Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has always been committed to its role as the leader in Atlantic City’s live concert and entertainment offerings. And we’ve made providing resort visitors with the best in summer entertainment a priority.
So we were pretty proud of ourselves to have presented Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett at Borgata’s Event Center on Friday, July 24.
This was a show that sold out in minutes back in February, and the two great entertainers did not disappoint.
Performing with a full orchestra, they opened the show with the classic, and fairly appropriate, “Anything Goes,” followed by their smash hit “Cheek to Cheek.”
It’s a rare thing to see an 88-year-old singer in Bennett hold his own with a 29-year-old singer in Gaga, but the reviews are in and Bennett’s voice was as smooth and pure as if he were 29 as well.
As Billboard Magazine said in its review:
“Even though Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga’s “Cheek to Cheek” duets album has been with us for nearly a year, nothing quite prepares you for the startling contrast and sheer delight of seeing the 88-year-old vocal legend and the 29-year-old pop icon onstage together, singing material written before Gaga’s father was even born.”
“So when a dapper Bennett and shimmery Gaga took the stage at Borgata’s Event Center on Friday night in Atlantic City, the novelty of the unlikely-yet-organic pairing didn’t wear off until after they’d finished a one-two-three punch opener of “Anything Goes,” “Cheek to Cheek” and “They All Laughed.”
For modern music fans, the idea of two star singers sharing a stage and swapping banter and mixing together classic song stylings might seem a little foreign, but it was much more common when Bennett started his career.
With Lady Gaga, Bennett has undoubtedly brought the idea back.
At this point, you have to give comedian George Lopez his due as a pioneer.
Lopez—who brings his stand-up act to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in the Event Center July 11—was the first Mexican American to headline a TV show (two actually) and the first Latino host of a late-night talk show.
Lopez is best known for his six-season run on the TV show George Lopez, which is still a hit in syndication. He also spent two years as the host of Lopez Tonight on TBS. He’s produced and acted in the movie Spare Parts and appeared in several others and is the author of “I’m Not Gonna Lie and Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50.”
If it sounds like we’re rattling off his resume, well, … it’s a pretty impressive resume. As Lopez often says, not bad for a poor kid from Los Angeles.
Of course, for Lopez it all started with stand-up more than 30 years ago—he returned to it a few years ago—which eventually brought him success.
“It means a lot in that I always felt invisible, and I was louder in my own head than I was verbally, … I was torturing myself, wanting to say things and not knowing how to be.” Lopez says. “The stand-up was a way out but it never came easy. So to have something that’s named after me make it, and that has history tied to Desi and Freddie and now Freddie Jr., it’s unbelievable to me because I never really thought anything good would happen to me.”
Still, success hasn’t softened Lopez—at least not on stage—and he still can bring it to a stand-up audience.
Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season.
But then you knew that.
For us here in Atlantic City, however, it’s so much more. Summer is everything in these parts—the start of a three-month party of sun, surf, great music, great food and just constant entertainment.
Of course, we do party 365 days a year at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, but when summer comes, well, we really party. And forget about June 21, summer starts this weekend at Borgata and we’ve got the line-up to welcome the season like it’s never been welcomed before.
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Through the years, Canada has exported some pretty great stuff across the border to America. Stuff like round bacon, hockey fights, Pamela Anderson.
This May 23 & 24, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa presents one of the funniest Canadian exports when stand-up comedian Russell Peters appears for both nights at Borgata’s Event Center.
If you’re not familiar with Peters, he’s a Canadian comic born of Indian immigrant parents (a fact that comes up a lot in his stand-up act). He’s appeared in a number of Canadian TV shows, but also “Last Comic Standing” here in the states, Comedy Central specials and the movie “Chef” with John Favreau and Scarlett Johansen.
At the moment he’s on a world tour—dubbed the Almost Famous Tour—that’s taking him through the Far East and Europe before launching a North American leg which hits Borgata in May.
As Peters’ world tour shows, while he may be “almost famous” here in the U.S., his 25-year career has gained him a wide following around the world.
“People recognize me; some people recognize my face, some people know my name but don’t know what I look like, and some people just don’t know who I am,” Peters says in a recent interview with thehundu.com as his tour went through India. “So it’s not almost successful, because I’m definitely successful. So I’m just almost famous.”
When it comes to stand-up comedians, you always kind of wonder what they’re going to talk about onstage.
You know, will it be that observational humor—What’s up with kitchen magnets?—or are they the storyteller kind of comic—One time I went to a Red Lobster with my friends and ordered chicken, well let me tell you.
With Kathy Griffin, who appears at Borgata’s Event Center March 14, you know exactly what she’s going to talk about – celebrity dirt.
It is storytelling, but storytelling with backstage celebrity buzz and gossip … you know, the good stuff.
Fans of Griffin and her gazillion Bravo comedy specials—including her 2011 special “Tired Hooker“ filmed on location at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa—get the inside dirt on everything Griffin sees, hears and experiences as she works her way around Hollywood on the D-list.
Which makes it all the more interesting that she’s been mysteriously quiet on the recent controversy at–and now her decision to leave–E’s “Fashion Police.”
We don’t want to hit this too hard on our friendly little blog—you can Google it—but we just have to wonder, how long can Griffin ever stay quiet about anything?
For many music fans—especially female fans—hearing a song by an artist like Sarah McLachlan can be like stepping into a time machine. Not a time machine that travels through history. No, it’s much more personal than that.
