Friday, Aug. 17, 2001 | 9:39 a.m.
"The Doo Wop '50s," features Shout, a young, talented, enthusiastic 13-member ensemble, in a fast-paced 60-minute production. Fran Dimmick serves as producer-director and musical director, conducting from the keyboards, as well as writing the musical arrangements, singing backup vocals and designing the costumes.
Charles Rawson played a gutty, Sam "The Man" Taylor-type of saxophone, contributed vocals and occasionally emceed. Mark Waggoner and Craig Harris were accomplished players on guitar and bass, respectively, while Oscar Vildosola proved to be a solid rock drummer and '50s-type vocalist.
Adam Fleck is a versatile singer-dancer, who worked with both the female singing trio and dancing duo. Natalie Carson, Robin Berry and Connie Crawford were the vocalists, with Berry a standout in a solo turn during the "Grease" finale. Melissa Wells and Joanne Stacks are the dancers, with Stacks due an extra bow for her choreography and staging.
John Babrowski and Ben Costello contributed two well-received comedy turns as Slats Smith & Wilbur Brown, latter-day versions of Abbott & Costello, the first segment dealing with the birds and bees, and the second a lesson in arithmetic, with Costello the winner in the that encounter.
"Rock Around the Clock" served to open and close the show using the full ensemble. "Shout" (the song) was more of the same. Familiar tunes made up the bandstand and doo-wop medleys that preceded the first comedy portion. A calypso and Four Aces medley set up a "Pink Panther" dance number that gave Rawson a chance to shine on saxophone.
The show built up to its highest point with a girl-group medley, a second comedy turn, the "Grease" medley and closer. The capacity crowd (750) was positive in its responses throughout.
At $16.95 plus tax for a full buffet dinner plus show, "Doo Wop" is a real bargain for Las Vegans and visitors who prefer dinner with their show.
Note: This show concludes its run with Saturday's performance. Starting Wednesday, Westward Ho is offering a complete 12-ounce steak dinner and an entirely new show featuring a group of celebrity impersonators.