Review: Legends Holiday Show

When I received the invite to the Legends in Concert Holiday Show, I wasn’t sure what to think.  I’m not a big fan of Vegas holiday shows where they take a normally good show and turn it into a 90-minute rehash of some old Christmas show we see every year on late night cable stations.

Except Legends is not your ordinary Las Vegas show.  It’s a throwback to old Vegas entertainment and style.  They are always a class act. So  I thought I’d go and see what they have for the holidays.  So glad I went!

Sharing the Donny and Marie Showroom at the Flamingo, the production fits nicely into the tiered seating arrangement giving everyone a good view of the show.  Being a Monday, it wasn’t too crowded and so everyone had room to get comfortable. Unlike other shared showrooms, there were no visible signs that this was anything but the Legends in Concert showroom.

Having seen their shows in the past, the one thing I always loved about them is the tribute artists actually sing.  I know, SURPRISE!  No lip synching, no big pyrotechnics or other distractions.  It’s always the tribute artists in their own voices. This is the real talent, paying tribute to the stars they sound and look like and its done live. Backed up by the “Legend’s Band,” and the “Legend’s Dancers.” True Vegas entertainment.

Opening the show was a special performance by the Coronado High School choir singing a few familiar Christmas tunes. That was a nice touch to give some young, local talent a taste of the big time as well as performing on such a historic stage like that.

 the late superstar George Michael, portrayed by Michael Knight.

The first tribute was to the late superstar George Michael, portrayed by Michael Knight. To me, he opened a bit weak.  More like he was trying to play karaoke in the shower, not a live version on a stage in Las Vegas.  His voice was on par, it was his inability to connect with the audience that suffered as an opening act.  That all changed two songs in when he changed into an outfit that better resembled the George Micheal we learned to like on MTV as well as his solo career.  This clothing change really upped his game.  His entire attitude and performance instantly changed his connection with the audience better.  That helped when it came time for his Christmas song and closing song.


Each artist performed five songs that included only one holiday song.  During each performance, video screens on each side of the stage showed vintage video clips of the real performers during their careers and while singing the songs we were witnessing on stage.  This gave the audience members a taste of what we were seeing versus what was the real thing and how each performer had their similarities, especially when performing the songs.

Frank Sinatra, portrayed by Brian Duprey

Ol‘ Blue Eyes

Next up was Frank Sinatra, portrayed by Brian Duprey.  Probably one of the hardest artists to pay tribute to because Frank always came out strong and never let up.  That look, the swagger and the deep voice in the opening number usually kill less talented artists, but in true Legends style, Duprey did ol’ Blue Eyes proud.  See him and hearing that voice made you look around just to see if the rest of the Rat Pack showed up as well.

Nowhere during the show, did the Legends band show any signs of slouching. They ripped through the music with intensity and enthusiasm. As in Frank’s turn, they gave it their all to back him up on a couple of jazzier numbers, including New York – New York.  Keeping in his Santatra character, his ad-libs with the audience kept throwing us back to the clips of the Rat Pack days at the Sands we always see on the TV specials. One Christmas ballad then he ends the set with a little musical history of his signature song before belting out “My Way” just as we all imagined it would sound like if the real Sinatra was on stage.

Frank Sinatra, portrayed by Brian Duprey

Miss Houston

This one is the most confusing. I was hoping for more as Whitney Houston, portrayed by Jazmine hit the stage.  Now I know Whitney wasn’t known to really rock the stage, but she didn’t perform as if her feet were glued to the floor either as Jazmine seemed to be.  What I  do say is that her voice was in tune with Whitney’s as the video screens showed. Serious note taking as you swore it was a recording but it wasn’t. It was pure Jazmine.  However, all was forgiven when she ended her set with probably one of the toughest songs for any female artists to perform and one I have seen many other tribute artists trash because of how long she has to carry the high notes.  Jazmine absolutely, 100% nailed “I Will Always Love You” and brought the audience to tears and to their feet with applause.    I just got goosebumps again thinking about that performance!


Elvis Presley, portrayed by Matt Lewis

The King

Finally, almost… What would a Las Vegas tribute show be without a flashback to a 1968 performance of The King? Elvis Presley as portrayed by Matt Lewis was a good one as he opened with an authentic rendention of CC Rider and kept it going from there.  Of course, being Vegas, he had the mandatory white jumpsuit and big belt buckle.  He did the hip swaying and the crooning to the audience. Like Frank, he came down into the audience and really connected with the fans.  He even gave a few sweat-stained scarfs to some female fans as he wooed (yes, that’s a real word) them in the front rows….  He hit all the right notes and even had a few self-deprecating laughs about his hair.  He did Blue Christmas and had a fun time interacting with the audience as he closed the tribute part of the show.


