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Category: Music & Variety
Location: Castaways's
Address: 2800 Freemont Street

Information: 702.385.9123

Website: Sixtiesmania
Price: Free
Showtimes: Wed - Sun 8 and 9:30pm.
V4V Grade: A

Las Vegas is filled with lounges offering free entertainment - usually bands of varying caliber but usually none that make you think you got some sort of bargain because you didn't pay. But then again free stuff is always worth noting, especially in a city that delights in taking your money from you at every turn.
After driving by Castaways on Fremont Street several times and seeing the marquee promoting their free show, "Sixtiesmania," we finally broke down and decided we should check it out. After all, it was free! So with that mindset of low expectations firmly in place we headed inside only to be surprised and delighted with a rollicking, fun evening of entertainment that would've been worth an admission charge had there been one.

"Sixtiesmania" is, as you would expect from the title, a tribute to the music and mood of the swinging '60s. An energetic group of five men and four women (the Curvettes) provide an excellent mix of the genre with quick costume changes, great instrumentals, dancing and singing, and impressions of everyone from Mick Jagger to Tom Jones. It all adds up to a terrific show. And did we mention that it's free?

Although the show times are listed as 8 and 9:30 PM, the 9:30 show is actually a continuation of the earlier show. Part one is centered on the early British groups and American stars such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Roy Orbison, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Tom Jones, Del Shannon, Dion and the Belmonts, and the Beach Boys.

After an intermission of about 15 minutes, part two takes over. The colorful Sgt. Pepper uniforms announce a tribute to the musical milestone of the Beatles, almost eerie in its detail: even the bass player is left-handed. During this segment the "Age Of Aquarius" moves us into the Woodstock/Flower Power and hits from the Doors, Byrds, Monkees, CCR, Loving Spoonful, and the Stones.

Behind all of this English and American celebration, the "Sixtiesmania" cast has an international flavor.

Andrew Hill, from Australia, is the founder and producer of "Sixtiesmania" and has been with the show since it started in 1988. Yep, you read that right - they've been at this for longer than the Beatles were actually together. He's the left-handed bass player in the band and also one of the four lead vocalists.

Darren Farrar, also one of the original cast members, is the man of a thousand personalities and voices - Jim Morrison, Frankie Vali, and Sonny Bono are just a few in his repertoire but his Mick Jagger, complete with the extended lips, is fantastically realistic and his Tom Jones, complete with extended pelvis, is a big hit and has the ladies in the audience screaming.

Glenn McCallum hailing from Sydney, Australia is the lead guitarist of the band. He plays Harrison riffs on the Gretsch, blows the harp as Bob Dylan, and uses the Ricky 12-string on a Byrds number and does an amazing job on all of them.

Steve Geller is the newest member of the show joining in January after their last drummer Hamish joined current rock sensations "The Vines".

Spencer Jay hails originally from Arkansas but has been in Vegas for the last twelve years. He plays guitar, keyboards and bass and also sings.

The Curvette Dancers became a part of the show in Vancouver in January of 1999. They originally consisted of three ex-British Columbia Lions Cheerleaders. Today, Heidi Malanchuk and Claudia Cervenka, members of the original group and new members Deana Slack of Langley, BC, and Kimberly Curtright of Las Vegas, NV make up the Curvettes.

The Curvettes appear in costumes ranging from show girls to cheerleaders to flower children, sing such crowd favorites as Lesley Gore's "It's My Party", Dusty Springfield's "Only Want to be With You", and Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walkin".

If you get a chance to get away from The Strip, get out to Castaways and see "Sixtiesmania". They have been extended indefinitely at the showroom, which often fills up so get there early.

And remember, the cost is right - free.

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