Bruce Ewing Gives Thanks as Bally’s Rescues the Phat Pack

The Phat Pack

The phabulous Ewing, Keith and Patriquin.

Score one for showmanship.

Barely an eye-blink after departing the forever-in-flux Plaza showroom on November 16, the phaaaa-bulous Phat Pack—impeccably talented ex-Phantom performers Bruce Ewing, Ted Keegan, Randal Keith and Kevan Patriquin—will resurface with an upgrade to the Strip, where they always belonged.

Beginning December 11, the Phab Four (actually, three at any one show) take up residence at Bally’s Windows Showroom (4:30 p.m. Wed-Sun). Consider this rebound validation that charming, gimmick-free entertainment—no acrobats, magic tricks, impersonators, dirty-talking sock puppets or Cirque-ish razzmatazz—has a niche in the Vegas firmament.

We ran a few questions by a thrilled-to-be-coming-back Ewing:

Why did the Plaza run end?

We had been four-walling the production. Although we were encouraged by the amazing reviews and recognition, we just weren’t selling like we needed to. The Plaza did all they could to help us … but we ran out of resources. We couldn’t keep going anymore.

Why were you guys so determined to revive this?

There were so many signs telling us that we were on the right track, we just didn’t want to give up! We have an agent in New York who is booking us across the country on concert dates, but we live here and we want to make a run of it here.

Some performers have complained that the Windows Showroom is tucked away upstairs, and that the Bally’s promotion was lax. Does that worry you?

So far, all signs are looking very encouraging. We are no longer four-walling. We are being produced by Andrew Van Slee (Extraordinary Media), and I have no reason to be anything but encouraged. We were trying to do all the producing on our own, with some help from the Plaza. Now the producing is in the hands of people who know how to do that.

Will you take advantage of the new room to make changes to the show?

We have made a lot of changes over the year at the Plaza. We’ve tightened the show up a lot. … Our show will never be “cut in stone” or frozen. There will always be new things happening with us.

Any other developments we should know about?

Our biggest challenge is that people mistake that we are doing a Rat Pack tribute show. There are great groups here in town that do that. … We are Broadway singers, presenting the best of Broadway, American standards and original music. It has taken time, but we are getting that word out. We have changed our logo to include Broadway characters, and we also have added “Broadway at its Best” to our poster. We are hoping this will help!

Count on help from this corner, too. And score one for class. 

STRIP POSTSCRIPT: Burlesque isn’t dead, so why shouldn’t the dead do burlesque? Such unassailable logic undoubtedly inspired Zombie Burlesque, a curiosity-stirring newbie that opened in previews November 25 at Planet Hollywood’s V Theater.

Bumping and grinding by the walking dead? Who says sex appeal requires a pulse?

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