Tag Archives: Erich Bergen

Michael Jackson Celebrations ‘Round the World

Pop music icon Michael Jackson died on June 25 from a potent cocktail of sleep and pain sedatives, although the Los Angeles coroner’s office is holding firm, not releasing the complete autopsy and toxicology reports pending completion of the homicide investigation currently in progress.   And, of course,  Dr. Conrad Murray, the central figure in the investigation, is mum on commenting further, save his recent YouTube video of self-exoneration. 

Despite the lack of closure, Saturday celebrations for Michael Jackson were heard around the world for the King of Pop.    

Saturday, Aug. 29 would have been Jackson’s 51st birthday. 

 Although the true era of Michael Jackson was mostly over decades before the singer died, a curious and strange eerie aura pervaded the celebrations– it was like he never died. 

With Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman declaring Aug, 29, “Michael Jackson Day,” almost 20 Las Vegas entertainment acts responded in kind by performing a “Las Vegas Celebrates the Music of Michael Jackson” concert at the Pearl Theatre in the Palms Casino & Hotel, spearheaded by Jersey Boys star Erich Bergen, as a tribute to Jackson and his music before a sell-out crowd of 2,600, while raising more $100,000 for music education programs throughout Clark County, Nevada.   

Michael Jackson would most likely have loved it, expressing before his death the desire to perform a thank-you concert to Palms owner George Maloof for enabling him to use the venue earlier for his recording sessions and a secluded family R&R retreat.

 Family patriarch and dad Joe Jackson said he was unable to attend Saturday’s memorial concert in Las Vegas for his son because of a prior commitment, but a friend said it was more a case of the event being too emotional.  He was on hand, however, on Saturday night for a celebrity star dedication at the Brendan Theatres at the Palms. 

Some of the biggest ovations at the Pearl Theatre performance went to:  11-year-old Elijah Johnson of “The Lion King,” performing “Dancing;” the cast members from “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” and “Jersey Boys” combining on “Theme from Free Willie,” the Australian groups Human Nature (“I Want You Back”) and Signature (“Billy Jean”) and the Las Vegas Mass Choir, decked out in black pants, white shirts, black fedoras and, of course, the glove on the right hand, singing “Man in the Mirror.” 

Other Las Vegas tribute performances included the American Superstars at the Stratosphere, Hawaiian Tropic Zone, and the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. 

But Las Vegas was just the tip of the iceberg for worldwide Jackson tributes on Saturday.  A group of Michael Jackson fans in Leicester, England attempted a world record for the most number of people dancing to the singer’s ‘Thriller’ in one place on his 51st birthday. Some 475 people dressed as zombies packed into Orton Square participate in the event. 

Not to be topped, a Michael Jackson impersonator named Hector Jackson (not related) really kicked the competition into overdrive and led what is purportedly the largest gathering of people dancing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in Mexico City, with reportedly 12,937 people dancing and wearing red and gold sequined jackets.   

The current record for a group “Thriller” was performed in May by 242 students of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Guinness Book of World Records will determine if the Mexico City performance breaks that record. 

Although the bulk of birthday celebration tributes are largely completed, speculation continues to swirl on what’s next in the after-life career of Jackson. 

Talks reportedly continue on moving parts of Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara, California to Las Vegas.  Other plans call for Jackson-themed show, with the Hilton being considered.   Some even say a Jackson-themed Las Vegas casino would be appropriate.   The great news is that any of these ideas have the potential impact of reviving a sputtering Las Vegas economy. 

But, whoa there, partner, let’s not get the cart before the horse- Jackson hasn’t even been buried yet!  He will be finally laid to rest after two months of patiently waiting this Thursday, Sept. 3 at Forest Lawn Cemetery near Los Angeles, California at 7 p.m. in a private service. 

R.I.P, Michael.

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Michael Jackson’s Music to be Celebrated in Las Vegas ‘Birthday’ Performance

For one performance only, Las Vegas ’ top entertainers will come together for a special performance Las Vegas Celebrates the Music of Michael Jackson on Saturday, August 29, 2009, at 3 p.m. from The Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. 

6W Entertainment in partnership with VegasHappensHere.com will present this multi-artist production celebrating the many hits of The King of Pop, entertainers including cast members of Jersey Boys, Lion King, Peepshow and Phantom:  The Las Vegas Spectacular will perform the hits of the Jackson songbook, all in celebration of what would have been the entertainer’s 51st birthday. This unique show will also include video montages throughout from those who knew Michael or were inspired by his work. The multi-faceted acts will be backed by a 10-piece band comprised of musicians led by Las Vegas ’ own Joey Melotti. Additional performers and event details will be announced in coming weeks. 

This special event will commemorate and celebrate Jackson ’s life while raising funds to help kids across the U.S. and right here in Nevada keep music alive in the schools.  All proceeds from ticket sales of this event will benefit Music Education programming in Clark County Public Schools. 

“I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to the person who inspired me and a whole generation of performers. This event helps keep the music of Michael Jackson alive, while raising money to make sure music education stays alive in schools in our community,” said show host and co-producer Erich Bergen.  

Tickets for Las Vegas Celebrates Michael Jackson go on-sale Saturday, July 25, 2009, at noon. Ticket prices are $29, $54, $79, $104 & $129, plus applicable box office fees.  A VIP package is available for $504 and includes VIP seating, admission to the exclusive after party with the cast, gift bag and limited edition autographed poster. Please visit any Ticketmaster location, call 1-800-745-3000, visit www.ticketmaster.com or www.livenation.com to purchase tickets. The Pearl Box Office is open from noon – 7 p.m. daily. Doors will open at 2 p.m. and show time is 3 p.m. 

For more information about this event, please visit www.vegaslovesmj.com.

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Liberace’s Legacy Lives On After Death With Monthly Revue

The Liberace Museum has been a part of the Las Vegas Experience since 1979, entertaining tourists and locals while preserving the Liberace star and funding scholarships for more than 2000 students at more than 100 colleges. LiberaceMuseum

“Mr. Showmanship” spent decades entertaining in clubs, theatres and even Carnegie Hall.  While he may be best remembered for his flamboyant style (rumor has it that he introduced Elvis Presley to his first flashy stage costume),  he saw his success as an opportunity to assist others. 

Liberace’s education was funded in large part by scholarships and in his book, ‘The Things I Love’, Liberace wrote, “a lot of good things have happened to me in show business and I want to do what I can to give others just starting out a career boost. I hope The Foundation projects will continue into the future to offer gifted newcomers financial help, and in many cases, artistic exposure as well.” 

As part of the on-going effort to continue the work of the Liberace Foundation and Museum, a new monthly revue will premier at 9p.m. on Wednesday, May 27 at the museum’s theater, 17705 E. Tropicana Avenue. 

“VS. – A Rock Cabaret,” will feature a variety of entertainers and become a regular last Wednesday of the month event in Las Vegas.  The performers on the ticket for this months show include Erich Bergen and Kristofer McNeeley from “Jersey Boys”; and Bobby Black from the Las Vegas Tenors and Melanie Taylor from “Ultimate Manilow: The Hits”. 

Tickets are $20 each.  For more information, 702-798-5595 extension 14 or at http://www.liberace.org/

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