Revel Casino Hotel may have filed for bankruptcy, but that isn't the result of anyone having a bad time. The luxury casino that was supposed to revolutionize Atlantic City doesn't lack for premium food and entertainment options, from Chef Jose Garces' Amada restaurant to Ivan Kane's Royal Jelly burlesque show.
Add one more to the list: The Latin Quarter Show.
Revel's newest variety show appeals to every sense and every age group. The fun-filled adventure features the wildly fun Los Huincas, a pair of boleadora-swinging gauchos (a boleadora is a weighted orb attached to a rope used for capturing cattle) sexy flamenco dancers, graceful ballroom gazelles like Dmitry and Darina, and Ben Blaque's blindfolded crossbow act that will leave viewers gripping their chairs.
Perhaps the highlight of the show is host Joey Vega, a stand-up comedian who looks like Joe Pesci's Puerto Rican twin. Vega controls the pace with PG-rated humor mixed in with some put-the-kids-to-bed zingers. During a recent performance, he called out an audience member sitting near the front row and challenged him to make love to his wife, the right way, when the couple returned to their hotel room later that evening.
"I was feeling them out a little bit," Vega said after a recent show. "I look out at the audience and if I see a lot of older people, I play with them enough so that they'll accept anything else I'll say."
Vega, who started doing comedy on a dare at a New York City improv club, is enjoying his new gig. Though the crowds have been sparse in recent weeks, he believes The Latin Quarter Show can sustain a long run at Revel.
"It's going to be good," Vega said. "First show, there weren't that many people but they enjoyed it. The performers were great. I think it will have a nice run, a real good run, especially after people start hearing about it."
And Vega doesn't deny that he bears a striking resemblance to that certain actor from "Goodfellas" and "Casino." In fact, it serves as the unintentional punchline for one of his best stories.
"I did a show one time and Joe Pesci was in the audience," Vega recalled. "He came up to me after the show and said, 'Hey, you very funny,' and I looked at him and said, 'Funny, how? Like a clown, do I amuse you?'"
When asked if he was joking about the too-good-to-be-true exchange, Vega said no.
"Then I said, 'Now get outta here you stuttering prick.' He laughed. He was kind of shy actually."
The Latin Quarter Show
Through Dec. 1
Thursdays and Fridays 5 and 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 2, 5 and 8 p.m.