Legends in Concert Holiday Show

Being a Las Vegas legend itself, they do know how to close a show right!  For the big finale, the entire cast was out on stage to perform “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.  The highlight being the Legends band performing an amazing tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with their version of “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo” (“Carol of the Bells”).  If you never heard it before, this alone may be worth the price of a ticket.

To me, that was a great way to end a great Holiday show!

Conclusion

Yes, I would highly recommend this show if you are in Las Vegas!
The Legends Holiday show runs until December 30.

Hey, Did I mention it was also family friendly?

ABOUT LEGENDS IN CONCERT

    • Legends in Concert is celebrating 34 years of success
    • Legends in Concert has proudly entertained more than 6.6 million Las Vegas visitors and residents produced over 18,500 performances on the Las Vegas Strip and performed to more than 30 million fans worldwide.
    • longest-running production show in Las Vegas.
    • Legends in Concert debuted at Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino in 1983
    • Initially introduced as a limited six-week engagement, this Las Vegas staple now performs 10 shows a week, year-round in the historic Donny and Marie Showroom
  • The tribute artists perform using their own natural voices and are backed by a live band that rocks the house with vivacious backup singers and dancers who bring the performances to life
  • Family Friendly!
  • Acts subject to change

Related Posts

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Disclosure: As a member of the media, I was offered complimentary tickets to the show with no expectations. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

Review: Anker PowerCore 20100 (Video)


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With all the traveling that I do, both personally and professionally, I use my smartphone a LOT, as well as my tablet.  The problem is always finding a place to plug them in and keeping them charged.

Over the years, I have tried numerous power packs and battery chargers.  Most don’t do what I want or they do them very slowly and are bulky or heavy.  Then I found the Anker 20100. Now, this little technology wonder is my constant companion when I am out of the house or office.

Anker 20000mAh Portable Charger PowerCore 20100 – Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad & Samsung Galaxy & More

This thing fits into my pants pockets as well as it does my travel bag. It’s lightweight, quick to charge almost anything from my Android to a guests iPad or iPhone.  I can pass this around to anyone who needs a full, fast charge and still have plenty of power for that late stretch photo burst that always seems to be at the end of a great hike.  Keeping my phone fully charged has never been this easy.

  • Ultra-High Capacity
  • Two ports for extra charging capacity
  • Rapid charges my Android and other devices
  • PowerIQ detects when to turn off so device will not overcharge
  • Surge protected

For The Tourist

For the Vegas Tourist, this is perfect. The slim feature is easy to put into purse or fanny pack. Can keep your smart phone shooting pictures and video without any downtime to look for a plugin or wait for your old, heavy, bulky battery pack to recharge.  This is rapid charge and can have you back to full in minutes, not hours.

The one complaint I have is the time it takes to recharge.  I can go days without it needed to be recharged, but when it does, it can take 10 hours from being dead to being fully charged.  I will usually plug this in when I charge everything else the night before a trip or a tour. Starting off with everything fully charged.

With the optional hard case, this thing is almost indestructible and that’s important because I am known to be hard on technology and the Anker 20100 has kept up with me for over six months now without a problem.   I also love having the two ports, so I can charge my phone while my wife charges hers or a notepad.

anker 20100 review

What Sealed The Deal

Besides its slender size, lightweight, durable casing and dual ports and ability to charge my mobile technology multiple times without a problem?  With the Anker 20100, I can be charging my phone as well as using it at the same time while it still charging. It doesn’t stop charging so you can use it. It keeps the juices flowing!  I love that.   For whatever reason, this seems like a new idea and it was a deal killer on many other chargers I had tried.  It shouldn’t be an either or situation.

Review: Fuel 100 Electro-Bites

Ever have one of those feelings like “What am I getting myself into”? Yeah, I had that when the box arrived. It was a variety box of Fuel 100 Electro-Bites I was asked to review.

I read their website and it told of the creators and how they were long distance marathoners looking for an alternative to gels and sodium replacement capsules regularly used during workouts and races. Other people who swore by the product were all serious runners and long distance bike riders. They weren’t a city boy who hikes into the canyon while leading a pack of curious tourists!

