Chris Isaak

If you doubt that the spirit of Elvis is alive, then you obviously didn’t go see Chris Isaak at Mandalay Beach on July 16. (An appropriate venue, considering his infamous “Wicked Game” video, which portrayed him and supermodel Helena Christensen romping on the beach.) His voice takes you back to a time when ballads were still en vogue, and his set list was pieced together in a way that made you feel like you were listening in on someone’s diary.

Isaak played a wide spectrum of originals and covers, including Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” proving not only that he still has the chops of his younger days but is, in fact, getting better with age. Combined with an endearing wit and boyish charm, it’s no wonder Isaak can still melt the hearts of people old and young.

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It’s a long way from Nebraska to the Las Vegas Strip, but Samantha Ware made the trek in near record time. It took the 19-year-old less than a year to go from being a sophomore at Doane College—a private liberal arts university near Lincoln—to starring as Nala in The Lion King at Mandalay Bay beginning last month. “It’s been a very surreal experience, I think I kind of blacked out on opening night because there was so much going on,” says Ware, who became the youngest adult member of the cast when she debuted on June 13.

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