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New ‘Storm’ hits Mandalay Bay

Mar 13, 2001 5:28 AM

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino last week previewed its new theatrical presentation, Storm, in its new theater. Crafted by gifted performance artists and theatrical experts, Storm is a raging outpouring of heat, rhythm and passion. A musical journey of human emotion, Storm plays upon the forces of nature in song, dance and performance art.

Scheduled for a March 22 premiere, Storm is a combination of live concert, Broadway theatre and Las Vegas dance spectacular presented against the backdrop of nature’s powerful forces. Storm incorporates the latest music and dance with the boundlessness of modern theatre. Extending far beyond the edge of the stage, Storm envelops the audience with music and action emanating from every surface and niche of the theatre, 360 degrees.

Storm is the result of a collaboration of musical and artistic talents known for their works in New York and Hollywood, on stage and on screen, in stadium performances and from the pages of fashion magazines. For most, this is their first foray into the world of Las Vegas staged entertainment. Gathered together by Mandalay Bay for the sole purpose of creating a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience, this powerhouse of talent has created a sensual celebration so compelling it literally reaches beyond the boundaries of the stage to pull audiences from their seats.

"The hip and energetic environment of Mandalay Bay calls for a show like Storm," said Glenn Schaeffer, president of Mandalay Resort Group, Mandalay Bay’s parent corporation. "By bringing together a cast of all-stars — choreographers, musicians, dancers, rock show designers and special effects producers — we have created a powerful, sensual experience people will find nowhere else in the world. Storm exemplifies a new tempo in stagecraft. It will be a force of nature."

Storm is produced by Mandalay Bay and Angelo Medina Enterprises. Alberto Perez is the Executive Producer of the project. With more than 20 years experience in the entertainment industry, Angelo Medina Enterprises specializes in artist management, concert promotions and sports and entertainment event development. The company works with some of the biggest stars in entertainment and currently manages international sensation Ricky Martin.

Leading the Storm creative team is Jamie King, one of the most heralded artistic directors in entertainment today. King has worked with the hottest names in the music world, directing music videos, television performances and choreographed stadium tours for the likes of Britney Spears and Madonna.

Major television producers also hold King in the highest regard for his work on events including the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, American Music Awards and the 1996 Super Bowl Halftime Extravaganza. Currently, King serves as artistic director for Ricky Martin.


Hilton prepares for life after The Scintas

By: Monti Rock III

Over at the Las Vegas Hilton, I am very happy to report they’ve found a shining star, Bob Anderson, to ease the loss of the Scintas. Bob will open a three-week engagement starting April 3. When he completes his run, it’s back to Atlantic City to star in Jeff Kutash’s The Main Event.

Also at the Hilton, Rita Rudner appears ready to sign a deal that will put her into the resort’s main showroom. This will be another plus for the off-Strip resort, which could use a few plusses on its side of the ledger.

The Scintas, as you recall reading here first, are moving to the Rio.

Last week, the press and other hangers-on got a sneak preview of the much-anticipated new show, Storm at Mandalay Bay. This is a grand scale Latin mambo salsa flavor revue, kind of like a Puerto Rican Singing in the Rain.

As a matter of fact, the afternoon I went to review the show it was raining outside. Inside, the theater had rain and snow, aerial acts, live music, great staging, lights, sets, costumes and enough energy to fuel Three Mile Island! All I can say is get ready to rage, Storm. Mandalay Bay has a winner.

Talking about shows, rumor has it that the Lord himself, Michael Flatley, is coming to New York-New York some time in June with his new show. He will appear in it. We all can’t wait to see this charismatic superstar of the Irish Riverdance.

Over at MGM’s new smash restaurant Olio!, owner John Mullen hosted a Soprano dinner for his friend Robin Leach and other celebrity types. Olio! is a happening place — a nice combination of restaurant, lounge and clubhouse.

Celebrity stalkers got their fill last week at Paris Las Vegas, which hosted the annual ShoWest Convention. All the super stars were there, but Russell Crowe did not say nice things about our fair town. Nicolas Cage, however, whose breakthrough film was Leaving Las Vegas, was charming and gracious. No wonder he won the Star of the Decade Achievement Award!

Talk about great, great acts: The Checkmates (which include Sweet Louie and Sonny Charles) just signed a deal with Arizona Charlie’s East to be their exclusive lounge act.

Maybe Petula Clark was right: You can go downtown. I’ve been checking out the downtown shows lately, from David Brenner to a little show at the Lady Luck called "Stars of the Strip," starring Robbie Howard. They’re very entertaining.

The wonderful Frankie Randall called me yesterday to tell me about his sell-out performance in Palm Springs. Frankie has just recorded a new album with Sony Records that really swings. I can’t wait to see him back in Vegas.

Last but not least, there’s a rumor that the movie Oceans 11, which began filming here last weekend, will include the implosion of the Desert Inn.