Hiking the canyons may not be the same as doing a marathon race through the streets, but we do perspire, lose energy and need something to help with the endurance of getting over the next hill or back to the top of a canyon.  So, I agreed to give them a test in the Las Vegas desert heat and they sent me a box of  6 different flavors, each in little easy to carry, easy to open bags.

This was about the same time as Debbie and I decided to take on Las Vegas ATV Tours in a 150-degree afternoon! (Ok, maybe not 150 degrees, but it was a scorcher)  So I grabbed a bag of simply salty and a bag of salty vanilla then headed out for the Nellis Sand Dunes.  The small bags, easy to carry, easy to open and easy to pack back out with is something I can like.

I’m lazy and Debbie is the sensible one. I will chow down on anything when I am hot, sweaty, and thirsty. Debbie will usually bring along some “protein enhanced” foods or snack. When we stopped on the ATV trail for a break, I was indeed, hot, sweaty, thirsty and needing of something to get my energy back up to at least be able to make complete sentences when talking and to not get all cramped up from dehydration!  So I grabbed one of my Electro-Bites packs.

They are bite sized, some said they looked like rabbit food, I thought they looked more like mini croutons for your salad.  When I popped two of them in my mouth,  my mouth did start to salivate a little. Took some water and repeated. They dissolved quickly without an after taste.  The salty vanilla actually had a nice salty vanilla taste to them!  They also had a mini-graham cracker feel to them. Very pleasant experience.

Seeing that it was one of the hottest days of the year, we had been zooming around some huge sand dunes at the hottest part of the day and finally stopping for a rest before collapsing from dehydration and heat exhaustion; I can say these little things worked as advertised.  They worked fast at taking away that need for hydration and energy.  I wasn’t craving anything and with a bottle of water and a few minutes of chit chat with the other ATV’ers, I was feeling ready to go off and conquer the next set of sand dunes.

Las Vegas Sand Dunes and Fuel 100 Electro bites

After another set of dunes and a really good sun tan, we came to the end of the ATV tour, got some more water, finished off my other bag of Electro Bites and I was feeling almost human when I know I normally would be feeling drained, sore, wondering what the heck did I just do and where’s the bed?  Instead, I was just sweaty and tired from the workout, asking Debbie where we should head for dinner!

Final Thoughts

Since then, I have used the rest of the bags on my hikes to the Grand Canyon and to Bryce Canyon.  I like the fact that they are so easy to pack nicely in my camera bag or pouch.  Easy to open no matter how tired and sore you are and they are not messy or difficult to dispose of (pack out what you pack in ).  They dissolve easy, have a nice flavor to them, Vanilla is still my favorite.  There is no residue on your fingers after handling them, so you can get back to taking snapping those awesome Instagram pics!  Best of all, they work as advertised.  Even for a city boy hiking the canyon with a pack of sweaty tourists following behind him!

They give you that much-needed energy boost without having to wait to kick in or having to work at ripping open a big plastic bag to get at a little piece of dried meat. It’s there, ready to work and ready to help get you to the finish line, the top of the canyon or back to home base.  I can see why runners use them and now I see why hikers like myself will start to use them!

Details:

Each pack contains 100 calories of bite-sized nuggets made from all natural ingredients including:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Agave Syrup
  • Potato Starch
  • 190mg Sodium
  • 55mg Potassium
  • 46mg Magnesium

Flavors:

  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Salty Vanilla
  • Salty Vinegar
  • Simply Salty

WebSite: Electro-Bites

 

Disclosure:
I received Electro-Bites for free from Fuel 100 as coordinated by Deep Creek PR in consideration for review publication.

Finding Nemo at the Boulevard Mall

When I heard they were building a seawater attraction at the Boulevard Mall, just off the Las Vegas Strip, I kind of scoffed at the idea.  The Boulevard Mall was once the premiere shopping center in Las Vegas. Today?  Not so much. An empty shell of what was once a great shopping destination in a neighborhood that had seen its better days.

Now I come to learn that Boulevard Mall is on the cutting edge of the shopping mall evolution and Seaquest Interactive Aquarium is planning to ride that wave by having one of their first locations at the Boulevard Mall. The aquarium is the first of many new ideas coming to the revamped mall and very little of that has to do with retail shopping and will be focused more on family attractions.  Being a short Uber ride from the middle of Las Vegas Strip, Seaquest is hitting it on all sides.

