By MIKE CHAIKEN
Three have moved on to the great concert hall in the sky.
One performer has opted for early retirement.
And one performer is so big these days, you’re unlikely to get a seat at one of her shows even if she performed at Gillette Stadium.
But thanks to the entertainment franchise, “Legends in Concert,” which has brought its cracker jack production to the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino until the end of August, you get to catch tthe late Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Johnny Cash in their prime. You also get to hear your favorite songs by the current-lady of leisure Tina Turner. And you have a chance to see Adele in the intimate confines of the Fox Theater rather than Foxboro.
Of course, none of these men and women stepping out on to stage are the real performers.
“Legends” specializes in tributes to these artists at the Foxwoods engagement… as well as a slew of other artists as the show travels around the country.
In this case, fans at the Fox Theater saw Cookie Watkins take on Tina Turner; Paul Eve embodied the “Man in Black,” Johnny Cash; Corey Melton gave everyone a thrill as Michael Jackson; J.C. Brando set the stage afire as Adele; and Bill Cherry burned through the songs of Elvis.
Let’s be honest for a moment.
Tribute performances such as “Legends” are not unique. There are cover bands and impersonators filling the stages in bars—some classy, some seedy— across the country. But “Legends” is unique in that it utilizes state of the art production values and it’s performed in a concert-like setting. The lights and sound system are worthy of the original performers.
Additionally, the performers in “Legends” are surrounded by high energy Las Vegas-style dancers to flesh out the stage and give the audiences a true “show” to go along with all of the familiar music that is sure to invoke a slew of memories.
The performers on the night I went, Aug. 9, were all top notch. If you closed your eyes, vocally, each had their particular artist down pat. And even though there were slight appearance differences, they all also clearly studied the mannerisms of their own particular artists. And each four song segment was treated as if we were at a Broadway show.
Personally, my favorite this night was Brando’s portrayal of Adele. Vocally, she gave the original a run for her money. And there seemed to be a touch of the artist in her portrayal, where you got the sense that Brando was not only trying to pay tribute to Adele but trying to find the heart of that singer’s music.
That’s just a personal preference, mind you.
All of the artists performing that night were top tier.
So, run, don’t walk, to catch “Legends in Concert” before it leaves Foxwoods on Aug. 31. Be sure to arrive early because seating is mostly general admission and a slew of fans line up an hour before the doors open just to catch a good seat.
“Legends in Concert” is at the Fox Theater each night at Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. There is no show on Aug. 25. Tickets are $30 for general admission, $40 for VIP. Children 3 to 16 get in for $15. Children under 3 get in free.
I give “Legends in Concert” 4 stars out of 4.
For more information, go to Foxwoods.com
PHOTOS BY MIKE CHAIKEN