Updated May 9, 2022 - 4:46 pm
It’s a Las Vegas show when Michael Bublé is singing “Smile” and you look down the line of choir singers and say, “Hey, that’s Michelle Johnson, Janien Valentine, Sina Foley, Naomi Mauro …” Then the string players, “That’s Crystal Yuan, Jennifer Hellewell, Carissa Werner …”
And on and on. It felt like a night at The Composers Showcase. Bublé said before his production at the Theatre at Resorts World that he was investing in musicians and singers over pyro and strobes. He followed through, even beyond covering “Viva Las Vegas.” More than 30 Vegas singers and musicians shared his stage in the production, which closed its six-show run Saturday night.
Bublé’s outreach to local musicians follows a trend established over the years (and by varying degrees) by such headliners as Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Shania Twain, Donny and Marie Osmond, Johnny Mathis, John Fogerty and Journey, among a host of other superstars.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) April 28, 2022
Bublé was also reportedly a gem to work with. Great to know. We’re happy worked here, period. An return and extension of his residency would be most righteous.
Given the stress and uncertainty musicians endured in the pandemic, it’s worth drawing a light to the Vegas entertainers in these shows. We’ve noted the musicians backing Gaga. The locals in Bublé’s show:
Cello: Sarah Chaffee, Amanda Andreasen, Julia Chan.
Viola: Yuan, Hellewell, Werner.
Violin: Rebecca Oliver, Nataliya Karachentseva, Monique Olivas, Weishan Chang, Chandra Meibalane, Christina Levi, Megan Wingerter, Monika Limlingan, Ellie Krasner, Katherine Garcia.
Vegas singers from the Desert Angels choir
Johnson, Valentine, Foley, Mauro, Gret Menzies Gonzales, Rob Hyatt, Paula Ingram, Danyel Arianna, Fred Crescente, Eileen Deadwiler, Viqtory Destined, Aretha Harden, Karen Michaels, Hector Ramos, Stephanie Riley, Karen Scott, Jake Skarin, Lisa Rogers Smith.
Bublé also brings in singers enlisted by L.A. vocalist Angie Fisher. David Daughtry, Tirrell Hestle-Dilliard, Jason Morales and Sharon Youngblood are in the Resorts World production.
Bublé makes a unique decision to split his stage between the guys and the women players, strings on house left, music director Nick Jacobson-Larson and the traveling horn section/rhythm section on the right. The staging looks like an old “Snowball” roller-skate arrangement (look it up). But like everything else Bublé puts onstage, it works.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.