As one who came late to the whole “family ” thing, I’m catching on quickly.  Actually, I married into the grandkid stage, so I get to spoil them and send them home, but that’s a different post.   With that in mind, I found this is to be a fun and affordable place geared for anyone with kids.  That kind of explains its location.  Close to the Strip and yet in the heart of Vegas suburbia.

Visiting Sequest Las Vegas

 

If you are like me, you are thinking “another aquarium in Las Vegas?”  We already have the Silverton aquarium, the big one behind the front desk at the Mirage and of course the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.  But can you pet a stingray or have an iguana climb up on your shoulder at any of these.  No, you can’t.  But you get to do that here and you don’t have to be a big spender or whale to do it.  That’s what makes this place different. As the name suggests, its interactive and very educational, not to mention just plain fun.

Tickets to Visit The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

Like most petting attractions, you can get cups of food and experience first hand how a stingray eats or how an eel that has two sets of jaws devours its prey.  You can even suit up and swim with the stingrays!  This is something Las Vegas has been missing as it matures into a city for everyone to visit and live.

I like how the aquariums and exhibits are set up so that as you wander through it, you visit several regions of the world, including the Amazon Rainforest, the California coast, and the Caribbean. I found that the staff here are very friendly and informative.  Helping you understand what you are looking at and what it’s all about.  I also like how in a fun, interactive way, you are also learning about the importance of plant life and sea life and how we all interact with each other in some small. (don’t worry, plenty of hand sanitizers and paper towels are placed throughout the attraction!)

 

Nemo in Las Vegas??

Can You Find Nemo in this Tank??

Not only can you get to swim with the stingrays, but if you have a group of kids, parents or business associates and want to do something really different, you can spend the night with the sharks.  Do an overnight retreat or birthday party and have the place to yourselves.  They also have mermaids on the weekends.  Like I said, they have something for just about everybody.

Everyone is Invited

When I was learning about the place and the people behind it, I discovered two of the investors in the project, Erin and Brad Boyle, have a special needs child, so they built true wheelchair accessibility into the exhibits, especially the stingray aquarium.  Everyone is invited and welcomed to participate.  In setting up the facility, they made it a priority to connect with all the various school and social groups as well as other family-friendly attractions with plans to offer cross marketing promotions and discounts with them.  Of course, you have the usual Military, senior and kids discounts. Bonus: Teachers and foster children are always free!

As a fan of people watching, it was interesting to see the wide variety of people here in the middle of the week.  From teens to grandparents, families and just small groups of adults walking around and getting involved in the feedings, the pettings and the touching of the various aqua and reptile life represented here.  The adults seemed to have as much fun and interest in the aquariums as the kids did.

Feed the stingray at Seaquest Las Vegas

 

To be honest, I was not expecting to have as much fun as I did watching the others play and interact.  The feeding and ability to have birds land on your arms or iguanas climb on your shoulders or stingrays take food from your fingers was making us want to come back and with 7 grandkids,  I see a few more trips back there this summer.  Add to that the Discovery Museum downtown, I’m  seeing just a really busy summer with the grandkids!

It’s also nice to see what is planned for the Boulevard Mall that will enhance the overall experience for people coming to visit Seaquest.  New attractions as well as some new retail in what is now a pretty vacant mall.  Being so close to other things to do, see and eat can make for a fun family afternoon no matter if you are a tourist or a Vegas local.

Grand Opening

In Las Vegas parlay, they had a “soft opening” in December and are doing the final nips and tucks to the place with plans for the big grand opening April 28-30.  So mark it on your calendar!

SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium
The Boulevard Mall
3528 S. Maryland Pkwy.
Las Vegas, NV 89169

website: Seaquest vegas

>>> Friends of The Vegas Tourist (that’s anyone reading this) can get 25% off a daily admission with Promo: TVTday25 <<<

Disclosure: I received a free pass for the purposes of reviewing the SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium.  All opinions expressed are truthful and 100% my own.
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Wayne Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah Tour

Wayne Newton Ranch Tour

You think you know Wayne Newton.  But you really don’t know Wayne Newton until you experience his ranch Casa de Shenandoah! Tour it, experience it, enjoy the new memories!

Explore Wayne Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah on a 2- or 3-hour tour of the 52-acre (21-hectare) estate, a legendary property not far from the Las Vegas Strip. Admire his flashy Vegas costumes, luxury cars and memorabilia at the museum, visit the Arabian horse stables, and meet his exotic animals. Upgrade your experience with a guided tour of the first floor of the mansion, or opt for an entire mansion tour plus a visit to Newton’s childhood home.

 

Book Now!