Wynn Las Vegas has been setting a new standard for accommodations, dining and nightlife since its opening, and on August 28 it was announced that a lineup of chart-topping live entertainment would be added to its repertoire. In cooperation with AEG Presents, Encore Theater will be home to Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., the Moody Blues, John Fogerty and Diana Ross for the fall and winter seasons.
Each headliner will play a series of dates from September through January, putting the luxuriously intimate venue to great use.
“After ShowStoppers ended, we had to find something to go in there,” says Rick Gray, the general manager of entertainment at Wynn Las Vegas. “After talking to Mr. Wynn, we thought it would be excellent to find some headliners who would really benefit from playing in a place that is acoustically perfect.”
According to Gray, the lineup was crafted with care and thoughtful planning, bringing in talent that Wynn had its eye on for some time.
“Well, for one thing, Tony Bennett is a slam dunk,” Gray says. “Since Tony is still out there in his 90s just wowing people, we thought that he was a natural to marry with the property.”
Bennett’s American pop standards are an easy fit for Las Vegas, even today. He evokes nostalgia in those who grew up with him, and he has the potential to introduce himself to younger generations. His recent collaborations with Lady Gaga have also solidified a modern relevance to his cherished catalog. He will be performing six shows in November.
Bennett isn’t the only contributor to the Great American Songbook featured at the Encore Theater this fall. Harry Connick Jr. will bring a completely different—albeit equally beloved—style to Wynn Las Vegas for a total of four dates in November and December.
“Harry Connick Jr. is also a natural, in a way. He played for Mr. Wynn’s 70th birthday, and we’ve been looking for an excuse to bring him back. When we found out he might be available to come do something for us, we were thrilled,” Gray says.
Connick Jr. is a man of many talents. As a musician and actor with multiple Grammys, Emmys and a Tony nomination, his voice and face are both widely recognizable. He’s also the host of a nationally syndicated talk show, Harry, but it’s his boisterous big-band numbers that will envelop the Encore Theater’s intimate space.
The diverse and recollective lineup continues with the Moody Blues, who will be stopping through Las Vegas for four nights in January as part of their Days of Future Passed 50th Anniversary tour. Selecting the classic rock band came just as easily as with the rest of the lineup.
“Booking the Moody Blues dovetailed off our association with John Fogerty and those 1970s rock acts that seem to still generate a great crowd. In this particular case, we were really thrilled to highlight their Days of Future Passed album. It is going to be 50 years old [in November]!”
The only lady on the lineup is Diana Ross, who will play nine dates in October, branded Diana Ross: Endless Memories.
John Fogerty will also return to Encore Theater for 15 dates in September, October and January after selling out his spring and summer residencies this year.
The forthcoming live-music season at Wynn will pull on heartstrings, evoke memories and give full permission to rock out all in one gorgeous theater.
“There’s such a wide variety of people who come here. I think this year we’re going to have 44–45 million [visitors coming to Las Vegas]. And these acts really speak to an age and a demographic that loves [the resort]. It just fits into who we are.”