No, not that! First, the producers of Rush Hour 2 painted the face of the Grand Dame of the Strip a bright Chinese red. Now they’re talking about blowing her up. This is no way to treat a lady!


Country pioneer Merle Haggard to perform at Boulder’s Railhead

Country music legend Merle Haggard will bring his special brand of music to The Railhead at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday at Boulder Station Hotel & Casino. Ticket prices are $30, $40, $50, and $60 (plus tax), and are available through tickets.com or the Boarding Pass Rewards Center.

Rare is the young country star who doesn’t count singer, guitarist, fiddler, songwriter and honky-tonk hero Haggard as one of his primary influences. As a youth in Bakersfield, Calif., he was wayward and wild, running into trouble with the law and spending time in prison. After his release from San Quentin Penitentiary in 1960, Haggard joined a band as a rhythm bass guitarist and began to sing in the clubs of Bakersfield’s infamous "Beer Can Hill."

Soon thereafter, he was signed by Tally Records and began cutting singles. His first was "Singing My Heart Out." His next single, "Sing a Sad Song," broke into the Top 20 of Billboard’s country charts. He then formed a band, The Strangers, who have since gained prominence as one of country music’s finest road bands, earning the prestigious Academy of Country Music’s (ACM) touring band of the year award eight times.

Haggard has released more than 65 albums, four of which have been certified gold. His accolades range from both the ACM’s and the Country Music Association’s male vocalist and entertainer of the year to a 1984 Grammy Award for best male country vocal performance for "That’s the Way Love Goes."


Country icon Roy Clark plays The Orleans

Country music star Roy Clark brings his stellar show to The Orleans, Thursday through Sunday.

Clark’s major success did not start until he was 30 years old. He starred in Hee Haw, which premiered in 1969. The show was a countrified Laugh-In type format with music. The show was produced in Nashville and had a run on CBS for 24 years. Roy was also a frequent guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. "If you’re a bad person, people pick that up. I’m a firm believer in smiles. I used to believe everything had to be a belly laugh. But I’ve come to realize that a real sincere smile is mighty powerful."

Today, Clark remains one of the most popular of entertainers as he looks for new opportunities on stage, on records and on television. For a man who didn’t taste major success until he was 30 years old, the key has not been some grand plan but rather everything taking its own time. He had dreams of being a star when he was 18, and he could have pushed it, but he believes it was not fated to have happened any sooner.

Beginning on the banjo and mandolin, he was one of those people born with music already in him. In 1947, he made his first television appearance. In DC, he began playing bars until he was playing every night and skipping school, eventually dropping out at age 15.


Look downtown for Irish eyes

Having St. Patrick’s Day downtown is luckier than finding a field of four-leaf clovers, according to Mr. O’ Lucky, the official leprechaun at Fitzgeralds Casino.

Mr. O’ Lucky and everybody who’s Irish (or wants to be) will find the pot of gold this St. Patrick’s Day at Fitzgeralds and along the Fremont Street Experience.

There will be plenty of entertainment at the party, which starts on Thursday.

The Fremont Street Experience will have free concerts with several bands playing on Friday and Saturday, including Kinship and The Twilight Lords. Brother will perform live in Fitzgeralds to shake the shamrocks and coins from the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. The Fremont Street light show runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.

There will be lots of green beer, corned beef and cabbage. Irish stovepipe hats will be handed out Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The annual Sons of Erin parade returns to downtown, on Fourth Street.

Keep an eye open for Irish Chase, the friendly leprechaun, and the O’ Lucky girls. No need to bring your own Blarney Stone. There’s one outside the steakhouse.


Forever Swing lands at Aladdin

The jumpin‘ and jivin‘ musical, Forever Swing, comes to the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. March 21 through 25.

Forever Swing features a full orchestra on stage and 10 swing kids and singers. The musical revue follows the fictitious Tommy Vickers Band as it travels through the Swing Era playing such hits as "Begin the Beguine," "Sing, Sing, Sing," "In the Mood" and "It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing."

Swing kids perform high-octane swing dances, ballroom dances, tap numbers and popular dances of the era. Forever Swing also features four vocalists performing tunes such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "A Tiskit a Tasket," "One O’ Clock Jump" and "It’s Gotta Be This or That."

The musical had its inaugural run in the fall of 1998 at Vancouver’s Stanley Theatre. Scheduled to run four weeks, it stayed for 11. It opened at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre for six weeks, then began its national tour last December.

Dean Regan, its creator, director and choreographer, had a successful musical comedy career in Canada, Hollywood, Las Vegas and New York. His latest projects have included Black and Gold Revue, Patsy: A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Red Rock Diner, and Hotel Porter, which featured songwriter Cole Porter’s music.

There will also be matinee performances at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25. Tickets, at $20 to $70, are available at the Aladdin box office. Charge by phone 785-5000.