Regional gambling dens hope to draw in crowds with laughs
We can t predict whether you ll win or lose at area casinos this summer, but it s a pretty safe bet you 'll laugh in a local betting parlor between now and Labor Day. That 's because comedy is a large part of regional gambling dens warm-weather entertainment strategy.
Not that this is, in and of itself, news. Stand-up has been a part of the casino realm since Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in the 1940s. The list of funny people who have performed in gambling dens stretches from the long-forgotten Joe E. Lewis and Milton Berle, to Buddy Hackett and Jonathan Winters, to Cedric the Entertainer and Ray Romano to Chris Rock and Dane Cook. But what is noteworthy is the funny firepower represented by this summer s crop of headlining stand-up comics.
Leading the way as it has for the decade it s been in existence is Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, whose 1,000-seat Music Box theater and 2,400-capacity Event Center are regular stops for all manner of top comics. Coming to the Big B are:
Russell Peters (Event Center, Friday and Saturday); Bill Burr (Music Box, June 1);
Mike Marino (Music Box, June 8); Jo Koy (Music Box, June 14);
Lenny Clarke (Music Box, June 15); Tracy Morgan (Music Box, June 22);
The Cast of Impractical Jokers (Music Box, June 29); Tim Allen (Event Center, June 29);
Kevin James (Event Center, July 13); Seth Meyers (Music Box, July 13);
Jeff Dunham (Event Center, July 14); Bob Saget (Music Box, July 19);
Jerry Seinfeld (Event Center, July 20); Jim Jeffries (Music Box, July 20);
Frank Caliendo (Music Box, Aug. 2 and 3); Wayne Brady (Music Box, Aug. 9);
Jay Leno (Event Center, Aug. 10); Artie Lange (Music Box, Aug. 10);
Howie Mandel (Music Box, Aug. 17); Lewis Black (Music Box, Aug. 23 and 24);
Jim Gaffigan (Event Center, Aug. 24); John Pinnette (Music Box, Aug. 29).
Although it may seem like Borgata has every comic known to show biz under contract, there s plenty of stand-up love to spread around AyCee. Also booked this summer are:
Dana Carvey, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon (Tropicana, Friday); Terry Fator (June 1, Trump Taj Mahal);
Sinbad (June 1, Tropicana); Mario Cantone (June 29, Golden Nugget); Ron White (June 29, Taj Mahal);
Don Rickles (July 20, Taj Mahal); Bill Maher (July 27, Revel); Rodney Carrington (Aug. 3, Taj Mahal);
Jeff Foxworthy (Aug. 9, Taj Mahal); Colin Machrie and Brad Sherwood (Aug. 16 and 17, Tropicana).
It s not that Atlantic City has the monopoly on humor this summer. Pennsylvania casinos will also be riding the stand-up train this summer.
As the Borgata of Pennsylvania (entertainment-wise that is), Sands Bethlehem , more specifically the Event Center--will be the number-one purveyor of giggles, chuckles and belly laughs with a lineup that includes:
Seth Meyers (July 12); Cheech & Chong (July 28); Cast of Impractical Jokers (July 31); Jay Leno (Aug. 11); Gabriel Iglesias (Aug. 29).
Valley Forge Casino Resort is betting on funny stuff with Big Daddy Graham and Pat O Donnell (Friday). However, Jackie Mason 's June 15 show has been postponed (new date TBA).
And even Parx has been bitten by the stand-up bug. Radio mimic Joe Conklin hosts a comedy showcase at the 360 Lounge there every Wednesday evening.
Revel will be the place for fireworks fans in the coming months.
The just-emerged-from-bankruptcy pleasure dome is sponsoring a series of fireworks events this summer, beginning Friday night and continuing June 14 and Aug. 2. The pyrotechnics, conjured by the world famous Fireworks by Grucci, will be staged on Revel Beach at 9:30 p.m.
Incidentally, in case you haven t noticed, the name Revel is now inscribed in lights on the large orb that sits atop the property s 47-story hotel tower. When it was unveiled in April, 2012, the 90-ton ball displayed a series of graphic designs.
Borgata isn t letting its upcoming 10th anniversary pass without note. The bayside adult playground, which opened July 3, 2003, is marking the occasion July 1 with a one-of-a-kind concert headlined by The Roots who, for that evening, will be fronted by fellow Quaker City native, Jill Scott. Also on the bill are 80s rock god Slash and popular comedian, Aziz Anzari.
Show time is 8 p.m. Admission is $150, $125, $95 and $75. For tix, call 866-900-4849, or go to www.theborgata.com.
Venues Today magazine has named the Arena at Connecticut s Mohegan Sun casino as the nation s top facility for live events in its size class (5,001-10,000 seats).
In case you re wondering what that has to do with local casinos, be advised the man behind the hall s success is Tom Cantone, Mohegan Sun s vice-president of sports and entertainment. Cantone cut his teeth in the casino-entertainment racket in Atlantic City in the 1980s and 90s, booking acts at the now-demolished Sands and then-three Trump properties (Marina, Plaza and Taj Mahal).
Among his many local coups were the AyCee debuts of Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.
Just a heads-up that Saturday s edition of Daily News Weekend takes an in-depth look at the Margaritaville complex at Resorts as well a peek at what else is new in Atlantic City casinos this summer. Be sure to check it out!