Westgate Las Vegas
3000 Paradise Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Vegas4Visitors Grade: A
At a Glance
What is it?
A headlining stint from legendary crooner Barry Manilow.
Where is it?
At the Westgate hotel just off The Strip.
Is it worth the cost?
Barry still knows how to put on a hell of a show, so yes.
Why should I see this show?
Her name was Lola… she was a showgirl…
What else do I need to know?
The show does not perform every week – check the website for dates.
What’s the bottom line?
He writes the songs, you know.
How do you review a guy like Barry Manilow? I mean, the term legend gets bandied about too easily these days but if anyone qualifies it is him. Over his 50+ year long career he has released 46 top 40 singles, 13 of which went to number one, and has sold more than 75 million albums. His hits like “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs,” “Daybreak,” “Could it Be Magic,” and “Copacabana” are often looked at by many through jaded glasses as ’70s pop pablum but they really are masterpieces of songcraft and melody that you just don’t hear anymore.
Returning to the Westgate showroom – you know, the one where Elvis made his great comeback and Barry himself held sway for many years – Manilow puts all of his hits on parade and delivers them with gusto. For a man well into his 70s, he still looks and sounds great and has an undeniable charisma that has served him well for a very long time.
Every song is a showstopper, as evidenced by the standing ovations the audience gave him for just about every song, not a small achievement considering that the bulk of the people in attendance were, like me, of the age where you try to avoid getting up out of a comfortable chair without a really good reason to do so.
Backed by a crack band and some LED screen graphics, Manilow ran through pretty much everything that you would want to hear, ticking the boxes with all of the songs listed above and more like “Can’t Smile Without You,” “This One’s For You,” “Looks Like We’ve Made It,” and “I Made it Through the Rain.” Those of us who appreciated Manilow’s oeuvre back in the day may have longed for some of his deeper cuts – “Somewhere Down the Road” has fond memories for me – but it is difficult to complain when you have so many wonderful tunes on display.
To be sure, this is old-school music and showmanship, certainly not to everyone’s taste, but that’s too bad. Everyone should be able to appreciate a master song stylist performing some of the best songs ever written.