August 19, 2011

Rick Faugno Shines at the Shimmer Cabaret with ‘Body & Soul’!

August 19th, 2011

Last year, Rick Faugno hit a home run with audiences, with packed houses and rave reviews, as he told his story in his one-man show, “Songs My Idols Sang (And Danced),” where he also paid homage to great entertainers from Gene Kelly to Tony Bennett to Sammy Davis, Jr., and of course, Frank Sinatra!

In his new show, “Body & Soul,” we were certain Rick would be taking audiences on magical ride of song, dance, and storytelling. But, he did more than take us on a nice ride—he hit it out of the park at the Shimmer Cabaret at the Las Vegas Hilton last Monday evening!

How can it be possible for one entertainer to mix just about every musical genre imaginable—pop standards, rock, soul, funk, blues, jazz, and Latin, along with some of the most spectacular dance moves, and make it all look so natural? Rick Faugno’s new show “Body & Soul” did just that, and more—taking the audience back in time to “old Las Vegas” style entertainment with a new fresh twist!

From his previous one-man show, we discovered Rick’s triple-threat versatility as a performer, but with “Body & Soul,” we discovered he can not only belt out the smoothest, hippest, standards from back in the day, but he can take the songs of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson—and make them his own!

Popping out from the audience, dressed so sharply in a black suit and black and white Wingtips, Rick began the evening on stage with James Brown’s “I Got the Feelin’,” a sensational beginning to a night of rockin’, bluesy, soulful hits, along with smooth, suave, and energized choreography, and a few surprises!

The night’s songlist was like a hit machine from the last seven decades, with treats such as the jazz standard “Mood Indigo,” to Sinatra’s “The Best Is Yet to Come,” to one of the most marvelous retro renditions of “Fever,” thanks to a special request from Rick’s wife, Joyce!

The show had it all: the fantastic dance moves; the upbeat songs from the pop charts; the bluesy hits that gave you a chill; and Rick’s storytelling–noting how excited he was to be playing at the Las Vegas Hilton, the same place where the legendary Elvis Presley performed back in the day! (Wait till you see Rick’s imitation of the King!). One man, doing what he loves to do best—with his magnificent band accompanying him.

First surprise of the evening: Okay, I need to quote a Joe Pesci line in JERSEY BOYS, “He plays like a madman and he write songs!” Who knew? Rick treated the audience to some phenomenal piano playing and vocals on his original song, “”Why Do I?” an absolutely powerful love song, dedicated to Joyce.

The energy was nonstop, with an amazing performance of “She Drives Me Crazy,” followed by a trip back in time with “That Old Black Magic,” “Night and Day,” “On a Clear Day, and “Too Close for Comfort.”

So many Wow! moments, including a tap dancing sequence/drum “duel” with his drummer, and Rick’s own bongo drum solo—between some of the most exciting versions of classic hits including “For Once In My Life,” “Summertime,” and the show’s title song, “Body & Soul”!

It’s no exaggeration: I do believe there was not one person in the audience who not was boppin’ in their seat, snappin’ their fingers, or tappin’ their feet to Rick’s awesome renditions of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” and his finale of “The Way You Make Me Feel” with some of the evening’s most memorable vocals and magnificent choreography, followed by the audience’s standing ovation and nonstop applause!

Truth be told, this recap and the photos of this great evening of entertainment are just a preview of Rick Faugno’s “Body & Soul”! If you get the opportunity, there’s nothing like the experience you’ll have, seeing this stunning showman LIVE at the Shimmer Cabaret!

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