Archive for August, 2010


Jersey Boys” is in the habit of exceeding more than critics’ expectations. During the Walk Like a Man shoe drive at the “Jersey Boys” theater on Aug. 28, volunteers set a goal of collecting 1,000 pairs of shoes in celebration of the 1,000 show.

Donations were made at the "Jersey Boys" theater at the Palazzo Casino Resort

About 3,000 pairs of shoes were collected in the space of five hours. Every single pair will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas and the 13,000 kids age 5-18 that are members of the Clubs.

“There were over a thousand people here at noon,” said Rebecca Smith, account coordinator for Kirvin Doak Communications, the public relations firm that organized the event.

Anyone that donated a pair of shoes during the drive received one ticket per pair. Each person was limited to two pairs of shoes and there were initially only 1,000 tickets available for the 6:30 performance on Saturday evening.

A temporary lull in the shoe-contributor storm

However, after the exuberant response, the “Jersey Boys” producers in New York opened up more tickets as incentive for further donations.

“They’ve been really generous in not wanting to turn people away,” Smith said. She continued that all tickets originally set aside for the drive had been given away soon after the event began.

Although tickets had only been reserved for the evening performance on Saturday,  more tickets were made available for all the shows on Saturday and the show on Sunday.“We’re into Monday now,” Smith said.

“We sincerely appreciate the producers extending that,” said shoe-contributor and Vegas local Davida-Rochelle. “I’ve lived here for 14 years and wanted to see the show, but unfortunately, prices are challenging for some people. I’m unemployed, but I can contribute $5 for shoes.”

Debbie Smith, the vice president of development at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, talked about how receptive the public and the media have been of the event.

“It’s way more than any of us expected,” she said. Although the local Boys and Girls Club has partnered with other Strip properties before, “this is a really big one, really exciting,” Debbie Smith said. “Everyone’s been wonderful.”

Members of the “Jersey Boys” cast will be stopping by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas this coming week. Debbie Smith said the shoes will be brought back to the Club before being handed out so they can be best distributed.

A much-touted statistic for large-scale productions in Vegas is the distance each seat is from the stage. Oftentimes, this number is surprisingly small given the size of the theater.

For a hefty price, though, one water show is bringing the audience under that stage. How’s that for close?

“La Reve,” boasting a 1.1 million-gallon tank of water at Wynn Las Vegas, is now offering a Diver’s Dream Package. This allows  SCUBA-certified audience members to see the show from beneath the water, fully submerged beside members of the cast and crew.

In a city where entertainment is paramount, entertainment diving fills its own niche. The 14 professional divers in “La Reve” (which has a total cast of 90) give synchronized swimming an extreme face lift.

Divers, in between choreographed numbers in the show, make their bubble-trailing way to air stations beneath the water. They breathe through masks until it’s time to either exit the pool or be back onstage.

Audience members that drop the cash to “dive the dream” are afforded a unique view of the precise mechanics of the show.

The price tag ($2,000 for one person, $3,000 for two) includes a traditional seat for the show as well as the chance to see it underwater. (One couple from Chicago has already gotten their feet wet and taken advantage of the package.)

Scuba certification is required, but the wetsuit and oxygen tank will be provided. Check out video footage and pictures from the Weekly here.

“Jersey Boys” is celebrating its 1,000 performance by giving away 1,000 free tickets to their highly acclaimed show. The cast will also be hand-delivering new pairs of shoes to children involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas

The two are related, I promise.

The “Walk Like a Man” shoe drive is being held on Aug. 28 at the “Jersey Boys” theatre at the Palazzo Hotel Resort Casino. A free ticket will be given to anyone bearing new shoes for children in need (limit two pairs of shoes per person.)

Shoe drop-off will be open from noon til 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28. The free performance begins at 6:30 that evening.

Through the keyhole and away we go … Vegas’ anytime website What’s On chatted with Peepshow’s Holly Madison, Josh Strickland and vocalist Cheaza (pronounced “chay-za.”)

