Adventures in Vegas is a sentimental, hilarious look at life as a showgirl and more. Now celebrating her 73 year’s young birthday, on stage unfolds the intimate 1970 diary of actress, comedian, dancer, and singer Andrea Bell Wolff.
A Time of Innocence and Discovery
We are to experience Wolff’s special memories of youthful adventure, innocence, discovery, first love, disappointments, and homecoming. Her experience in Las Vegas is akin to our friends who opine fondly of their two years on the road following the Grateful Dead, Woodstock and the summer of love in ’69, living in a hippie commune in California, backpacking through Europe, or shaving one’s head to join the Hare Krishnas at the airport.
The AMT Theater is a charming, intimate theater space that beautifully enables the connection between artist and audience. Every expression, sound, light, and nuance envelopes us as we are transported through time and space by Wolff into her world of the late 1960s. For each chapter in her story, she sang autobiographical songs that were charming, hilarious, yearning, and at times naughty. Wolff’s stage presence, movements, and singing were magical.
It Starts on Broadway
The audience enthusiastically welcomed Wolff on stage as she entered, smiling and looking pleased. Wolff looked fabulous in a multi-colored outfit and long blond hair. She whimsically introduced the storyline and described her early start in show business on the Broadway stage in Hello Dolly. Capping her welcome with the song “I Am Playing Me” by Jeff Bowen, Wolff described the disappointments of her efforts to advance her New York stage career, emphasizing the experience with the song “Moving the Line” by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman.
Throughout the show, tall, handsome guest star Elliott Litherland narrated, delivered and removed props, and performed solo and with our chanteuse. His varied roles added dimension and context that supported the frequent hilarity, skits, and storyline.
Photos and video clips of the late 60s enriched the show’s visual character and dreamscape as projected on a large screen above the stage. In this stage setting of Wolff’s dressing room, home, or boudoir, we see a photo of her at her glamourous Vegas best.
Wolff had heard of exciting opportunities in Las Vegas, the “sin city” and home of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack. Determined and confident, 19-year-old Wolff left Broadway and obtained an engagement to perform as a showgirl in venues like the Bottoms Up Musical Comedy Revue and later in Circus Circus. Shows ran continuously and provided a steady income. She met luminaries like movie goddess Joey Heatherton, dove into the parties and nightlife, fenced with predatory middle-aged producers, and developed an “almost” relationship with Bobby, who moved on when she went on tour to Australia.
We view some of the skits from Wolff’s Las Vegas, characterized in songs like “Sex Education” by Suzanne Buhrer. While these were fun, it’s becoming apparent that the glamour and bright stars of Las Vegas are dimming for Wolff, particularly when she dances in peep shows to pay the bills. It’s back to New York for introspection, relief, and ageless memories of a time that happens only once.
Hearts, Minds, and Memories
Bring your heart, mind, and memories, and enjoy the special times shared by the delightful Andrea Bell Wolff. You’re likely to reflect on your unique era of innocence and discovery with a knowing smile.
It was a pleasure to experience live music and 13 fun songs performed by talented artists. Accompanying Wolff was keyboard/pianist Jude Obermüller, double bassist Sam Zarna, and drummer Doug Hinrichs.
The show runs through August 24 so get there while you can.
Adventures in Vegas
Starring Andrea Bell Wolff
And special guest Elliott Litherland
Directed by Jimmy Larkin
Music Director Jude Obermüller
Runtime 73 minutes without intermission
Adventures in Vegas opens at AMT Theater (354 W. 45th Street) on Sat. July 30 at 3 PM and runs Saturdays at 3 PM and Wednesdays at 8 PM through August 24. Sat. Matinees at 3 PM on July 30, August 6, 13 &20. Wednesday evenings at 8 PM on August 3, 10, 17 & 24. Tickets are $30 and $20 for students and seniors. For tickets, go to https://amttheater.venuetix.com or directly tohttps://amttheater.venuetix.com/show/details/n6p3GVQCx44cwRaI1wtT/1659571200000.
354 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036
Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Exception to the Rule, Selected Shorts at Symphony Space, The Life at New York City Center, and Queens Girl in the World.