'Believe. Divas in a Man’s World' celebrates first anniversary in style
When Steve Andrade created his female impersonator show Believe. Divas in a Man’s World for Resorts, he hoped that it would be popular enough to be extended beyond the initial contract.
He really did “believe.” The show just celebrated its one year anniversary at Resorts with no reason to think it is leaving any time soon. Refreshed with a new performer as Dolly Parton and a new opening number, the show remains a vibrant and hilarious tribute to some of great divas of show business.
At a press night to celebrate the anniversary, it was clear the show had lost none of its panache. How could it with Gary Dee still in charge as Joan Rivers. Dee, who acts as the emcee, is the glue that binds the show together with his devastatingly funny one-liners and his hilarious interactions with audience members.
Dee has now been around Absecon Island long enough to pick up the local gossip, so he makes jokes about the inhabitants of Atlantic City, Margate and Ventnor that ring true. A quick example: “Atlantic City is the land of the newlyweds and the nearly deads.” When he starts asking ladies in the audience about their wedding rings, his Joan Rivers shtick goes into high gear. It’s no wonder that Joan Rivers is a big fan. Dee told me before the performance that he’ll be attending one of Rivers’ sold out shows at the Borgata this weekend.
Dee also does a quick tribute to the official diva of the Jersey Shore, Snooki, complete with wig, which adds another layer of laughs to the evening.
Dee is the glue, but the top diva remains Andrade’s magnificent Cher tribute. Andrade makes his own Bob Mackie knockoffs and they are spectacular. He opens the show with a dazzling new number and costume for “Walk Like An Egyptian.” He returns later with the rest of his visually stunning songs including the show’s title track, “Believe,” “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.”
The new gal on the block is Jason Cozmo as Dolly Parton and he fits in perfectly with an impressive recreation of Dolly. The songs were “”Nothing Dirty Going On” (complete with scenes from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas on a video screen), “9 to 5,” “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You.”
Dolly joins the other regulars — the over-the-top Eddie Summers as Patti LaBelle, the premier Liza with a Z impersonator Phyl Craig, who still wows with his “Cabaret” and “New York, New York,” and the only male diva, Frank Moore as Prince. The show also features four dancers — two male, two female — whose choreography, designed by Moore, is excellent and enhances the quality of the show.
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The entrepreneurial drive and outside-the-box disposition that Resorts’ late CEO Dennis Gomes was so well known for manifested itself in the Pro Bar — the first in-casino gay nightclub in Atlantic City’s history that opened a year ago in tandem with the celebrity- and female-impersonation revue show Believe: Divas in a Man’s World.
The First Bartender Awards ceremony, presented by AC Weekly and hosted by the Diving Horse in Atlantic City, honored the best of the region’s bartenders The First Bartender Awards ceremony, presented by AC Weekly and hosted by the Diving Horse in Atlantic City, honored the best of the region’s bartenders as voted by AC Weekly readers on Thursday, May 17.as voted by AC Weekly readers on Thursday, May 17.
Female impersonators are nothing new in the Atlantic City landscape. Bally’s hosted An Evening at La Cage for 11 years and the town has hosted the Miss’d America Pageant, a spoof of the Miss America Pageant featuring cross-dressing gentlemen. However, the town has never hosted a show as enticing and hilarious as 'Believe - Divas In A Man’s World.'
Turns out, 'Believe' is a bridge of understanding and acceptance too — between worlds that might otherwise not meet.
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