While we anxiously await the Ragtime reviews
to hit the New York papers on Monday, let's take a
trip across the country and take a look at a show
that is a big hit in the #1 tourist destination city
in the world.
He's billed as "Entertainer of the Year" on the billboards
around the city of Las Vegas. It was just a few years
ago that Danny Gans took his roadshow to Broadway and
and had a limited run. Afterward, he continued to tour
over 200 days a year, but now he has found his home
in the Rio Hotel and Casino selling out night after
night in their huge theater.
Initially, Gans was appearing at the Stratosphere Hotel
and for twenty bucks you could see his show. However,
as his popularity grew with the local and tourist population,
he moved to the Rio and now the ticket price is $60.00. Now,
that's a hefty increase in what is essentially the same
show and even Gans spoke out against the high ticket
price claiming the locals would be resistant to pay such
prices and they are the ones who made him such a success.
What does Gans do that has made him so popular? Well, he
has the gift to mimic just about any celebrity you have
ever heard of. Think of anyone from President Clinton
to Nat Cole and his vocal chords can miraculously
reproduce that sound. I suppose the reason he went to
Broadway was that this is a musical show, not just a comic
doing monologues. He starts the show with what seemed like
an endless series of snippets of songs by such singers as
Smokey Robinson, Roy Orbison, Stevie Wonder, and a litany
of many others. The trouble is he only whets your appetite for
more. His snippets last only about 30 seconds as he keeps turning
around getting a prop such as eyeglasses or a hat and goes
into the next impersonation. It's endless and tiring.
I noticed a guy at the next table wearing a cowboy hat, and
after Gans did his Garth Brooks imitation, he was in a frenzy
and shouted with glee, "Isn't he great or what!" I sat
there thinking..."Yeah, the or whats love this show!"
Surprisingly, even though I was bored to tears, Gans is
quite a talented guy, it's just that the vehicle he's in
is hardly Broadway type material, but it's pure Vegas, that's
for sure. His Sinatra is right on and the double duet
of both Natalie and Nat King cole singing "Unforgettable"
was, well, unforgettable.
After awhile, I sat there wondering, "Who the hell is this
guy?" Toward the end of the show, we do find out a little
about him during a monologue. He then sings a couple songs
in his own voice and guess what? He's damn good! With
all the impersonations, I was left with a so what
feeling, contrary to the thunderous audience ovation. I left
thinking that Danny Gans, the man of 1,000 voices, didn't
do enough of his best impersonation, and that is of himself.
Tidbits: Ragtime opens today and it should be
an interesting Monday on our "All That Chat" forum as we
discuss the New York reviews. Join us.
Side Show was supposed to have a press release on the
future of the show, but nothing as of yet. The rumor mill
has a re-opening date of April 19th in the hope of getting
in the Tony race. I suppose everyone connected with the
show is banging his brains around figuring what to do.
As long as the sets remain in the Richard Rogers, I would
think anything is possible. Surely, they have lost enough
money, but to remount the show elsewhere is impossible at
this point. So, the sets remain in place in the dark house.
As long as there is no crunch on houses, only time will
tell the fate of Side Show.
Tony committee to meet soon to discuss the eligibility of
Cabaret for Tony nominations. The Kit Kat Klub,
formerly the Henry Miller Theater is currently not on
the list of Tony eligible houses. I don't think there
will be a problem.
Joseph Molnar begins the year with his column, Sound Advice,
taking a look at three C.D.'s including Floyd Collins.
Christina D'Angelo will take a look at a preview of The Capeman
In our efforts to expand this "zine" called Talkin' Broadway
this year, we are looking for someone to write a column on
London theater. That someone should have decent writing
skills and be versed on the London theater scene. Ideally,
that person should attend the theater on the West End. E-mail
me if interested.
Let's take a brief look at today Arts & Leisure section of
the New York Times. High Society, rumored to be going
into the Richard Rogers, has a large full color ad announcing
previews beginning March 31 at the St. James Theater. This
musical is an adaptation of the play, The Philadelphia Story,
and the film, High Society. You can order tickets through
Linda Eder (Jekyl & Hyde) is appearing at Town Hall on Thursday,
Feb. 19th for one performance. Tickets available at the box officer or
For those of you in the New York area, drop by Barrymores on
W. 45th on the evening of Jan. 26th when The Phantom of the
Opera celebrates its 10th anniversary. We'll be having
drinks and dinner from 4:45 to 6:45. Join us, or drop by
to say hello. I'll be there as well as other staff members.
E-mail me if you'd like to join us for dinner. If you'd
like to see Phantom that night, better hurry and call
Tele-Charge now as limited seating is available. The number
is 800-447-7400 outside of New York, and 212-239-6200 for
Wanna' talk to others about this column or anything else theatre
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