The off-Strip resort pays tribute to Prince and Purple Rain throughout April…
It was hard enough to believe that the ever-energetic Prince Rogers Nelson, known to the world simply as Prince, met his maker at the young age of 57. Realizing that April 21st marks the one-year anniversary of his death is almost as shocking.
Luckily for fans around the world, the amazing tribute show Purple Reign continues to pack in the crowds at Westgate Las Vegas. A stunning live recreation, Purple Reign returns guests to the era when Prince and the cast of the iconic film Purple Rain were at the height of their respective careers (see my original review and interview with the star performer here).
Having seen Prince live in concert three times throughout the decades, as well as enjoying Morris Day and The Time at Golden Nugget this past December 30th, I feel pretty qualified to vouch for Purple Reign’s authenticity (on a side note, the original members of Prince’s 80’s band The Revolution will be appearing at Brooklyn Bowl on June 21st…click here for tickets). But, I digress…
When I interviewed Purple Reign star Jason Tenner last spring, he voiced his desire to see the production move from the intimate Shimmer Cabaret into Westgate’s legendary International Theater. That grand venue was once home to the likes of Barbara Streisand, Elvis Presley and Barry Manilow. Tenner’s wish has since come true, with the musical extravaganza now leading Westgate’s entertainment line-up.
To observe the one-year anniversary of Prince’s untimely death, Westgate has declared April to be “Purple Reign Month”. Outside, the familiar Y-shaped tower has been brightened with glorious violet spotlights. Inside, Prince-themed promotions are capped off with the launch of an all-new Purple Reign After-Dark party.
The free-wheeling After-Dark dance parties are faithful to Prince’s own infamous late-night post-concert jams. They take place every Friday night at 10:45 pm inside Westgate’s Crown Room (above the International Theater). Admission is free to show attendees who purchase VIP tickets for that evening’s performance. It’s hosted by Jason Tenner and includes cast members from the show, with DJ Dynamixx providing added grooves. I attended the show and After Dark dance party last Friday and had a blast! Pics below:
Even though the cover is now closed on the Prince songbook, Jason Tenner plans to keep his legacy alive for years to come. He’s even released his own single, “Shake”(available for download here), which could easily have been written and performed by the Purple One himself. Click on the link below, close your eyes and enjoy:
So if you’d love to go back in time to the glory days of Minneapolis rock-funk fusion, check out Purple Reign. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 9pm (must be 18+). Tickets start at $49.47 plus taxes/fees and are available here. Groupon is currently offering discounts through April 29th, including an option for the VIP experience and After-Dark party (on scheduled evenings) for $51.00. That deal is available via this link.
Photos: [Sammasseur, Purple Reign Tribute Show]