Rob Thomas at Borgata
WHO IS HE: Rob Thomas attained stardom as the lead singer for the post-grunge rock group Matchbox 20, amassing a sizeable mainstream audience, selling millions of albums, scoring numerous hit singles and earning predominantly lukewarm reviews from music critics. Thomas’ first major success away from Matchbox 20 came with the song “Smooth,” which was written and sung by Thomas and featured on Santana’s “Supernatural” album. The song topped the charts in 1999 and earned three Grammy Awards including “Song of the Year.” Thomas released his first solo album “Something to Be” in 2005. The album featured the single “Lonely No More” and was more pop and dance oriented than Matchbox 20. In 2009 the singer released “Cradlesong,” which reached No. 3 on the charts and featured the hit single “Her Diamonds.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: Although he was hardly critically acclaimed and his band Matchbox 20 seemed lightweight in the ‘90s coming on the heels of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, it never stopped Thomas from enjoying an incredibly successful career both as the leader of Matchbox 20 and on his own as a solo artist. Thomas’ most recent album “Cradlesong” actually garnered praise from critics in addition to being a commercial hit. He takes to the stage of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Music Box this weekend with two solo albums worth of material and plenty of old hits to draw from.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $95, and the shows begin 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, Saturday, Jan. 18, and Sunday, Jan. 19, at Borgata’s Music Box.
Joe Holiday’s Family Friendly Magic Show at Comedy Stop
WHO IS HE: Joe Holiday is a magician who takes a family-friendly approach to magic and entertainment. The Atlantic City native has performed around the world on cruise ships, at amusement parks and corporate events and has even performed for the U.S. military in China, South Korea and Japan.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Those looking for a show that the whole family can enjoy will want to check out Joe Holiday at the Comedy Stop. Holiday amazes audiences with sleight of hand and stage magic tricks and creates a fun-filled atmosphere that engages children and lets them participate in the show. “We welcome Joe Holiday to the Comedy Stop family,” Comedy Stop owner and producer Bob Kephart says in a statement. “We hope everyone will stop in to take a holiday with Holiday.” The magician, who is an Atlantic City native and South Jersey resident, is excited about the opportunity to perform in his hometown after years on the road. “It’s both an honor and thrill to bring the only family-friendly magic act in Atlantic City to the Comedy Stop this summer,” Holiday says. “After traveling the world to entertain our troops and audiences in other countries for nearly 30 years, it will be great to come back to Atlantic City to entertain the hometown crowd and help the legendary comedy club celebrate their 30 years in the business.”
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 Cafe and Cabaret inside Tropicana Casino and Resort.
Sinbad at Tropicana
WHO IS HE: Sinbad began his career in 1983 on a bus tour of comedy clubs across the country. After being discovered by comedic legend Redd Foxx, Sinbad made appearances on television shows such as “Star Search” and “The Redd Foxx Show.” The comedian hosted his own talk show “VIBE” and also served as host on “Showtime at the Apollo.” In the late 1980s Sinbad played Walter Oaks on “A Different World,” which was a spin-off of “The Cosby Show.” In addition to comedy and acting, Sinbad is also a humanitarian who has dedicated his time and money to many notable charitable causes including the Children’s Defense Fund, the Omega Boys Club and various AIDS awareness groups.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Atlantic City favorite Sinbad returns to town Saturday evening for a show at Tropicana Casino and Resort. Sinbad’s comedic style revolves around telling real-life stories without a written script. He has an explosive delivery and relies on his strong improvisational skills. Sinbad gives a clean comedy show that is suitable for all ages and he is no stranger to the stages of Atlantic City, performing in the resort city several times a year.
WHAT’S NEW: In 2013 Sinbad provided the voice for the character Roper in the Disney film “Planes.”
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $40 and $65, and the show begins 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Tropicana’s Showroom.
