Barry Manilow creates magic onstage
If you’re a participant in the crazy holiday sweater trend, you’re going to need to head over to Westgate Las Vegas and check out the one at the Barry Manilow gift shop just outside the iconic International Theater. It’s bright red and white, covered in pine trees and snowflakes and emblazoned with “Barry Christmas,” and it’s certain to be the present you keep for yourself this year. Stuff your friends’ and family’s stockings with a 2019 Barry Manilow calendar or perhaps a “Copacabana”-inspired feather boa, but hold on to that glorious sweater.
You can catch Manilow wrapping up the fall 2018 leg of his new Westgate residency on Nov. 15-17, but after that he’s not scheduled to reappear in Las Vegas until Valentine’s Day. The superstar singer and songwriter recently announced some holiday concerts in a different desert: He’ll take A Very Barry Christmas! to the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Dec. 15-16, with proceeds from the second show going to local Coachella Valley charities. It’s no doubt those shows will be stocked with music from Manilow’s varied holiday albums, including the latest In the Swing of Christmas from 2007.
Those festive concerts will mark Manilow’s debut in that area, but his return to Las Vegas with the new Manilow Las Vegas: The Hits Come Home in the spring of 2018 has already had a far greater impact. Selling out the Westgate International Theater night after night, Manilow’s presence brings a timeless vision of Vegas-style entertainment back to the Strip and cements this artist as one of the city’s all-time greatest headliners.
There’s stiff competition there, even if you’re only considering who has performed in this particular room. Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Liberace, Charo, Wayne Newton, The Righteous Brothers, Sheena Easton and Engelbert Humperdinck all starred on this stage, and Manilow performed a highly successful five-year run in the International Theater beginning in 2005. He’s returned in an era when a Vegas residency means the biggest stars in the biggest rooms, but for Manilow fans, there is no competition, no decision to be made. We’re all here for Barry.
Manilow Las Vegas is a true celebration of the music those fans adore. The show opens with “It’s a Miracle,” a song about coming home again after a long time out on the road without the love and comforts of the place where you belong. It’s about feeling like you’re finally where you should be and never wanting to leave again, and that song really resonates with fans who are overwhelmed to see Manilow in Las Vegas again. It also closes the show as part of a mash-up medley with “Copacabana” and “Dancing in the Streets,” a high-energy party that gets those fans out of their seats and brings the star as close as he can get to every member of his audience, thanks to a grand staircase that descends from the ceiling.
It’s a special moment you can’t get from any other Vegas show—or any other headlining artist.
Westgate Las Vegas, 7 p.m. Nov. 15-17, $21.53-$216.91 plus tax and fee. 702.732.5111