Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2017

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‘Mamma Mia!’ star Joe Moeller: 10 Things That Make a New Yorker Feel at Home in Las Vegas


Erik Kabik / Retna /

The official grand opening night of “Mamma Mia!” on Friday, May 16, 2014, at Tropicana Las Vegas.

Click to enlarge photo

Joe Moeller and Alison Ewing perform "Does Your Mother Know?" during "Mamma Mia!" at the Tropicana in May.

‘Mamma Mia!’ Grand Opening at Tropicana

The official grand opening night of Launch slideshow »

‘Mamma Mia!’ at Tropicana

Alison Ewing, Christine Sherril and Mary Callanan in Launch slideshow »

As Robin Leach arrives for his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — he also visited Lake Como and Lake Maggiore this year — many of our Strip personalities have again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with “Mamma Mia!” at the Tropicana star Joe Moeller.

Moving to Las Vegas from New York City is a bit abrupt, to say the least, but these Las Vegas staples make living here feel more like home every day.

1. 24-Hour Everything: New York is the City That Never Sleeps, but Las Vegas simply puts it to shame. A 24-hour diner can be found anywhere in NYC, but Las Vegas has 24-hour restaurants, bars, gambling halls, nightclubs, shopping and more.

2. People Watching: People watching at Fremont Street Experience is like nothing else in the world … unless of you’ve been to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Street performers and characters you just wish had their own reality-TV shows bring back memories of summer days at Washington Square Park.

3. Room Service: In New York, food delivered to your door was an everyday occurrence for me. For the sake of my wallet, I’ll be learning to cook because the closest thing to New York delivery here seems to be room service.

4. Nathan’s Hot Dogs: I couldn’t begin to describe how happy I was when I stumbled into New York-New York to find the Holy Grail of hot dogs. That first bite transported me to Coney Island complete with the sounds of roller coasters in the background.

5. New York-New York: Of course there would be no Nathan’s without New York-New York. Driving past that NYC skyline every day takes me back, and riding the roller coaster is a Las Vegas staple that I will never forget. I suggest doing it at night when you can see the Strip all lit up.

6. The Strip: While we’re on the subject, the Las Vegas Strip is the only place in America that rivals Times Square. It’s a real-life, 24-hour light show that I could stare at for hours.

7. Shopping: New York is known for 5th Avenue and its high-end stores. Why walk up and down all those city blocks when you can visit the likes of Gucci, Tiffany & Co. and Prada all in the same building? At multiple places on the Strip!

8. Fine Dining: The chance to have a world-class dining experience is something that I loved about New York. Las Vegas takes that to a whole new level and puts it all on Las Vegas Boulevard. Biscayne at Tropicana, Circo at Bellagio and Blue Ribbon Sushi at the Cosmopolitan top my list so far.

9. The Club Scene: To be totally honest, I wasn’t much of a club guy in NYC, but Las Vegas has turned me. From Revolution at the Mirage to Tao at the Venetian to XS at the Encore, the club scene here is a nonstop party. It was too difficult to resist the fun!

10. The Shows: New York and Las Vegas are known for their entertainment. Where Cirque du Soleil shows are a new experience for me, Broadway shows are what brought me here. Big hits like “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas, “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian” and “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s line the Strip, but of course my favorite is “Mamma Mia!” at the new Tropicana!

Check out our other guest columns today from Mary Callanan, and Alison Ewing, two of Joe’s castmates in “Mamma Mia!,” and Sir Elton John’s partner David Furnish, who has opened the champagne lounge Fizz at Caesars Palace, and on Tuesday get ready for beautiful Tracey Gittins of “Fantasy” at the Luxor and the topless show’s comedian impressionist Sean E. Cooper.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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