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By Chuck Rounds
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"Spotlight" is playing now at the showroom inside the Bourbon St casino. This new variety show is the latest project of one of the cities youngest producers, Will Roya. He has brought together a nice mixture of talent for this production and will certainly give a lot of new variety artists the much-needed exposure that they require.
The variety show format was brought back to Las Vegas with the production of "V"—the ultimate variety show. In both its inspired simplicity and in its ability to give a lot of work to a lot of good and often neglected artists, the show became an almost immediate success. That production brought about several cloned productions, and they all seem to be going strong. Hence, comes the production of "Spotlight."
"Spotlight," though, may have to be considered the poor relation to the other variety shows that are out there. The show has neither the budget nor the facility to truly be considered in the same league as the other shows of the same genre, but the show does in fact have some advantages and charms that the other productions lack.
One of the first advantages that you would notice is the price. "V" goes for $60 - $70 per ticket. "Spotlight" starts at $40, but with one of the readily available 2 for 1-ticket coupons, the price of the show is a mere $20---a third of the price of its big brother.
The second advantage is the intimacy of the space. Now, the Bourbon St. Showroom has a lot of problems, which have been enumerated in many past reviews, but the one thing that it does have which could be considered an advantage would be the audience/performer relationship. As an audience member, you are pretty much part of the action---everything is right in front of your face.
The charming aspects of the show would have to be the performers themselves. Admittedly, these are all B-list performers, but they are all young performers that are, of course, starting out on the B-list and are hoping that one day they will make it to the A-list. The line-up of performers has a lot of potential and some are genuine surprises. These acts are not as polished as they will be one day, but for now they are refining their craft and getting some much needed exposure. Some of the performers that are seen in this show today will make that elusive A-list tomorrow.
Producer Roya will be rotating a lot of different acts through the show, so the line-up of the show will probably be changing on a weekly basis. One performer that will probably be a fairly permanent fixture is Roya himself. Roya gives himself the opportunity to shine in this production---and rightly so. He is a masterful comic juggler, and his segment in the show is a highlight.
I wish this production the best. The work that is presented on the stage all comes from the heart. All of the performers are striving to reach beyond themselves and become more than they currently are.