Jazz/tap legend Gregory Hines plays UNLV

Jan 2, 2001 1:00 AM

Legendary jazz dancer, singer, actor and director Gregory Hines brings his unique style and flair for performing and dancing to the UNLV Performing Arts Center on Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets for Hines’ performance are $29 to $59.

Hines has been performing since he was three-years-old, and by the time he was five, he was making nightclub appearances around the country with his brother, Maurice. They grew up backstage at the Apollo Theater, where they hobnobbed with legends like Honi Coles, Sandman Sims, the Nicholas Brothers and Teddy Hale.

The brothers were later joined by their father (Maurice Sr.), and the family toured internationally and appeared frequently on The Tonight Show.

Hines began his solo career on Broadway. He has performed in such hits as Eubie, Comin’ Uptown, and Sophisticated Ladies, which all earned Tony Award nominations. In 1992, Hines won a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of "Jelly Roll" Morton in Jelly’s Last Jam.

He transitioned from dancer/singer to film actor in Mel Brooks’ The History of the World, Part 1. Other film credits included Running Scared, Off Limits, White Nights, Tap, The Cotton Club, Deal of the Century, Renaissance Man, The Preacher’s Wife, Waiting to Exhale and the independent films, Good Luck and Mad Dog Time. Hines stepped behind the camera in the independent film Bleeding Hearts, his directorial debut.

On TV, Hines has starred in the tele-films, A Stranger in Town, which marked his television debut, The Cherokee Kid, White Lies, T-Bone and Weazel, and Hit Radio. His TV work also includes Amazing Stories, The Gregory Hines Show, the Emmy-nominated performance, Motown Returns to the Apollo and his PBS special, Gregory Hines: Tap Dance in America, which earned an Emmy in 1989.

Currently, Hines is filming an upcoming movie and can be seen on the popular NBC prime time show, "Will and Grace," in the recurring role of Will’s boss.

Gregory Hines will perform in The Best of the New York Stage series, which features the best of Broadway, cabaret and jazz performers. Other featured artists in the series include Stephen Schwartz and Debbie Gravitte in concert, Andrea Marcovicci and Rockapella.

Silverton stages Elvis b-day bash

Elvis fans can celebrate The King’s birthday on January 8 at Silverton with an Elvis Karaoke Contest, and a tribute show by Elvis impersonator Larry Glen Anderson. The birthday party kicks off with the karaoke contest at 6 p.m., when contestants will compete for a $500 prize. Anyone dressing up as the King, or who brings Elvis memorabilia, will receive a $5 gaming coupon. The tribute show starts at 7 p.m. (tickets are $8 and include two drinks and cake.)

Suncoast hosts Ambrosia concert

Ambrosia, one of America’s favorite pop groups, plays the Suncoast Showroom, Friday through Sunday at 7 p.m.

Formed in 1970 in Southern California, Ambrosia came to national prominence in 1970 with the release of their self-titled album which included the Top 10 hit, "Holdin’ On to Yesterday" and the FM classic, "Nice, Nice, Very Nice."

In 1976, the band returned with "Somewhere I’ve Never Traveled," which received Grammy nominations. The group’s first gold record was for "How Much I Feel," which was followed with another hit, "Life Beyond L.A."

Extensive touring with Fleetwood Mac and the Doobie Brothers cemented Ambrosia’s reputation as a premier band.

Among the band’s fondest supporters has been Quincy Jones, who declared "Biggest Part of Me" as one of his all-time favorite songs.

Tickets for Ambrosia are $19.95, $22.95 and $25.95 plus appropriate taxes.