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Retired

Cotton Club review, part 1

To begin with, I called about 5 hours before the show and asked if I needed to make reservations. A bored sounding voice on the other end said "it won't be a problem, just show up". They didn't figure it was going to be a popular show.

About 30 minutes into the program one of the ushers walked by me talking into his radio to the guy at the front door there was no place left to sit, it was sold out.

First off, this is a very different experience from the Argyle hotel. It is an entirely new structure and there is nothing antique looking about it. Rather than try to recreate a 30's environment, they instead did what they knew, just with 30's music.

Projected in various places around the room was the Cotton Club logo, the bands logo, or various film of 20's bands doing concerts. Since it was all silent film anyway, it didn't conflict with anything. A very non-period light show and sound system did a very good job of showing off the band. They were basically treading the Johnny Crawford 20's dance Orchestra like they would any other performing group. They were very good at it, and while very different from what I'm used to, it worked well. It was a modern style concert of old style music.

Of interest is that while the building was 21st century, the waiters and staff were dressed in period outfits - if you could overlook the "Agent Smith" radios several of them had in their ears. Compare this to the Argyle, where the room is an authentic looking art deco room (at least it was until recently), but the staff makes no effort to do anything special, in fact they are supposedly now dressed in Hawaiian outfits.

The sellout crowd made it's impression on the club owner. He was present and also dressed up and enjoying the evening to be sure. By midpoint in the show it had already been decided that this was a strong enough draw (sold out) to continue it ever other week on an ongoing basis.

The popularity of the show caught the staff off guard and as I was leaving they were already plugging the fact this was going tobe happening again.

Now since I don't know who does internet searches on their name to see what publicity they are getting, I'm following this with another post, so if you can see it, go read part 2.

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desertcoyote April 17th, 2004
Glad you had a good time! :)

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