‘Nurse Blake’ at Borgata; Todd Rundgren leads Bowie tribute at Harrah’s; Studdard sings Vandross at Hard Rock

The popular Nurse Blake Internet character was born out of the burnout its creator was experiencing.
Nurse Blake
Nurse BlakeThe Borgata

One of the unexpected results of the social-media revolution of the past decade-plus is the emergence of the virtual realm as a source of casino-headliner talent. Thanks to such platforms as YouTube, Instagram and Tik-Tok, a new generation of gaming-hall attractions—with built-in followings usually numbering in the millions—has become a staple of gaming-hall entertainment programmers.

Acts that fall under this category include the humorous parental-advice team of Cat & Nat, Canadian popsters Walk the Earth and Philadelphia-based prankster Ed Bassmaster. Yet another is Nurse Blake who performs Oct. 29 at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa.

“Nurse Blake” is the stage name of Blake Lynch, a 30-year-old registered nurse from Orlando. His resume includes stints in trauma centers, operating rooms and intensive-care units in several states. He never harbored any desires for a career as an entertainer, but an incident in Houston in 2017 set him on the show-business path.

According to the Houston Chronicle, it was then that Lynch suffered a panic attack, which led to the realization he needed an “outlet” to help him cope with the pressures and tragedy that are part and parcel of his chosen field. He subsequently thought of a joke about an article of clothing that combined nurses’ “scrubs” with a romper, to create, as he put it, a “scromper.”

Taking the gag a step further, Lynch actually created said garment, and then wore it while dancing around his pool as his husband videoed the comical tableaux. The clip was posted on social media and—voila!—an Internet sensation was born. The next step was the creation of the “Nurse Blake” persona, and he hasn’t looked back since, ultimately leaving nursing for a full-time career in comedy.

While Lynch’s act is clearly intended to give his colleagues in nursing a respite from their often-physically-and-psychologically-crushing jobs, he insisted his program is accessible—and relatable—for all. As he told the Chronicle, “You definitely don’t have to be a nurse.”

Bowie tribute at Harrah’s

One of the fourth quarter’s most intriguing musical offerings is set for Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City Oct. 29. That’s when classic-rock titan Todd Rundgren heads up a troupe of all-star musicians in a presentation called Celebrating David Bowie.

In addition to Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Rundgren, the talent roster includes guitarist Adrian Belew (who has played with Bowie, as well as, among others, King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Paul Simon), singer-songwriter Jeffrey Gaines and members of such bands as Spacehog and Fishbone.

In a statement that was released to announce the tour, Spacehog’s Royston Langdon said: “David Bowie was a master. It’s impossible to put into words quite how much he taught me. It gives me a huge thrill to get to honor Mr. B. and to be a small part of this immense celebration of his life and work with these world-class musicians, and everyone, who, like me feels his energy alive and vital around me now, just as it was then and forever shall be.”

According to www.setlist.fm, a massive repository of concert repertoires, the Bowie extravaganza covers a wide swath of the late rock star’s career, and includes such beloved signatures as “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Starman,” “Ziggy Stardust,” “Young Americans,” “Life on Mars?” “Rebel, Rebel” and “Let’s Dance.”

Show times is 8 p.m. For tickets, click here.

Ruben remembers Luther

The Bowie concert isn’t the only Oct. 29 Atlantic City program dedicated to a deceased musical superstar.

That day at Hard Rock Hotel Casino Atlantic City, Ruben Studdard, who first came to prominence as the second-season champion on American Idol, will pay homage to R&B immortal Luther Vandross, who passed away in 2005.

 Just as the Bowie crew will be sticking to the most revered material, so, too will Studdard. Expect to hear such hits as “Here and Now,” “Power of Love,” “Never Too Much” and “A House Is Not A Home.”

The fact that both performances take place in the same town on the same night is something of a cosmic coincidence: Early in his career, Vandross provided backup vocals on Bowie’s 1974 tour, and on the latter’s 1975 breakthrough album, Young Americans.

 Show times are 4 and 8 p.m.For tickets, click here.

Trop debuts Gin Rickey’s

Tropicana Atlantic City continues to roll out new dining and entertainment options. The latest is Gin Rickey’s, which has just opened its doors.

Billed as a “live music bar,” Gin Rickey’s, which is located in The Quarter, the Trop’s Havana-themed retail, dining and entertainment complex, features a variety of classic cocktails which can be savored, sipped or chugged while performers serve up a variety of musical genres aimed at encouraging audience sing-alongs.

Friday and Saturday nights (beginning at 10 p.m.) will see a late-night menu of munchies offered. These include “Twisted Biscuits,” which are homemade, butter-drenched biscuits filled with barbecued meats and poultry—a not surprising concept considering Gin Rickey’s’ operating partner is Tom Recine, who also oversees the barbecue-focused Wild Honey Smokehouse and Tavern, which opened at Tropicana earlier this year.

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