Harrah’s show ‘Solid Gold Soul’ features music of Motown
It is glitter and glam in a throwback into yesteryear and Motown music in Sammy’s Showroom in Harrah’s Reno as “Solid Gold Soul, the Magic of Motown” brings people to their feet every week with its high energy.
Five musical talents belt out infectious, finger-snapping and toe-tapping songs from the ’60s. Backed by a strong band with the collective experience of more than 150 years, led by music director and guitarist, Russ “Bonedaddy” Hayden, along with four talented and young dancers who also play the role of back-up vocalists. It is a perfect recipe for entertainment: five brilliant singers, great music and more than 20 songs.
With a wide array of characters being portrayed in the show -- Barry White, Tina Turner, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Little Anthony and Whitney Houston, to name a few -- plenty of musicians are represented.
Bobby Wilson is a show stealer as he takes on four roles — Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and Little Richard — and manages to flow through them with ease. He also sings flawless notes and performs some classic tunes such as “Higher and Higher,” “Say You Will” and “Baby Workout.”
Jourdan Carroll, who plays Barry White, is majestic and sings some amazing tunes to complement his natural bass baritone. He also has an interesting story on how he got into a Barry White impersonator.
“A friend of mine was at a karaoke and that time I was singing Jerry Osborne and Teddy Pendergrass, he bet me to $100 to sing three tunes,” he said. “After singing three songs, he said I want you to sing ‘You Are The First, My Last, My Everything.’”
After nailing the song and sending the crowd crazy at the karaoke bar all those years ago, Carroll entices the crowd with the same song on the Harrah’s stage.
Marva Scott, a Nevadan from Las Vegas, captivates as Diana Ross and Tina Turner as the backup dancers Erica Holloway and Krystina Burton form The Supremes. Songs such as “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” and “Stop! In the Name of Love” are pristine urge people to sing along and dance.
The newest member of the Solid Gold Soul crew is Denita Asberry, who took to stage for the first time on Aug. 17 as Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. True to Houston’s legacy, Asberry rips apart the high pitches.
“It was amazing and the crowd was on fire at the beginning of the show,” Asberry said about her first show.
The band can easily rock a show on its own as saxophone player Fitz Magee plays some amazing tunes. The band’s bass player, Gary Sharprell, also performs as Little Anthony during the show.
Although there are some talented singers taking over the stage at Harrah’s, the backup dancers are scene stealers, adding color and flavor. Holloway and Burton also act as back up singers, and Nikki DiGiorgio and July Reddicks capture the crowd with their scintillating moves and charisma.
The staging, choreography and set list has been timed perfectly by the show’s producer, Nannette Barbera. With her 35-year background in more than 700 productions, including the iCandy Burlesque, the show sails smoothly.
The show is made more iconic as it is performed in the Sammy’s Showroom, which was built in 1966 and celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.
“It (the show) falls in line with the nostalgia, and provides a throwback to the Motown era,” said Nick Brill, the entertainment manager of Harrah’s.