Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2014

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Q+A: Trent Carlini

If You Go

  • What: "The Musical History of the King"
  • When: 9 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays
  • Where: Sahara
  • Tickets: $49; 737-2878

After taking a year off to spend time with his new wife and new baby, Elvis tribute artist Trent Carlini is back.

The 38-year-old performer, who has a long history in Las Vegas, returns in "The Musical History of the King" at the Sahara. The show is being produced by Joey Battig and Big Horn Entertainment.

Carlini, who was born in Chicago in 1968, is the son of Italian immigrants. When he was 7, his parents decided to return to Italy, where Carlini grew up.

At 17, he formed a band in Europe. At 19, he moved to Florida and began a rockabilly band, eventually becoming an Elvis tribute artist.

He headlined "Legends in Concert" at the Imperial Palace for six years before creating his own show at the Boardwalk in 1996. His most recent gig was at the Las Vegas Hilton. When that ended more than a year ago, he headed for Florida.

Until remarrying recently, he was the single father of three daughters, the oldest 14.

Q: When did you return to Vegas? Why did you leave?

I just arrived a couple of weeks ago. I just took a break from the music for a year, moved to Florida. Amanda and I had just gotten married. My wife was pregnant. I wanted to spend some family time. We had a boy, Gabriel.

Was the yearlong hiatus planned?

Yes, it was. About a year and a half ago we decided to take a break, to go to Florida. I would just do five or six shows while I was down there, and that's what we did; that was predetermined.

Is your wife in the entertainment business?

No. She's from Brazil - a model. She's retired now.

You have other children?

I have three daughters from a previous marriage. The oldest is going to be 15 in January. Next year she goes to high school. The others are in middle school. Gabriel is a year and a half.

How did the show at the Sahara come about?

I have always been in contact with Joey (Battig). He told me when I was ready to come back to work to let him know and he'd put a show together for me. I called him and said, "Alright, we're ready." And he went to work on it.

Is this show dramatically different from the production at the Hilton?

As far as the production, it's just like the Hilton, the same magnitude. It has changed a little bit. I'm portraying six or seven highlights of Elvis' career. We've also modified some of the music, doing a lot more medleys. We can do five or six different songs in one medley. But the whole concept is the same as the "Dream King" at the Hilton. I've had people working with me to put it together, Joey himself is very knowledgeable in the production end of it. It has been very cleverly put together.

What can audiences expect?

The band is no less than what I had at the Hilton, a horn section, strings, keyboards, male and female backup singers. Everybody we had at the Hilton will be with us. It's going to be a major production.

Are you eager to get back onstage, or do you miss Florida?

It really didn't hit me as much when I was in Florida, but since getting back to Vegas I haven't slept a night. I'm constantly on the phone at all hours working on the production. Obviously, I am very anxious to get back onstage.

Your fans must have missed you while you were gone.

Yes. This last year, year and a half, I have been able to stay close to my fans through myspace.com and my Web site. They've been waiting for this. I think all around, everybody's really happy about the show.

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