Chubby Checker at Resorts
WHO IS HE: In 1960, Philadelphia native Chubby Checker recorded a cover of a Hank Ballard B-side called “The Twist” that not only propelled his career to superstardom, but created a permanent dance craze. The single stayed on the top of the charts for four months in late 1960 before falling off. Then surprisingly in late 1961, the song wound up rising up the charts, hitting No. 1 for the second time. Other Checker hits include “Let’s Twist Again,” “Do the Pony,” “The Fly,” “Slow Twistin’,” “Limbo Rock” and “Popeye the Hitchhiker.”
WHAT TO EXPECT: If you plan on attending Checker’s show at Resorts Casino Hotel on Saturday night, make sure to bring your dancing shoes because the king of the rock ‘n’ roll dance will have you up all night. Checker’s joyous, happy-go-lucky persona is infectious and it translates into a carefree, fun performance that people of all ages can enjoy. Checker will be playing all of his big hits including “Do the Pony,” “The Fly,” “Let’s Twist Again” and, of course, the “The Twist.” He’ll also be performing his recent single “Changes.”
WHAT’S NEW: In February 2013 Checker released a single called “Changes,” which ended up generating more than 25,000 views on YouTube, leading to a performance on NBC’s “Today.”
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $40, and the show begins 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Resorts’ Superstar Theater.
Gipsy Kings at Revel
WHO ARE THEY: The Gipsy Kings emerged from France with their self-titled album of flamenco music in 1988 and were a huge success right away. The album was a Top 10 hit in more than a dozen countries worldwide and established the group as a powerhouse in Latin and world music. The Gipsy Kings followed up their success with more hit albums including “Mosaique,” “Allegria,” “Este Mundo,” and “Love & Liberte.” The 1993 film “Fearless” featured the group’s song “Sin Ella” and in 1995 “The Best of the Gipsy Kings” provided new fans with a glimpse into what has made the group so successful. “The Best of the Gipsy Kings” also featured the hit song “A tu Vera.” Over the course of an incredible career, the Gipsy Kings have managed to sell more than 18 million albums.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Hailing from Arles, France, The Gipsy Kings helped to bring a brand of pop-oriented flamenco music known as Sevillana to the masses. From humble beginnings as a group of musicians playing in the streets, at festivals and at weddings, the Gipsy Kings paid their dues and were more than ready when the big time came calling. All of the years playing for pocket change allowed them to never become complacent and it is reflected in their live performances. It doesn’t matter that the band has now sold more than 18 million albums worldwide because they still play with the same determination to win over audiences. On the current tour, The Gipsy Kings are celebrating 25 years as a recording act. At the show on Friday, Jan. 17, fans can expect to hear songs from throughout their career as well as tracks from the new album “Savor Flamenco.”
WHAT’S NEW: The Gipsy Kings’ latest album “Savor Flamenco” is the group’s first release in six years. It’s a significant album in that it’s the first to be produced and written entirely by the Gipsy Kings.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $39, $49 and $59, and the show begins 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at Revel’s Ovation Hall.
Eric Kearns at Resorts
WHO IS HE: Eric Kearns is a vocal impressionist who is capable of performing in the styles of more than 40 famous entertainers. He maintains a schedule that is comprised largely of private corporate events and senior functions, but also performs occasional public shows at casinos and other venues. On occasion he performs along with the 18-piece Todd Sullivan Orchestra.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Those looking to do some one-stop shopping to fulfill all their vocal impersonation needs won’t want to miss Kearns when he brings his “Voices of Legends” show to Resorts Casino Hotel for a limited engagement. With a repertoire of more than 40 impressions in his pocket, this vocal master is able to wow audiences with impersonations of artists such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, Bobby Vinton, Perry Como and Louis Armstrong. Kearns designed the show to be a fast-paced, lively affair where there is never a dull moment.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $20.25, and the shows begin 8 p.m. Jan. 15, 21 and 27 at Resorts’ Superstar Theater.