Last Wednesday, I attended “Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers” at the Wynn Las Vegas. This is a show featuring 20 musical numbers from hit Broadway shows. The cast includes some 35 singers and dancers and a huge orchestra. Because the show is relatively new, several friends asked, “Well, how was it?”
The group I was with loved the show – loved the vocal talent, the live orchestra (at least 30 pieces), the costumes, the sets and the dancers. I won’t disagree.
But as a reviewer, I have a couple suggestions.
One of the singing stars of the show is baritone Randal Keith. He has a lovely voice and when he first sang in ShowStoppers, I literally got chills. If it were me…I’d give Keith one big solo number right near the end of the show. I’ve heard him in Las Vegas sing “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables, and it’s the loveliest of memories … but any show-stopping male number would do; I wanted more of Keith.
Of course, the show is not mine – it belongs to Steve Wynn who is my mind does little that is wrong in Las Vegas. I don’t mind that his name is attached to the title, after all, the show was his idea, and as a lover of Broadway shows, I couldn’t be happier at his inspiration. But occasionally during the show, Wynn’s voice is heard introducing upcoming numbers. I actually wish a bit more information accompanied the various scenes, letting a non-musical audience know where every song fit, but I think I would have left that job to the cast, not to Mr. Wynn whose voice seems to come from nowhere. The six listed vocalists, David Burnham, Nicole Kaplan, Randal Keith, Kerry O’Malley, Andrew Ragone and Lindsay Robinski, all have first-rate resumes and could have done the job.
A program insert does indicate the names of the musical numbers and the shows from which they came, but during the show, the showroom is dark, and it’s mighty difficult to refer back to the program. Furthermore, the program insert says nothing about where in the show, a particular number appeared.
Finally, if a program insert is to be used, I would have shown which singers are associated with each number. That would help audience members know where to send their compliments and would definitely help reviewers remark on individual numbers.
Because the sheet listing the musical numbers was an insert in the program, clearly what we’ve read — that the musical line-up is always subject to change — is true. Print a new one-page sheet, and the new number is included.
Note: In the Encore Theater, even a seat in the back row is fine. The sound is excellent and the big stage more or less commands a distant view.
I guess a word like “dazzling” should be used for the show because the costumes were indeed first rate. Lots of gold, feathers, satin and sparkles. One felt as if the expensive ticket was worth the money. Because of my own familiarity with the songs chosen, my favorite numbers were those with a good deal of dancing – including the opening “There’s No Business Like Show business” and the last number, “One” from A Chorus Line. A standing ovation at the end of the show is a must.
Local Las Vegans can purchase ShowStopper tickets for $75 and they might hear, as I did, a song about their home town that they have never heard before. It was called “No Name City (Ol’ Las Vegas)” from Paint Your Wagon.
ShowStoppers does feature several comic numbers such as “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun, “The Game” from Damn Yankees (the baseball uniforms all have a “W” on the shirts) and “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago.
All in all … a lively lovely night in the theater. One of the ushers said that the show has had full houses most nights (as it did last Wednesday) so… make a reservation.