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Sunday, April 10, 2005

On Our Last Trip to Vegas...

April: Hey!  I can't see your head!  Wayne:  I've got the same problem We went to see the one & only Wayne Newton!
A few years back April & I had decided we were going to take in some Vegas shows.

We wanted to see one production show and saw EFX, starring Rick Springfield (Of course!). We also promised ourselves we were going to see one headliner show. That year, we saw Tom Jones.

I've gone to see him several times since then and I'd see him any day of the week. A most excellent show and one of the most powerful voices ever heard.

Last year we made the pilgrimage to see Vegas legend, Wayne Newton, and were just as happy with our choice! The photo you see is April shaking Wayne's hand, seconds before he leaned in to give her a kiss. Naturally, my crappy camera is great for snapshots, but lousy at rapid-fire photo taking and I didn't get a good shot of the two of them together. LOL! Strangely, this would have been my favorite photo from the trip even if I got a great picture of them!

Now, understand that we only originally went to see Wayne because of a great and hysterical article about his show in Entertainment Weekly. It made the show seem so cheezy and fantastic that we HAD to go! We ended up getting 1/2 price tickets from one of the good brokers around town and planned on having some fun.

What we weren't expecting was our waitress to come to our seats, seats far out of Wayne kissing range, and ask if we wanted to be moved forward. We took the chance immediately, not really knowing what was happening.

What was happening was that the waitress had reserved several seats for her church group and many could not show. So she found a couple of people (us) that looked like they'd like a better view, and we made instant friends with the waitress and her few church-going friends in attendance.

Our new seats were right in the heart of Wayne's kissing range. He makes the rounds through the audience while singing "Caught in a Trap" and he shakes hands, kisses the ladies, and does some schtick. April has not stopped talking about kissing Wayne ever since.

The show is also one of the best experiences you can ever have at a theatre. I won't pretend Wayne has a great voice. He doesn't. his once great voice, is now like listening to a wax cylinder or a much worse singer. However, I can say without any reservation that his SHOW is among the best on Earth.

The man doesn't have to work as hard as he does. he doesn't have to put on a show that has the production and entertainment value of a show three times the ticket price. The man needs not do encores, shake hands, tell jokes, allow folks to take photos during the show, and the like. He does all these things because he's Wayne-fucking-Newton and he is the undisputed KING OF LAS VEGAS! He knows that you came to see the legend and he's not going to disappoint anyone.

The show, while filled with schmaltz and schtick of all kinds, is a joy to watch. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY left that theatre feeling cheated. Everyone, young and old alike, felt as though they saw the finest show ever to be put on a stage. Wayne got a standing ovation and he was not being humored by anyone. They loved Wayne Newton and the high-energy show he delivered.

I tell people that the best way to describe it is that Wayne can't sing anymore the same way the Bob Hope wasn't funny any more. The difference was that Wayne was still the consummate performer and people would respect the legend and still be impressed by the performance. Wayne Newton is a show business legend and there's no way around that.

Wayne is ending his contract at the Stardust later this year. No word on whether he's working elsewhere or if he's taking time off to tend to some health issues. It is very possible that the end of a long era of Vegas entertainment will be coming to a close. We're thinking of seeing him one more time. The show will be word-for-word, exactly the same as last time, and we'll be just as happy.

If you have the chance, please go see Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton.


Anonymous Older, Wiser Brother said...

We, too, will go to see Wayne the next time we are in Vegas. I used to use Wayne Newton as proof positive that there is no god (There can't be a god because Frank Sinatra is dead and Wayne Newton is still alive...). Since seeing his live show in Escanaba, MI, I must say that old Wayne is an amazing performer. Yeah, he can't sing to save his life any more, but it just doesn't matter. He does one hell of a show.

1:49 PM

Blogger Andy Land said...

And to think, it took the words of your younger, more handsome, and quite worldy brother to get you to go see Mr. Las Vegas. ;)

BTW, your ex stopped by to my blog today. My blog is quite the family affair. My mom reads, it. April's mom reads it. My older brother, occasionally my younger brother, and now a former in law. I'll have to stop saying so many wawful things about my no-good family!

3:16 PM


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