Wanda Sykes at Borgata
WHO IS SHE: Comedian Wanda Sykes began her stand-up career in 1987 by entering a Washington, D.C., talent competition. In 1992, she quit her day job and moved to New York to pursue comedy full-time. She got her big break opening for Chris Rock at Caroline's Comedy Club, and in 1997 she was hired as a writer for "The Chris Rock Show." In 2003, Sykes landed her own show on Fox called "Wanda at Large," which was short-lived. The comedian also starred in her own Comedy Central special that same year and wrote a book, "Yeah, I Said It," which was released in 2004. Sykes landed a role on "The New Adventures of Old Christine" in 2006 and provided voiceovers in the films "Over the Hedge," "Barnyard" and "Brother Bear 2." And she received acclaim for her improvisational chops on Larry David's HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
WHAT TO EXPECT: With her blunt, tell-it-as-it-is style, Sykes has been leaving audiences in stitches for the better part of two decades. Her career has been on a steady rise since landing a job as a writer on "The Chris Rock Show" and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Although she has experienced success in films, on television and as a writer, it is on stage as a stand-up comedian where Sykes truly shines. She covers it all in her act, discussing a wide range of topics including politics, health care, racial profiling, gay marriage, karma and aging.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $55 and $59.50, and the shows begin 9 p.m. Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa's Music Box in Atlantic City.
Avant at House of Blues
WHO IS HE: R&B singer Avant released his debut album "My Thoughts" in May 2000. His first hit was "Separated," which reached No. 5 on the Billboard R&B charts. Avant's sophomore effort, "Ecstasy," was released in 2002 and featured the production work of Steve Huff, who also worked on "My Thoughts." The albums "Private Room" and "Director" followed in the next few years and each contained its share of R&B hits with "Director" reaching as high as No. 4 on the Billboard 200. A self-titled album was released in 2008 and "The Letter" came out in 2010.
WHAT TO EXPECT: R&B fans will flock to the House of Blues to see Avant perform favorites as well as songs from his new album, "Face the Music." Avant will woo the crowd with his smooth, romantic voice and natural charisma. Avant fans can look forward to hearing songs such as "Separated," "My First Love," "Makin' Good Love" and "Read Your Mind," as well as the new single "Face the Music."
WHAT'S NEW: Avant's new album is "Face the Music" and contains the single "You and I."
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $29, $39 and $49, and the show begins 8 p.m. Friday, May 3, at the House of Blues inside Showboat Casino-Hotel.
Night of Italian Stars featuring Toto Cutugno and Pupo at Tropicana
WHO ARE THEY: Toto Cutugno is an Italian singer who was born in Tuscany and began his career as a drummer. With his band Albatros he placed third in the Sanremo Music Festival in 1976 and was on his way to stardom. Cutugno wound up appearing at the festival 13 times. In 1990, he won the Eurovision Song Contest with his ballad "Insieme: 1992." Cutugno's best-known hit is "L'Italiano (Lasciatemi Cantare)."
Enzo Ghinazzi, or Pupo as he is commonly known, saw his career take off in 1975 with the song "Ti scrivero." The singer and lyricist also had hits with "Gelato al cioccolato," "Su di noi," "Cia" and "Firenze Santa Maria Novella." Pupo became the host of "Affari Tuoi," Italy's version of "Deal or No Deal," in the mid-2000s. Over the course of his career, Pupo has had 11 gold records.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Italian music fans should head to the Tropicana Casino and Resort this weekend for the double bill of Cutugno and Pupo. Cutugno returns to Atlantic City armed with 39 years worth of recorded music. The Italian pop star will be performing his biggest hit, "L'Italiano (Lasciatemi Cantare)," as well as songs such as "Insieme: 1992," "Come noi nessuno al mondo" and "Serenata." Not only a great singer, Cutugno is known for his exceptional stage presence and ability to entertain a crowd. Meanwhile, Pupo will delight the audience with songs such as "Ti scrivero," "Gelato al cioccolato," "Cia" and "Su di noi."
WEBSITES: TotoCutugno.it; Pupo.tv
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $49, $75, $95, $105, $125 and $150. The shows begin 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4, and 5 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at Tropicana's Showroom.
Shinedown at House of Blues
WHO ARE THEY: Shinedown is a melodic hard rock band similar to Creed and Nickelback, hailing from Jacksonville, Fla. Its platinum-selling debut album "Leave a Whisper" was released in 2003 and featured the single "Fly From the Inside." In 2004, the band opened for Van Halen. The band's sophomore album "Us and Them" was released in 2005. The first single from the album, "Save Me," became the theme song for "WWE No Mercy." "Amaryllis" was released in 2012.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Shinedown will bring its brand of hard rock to the House of Blues on Saturday night to the delight of the group's dedicated southern New Jersey fan base. The band has sold more than 8 million albums since their debut album, "Leave a Whisper,"came out in 2003, and it will be performing all of the hit songs that made its albums a success. Fans can expect to hear all of their favorites plus tracks from the band's most recent album, "Amaryllis," including the single "Bully."
WHAT'S NEW: Shinedown is heading into the studio to record acoustic cover versions of songs such as "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," "London Calling," "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Black."
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $45 and $75, and the show begins 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the House of Blues at Showboat.
Savage Men Male Revue at Tropicana
WHAT TO EXPECT: Bachelorettes and just about anybody else who enjoys a hot steamy night of male flesh will want to run - not walk - to the Tropicana Casino and Resort's Boogie Nights for the Savage Men Male Revue Show. The show is a hybrid of the classic Chippendales show combined with the elements of a male strip club. In addition to the on-stage performances, scantily clad, muscled "Savages" parade through the club to the delight of audience members who enjoy a more personal feel to their strip shows. A comedian emcee and host keeps the festivities moving along with a light feel, while the "hot seat" is available to those celebrating birthdays and bachelorette parties who want to become a featured act on the main stage.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $28, and the shows begin 7:30 p.m. Saturdays at the Tropicana's Boogie Nights.
Illusionist Steve Wyrick at Golden Nugget
WHO IS HE: Steve Wyrick is a Texas native who began performing tricks as a child and is known today as a daredevil who attempts things that have never been tried anywhere before.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Wyrick has been amazing audiences for years now with a style of magic all his own. He'll be bringing a brand-new multimedia show to the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, complete with interactive videos designed to engage the audience even more. The show also features a full-sized airplane right on the stage.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $19.95, $29.95 and $59.95 VIP ticket includes backstage laminate, backstage meet and greet with up-close illusions, autographed photo and magic kit, and the shows begin 8 p.m. Fridays and Mondays, 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Golden Nugget's Showroom.
Divas Do AC at Resorts
WHO ARE THEY: Divas Do AC is a female and celebrity impersonator show which features a rotating cast of characters including Dolly Parton, Prince, Patti Labelle, Liza Minelli, Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. Joan Rivers serves as the show's impersonator host.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $25, and the shows begins 8 p.m. Mondays, 9 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Resorts Casino Hotel's Screening Room.
Legends in Concert at Bally's
WHAT TO EXPECT: Spring is just around the corner and with it comes a revamped Legends in Concert lineup for the season. The latest installment will feature tributes to Elton John, Shania Twain, Madonna, Stevie Wonder and The Blues Brothers.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $32.50, $16.25 for children, and the shows begin 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and Sundays, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Wednesdays at the Legends in Concert Theater at Bally's.