WHO ARE THEY: Producer Jacques Morali came up with the concept for The Village People and assembled the group in 1977 as an attempt to attract gay audiences through a parody of stereotypes. The costumes worn by The Village People, depicting a policeman, Native American, construction worker, biker, cowboy and soldier, undoubtedly added to the group’s appeal. In 1978, the group scored its monster hit “YMCA,” which remains an anthem to this day. In addition to “YMCA,” the group also had great success with the singles “Macho Man” and “In the Navy.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: What modern-day sporting event would be complete without the hokey “YMCA” crowd sing-along? For reasons that may never quite be explained, this 1978 disco hit by The Village People continues to amuse and thrill people of all ages, ethnicities and sexual genders and orientations 35 years after its release during disco’s heyday. Concertgoers at Resorts Casino Hotel can look forward to an upbeat, heavily-choreographed set of disco and sing-along favorites.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $30 and $40, and the show begins 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Resorts’ Superstar Theater.
Vanessa Williams at Caesars
WHO IS SHE: This former Miss America released her debut album “The Right Stuff” in 1988 and has remained a popular fixture on the adult contemporary R&B scene ever since. Vanessa Williams released “The Comfort Zone” in 1991, which featured the hit single “Running Back to You” and her first No. 1 hit “Save the Best for Last.” In addition to singing, Williams has also worked a great deal as an actress, starring in Broadway shows such as “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and movies such as “Dance with Me,” “Light it Up” and “Shaft.” In 1995, Williams recorded the song “Colors of the Wind” for the “Pocahontas” soundtrack, which went on to win an Academy Award. She starred in the comedy series “Ugly Betty” from 2006 through 2010 and then began a two-year stint on “Desperate Housewives.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: Williams’ sulky, smooth, seductive voice has been wooing audiences since the late 1980s. She is one of those well-rounded talents that remind listeners of a bygone era. Williams has maintained a remarkable staying power over the course of her career. While she has received many accolades for her acting in television and film, she is a natural when performing live on stage.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $65 and $90, and the show begins 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at Caesars Atlantic City’s Circus Maximus Theater.
Wayans Brothers at House of Blues
WHO ARE THEY: Damon Wayans is an actor, comedian and writer who rose to fame in the early 1990s as one of the stars and co-creators of “In Living Color.” The show was a huge success and helped paved the way for a film career that included starring roles in “The Last Boy Scout,” “Major Payne” and “The Great White Hype.” Beginning in 2001, Wayans starred in the ABC sitcom “My Wife and Kids,” which ran for five seasons.
Actor, director and writer Keenan Ivory Wayans became well known to television audiences in the early 1990s as the host and creator of “In Living Color.” The sketch comedy series starred several of Wayans’ siblings including brothers Damon, Marlon and Shawn, sister Kim and future stars Jim Carrey, Jamie Fox and David Allen Grier. Wayans went on to create and direct “Scary Movie,” a horror movie parody which was enormously successful and led to three sequels.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Two members of the famous Wayans family — Damon and Keenan Ivory — will appear at the House of Blues on Friday, Feb. 14, showcasing their incredible comedic talents. Both Wayans initially made a name for themselves with “In Living Color” and since that time have gone on to have continued success individually. Although they each have their own unique style, the comedic sensibilities of the brothers has always been in sync and they no doubt will have the crowd roaring with laughter with their zany characters, impressions and parodies.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $29.50 and $59.50, and the show begins 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at the House of Blues inside Showboat.
at Comedy Stop
WHO IS HE: Joe Holiday is a magician who takes a family-friendly approach to magic and entertainment.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. Add dinner to your show at 5:30 p.m. for $10 per adult, $5 per child. The show begins 6:30 p.m. Thursdays through Tuesdays at The Comedy Stop inside Tropicana.
WHO IS HE: After watching a Richard Pryor special at age 12, Jim Norton knew right then and there what he wanted to be when he grew up. He began performing as a stand-up comedian in the early 1990s, and by the end of the decade he was a regular guest on WNEW’s “The Opie and Anthony Show.” The New Jersey native also became a regular on Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” and has made appearances on the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Late Show With David Letterman.” Norton is currently an official member of “The Opie and Anthony Show” on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. He has released several comedy CDs and has authored two best-selling books.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Norton has proven that he is one of those guys who is willing to do whatever it takes in order to entertain an audience. If that means driving down the streets of Manhattan in a van with a bunch of naked women waving out the windows, so be it. Norton’s comedic style is often referred to as “cringe humor,” which essentially means that he has no problem discussing the most sensitive of subjects in great detail. While he has received some criticism for his rather vulgar act, appearances on late-night talk shows have shown that the man is just as funny when keeping it clean.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $39.50 and $45, and the shows begin 9 p.m. Friday, feb. 14, and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Borgata’s Music Box.
