The show is a mish-mash of iconic songs (such as “Luck be a Lady” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, magic tricks, Dean Martin and Elvis impersonations, physical comedy and, of course, spectacular dancing girls in skimpy, sparkling costumes.
The show’s presenters capture the spirit of Vegas with a live four-piece band featuring sax, drums, keyboard and bass, and a traditionally tacky cellophane curtain backdrop. However, the stage at Her Majesty’s felt a little small for a Vegas-style production, with the result that dance moves at times appeared constrained by the lack of space and there were only six dancing girls – far fewer than typically appear in a real Vegas show.
The overall impression was thus one of a “mini-Vegas” show, but still a highly enjoyable one.
The dancing girls epitomised traditional Vegas showgirls – tall, leggy, gorgeous – and their costumes were true to form, ranging from spangly bikinis to the whole Carmen Miranda head-dress and feather-boa backside adornments. Each time they were on stage, it was a visual spectacular.
Host David Cotter has perfected the ultimate Dean Martin impersonation, providing the audience with insight into the man, his career and legendary songs. Apparently, after Martin’s single “Everybody Loves Somebody” hit number one in 1964, NBC offered him a three-year contract for $39 million– an astonishing amount by today’s standards.
Dean Vegas, who impersonates the King of rock ’n’ roll, not only sounded like Elvis and looked like the young, glamorous version, he also pulled off some mean pelvis moves.
Illusionist Michael Boyd treated the audience to two sets of his magic artistry, with one trick guest-starring experienced Vegas performer Thurston the duck, but it was Spanish physical comedian Frediani who ultimately stole the show. Performing gymnastic feats and slap-stick on a trampoline, this guy was awesome; his audience interaction and simple but hilarious comedy was so great there could have been a whole show dedicated just to him.
The performance closed with dancing girls and bare-chested men kicking up their heels to “Viva Las Vegas”. “Elvis” handed out silk scarves to adoring fans, as he did back in the day, and the general consensus among those in attendance was that a fab time had been had by all.
Overall, the show was lots of fun and a good indication of what does happen in Vegas.
The Ultimate Vegas Show was presented at Her Majesty’s Theatre for two nights only, on January 8 and 9.