The Albuquerque Register

Lin & Ray

That might look like a typo, but it's not. Two people, sure, but surely linked and perceived as a single unit.

Lin&Ray hit the Cerritos Theater on Saturday night as part of their "Lost Vegas" tour. ("If we do good here," Lin joked with a big smile, "it could mean Artesia!") They're not retiring, not by a long shot, but definitely scaling back on touring. Two hours and 10 minutes later, the ecstatic, large crowd had been treated to a delightful lesson in why this duo has been on top with the Vegas lounge scene.

What do they offer? Not much, merely a huge dose of good, old-fashioned showmanship, heaping bites of glitz and pizazz, large nuggets of Vegas- style humor and a general sense of loving camaraderie and good spirit.

Oh, and they can also sing.

Whether belting out duets or performing stints alone, both of these artists possess big, Broadway-style, voices and they are perfect for straightforward, emotive interpretations of Gershwin and other contributors to the Great American Songbook.

Lin was just as effective on ballads ("When You Wish Upon a Star") and dramatic show stoppers ("What Kind of Fool Am I.") Ray's solo shots included a nattily burlesque-ish "Bye Bye Blackbird" and even some serious "tap" that would make Sammy take notice.

Duets? It's hard to imagine a pair doing more justice to "Fly Me to The Moon" than Lin&Ray did Saturday night. And their long, elaborate, shotgun-style "Sing, Sing, Sing" was nearly worth the price of admission in itself. The Vincent Falcone Big Band was fine throughout.

And the shtick. loyal fans have heard some of these jokes before, no doubt, but the mostly gray-haired crowd was brought to laughing tears anyway. Much of the self-effacing humor deals, of course, with getting older and the strains of the relationship. ("I took Viagra, and all I got was a stiff neck," Lin says.) Lin did impersonations, capping it all with a dead-on rendition of Niel Diamonds "Sweet Caroline".

The show is literally like being in the company of Judy, Tony, Frank, Ella and so many more.

Will there be room for this kind of entertainment in Las Vegas again? Probably not. And that's a bad thing. Vegas's loss.

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