Who that’s had their heart broken in the 90s and on, or suffered some terrible loss, hasn’t found solace in McLachlan’s ballads? From “In the Arms of an Angel” to “I Will Remember You,” McLachlan’s mezzo-soprano can take you back to the most vulnerable, but also sentimental times in your life.
And at 47, McLachlan is marking a new phase in her life with her Shine On Tour which comes to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in the Event Center on March 13. The world tour is in support of her 2014 album “Shine On,” her eighth studio album which was written after McLachlan’s father passed away.
“It’s about going through your 40s and all the changes,” McLachlan tells CNN. “We don’t get to that point in our lives unscathed. We’re losing our family members. I lost my brother last November to bowel cancer so there are so many big changes that happen in our 40s, and it’s sort of that tipping point of I’m in the second half of my life.
“To a certain degree I get to choose what this is going to look like,” she says. “How do I want it to look? And it’s sort of a reassessing of everything and I thought, I’m so lucky, I’m so blessed. I have so many amazing things that have happened to me. I have my health, I have my kids’ health, I have great friends and family. I just want to suck the marrow out of every day that I have left because you just don’t know. You don’t know when your time is and I want every day to count.
When comic Lisa Lampanelli takes the stage—as she will February 15 at Borgata’s Event Center—she’s not exactly subtle about what you can expect.
Things are going to get rough.
Lampenelli dubs herself comedy’s Queen of Mean—though a lovable Queen of Mean—and even uses the web address insultcomic.com for her website. That’s pretty much telling it like it is.
Brash, dirty, politically incorrect, really dirty, unsettling, really, really dirty, savage – look, the chick is dirty … they’re all pretty accurate descriptions of Lampanelli’s act.
And in recent years, thanks to appearances on Howard Stern’s Sirius radio show (where he can go off uncensored) as well as a host of Comedy Central roasts and her own HBO comedy special “Long Live the Queen,” Lampanelli’s stock keeps rising. It also didn’t hurt that she was on season five of “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Lampanelli comes to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa this time out as a changed woman. Oh, she’ll still skewer anyone—including herself—but coming off a failed marriage, she’s lost about 100 pounds and has given herself a new look.
“It’s so dramatic, I don’t recognize myself. I want to get out and date properly now that my divorce is final. Those experiences will make for great stories in the future shows,” Lampanelli recently told the Las Vegas Sun.
We in Atlantic City love Philadelphia.
Oh, sure, on the Boardwalk we don’t put cheese whiz on our cheesesteaks—you know, in favor of actual cheese—but that’s just a minor regional thing between close cousins. Atlantic City is Philadelphia’s beach and we share everything from a love of the Philadelphia Eagles to a penchant for funnel cake on the boards.
And then there’s the music, from the old “American Bandstand” days to the great jazz of the City of Brotherly Love.
And who can forget Philadelphia Soul? No, not the arena football team but the great soul music of Philadelphia that came out of the 70s?
Whether you called it Philadelphia Soul, the Philadelphia Sound or just Sweet Philly, Philadelphia introduced a style of soul music that swept the country and was characterized by funk influences and lush instrumental arrangements. The sound is seen as laying the foundations for disco, quiet storm and smooth jazz.
And three of the best examples of this sound are coming to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa at the Borgata Event Center January 31 with the show The Sound of Philadelphia. On the bill are the O’Jays, Russell Thompkins Jr. & The New Stylistics and The Delfonics.
Sometimes a DJ gets big—so big that a simple club can’t hold him. And that’s pretty much why Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will present Tiesto in the Borgata Event Center on December 28.
The Dutch spinner and record producer needs the biggest room he can find. After all, the guy once opened an Olympics.
You may know him as DJ Tiesto or by his given name of Tijis Michiel Verwest or any of a bunch of other aliases. Now, he’s simply Tiesto, with a string of hits and appearances that have dominated the electronic dance music scene for more than 15 years.
In fact, Tiesto is more than a DJ and record producer. He’s his own brand. Just check out his resume—a Grammy nomination, numerous MTV awards, and performing at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Tiesto also has a globally syndicated Club Life Radio Show and his Club Life Podcast (#1 music podcast on iTunes globally) and has worked with superstars such as Kanye West, Coldplay, Gotye, Katy Perry, Nelly Furtado, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Goldfrapp and many more.
Tiesto comes to Borgata with a new album A Town Called Paradise, out and with a tour—currently in Australia—that stops only three times in the U.S. Borgata is Tiesto’s only East Coast stop.
And for Tiesto, it’s all about the live performance.
Tony Bennett is timeless.
Now on the surface that seems like a pretty standard publicist’s type of thing to say about a singer who had his first No. 1 hit, “Because of You,” in 1951 and saw his most beloved song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” released in 1962.
But Bennett—who performs November 28 in the Borgata Event Center—doesn’t need some slick code for “old” or “from yesteryear.” Not when he has the No. 1 album in the country right now in 2014.
That’s right. His No. 1 album Cheek to Cheek, featuring classic duets with the very modern Lady Gaga—you may have seen Bennett’s and Gaga’s recent live televised concert special on PBS—is being hailed by critics for introducing jazz to a new generation.
On the charts at No. 1 in 1951. On the charts at No. 1 in 2014.
Tony Bennett, at 88, is still new.
His secret? He stays true to himself and sings the standards of American music that can touch any generation. And since his revival with young audiences in the 1990s (Anyone remember Tony at the “MTV Video Music Awards” at the height of the grunge era?) he’s sung them with a litany of great artists, old and new, from Christina Aguilera to Willy Nelson to Amy Winehouse to Billy Joel and so many more.