Friday, August 28, 2015

Archive: May, 2010

POSTED: Monday, May 31, 2010, 9:19 PM

Conan O'Brien's Sunday night early show at Borgata was hardly the most hilarious progran ever witnessed in Atlantic City. But neither was it anywhere near disastrous as the once-and-future late-night TV gabber continued his "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour."

Staging his first-ever (and, quite possibly, final) in-concert presentation, O'Brien seldom strayed from the self-deprecating goofball humor that has been the hallmark of his 17 years on television.

His roughly 75 minutes on stage started on a strong note. The opening gambit was a video announcement that warned the audience against such behavior as speaking to "Coco," or even making eye contact with him. After an atomic-powered couple of songs by his six-piece band that included Northeast Philly native Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg on trombone, another video sketch was screened. That one purported to show O'Brien's NBC-imposed exile. He portrayed himself as a disheviled,  corpulent, semi-catatonic hermit whose best (only ) friends are booze and food. Until, that is, he receives a phone call offering him the tour--provided he is in good physical shape. The rest of the bit found him slimming down, mostly by removing his fat suit.

POSTED: Friday, May 28, 2010, 12:44 PM

Barry Manilow is the latest star to sign up for an Atlantic City date this summer.

The veteran pop crooner, whose signatures include "Mandy," "Copacabana" and "I Write the Songs" (which, of course, he didn't write) is due at Boardwalk Hall Aug. 14 (tickets on sale June 5). Hell be playing under the aegis of Caesars Atlantic City.

According to a press release from concert promoter AEG Live, the Boardwalk Hall show will be Manilow's sole East Coast gig this summer. If you miss him there, you'll have to head to Las Vegas to catch him in his residency at the Paris casino.

Manilow,  who will be backed by The New York Pops 60-piece orchestra along with a band and vocalists, was quoted in the release as saying he is "excited to get to perform in Atlantic City again and to be joined by The New York Pops, there’ll be such energy, and it’s a sheer joy to reach my East Coast-based fans."

The program, titled “Caesars Atlantic City Presents Barry Manilow with the New York Pops,” will include a slew of Manilow's hits as well as selections from his latest CD, "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time," which includes his takes on such standards as “Love is Here To Stay,” “The Look of Love,” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.”

 Ticket prices are TBA. To order, or for more info, go to www.ticketmaster.com, www.manilow.com, or www.aeglive.com.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 10:35 PM

The 14th annual East Coast Gaming Congress, which took place Tuesday at the Atlantic City Convention Center, was a day-long affair featuring some of the most important players in the gaming industry, including Gary Loveman, the Harrah's Entertainment Inc. overlord perhaps best-known for his responsible-gaming TV commercials. Below are some of the highlights

***Arguably the biggest news to come out of the confab was New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney's declaration of intent to fight the continued mandatory subsidization of the state's horse racing industry by Atlantic City's 11 casinos.

"The tracks should stand on their own," insisted the Gloucester County Democrat. "We shouldn't be spending $30 million (annually) on horse racing. It should be spent promoting Atlantic City."

POSTED: Saturday, May 22, 2010, 5:48 PM

Madonna was barely out of diapers and Lady Gaga was years away from breathing her first when the rock era's original diva, Diana Ross, began  thrilling millions with her sexy-sweet voice and glam persona. And more than four decades later, she remains the gold standard for female pop stars.

That, at least was the takeaway from her Friday night performance at Caesars Atlantic City. 

Combining nearly a half-century of indelible hits, a sharp, if understated, corps of mucsicans and backup singers (including a five-piece string section) and slick, streamlined staging, Ross thrilled the devoted Circus Maximus showroom crowd with a 90-minute "Greatest Hits" set.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 3:13 PM

Rocker Sammy Hagar is bringing his party-hearty brand to Atlantic City thanks to a deal with Bally's Atlantic City.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar will be open on the sand in front of the midtown gambling den. The al fresco party pit will operate where, in the past, Bally's has had its own Bikini Beach Bar.

It's not all surprising that Hagar, who replaced David Lee Roth as Van Halen's lead singer, and currently fronts the "supergroup" Chickenfoot, has partnered with a Harrah's Entertainment Inc. property. He numbers among his best friends Don Marrandino, who runs Bally's as part of his duties as Harrah's Entertainment's Eastern Region President.

About this blog
Philly native Chuck Darrow has literally covered Atlantic City’s casino scene since Day One: He was there on assignment the night in November 1976 when voters approved legalized casinos.

Since then, Chuck has covered the town and its gaming industry for several area newspapers -- which is why, in some circles, he’s known as “Boardwalk Charlie.”

You can reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com. Reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com.

Chuck Darrow