Archive: October, 2008
My suspicions were confirmed Friday night at Borgata: I definitely don't have the Robin Williams gene.
That's the cellular mechanism that makes people think the veteran comic-actor is not only a singularly hilarious human being, but a bonafide genius whose lightning-like mind is almost supernatural.
There obviously were plenty of those gene-carriers at the Big B's Events Center Friday. They were the ones whooping and guffawing at most of what Williams had to say. And he had plenty to say. About everything from Atlantic City and GPS units to Sarah Palin and former Phillies star Lenny Dykstra.
During his legendary Phillies career, Hall of Famer Steve Carlton had the reputation as a strong, silent type, thanks to his steadfast refusal to talk to the media. So who knew the revered hurler known to Phanatics simply as "Lefty" was quite the raconteur? Carlton was glib, insightful and incredibly entertaining Wednesday night as the special guest at a Borgata World Series Party in the casino's Music Box theater.
Some 700 Big B customers and their guests were there to watch Game 1 on three giant TV screens. Between innings, Carlton and the emcee, the ever-upbeat and optimistic Don Tollefson of 950 ESPN, offered game commentary and answered fans' questions. Contrary to his Sphinx-like demeanor in the '70s and '80s, Carlton was a regular David Letterman.
For instance, when asked to describe his pre-game ritual, Lefty didn't skip a beat before he replied, "Throwing up." And when another guest petitioned Carlton to list his toughest outs, the ex-pitcher parried, "None of 'em."
Frank Sinatra Jr. turned in a typically stellar performance Sunday night at the Atlantic City Hilton.
I knew it would be a cool night when, upon arriving at the Hilton, I noticed an early-'70s, copper-colored Cadillac Eldorado convertible (with its top down) parked at the porte cochere. The (New Jersey) license plate read: "SUMAWND."
Inside the theater, things were equally swingin' as "Junior" again proved he is a first-class vocalist and entertainer. Sure, he thrilled the audience with spot-on versions of such Ol' Blue Eyes signatures as "Night and Day," "Angel Eyes," "I've got the World on a String" and, of course, "New York, New York" and "My Way." But some of the set's strongest moments came when Sinatra veered from Greatest Hits Avenue onto some less-traveled side streets: "Blues In the Night," "Indiscreet" and "Grenada" (which ping-ponged between a brass-blaring, Spanish motif and classic big-band swing) were real treats.
Even though I am inviting another round of chastisement, ridicule and general abuse, I must congratulate the Atlantic City City Council for granting casinos a year-long delay in implementing the full smoking ban.
The council, to its credit, grasped the fundamental point of banning smoking at this time: An already under-siege industry would be forced to absorb yet another financial body blow if smoking were prohibited on all areas of the casino floor. The September revenue numbers told the story: A decline unprecedented in three decades of legalized gambling. Simply put, this is not the time to make it even harder for the casinos to keep the customers they still have.
I really don't want to get into the same argument some of us had a little while back concerning the merits and necessity of total smoking prohibition. I understand the health risks of second-hand smoke. And, yes, in a perfect world, smoking would be banned.
Here's a couple of questions I recently received from readers. I think they both address interesting topics.
Q: Can you tell me why it is that when I go to see entertainment at Tropicana, I find that my favorite Atlantic City performers have all been replaced by Canadians such as Angella Seeger and Sherri Gold?
Also....the majority of the Production Shows in their showroom are Canadian? When I inquire... the answer I am given is this. Because of the economic situation cutbacks have been made.
Isn't one of the reasons the American economy is in trouble is because of outsourcing and cutting Americans out of jobs? I want to see my American favorites back and I do not want to see a Christmas show or patriotic show where I am being wished a Merry Christmas and a God Bless the USA in a Canadian Accent when I know they are taking jobs from Americans.
The House of Blues inside the Showboat might better be dubbed “House of Gloom,” at least on Sunday, as Death Cab for Cutie hits the stage.
The quartet from suburban