It's The Norm
June 20-26, 2002 ARCHIVES
"It's The Norm" - Recent Entertainment Events in Las Vegas

Darren Romeo and Stephen Sorrentino

by Norm Johnson
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Well gang it's been a busy time for this writer. First off the bat we attended the special evening performance of Darren Romeo, hosted by his sponsors Siegfried & Roy in their theatre at the Mirage. And what a performance it was!

This youngster not only is a marvelous magician (I would say close-up magic is his best) and then when you hear him sing, well there is no question in your mind as to why he is on that particular stage. This is a 26-year-old who found the magic road to stardom after struggling for a number of years in the minor leagues. What separates him from the other dozen or so magicians in Las Vegas is the voice. He sings throughout the show as he does one trick after another with the music ranging from Lloyd Webber's "Music of the Night" to Bobby Darren's "Mack the Knife." The Long Islander has been doing his magic stuff since he was nine and by the time he turned 15 was already a bonafide member of the Society of American Magicians.

But at that time he was strictly a magician. "I knew I had to discover a way to separate me from the rest, or I would always be just another magician," he said during a recent interview. "One day I heard the song from Phantom of the Opera and it got me to thinking. That's when I combined my magic with my singing side. And it worked."

Yes, it does work and quite nicely for the young man. Of course it does not hurt to have the vast resources of Siegfried & Roy behind you either. The afternoon show is priced at $30.00 and performed daily from Tuesday through Saturday at 3 pm., inside the Mirage. For further information call 792-7777.

Our next visit was down the street at the Riviera Hotel and the Le Bistro Showroom, where the beautiful singer Marlene Ricci greeted us. Marlene is responsible for all the talent that is presented in the showroom, including her fantastic evening performance nightly at 8 pm. This time, however, she was unveiling her latest discovery (a guy who has been around a long time but like Romeo just needed that one big break) Stephen Sorrentino. This is not only a fine musician (he plays the sax, flute, guitar and piano) but also a really creative impressionist, singer and comedian. The show runs just a tad over 60 minutes and there is not a moment when you're not either laughing, remembering a moment in your own life or sitting in awe as he goes through his many tributes. One of his most creative is a tribute to Jerry Lewis' many years of doing pantomime. This is followed up with Stephen showing off his ability to do about 50 voices in just a few minutes by utilizing film and still photos of the famous as he does the voices. Some are just for a second, others are longer such as his tribute to the Marx Brothers.

Overall Sorrentino is a funny dude who creates some of most stupid ideas, but these ideas actually work to make people laugh. And like Romeo he can sing as well as anyone on the block. Another very funny routine is where he plays a hillbilly television game show host on "Dead Trivia."

He has two beautiful dancers floating in and out of the various routines and the four-piece band puts out a ton of great music. "Finally having my own show allows me to tap into all of the voices and abilities that were hidden during my Elton John days," he said. And of course being considered one of the best at doing Elton, a performance by Sorrentino would not be complete without his tribute to the master. Showtimes for "Voices in My Head" are 10 pm.

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