For an inside look at the show and cast members, check out the article here. And if that’s not enough Bo Peep for your fairy-tale appetite, check out the Las Vegas Sun’s story on Peepshow 2.0.

Molodi members were the Ambassadors of Rhythm to Hard Rock Café’s Ambassadors of Rock on Aug. 21. The body percussion group opened for the semifinals of Battle of the Bands, sponsored by Make Music Matter and held at the Hard Rock Café at 4475 Paradise Road.

Contrary to Vegas’ usual disregard for reasonable bedtimes, the show began at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. Given these perilous conditions, the audience was about as lively as can be expected.

Harmony Costa, Jason Nious, Antwan Davis and Chris Rutledge

“This is our version of a jam session,” member Jason Nious commented at the top of the show. He introduced the number, saying audiences like it “nice.” “But Molodi, we like it rough,” Nious continued with a smile.

So “nice and rough” became the compromise. And with seamless transitions, each of the four Molodi members got their two cents in about how they think this jam should go.

Antwan “Big Twan” Davis talked some beatbox smack at the top of the show, rendering the drum set behind him redundant with blitzing “boots” and “cats.”

House- and classically-trained dancer Harmony Costa followed shortly after, tossing hair out of her eyes and proving that she can both stomp out loud and dance quite well. The feminine funk was a nice counterpoint to the rest of the hard-hitting choreography.

Costa and Nious team up

However, perhaps the most entertaining part of these spots was watching the supporting dancers. Molodi has friendly competition down to an art, and it was grin-inducing to watch them give each other attitude, then suddenly swap places and forge new alliances.

The Hard Rock Café also had something to offer that many venues don’t: a pristine wooden floor, which is a luxury for dancers in general and tappers especially.

Chris Rutledge, after ducking upstage for a pair of tap shoes, jubilantly took advantage of this asset.

Rutledge telling you whassup

After the show, Rutledge spoke of the impact (no pun intended) that flooring has on a Molodi performance.

“It’s our instrument,” he said, continuing that he was thrilled when Hard Rock personnel let him tap on the bare floor.

Audibility can be an issue for more than just tap, though. Rutledge pointed out how much sound carried in the Café and explained what an advantage this is because body percussion is rarely amplified with a microphone.

Ultimately, the appeal of Molodi comes from the differences in its members. The dancers took full advantage of the spotlight and made no excuses about showing off and being themselves.

“Everybody’s bringing a different background,” Nious said. “We can do a 75 minute show because of these different backgrounds. We don’t bore the audience.”

It's Molodi, what?

Nious continued that this versatility makes their work ideal for opening acts, such as the one at the Hard Rock. Nonetheless, members Nious and Rutledge agreed that full-length productions are their forte.

“We’re sweating buckets  [with full productions],” Nious said. “We’re not just giving you straight technical stuff. We get to showcase personality.”

To catch Molodi in hand-clapping action, trot up to the Insurgo Theater on Sep. 3 and 4 for their signature show at 12:30 a.m.

To find out more about the Battle of the Bands, check out the Ambassadors of Rock homepage.

Make Music Matter is an organization partnered with the Clark County School District to bring and keep music in public schools. Find them on Facebook and see what they’re about!

Oh, the wonders of Twitter.

Cirque, utilizing the reply options on the popular micro-blogging site, sponsored a Twitter chat with “Viva Elvis” artist Will Roberts.

Followers tweeted back and forth with each other and Roberts, who answered questions and provided pictures and inside info.

For those of you fluent in Tweet, take a look at Cirque’s Twitter page to follow the conversation. (Non-Tweet-speaker are also welcome, although the lingo might take some getting used to.)

Keep an eye on that Twitter feed, Cirque enthusiasts. Rumor has it they’re planning more Tweet chats soon.

Hey Peepshow fans–

Ok, so I’m still getting over the word “Twitpic,” but the new programs for Miss Madison’s headliner are rockin’.

Thanks for the heads-up, @joshoajstrick.

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