Let’s take a moment to chat about gifts that keep giving. For example if you give someone a lemon tree, they will always be able to make lemonade. Or, if you give someone a dog, they will have a new friend for years to come. Or, if you’re Steve Wynn, you can give your wife a private Broadyway musical composed of famous hits… sung by Broadway stars Rachel York and Hugh Jackman… and backed by dancers and an orchestra, in which case that one-time gift could turn into a smash Las Vegas production and could be given to thousands of people time and time again.
And that is exactly what Steve Wynn did with his newest Wynn production, “ShowStoppers.”
Defined by the dictionary (Merriam-Webster’s if you must know) a showstopper is, “an act, song, or performer that wins applause so prolonged as to interrupt a performance.” In other words… it’s a damn good scene in a show and “Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers” is packed with 18 show-stopping songs from more than 10 of Broadway’s most memorable musicals.
However, seeing that only the most prestigious tunes from Broadway’s ever-growing soundtrack were handpicked by Mr. Wynn himself for this production, it is obvious that the talent in his show had to match.
Directed by Philip Wm. McKinley, who was most recently with “Spiderman: Turn off the Dark,” choreography by three-time Emmy Award-winner Marguerite Derricks, and conducted by Emmy Award-winning musical director David Loeb, the full cast of 35 dancers and singers in addition to an on-stage, 31-piece orchestra, effortlessly (well, it’s probably really hard but they make it look easy) hit every high note and dance with engaging precision to revive every number in the most entertaining of ways.
But not to forget the unforgettable aesthetics (we love the “Money” number from “Cabaret”) costume designer Suzy Benzinger, who was recently the head costume designer for the Oscar award-winning film “Blue Jasmine,” made sure every sparkling item in this world was used on the costumes – well obviously not but it’s very glitzy in true Vegas fashion — while hair and makeup designer Luc Verschueren mastered the stage makeup.
Ok, so basically, every element of the show is pristinely dusted with that show biz-type of “razzle dazzle,” and it is clear to everyone in the theater, even the old grandpa in the corner who missed his nap and dozed off during the show (that didn’t actually happen but we are trying to prove a point here) that Wynn did not spare a single expense in making “ShowStoppers” an energetic experience rather than just a show.
So there you have it. While the less-is-more mentality may be good to keep in mind when it comes to say, matters like Axe Body Spray when you’re a teenage boy or cologne when you’re a grown man, this is Steve Wynn we are talking about here, and for this man and his productions, absolutely nothing succeeds like excess.