Aaron Lewis at Golden Nugget
WHO IS HE: Aaron Lewis is best known as the lead singer for the popular hard rock band Staind. The group came to prominence in the late 1990s with the release of their album “Dysfunction” and soared to greater heights with their first hit single “Outside.” Staind’s 2001 album “Break the Cycle” has sold more than 8 million copies to date. In addition to being the frontman, Lewis is the primary songwriter in the group. In March 2011 he released the solo country EP “Town Line,” which reached No. 7 on the charts. A year and a half later, Lewis followed it up with the full length “The Road,’ which included the single “Endless Summer.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: As he has done quite a bit in recent years, Lewis will once again be stripping things down for a solo acoustic performance. He’ll be performing versions of his most-loved songs such as “It’s Been Awhile,” “Outside,” “Home” and just about anything else the audience yells out. Lewis will also be performing songs from his solo releases “Town Line” and “The Road” such as “Country Boy” and “Endless Summer.” In addition to his own songs, the singer has also been known to throw in covers by Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison and Bob Seger. Lewis has also been known to take requests and freely engage with audience members.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $55 and $70, and the show begins 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City.
Disco Lady Starring Maxine Nightingale
WHO IS SHE: British soul singer Maxine Nightingale became a star during the 1970s during the disco era. Her big hit was “Right Back Where We Started From,” a song which was released in the United Kingdom in the fall of 1975 and reached No. 8 on the charts. The following spring it was released in the U.S. and did even better, making it all the way to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1977 Nightingale scored another U.K. hit with “Love Hit Me.” The singer saw more success in the states with the album “Love Lines” and the 1979 single “Lead Me On,” which reached the top spot on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart. Nightingale teamed with singer Jimmy Ruffin in 1982 for the single “Turn to Me.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: Nightingale comes to Resorts Casino Hotel for an extended run with “Disco Lady,” a show she’s produced exclusively for the casino hotel. The British disco diva will be performing her own hits such as “Right Back Where We Started From,” “Love Hit Me” and Lead Me On,” as well as other hit songs which helped define the era.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $25, and the show begins 8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays through April 27, at Resorts.
Masters of Illusion Live at Harrah’s
WHAT IS IT: Following the success of the television series “Masters of Illusion,” the show has hit the road with “Masters of Illusion Live.” The show features an array of amazingly talented magicians and illusionists performing incredible escapes, sleight of hand and street magic.
WHAT TO EXPECT: “Masters of Illusion Live” is the country’s largest touring magic and illusion show. During its extended run at Harrah’s Resort, the show will present some of the world’s most incredible magicians, illusionists and performers. Standouts who have appeared in the show include former Magician of the Year Rick Thomas, Comedy Magician and Academy of Arts Award winner Michael Finney, former Illusionist of the Year Greg Gleason, former Comedy Magician of the year Ed Alonzo, New Jersey’s own Michael Turco and the Grand Master of Grand Illusion Jonathan Pendragon, as well as the talented Farrell Dillon, Peter Gossamer and John Cassidy.
WHAT’s NEW: The “Masters of Illusion Live” lineup changes every week. The schedule for the Harrah’s run is: Dillon, Gleason, Drexus and Rick Thomas and the Monks on Feb. 13; Gossamer and Alonzo on Feb. 20; and Turco, Pendragon and Cassidy on Feb. 27.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $29.50 and $39.50, and the shows begin 8 p.m. Thursdays and runs Feb. 6 through Feb. 27 at Harrah’s.
Maxwell at Borgata
WHO IS HE: Maxwell was a big part of the neo-soul movement in the late 1990s along with D’Angelo and Erykah Badu. The singer’s debut album “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” was reminiscent of some of Marvin Gaye’s work during the 1970s. The album, which featured the hit single “Ascension (Never Wonder),” wound up achieving platinum sales status and won a Grammy. Maxwell’s follow up album “Embrya” was also a success, debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard charts and containing the hit “Fortunate.” In 2001, “Now” was released and entered the charts at the top spot. Maxwell scored another hit single with “Lifetime. The album “BLACKsummers’night” was released in 2009.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Maxwell rose to stardom in the mid-1990s with his style of R&B known as neo-soul and released three hit albums and several hit singles. After an eight-year break between albums, the singer emerged in 2009 with “BLACKsummers’night” and a tour to go with it. Concertgoers can expect to hear hits such as “Ascension (Never Wonder),” “Fortunate” and “Lifetime,” as well as plenty of material from “BLACKsummers’night” including “Pretty Wings.” For those looking to spend Valentine’s Day enjoying an evening of soulful, romantic music full of substance, Maxwell’s show at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is the way to go.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $65, $75, $95 and $125, and the show begins 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at Borgata’s Event Center.
WHO IS SHE: Nicknamed “The Loveable Queen of Mean,” comedienne Lisa Lampanelli worked for various magazines as a journalist before finally embarking on a career as a stand-up comic in the early 1990s. Her big break came in 2002 at the Comedy Central roast of Chevy Chase, where she delivered a hilarious monologue. She went on to star in the roasts of Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy and William Shatner, as well. She is a frequent guest on “The Howard Stern Show” and has appeared in films such as “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector” and “Delta Farce.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: Lampanelli follows in the tradition of Don Rickles as an insult comic but with an extremely vulgar side. Several of the consistently male-dominated N.Y. Friars Club Roasts have featured Lampanelli as their only female comic, and she has responded by absolutely bringing the house down. She holds nothing back, holds nothing sacred and delivers punchlines with ferocity unlike any of her contemporaries. This is not a show for prudes or those who are easily offended.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $49.50, $55.50 and $59.50, and the show begins 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Event Center.