Catch The Rising Stars
Some of the Strip's Broadway performers offer unique entertainment for locals
By STEVE FRIESS
Erich Bergen has one of those clean-cut young faces that make you want to pinch his cheeks and mess up his hair. He’s all wide-set doe eyes and perfect manners and collared shirts, albeit in various stages of wrinkled, and there’s this straitlaced, innocent element that makes the kid a natural to portray the square who wrote “Sherry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.”
That’s why I’m a little startled when I sit in the empty showroom at the Liberace Museum during a rehearsal last week for Bergen’s two-nights-only benefit concert and the stuff that’s streaming out of his mouth is naughtiness and double entendres of the most delightfully vile manner.
God, I hope not. If they did, they’d miss an up-close-and-personal opportunity—at a bargain-basement price!—to spend some time with a talent so impressive, so refreshing that he can’t possibly be long for the obscurity of a Las Vegas Strip musical cast.
Star power is something that’s very difficult to explain or describe, and it is not that Bergen is the best singer, the best dancer, the best actor or the best-looking performer in this city. But what Bergen does have is a youthful and affable presence, an ability to play with audience expectations of him, a willingness to take risks and a confidence that does not—at least yet—come across as arrogance. And he has an eagerness to perform and crowd-please this city ought to appreciate and take advantage of for however long we have him here.
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