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'Viva Vegas! — The Sequel' builds on popular musical revue

HUDSON — You know what they say: "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

Well, it ain't necessarily so.

The Show Palace Dinner Theatre is bringing Sin City (minus the most egregious sins, of course) to Hudson in Viva Vegas! The Sequel, a paean to the best of that entertainment mecca. The show opens tonight and continues matinees and evenings through May 31.

The Show Palace's original Viva Vegas! had a highly successful debut three years ago, almost doubling the attendance record in its time slot.

Even so, Show Palace artistic director Matthew McGee and music director Michael Ursua are rewriting and expanding the new version of the show, adding more glitz and glamor, plus some new characters.

"We're adding a small plot to the show, a sort of miniplot," McGee said. He took two characters from a burlesque review he started writing a few years ago and put them into the new Vegas show.

"I'm Morty Flecht, and Katie Kerwin is playing Sylvia Hemming," McGee said, a play on the names of Gone With the Wind writer Ben Hecht and director Victor Fleming.

"They sounded like a vaudeville team to me," McGee said.

In the show, longtime showbiz entertainers Morty and Sylvia have retired to New Port Richey, where Morty watches television from his broken-down recliner and Sylvia wears muumuus.

"They hear that the old Breaking Winds Casino, where they used to play in Vegas, is about to be torn down," McGee said. "They've been invited to come out of retirement for one more show."

Morty grabs his favorite Hawaiian print shirt, and Sylvia packs her favorite big-hair wig, and off to Vegas they go.

"It's celebrating Vegas entertainment — the cheesy, the schlocky, and the colorful, fun and fast," McGee said.

Ursua has arranged medleys like Love, Vegas Style for the glamorous opening number, as well as an Elvis medley and moments dedicated to Vegas icons Tom Jones, Wayne Newton and Susan Anton.

The show features W.C. Green (King Marchand in Victor/Victoria; Trevor in Thoroughly Modern Millie) and brings back Millicent Hunnicutt, who played the Vegas diva in the original show.

"We're starting with some regional humor — all in good fun — and taking a cross-country tour of where Morty and Sylvia have played," McGee said. It winds up in Las Vegas, where there's a striptease in blacklight, an Ann-Margret space ship number and a country-western line dance, all done in Angela Hoerner's lavishly updated costumes with Tom Hansen's mood-setting sets.

"Angela has exaggerated everything to give it that Bob Mackie look," McGee said.

Ms. Kerwin has choreographed 10 new dance numbers for the 16 cast members, one of the last she'll be doing as resident choreographer before she moves to California with her husband and children, McGee said.

"We're celebrating Vegas entertainment at its best," McGee said.

If you go

New musical revue

What: Viva Vegas! — The Sequel

Where: Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson.

When: Tonight through May 31. Shows are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (doors open at 6 p.m. for buffet and cash bar); 3 p.m. Sundays (doors open at 1 p.m.); and 1:15 p.m. some Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (doors open at 11:30 a.m.).

Tickets: Dinner and show, $46; show only, $34.95; ages 12 and younger, $28.45 and $23.45; all plus tax and tip. Call toll-free, 1-888-655-7469.

'Viva Vegas! — The Sequel' builds on popular musical revue 04/16/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 23, 2009 3:44pm]

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