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Feature: Reckless in Vegas Offers Modern Twist on Vintage Vegas Classics

Music of the past performed rock style on the stage at Sahara Las Vegas.

Feature: Reckless in Vegas Offers Modern Twist on Vintage Vegas Classics

Lead photo courtesy of Reckless in Vegas

The legacy of the Rat Pack and Elvis will always be intertwined in the landscape of Las Vegas entertainment. While numerous shows pay tribute to these legends, the band Reckless in Vegas performs rousing original renditions of iconic songs by these singers. Catch the show with special guests at the Sahara Theatre in Sahara Las Vegas on Thursday and Friday.

The song list includes classics including "Luck Be a Lady," "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes," "Mr. Bojangles," "Rags to Riches," "Mambo Italiano," "Love Me Tender," and "All Shook Up."

Feature: Reckless in Vegas Offers Modern Twist on Vintage Vegas Classics
Photo by Ira Kuzma / Ira Kuzma Photography

Members Michael Shapiro (band founder, lead vocals, guitar), Jack E. Roth (drums), and Chris Nichols (bass, vocals) incorporate live performances of modern versions of songs. Video montages, dialogue, humor, hard-rocking riffs, ballads, and dancers Jo Shapiro and Brittney Sourlis create a one-of-a-kind show.

Born in San Jose, California, Michael grew up in Las Vegas during the 1970s. While his father dreamed of becoming a rock star, he never pursued it but shared his love of rock with Michael. It was his father that would take Michael to his first rock concert when he was a child.

Trained in guitar, vocals, piano, and trumpet with an appreciation of classical opera and rock, Michael founded the band Trip, released a few CDs, and toured. While performing for the VH1 Rock Across America Tour, Trip opened for artists including Edwin McCain, Duncan Sheik, The Romantics, and Cheap Trick.

However, Michael's life would change during the opening of Great White when the Station nightclub fire exploded on February 20, 2003, in West Warwick, Rhode Island, killing over 100 people. Michael admits he did not handle it well and coped using drugs and alcohol but has been clean and sober for 16 years.

Michael created the band Reckless in Vegas in 2008 while living in the northwest and performed original music. It was a producer who had the band cover Neil Diamond's Solitary Man with a rock spin. In 2012, their manager suggested they become a tribute band, and the band was working on performing a Johnny Cash tribute act.

"I was just not feeling it, and it did not stimulate my soul as an artist," Michael explains. "I am an original songwriter and decided not to go forward. But while in meditation, I saw a big stage in Las Vegas, with dancers, black-and-white video, and I was singing a Frank Sinatra song."

Studying entertainment on the Strip in the 1960s and 1970s, they performed their act in Las Vegas in 2014, and Michael decided to move back to Las Vegas in 2015.

"It is all about doing something you love, even with the rejections. I love the music so much, and this sustains me," says Michael.

It is synchronicity that the show is performed at the iconic Sahara Las Vegas, which first opened in 1952. Through many transformations and renovations, the resort was reimaged as SLS in 2014 through its new owners. Sold again in 2018, The SLS was renamed Sahara Las Vegas on August 29, 2019, honoring the past while incorporating the future.

Feature: Reckless in Vegas Offers Modern Twist on Vintage Vegas Classics
Photo by Ira Kuzma / Ira Kuzma Photography

Jack, drummer, and percussion, has performed throughout the country, headlining and opening for Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith, and Puddle of Mudd. Chris has studied the piano, cello, guitar, drums, and bass and toured with Willie Nelson, Chris Isaak, Toto, Peter Frampton, Rick James, and Lifehouse. Chris shared the stage with Michael when they were members of the band Trip.

The show is rounded out with background singers Paige Strafella and Roni Meron; and dancers-JoLae Brandt-Shapiro, Brittney Sourlis, and Sarah LeClear-Domingo. Special featured guests include Anne Martinez in August, Niki Scalera in September, and Kelly Vohnn in October.

Reckless in Vegas also partners with local businesses to help raise funds for nonprofits through Ante Up, a collaborative community giveback program created to connect Southern Nevada businesses to local charities. In August, Cornerstone Wealth Management is the sponsor and will donate $3 for each Reckless In Vegas ticket sold in August directly to its selected charity. For more info, visit recklessinvegas.com/riv-ante-up.

Reckless in Vegas performs with special guests at the Sahara Theatre in Sahara Las Vegas, 2535 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Thursday and Friday. For more information on Reckless In Vegas, visit recklessinvegas.com, saharalasvegas.com, and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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From This Author - Debbie Hall

Debbie Hall is a long-time resident of Las Vegas (41 years and counting) and has always loved entertainment. Whether attending touring Broadway shows or high school productions, she enjoys the play... (read more about this author)


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