LAS VEGAS -- While Las Vegas headliners and production shows are
generally familiar to even infrequent or first-time visitors, what
those folks may not realize is that there is a vast and varied
world of entertainment beyond the big-ticket showrooms.
As a fertile starting point, some of the town's top talent can
be found in hotel casino lounges. While most lounges showcase
talented acts -- the entertainment directors see to that -- certain
offerings are worth extra comment.
For example, "Soul Desire," in the Big Apple Bar at New York-New
York, is a duo whose classical training is evident in their highly
polished musical journey through pop, rock and R&B. They're
enhanced by a four-piece band and a couple of backup singers who
also take turns in the spotlight.
Meanwhile, tourists heading downtown will find a little gem of a
show called "Jump, Jive an' Wail" at the Fremont Hotel, tucked into
the refurbished lounge now renamed the Aloha Cabaret.
It stars Robbie Howard, whose musical impressions are pure fun,
accompanied by a band whose big, booming beat often rocks the whole
For the late-night crowd, a Saturday night treat awaits in the
Le Bistro Lounge at the Riviera, where the brass-heavy Lon
Bronson's All-Star Band performs big band sounds, saloon standards
and classic jazz.
Fans of magic can travel to the Orleans on West Tropicana for
the "X-treme Close-Up Magic" of Steve Dacri in Brendan's Pub (soon
moving to the adjacent Sazio's).
Dacri interacts with audience members who assist him onstage --
or right at their tables -- as he has his way with coins, sponge
balls, cards and scarves, while a videocam catches all the moves
(but not the secrets) and projects them onto a series of
Mike Close also brings the magic right to your table, one on
one, in the Houdini Lounge at the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino,
performing Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
What's more, between tableside sessions he settles in at a piano
and proves he's not only a magician but also an accomplished
Many noteworthy acts populate other non-main showroom venues,
topped by the always outrageous Monti Rock III, who, in his
colorful and inimitable style, emcees a doo-wop show at the
Or visitors may opt for such thoroughly enjoyable performances
as Hawaii's Society of Seven at the Aladdin, Second City at the
Flamingo Las Vegas, the Ultimate Variety Show at the Venetian or
the Mac King comedy magic show at Harrah's.
These are some of the ways to steer clients toward great
For tickets that rarely top $30, or sometimes just for the price
of a drink or two, a lounge is the place to go.
For more details on this article, see Sampling the ultralounge, the hip hotel