz Age era are a potent combination.
We can certainly thank the success of Boardwalk Empire for making the 1920s era of Atlantic City a hot commodity. Resorts itself has been using its natural art deco ambiance to re-brand itself as the Roaring '20s casino, and Moonshine Follies is the perfect show to emphasize that ambience.
The show opens with a lovely dance to “The Charleston” and what follows in the brisk 75 minutes that follow are great song after great song, some put together in medleys like the Gangster Medley featuring a snappy “Mack the Knife” delivered by singer Yoland Sirard. Sirard is an Atlantic City veteran having starred here in Best of Broadway.
With a Sophie Tucker medley, the audience was introduced to the powerhouse vocals of Katee Julien. Her take on Tucker’s “The Man I Love” was just the beginning of a night in which she dazzled the audience. Highlights beyond “The Man I Love” included “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” and the songs “Second Hand Rose” and “My Man” from the show’s Fanny Brice medley. Hearing the Brice hits surely made some of us recall Barbra Streisand’s renditions from Funny Girl. The best compliment I can give Julien is that she did herself proud in the comparison.
The other principle female singer, Karine Arsenault, brought a ton of perkiness to her medley of “I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Baby Face,” and joined Sirard for the delightful “Crooners” medley of “Ain’t Misbehavin’, “Louise” and “Makin Whoopee.” Sirard earned his shining moment with the splashy Jolson medley featuring “You Made Me Love You,” “For Me And My Gal” (with Arsenault) “My Mammy,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby” and “Swanee.”
Beyond the fine singing and the swinging four-piece band, the choreography and costumes were a large part of the success of the show. The gentlemen in the audience gave an extra measure of applause when the dancers slinked onstage in the beaded attire that matched the billboard.
Another dance highlight was a lovely rendition of “Singing In The Rain” featuring dancer-singer François Degenais.
Moonshine Follies promised to deliver the classic music of the Jazz Age and did just that with plenty of energy and sass.
Where: Resorts Superstar Theater
When: Now to April 17: Sun. 7pm; Mon.-Tues. 8pm; Wed.-Thurs. 3:30 & 8pm
How much: $20
Six years ago, Mario Bazinet seemed to have the market cornered when it came to producing revues for casino stages in Canada.Today, all the world’s his stage.
Atlantic City will still depend on major headliners in the summer months. However, the city is also returning to a tradition that kept the town humming with entertainment all year ’round, the resurgence of the musical revue, plus a summer comedy series and the return of the popular a capella group Straight No Chaser.
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