By STEVE FRIESS
I’ve never been much of a Las Vegas nostalgic. I yawn as I listen to all the old-timers grouse about how great things were back then when murderers and thieves “ran” the town and when gambling was the extent of the city’s raison d’être.
So it was somehow fitting that I was away, in New York visiting editors and playing uncle to my niece, for this past week. Fitting, that is, because in the seven days that I was gone, throwback concepts attempted to reign, and “progress” as I define it for the city took a few serious blows.
I missed, for instance, what must have been a pretty disastrous opening night at the Monte Carlo for Zowie Bowie and its Vintage Vegas act. The preternaturally tanned singing duo are expert self-promoters, terrific singers and as media-savvy as anyone around, and yet even our most obsequious of entertainment scribes trashed them by saying they belong in a cabaret and not a major showroom. But it doesn’t really matter to me how they’re received; the idea here is that a major theater on the Strip is now given over to the alleged romance of Old Vegas. When it fails, I wonder, will anyone (else) suggest that maybe it wasn’t the execution that flopped, but the fact that people are bored with the effort to relive a bygone era?There were three other news items that, to me, also represented steps backward in the cultural evolution of Las Vegas.
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