Vegas Summer Nights With Olivia Newton John

The principal reason I’ve been to Las Vegas over 25 times since the mid-eighties is because of the entertainment. I can play poker at a local poker room but I can’t think of any other city where I can see the variety of entertainment that Vegas offers. Whether it’s rock concerts, comedy, or big production shows, you’ll be a winner in Vegas.

Among the most memorable big production shows I’ve seen in Vegas are Phantom, Mamma Mia!, and Jersey Boys. Phantom is no longer playing but a new production of Mama Mia just opened at the “new’ Tropicana (instead of Mandalay Bay, where we saw it.)  From this trailer, it doesn’t look to be as good as the Mandalay Bay production, but some Mamma Mia! is better than none.

I was fortunate to see Joe Cocker at the Hard Rock’s intimate Joint stage. That was one of the best rock concerts I’ve attended because, unlike the “stadium” concerts, every seat was fairly close to the stage.  (Last year, Billboard magazine rated The Joint as one of the top 25 music halls in the country.)

Vegas also has many “tribute” groups. One group I found absolutely incredible is the unlikely but phenomenal group “Human Nature.”  Unlikely because this Australian group, which has been singing together since high school does… Motown songs. “What… Aussies singing Motown?” was my initial reaction too but they do it almost as well as the original groups. They “talk the talk and walk the walk” so well that they are “presented by Smokey Robinson.” They’re “in residency” at The Venetian.

Easily the top “tribute” show in Vegas, even though it is a very… special… tribute show, is “Frank Marino’s Divas.”  No Vegas trip is complete until you’ve visited “The Queen of Las Vegas” and I’ve visited her him more than any other show.  You only leave the show one way – pumped up. And remember, what happens in Vegas….is often posted to YouTube. 😉

While I prefer rock to pop, I’m always amenable to a sweet, syrupy voice and an angelic face. Like Olivia Newton John. I became a fan after hearing her first international hit “If Not for You” in 1971. Here’s Olivia performing that song in a 1971 Australian TV appearance. (Notice there’s no microphone while she’s “singing” but when she talks to the host…)

Her career really took off when she appeared with John Travolta in the film version of “Grease.” When the film was re-released for it’s 20th anniversary in 1998, it ranked only behind Titanic for highest grossing weekend opening.

After Grease, Olivia starred in another film – Xanadu, and the title track was another hit.

I was surprised, but pleasantly so, when Olivia expanded her musical style and came out with “Physical.” Wow!

Well, now you can get somewhat physical with Olivia, who began a “long term” residency at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.

An evening with Olivia Newton John? Magic!

Here’s show / ticket  information and an overview of Olivia.

Note: Even though summer is relatively slow in Vegas, I wouldn’t bet 😉  on scoring “day of show” discount tickets at the “half-price” outlets that are all over the Strip. Not only has her show just opened but it’s very difficult to get those discount tickets to a “name” performer (and you won’t see them for the top production shows until they’ve been there for at least a year or so). But you can probably see Human Nature and Divas for half-price.

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