(Photos shot by Sandy Zimmerman during the live show.)
I began reviewing shows in 1978 and can always see Wayne Newton again and again. I am hoping the title of his new show, “Once More Before I go”, does not mean retirement. As long as the showroom is packed with fans every night, Wayne Newton is the entertainer they still want to see! It was always Wayne Newton’s warm personality and ability to interact with people that gave him that extra likable quality which added another dimension to Wayne’s talents. In my opinion, “Wayne Newton is better Than Ever” with a MUST SEE SHOW that will please everyone!
“Once Before I go” is a wonderful look at Wayne’s life and highlights of his 50 year career. Imagine, not many performers can boast of 50 successful years in show biz! “Once More” begins with Wayne (the part played by an actor), as a young performer of only 15, arriving in Las Vegas to hear he was expected to perform 6 shows a week. Wayne’s personal comments meant so much to the audience. Because Wayne enjoyed show biz, he started learning to play several instruments in order to add more to his show. Wayne’s talents were immediately recognized and Jack Benny gave him a start as his opening act. This began a succession of television appearances singing with Dean Martin, an unforgettable duet with Sammy Davis, Jr., and many of those other wonderful stars of the 60’s. He knew them all! It was exciting to watch the videos as Wayne’s exceptional talent gained popularity with the public and he gained fame. Those moments lived again for his fans that have always been faithful from the beginning and the others who joined him throughout the years. Wayne can be proud of his 50 years in show biz! This is not Wayne’s regular show, it is very special. Of course he played several musical instruments and sang “Viva Las Vegas”, “Danke Schoen”, along with other favorites, but packing 50 years into one show must have been difficult.
Videos of Wayne’s USO tours reminded us of all of the good he did facing danger into sometimes hostile enemy areas to entertain the troupes. The day after he and his entertainers appeared, one of the bases was completely wiped out. Not many people realize Wayne has also helped local Las Vegans; he truly lives up to his title Mr. Las Vegas.
Wayne Newton’s opening was an evening of celebrities walking the red carpet and a VIP party following his performance. Some of the celebs include Dirk Arthur, Zowie Bowie, Carrot Top, Vanna White (Wheel of Fortune), Wink Martindale, Drew Carey, Rich Natoli, Nathan Burton, members of the casts of “Jersey Boys”, “Peepshow”, “Phantom- the Las Vegas Spectacular”, and too many more to mention. The VIP party was an event mingling with celebs, sipping cocktails and eating delicious food. We all were given pieces of Wayne’s 50 Year Anniversary cake, decorated with his picture to take home.
A few years ago, Wayne surprised us by participating in “Dancing with the Stars”, when he performed some exceptional dance routines. I especially enjoyed Wayne’s interpretation of the Tango on “So You Think You Can Dance” with his dance partner Cheryl Burke who attended the opening.
“Once More Before I go”, recently completed an extended run in the Tiffany Theatre, at the Tropicana Hotel.
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