On the first of a four-show run, the Broadway legend tackled with aplomb the gender-bending task of performing songs traditionally written for men. The result was fun and fluid as she engaged the audience in a master class of great American songwriting. Backed by a flawless trio, including French pianist and arranger Christian Jacob, Buckley culled from a variety of sources, beginning with “I Can See It” from The Fantasticks. It quickly became an intimate affair, as Buckley shared her connection to each song from her album, Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway. Her childhood love of Fred Astaire inspired her rendition of “I Won’t Dance” from the film Roberta. Then the times she fell in love with a song’s performance by a male co-star, as in “Venice” from Elegies and “Corner of the Sky” from Pippin. Standouts included both a West Side Story medley of “Tonight,” “The Jet Song,” and “Maria” (a version Buckley turned into an admiring, “girl power” sort of thing), and A Hymn to Her, a brilliant take on My Fair Lady’s “A Hymn to Him” with Buckley starting out as Henry Higgins and ending up as Jean Valjean. Pianist Jacob’s arrangements for standards such as “Luck Be a Lady” and “Hey There,” the latter of which seemed to channel a George Winston/Windham Hill vibe, rounded out the evening’s theme of different takes on familiar material. All in all, Buckley threw one heck of a boys’ night out. ★★★★☆
A Peek at Life Is Beautiful 2017
Gorillaz are coming to Las Vegas for the first time ever. 2016’s Grammy winner for best new artist, Chance the Rapper, will return. English rockers Muse will bring their dizzying live show to the streets of Downtown. And that’s just the top of an eclectic bill that features more than 70 acts, along with comedy, interactive art installations, a group art exhibit featuring the work of Mark Ryden, Tara McPherson and Shepard Fairey and much more. Last year saw more than 137,000 attendees trod the festival footprint. Who’s ready for more?
Best of the City 2016
Our seventh annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best place to fix your speeding ticket to the best Bloody Mary.