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Buck Wild (CLOSED)
By Chuck Rounds
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"Buck Wild" is playing inside the Sahara Theatre at the Sahara hotel and casino. It is a fun and wild topless cowboy variety show with the gist of a "Hee-Haw" mentality. The dancing is great, the acts are strong, and the atmosphere is terrific. Most of the standard great country music hits are used in the show, and the upbeat variety format works well. It is a show that, with a little seasoning, will get better and better.
The variety show set-up has worked really well for producer David Saxe in the last several years, and having themed variety shows seems to be a natural extension of this trend that was re-introduced to us by Saxe himself. The country theme is a great choice...there is really no competition up against him, and there are certainly a plethora of country fans that visit and reside in the city. The only question will be; are they going to show up?
There are some great acts that entertain us throughout the evening... Russ Hedrick is a tremendous fiddle player, and works that Charlie Danielsí style. Steve Dailey is always a delight to watch, this time as "Little Debbie." Nathan Burton, who gained some notoriety on the reality show, "The Entertainer," delights us as "the redneck magician." Most notably though is 11 year old child prodigy harmonica player, LD Miller. Miller astounds the audience with his masterful playing and his panache and style on the stage. Iím going back to the show, just to take my daughter, in order to show her what hard work and tenacity can accomplish.
The dancers in the show were all great...they certainly put a little "giddy up" in all of their numbers, and each of the performers got to have their own featured spot within the production, which allowed them to shine individually as well as with the group. Especially nice was the addition of a couple of strong male dancers---their abilities truly stood out, and they are a tremendous addition to the line. Male dancers are often shunned in the smaller productions, and it is nice to see their inclusion in this show. Kudos to all of the dancers, Lacy Yoder, Stefanie Jacobs, Samantha Hunt, Marcy Fox, Sean Colon, and Jeremy England
The show is hosted by TJ Weaver, with the support and strength of his backup and featured singers Tamara Kelly and Annika Starander. The band did a great job supporting and augmenting the show. Musical director, Michael Dubay, has truly put all of the pieces together in order to lay a strong musical foundation for the production.
The show is not without its problems...the production needs to get a lot tighter before it can really take off and fly. Timing and transitions are the biggest problems. The "Hee-Haw" type one-liners that are tossed out time and again to break up the show need a lot of work---everyone (including the tech support) needs a quick lesson in joke-telling. The band needs to pick up their cues faster in order to move things along...but these are both minor points that will probably take care of themselves as the show continues to run and settle in to its own rhythm. All of the pieces are there for a great and fun evening.
Choreographed and directed by Traci Mattea, this show will hopefully have a great run. The early show is covered without an age restriction, and the late show is topless. Yee Haw...