Legends in Concert
By Chuck Rounds
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"Legends in Concert" plays inside the Legends showroom at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino. It is an opportunity to watch the recreation of the live performances of some of the musical greats of our time. The newly reformatted production brings out Stephen Sorrentino as the host of the show---delighting us between performances of impersonators of Rod Stewart, Janet Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, and of course, Elvis. Sorrentino is also a pleasure to watch with his impersonation of Elton John.
Each of the performers does their best to give us the look, the sound, and the style of each of these artists. They are supported by the "Legend’s Band," and the "Legend’s Dancers." Each of these support groups is excellent. The musicians and the dancers are the hardest working members of this company, and they truly do an outstanding job. They are the true stars of the production. These two groups worked throughout the production, bending and transforming themselves into whatever style and genre was needed. I couldn’t find a weak link in either the musicians or the dancers. Part of me just wanted to forget the impersonators, and just go for an evening of music and dancing. These two groups were fully capable of carrying an entire evening of entertainment themselves.
The impersonators did a fine job. They did, in fact, recreate the performance of their respective star. As the impersonator performed, video footage of the real performer played simultaneously. At times, there was the question as to which I preferred watching...the screen or the performer.
I guess I have a problem watching a performance being simply ‘recreated.’ I want more from my impersonators. I want to see the aspects of a performance that I’ve never seen. I want to see something new and unique with my classic musical artists. I can pull up old video footage any time that I like...seeing it live was nice for a moment...and then the moment passed.
The one person that did stand out and did give me a delightful uniqueness was the Marilyn Monroe impersonator. She was wonderful. She brought this character to life and made her vibrant.
The other great part of the show was watching Stephen Sorrentino perform (not so much as Elton John, but) as himself. He is very talented and does a full range of impersonations. His quick witted manner and energy really carried the performance forward.
The Legends Theatre inside the Imperial Palace is a fairly well appointed medium sized theatre. It is set up in the classic Vegas showroom style. The audience does get a bit crammed in with the seating. There is good lighting and sound, and several monitors that show both taped shots of the real performers as well as live shots of the impersonators. I thought that this was a really nice touch and kept the audience entertained with both the real and the fantasy.
The production of "Legends in Concert," works. We never forget that these are impersonators, and they put on a fairly lively show for us. The dancers and the musicians are great.
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