The Casino File: Hard Rock AC readies another trip to 'Motown'; Mount Airy celebrates Valentine’s COVID-style
Hard Rock AC remains the only regional casino presenting live entertainment during the pandemic
It was obviously a success when Hard Rock Hotel Casino Atlantic City became the first area gambling den to stage a show in the COVID-19 era. After all, if things hadn’t gone well with December’s Motown Records tribute, Motor City Live, it’s doubtful the Rock would have scheduled an encore presentation (sans the Yuletide motif) that begins Feb. 13 in the Sound Waves performance space.
The atomic-powered revusical — now called Motor City Live: The Classic Hits of Motown — features a jukebox-full of beloved songs from the likes of The Temptations, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder (among others). It debuted at the gaming hall in the summer of 2018, but Allen Valentine, the program’s creator-producer, promised this edition, which is scheduled to run twice every Saturday through Memorial Day weekend—won’t be the same-old same old. Instead, he said, guests who have seen the previous incarnations can expect new songs, lighting schemes, and multimedia effects, as well as a heaping helping of newly devised choreography.
As was the case in December, stringent safety protocols will be in place on both sides of the footlights:
In keeping with New Jersey state regulations, only 150 tickets will be available for each performance; the 1,500 seats that usually fill the room have been replaced by tables situated at least six feet apart with tickets sold only in groups of two or four.
In addition, audience members are required to enter Sound Waves with their entire party intact and tables closest to the stage will be at least 10 feet away. Because ticketholders are required to follow CDC and State of New Jersey guidelines for indoor events, social distancing will be enforced as will the wearing of masks except while drinking.
As for the cast and crew, while the show’s four male and four female singers are exempt, members of the supporting troupe of five musicians and four dancers are required to wear masks for the duration of the performance. And all performers are subject to a regime of regular temperature checks.
To further minimize the risk of the virus spreading, once again, the musical ensemble again doesn’t include brass instruments--the reasoning being that spittle caused by blowing into instruments could increase the danger of the coronavirus being transmitted. This prohibition also creates more space for the other cast members to maintain safe distances. The horn and woodwind parts will again be replicated by digital keyboards.
“We are thrilled to continue safely offering live entertainment with the return of Motor City Live: The Classic Hits of Motown,” said Hard Rock AyCee President Joe Lupo. “Our market leading ‘Safe + Sound’ protocols have instilled confidence in both our guests and team members, providing a spacious and socially distant upbeat experience that abides by the New Jersey mandatory [conditions].
However, Lupo declined to comment on any plans for an expansion of entertainment programming.
For tickets and info, click here.
A Valentine’s dinner? Wine not?
Mount Airy Casino Resort isn’t letting a little thing like a global pandemic get in the way of romance.
On February 13th, the adult playpen located in Mt. Pocono, Pa. is hosting a five-course wine-pairing dinner in its Event Center. To answer your next question, a series of CDC-suggested safety protocols will be in place, including a strict social-distancing strategy.
The dinner, which is set for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 13, will feature meat, seafood and vegetable dishes and an international variety of red and white wines. Admission is $125 per person and can be purchased here. All reservations are non-cancelable and must be booked prior to Feb. 10.
And if you’re going, you may want to take advantage of one of four room packages being offered that weekend.
The “Romance,” “Sweetheart,” “Amore” and “Endearment” packages include such amenities as wine, roses, chocolates, candy, chocolate-covered strawberries and even seafood, all of which will be served in the room. Click here for info and reservations.