Wednesday, May 3, 2017 | 2 a.m.
To say that Todrick Hall was proud and inspired when the film Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture this year would be a vast understatement.
“When I was growing up, I had never seen anything like Moonlight that told a story somewhat similar to mine. It feels very similar to when Barack Obama became president in that if you are not African-American, it’s something you probably won’t be able to understand,” says the former American Idol finalist and entertainer who’s performed in Kinky Boots on Broadway. “You can certainly empathize and try to understand, but until you’ve been a kid who’s watched every Disney movie and never seen yourself or figured out what character you wanted to be, it’s a very crazy thing to see someone who looks like you doing something so big.”
There are also similarities between Moonlight and “Straight Outta Oz.” That’s the name of both Hall’s somewhat autobiographical album (released last June) and whirlwind concert roadshow, which he’s bringing to the Rocks Lounge at Summerlin’s Red Rock Resort this week. If it seems like too big a show for the small venue, that’s because it is; Hall sold out the Saturday, May 6, show and added a second for Sunday.
“I’m so stoked because I’ve only performed in Las Vegas once (two years ago),” he says. “Red Rock is going to be very different and maybe a little difficult to present the show in that venue, but it’s such an amazing cast and we’ve done crazy things in other venues. The talent is there and the voices in the show are ridiculous, so we don’t need a huge stage to tell this story. I’m really excited.”
The show is something of a hybrid of The Wizard of Oz and Hall’s personal history rising to fame in Los Angeles. At 32, the Texas native and classically trained ballet dancer has already done quite a bit, parlaying early gigs touring on Disney and cruise line shows into YouTube fame, his own show on MTV, and more Broadway credits in The Color Purple and Memphis.
After Vegas, his tour continues on its West Coast swing before moving on to Europe at the end of the month, then wrapping up in Australia in June. Hall says he’s been having the time of his life performing this show, and he’s not sure what will come up next.
“I have a lot of different things I want to do. I’d love to write a book. I’d love to bring this to Broadway. And always at the forefront, I would love to put out more new music as artist,” Hall says. “I am ready to make moves that matter, that get the type of recognition that puts names on maps, to continue to move from being an online content creator to a household name.”
Todrick Hall performs May 6 and 7 at the Rocks Lounge inside the Red Rock Resort. For info, call 702-797-7777 or stationcasinosevents.com.