The old adage is that as long as there are dental offices and elevators, there will be Barry Manilow. But a funny thing happened on the way to Paris Las Vegas, where Manilow is in the midst of a two-year residency. The king of the ’70s power ballad got cool. Seriously cool.
Alternative rocker Dave Grohl is a fan, as are Sly Stone, Vince Neil and Elton John. British pop rockers Take That recorded a cover of “Could It Be Magic,” while the Irish band Westlife had a hit with “Mandy.”
It may have all started with Bob Dylan, who, after running into Manilow at a party a number of years ago, hugged the singer and said: “Don’t stop what you’re doing, man. We’re all inspired by you.”
You can wait for Manilow to play Coachella (he lives in Palm Springs, after all), but it’s probably easier to catch his new show at the intimate 1,500-seat Paris Théâtre.
The staging and set list show off Manilow’s talents as the consummate showman. Along with his vast catalog of hits (“Mandy,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “I Write the Songs,” “Ready to Take a Chance Again,” “Could It Be Magic”), Manilow performs covers of a few of his favorites by other songwriters.
Handling directing duties is Jeffrey Hornaday, who choreographed “Flashdance” and “A Chorus Line” and directed world concert tours for Madonna and Backstreet Boys.
Manilow calls the new show the “most romantic of my career,” and the setting certainly suits the mood. The red-swathed walls of the 1,500-seat theater evoke something out of fin-de-siècle Paris. The set makes use of French Impressionist paintings.
Check your ironic detachment at the door, because Manilow can bring even cynical hipsters to their feet, waving glow sticks. Even after all these years, he’s all boyish enthusiasm. The show opens with the star standing with arms outstretched at stage edge, belting “Come, come, come in to my arms.”
-Anne Burke, Custom Publishing Writer
Paris Las Vegas
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South
$65, $95, $125, $175 and $250
Platinum tickets: www.manilowparis.com
June 3 to 5 and 10 to 12; July 1 to 3, 8 to 10, 15 to 17 and 29 to 31; and Aug. 5 to 7 and 12 to 14