Thursday, October 1, 2009

LVW Col: Of Zowie, Erich, Aubrey, Bob, Cinevegas + The Wayner

It was rough being away last week and watching all that news flying by with little time to blog. Then I was asked to try to make some sense of it all in my weekly LVW piece, and what resulted was this piece examining the scorecard for Vegas culture, such as it is, by the end of it all. Enjoy. -sf

A death, an end of an era...and Aubrey O'Day

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.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com


Jay said...

I gotta say Steve, I agree and disagree with some things in your article. I won't bore everyone with writing them here since it may be quite lengthy. All I will say is if half naked broads and Carrot Top represent progress, then Vegas is doomed entertainment-wise.

atdnext said...

Good points. I've been accused of the same thing, that is "not respecting Old Vegas". I do think the kitschiness and tackiness of Old Vegas should stay alive for those that like cheap, crappy food and lame "tribute shows". But for all the rest of us that prefer progress, let us enjoy the Vegas of today.

Jeff in OKC said...

I think the picture at the top of your post is the one that O'Day would want to be banned from the internet. Talk about thunder-thighs, or big legged woman-yowza!
Holly, of course, looks like an angel.