Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A lesser 'Legends' at Foxwoods this time

MASHANTUCKET -- "Legends in Concert" is back for a new season at Foxwoods Resort Casino, with seven performances of the Las Vegas-style show slated weekly through the summer travel season, and while the current version offers some crisp sound, good old tunes and requisite flash, the tiny crowd on July Fourth's eve may be evidence the show doesn't measure up to past versions here. 
Again the show is led by young Tyler Hunter of Lincoln, Neb., who does a serviceable young Elvis Presley. But he's not able to carry an entire show, and the first part of the 2012 "Legends" at Foxwoods has some holes. The set is dull, the guy playing Michael Jackson doesn't measure up to the wonderful Damian Brantley who was Michael last year, and the dancers aren't as, well, uniformly effective despite a professional effort.
The franchise show is back for a sixth season at the sprawling casino resort, which was noticeably spare in attendance all over this night, certainly not representative of weekends when crowds can fill the gaming and even some restaurant venues.
Being a franchise (seen nightly in Las Vegas, Branson, Mo., and Myrtle Beach), "Legends" will swap out performers and acts, so this show will likely get better as the summer progresses (August brings Whitney Houston, Shania Twain and Lady Gaga, although that doesn't sound better to me. Where's Dean Martin, where's Sinatra?).
This night, for instance, was supposed to feature Ray Charles, and the guy doing John Belushi in the Blues Brothers act even mentioned that Ray would be out later. But there was no Ray Charles. Instead, it looked like Foxwoods regular Terry Forsythe motored in to do his always-sharp Stevie Wonder.
The Blues Brothers were a pleasant surprise, outdoing the version you'll see at Universal Studios in Florida. Of course, it's pretty odd to have guys impersonating blues "legends" who weren't blues legends in the first place. They were characters in a movie portraying guys who once sang the blues.
Celine Dion ( another Foxwoods veteran, Brigitte Valdez) does a decent job, but you may need to be a Dion fan to appreciate anything other than "My Heart Will Go On." The 70-minute show will run you a modest $30.
Update: As you can see in the comment below, "Legends" still runs a professional show, moving different performers in from other locations.  The sound and theater are top-notch, too, of course. And now (in August), a new group of performers is doing working the venue. (Hunter was replaced as Elvis after his arrest for leaving his young children unattended in a hotel room at the resort early in the July run, as you may recall.).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi I was just reading your article and I must dissagree. My friends and I went to see the legends in concert just today and we had a wonderful time. First to come on was Stevie Wonder and he was amazing. Shania Twain came up next and althoug at first she didn't sound like her as she went on it was hard to tell it wasn't her. lady Gaga was next and although i don't really get her she did sound the same as on the radio. Michael Jackson came on and although he didn't look or sometimes sound like Michael he did have the right moves. When Whitney Huston came on I was amazed at how much she really sounded and acted like the real person and at how nice it was to her her songs being sung by someone who sounds like her. Elvis was last and I know the story about the Elvis you say when you went to the show he was really young. The Elvis we saw was incrediable. We actually sat in back of his soon to be wife and she knew all the moves he made while he was onstage and it was so cool to watch them both. He sounded and looked just like the real thing. Noone will ever look excally like the real thing unless its and identical twin or the actual person and we as comsumers should have more of an open mind when gracing their presence at a concert. I hope that you will go see the show again and maybe see something you may have missed. By the way we loved the dancers they were on key the who show and they were the only people besides the band who didn't move much who was in the show from beginning to end. I raise my glass to them, you might say they worked harder then impersonators did. I thank you for letting me let you know how my experience went.