Tag Archives: Mohegan Sun

Roger’s Rave Reviews: Sheena Easton, Joan Plowright, and Lily Koppel

by Roger Zotti

Sheena Easton

Does she still have the vocal chops? Does she still look great? Does she still have an I-don’t-take-any-guff-from-anyone attitude? Does she still have a great sense of humor? A resounding YES to each question. Oh, the lady in question is Sheena Easton, and she appeared at Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den on May 10.

Of course, Sheena, seasoned performer that she is, immediately wins over the audience. After opening with “Celebrate,” she went into the audience to sing, hug, shake hands and sit on a few laps.

During the show, Sheena voiced a few, well, let’s call them Sheena-isms. For example: “We eighties chick singers all sound and look alike, and sometimes I can’t tell us apart. Of course, we’ve changed and that’s okay. I’m a size two now. I used to be a size zero.” Pause. “You know, if you’re familiar with my music, when you look in the mirror … I’m sure you’ve changed, too.” Then she sang “U Got the Look.” Another Sheena-ism: “Some of you might be saying to yourselves, ‘So that’s Sheila E, eh? I thought she played the bongos.’”

Highlights: A fine rendition of “We’ve Got Tonight” with Philip Ingram. (Back in the eighties, she performed it with the weak-voiced, barely mediocre Kenny Rogers. Her rendition with Philip was much better.) There was the classic “Strut,” which Sheena did with plenty of attitude: “Come on baby, what you takin’me for?/ Strut, pout, cut it out, all takin’ and no givin’/ Watch me baby while I walk out the door.” And my favorite Sheena hit from one of her first albums, and which she said is largely autobiographical: “Almost Over You” (“I saw an old friend of ours today/…Heard you’ve been making the rounds round here/ While I’ve been trying to make tears disappear.” Then we learn the singer is getting over her heartbreak: “…so when you come back around/ after painting the town/ you’ll see I’m almost over you.”

Joan Plowright and “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont”

Some issues ago, I said actor Ed Harris should receive an award for consistently good performances. Well, include British actress Dame Joan Plowright in that category. That she’s never less than stellar is proved by her work in Dan Ireland’s “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont” (2005). The film was adapted from British writer Elizabeth Taylor’s short story; Ruth Sacks wrote the screenplay.

The key scene occurs when co-star Rupert Friend’s character, Ludovic Meyer, an aspiring writer, asks Mrs. Palfrey what her favorite song is, and she says it’s “For All We Know.” She positive, though, he’s too young to be familiar with it. He pauses and then begins playing it on his guitar and singing. Close up of Joan’s character. She doesn’t say a word but we know precisely what she’s thinking and feeling: Her tears and expression take us back to another time in her life, a younger time. To do that, so naturally, so convincingly, is indeed the mark of a superior actress.

Author Lily Koppel at Waterford Public Library

Lily Koppel, author of “The Red Leather Diary” (HarperCollins), will appear June 2, 7-9 p.m., at the Waterford Public Library, 49 Rope Ferry Road, Waterford. Ms. Koppel, who writes for “The New York Times” and other publications, found a diary one morning, a few years ago, in a dumpster outside her apartment in New York’s Upper West Side. It was not opened since the 1930s. Written by Florence Wolfson Howitt, now in her nineties, the entries depicted life in New York City from 1929-1934. For Lily Koppel it was like discovering a time capsule – a place and time that no longer exists.

Mohegan Sun Rises Highest

photos & story
by Jessica Warzeniak

On top of the Winter Garage with the sun shining, some pyrotechnics, an awesome motorcycle, and Dan Aykryod, Mohegan Sun celebrated another Project Horizon groundbreaking on May 14. The groundbreaking ceremony started with Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, Chairman, Mohegan Tribe, blessing the area and performing the smudge ceremony.

Set to open in the fall of 2008, the 64,000 square-foot Casino of the Wind is one of the major components of Mohegan Sun’s multi-million dollar Project Horizon expansion. The cornerstone of the expansion will be a new 39-story hotel, featuring a unique House of Blues experience including 261 House of Blues-themed hotel rooms, and an exclusive, members-only House of Blues Foundation Room to be located on the upper floors of the new hotel. Other highlights of the new House of Blues experience at Mohegan Sun will include a House of Blues Music Hall, restaurant and retail outlet.

Slipping into the Blues Brothers signature black hat and sunglasses, “We’re thrilled to unveil the next phase of our evolution,” said Bruce. “The future of the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Sun shines bright, as we continue to develop as an overall entertainment destination. Our Project Horizon will further expand upon our cultural heritage and traditions to offer our customers a spectacular, one-of-a-kind experience in the Northeast.”

“It is a beautiful day in Mohegan. An exciting day,” said Bruce. “I am looking forward to the next phase of the world’s greatest casino. Not just because it is ours, but because it is. 30,000 people tell me that everyday.”

Project Horizon is also expected to inject 1,400 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs into the economy of Southeastern CT. The total number of slot machines at Mohegan Sun is projected to increase to approximately 7,600 units complemented by 385 table games.

“This is a very exciting time in the history of Mohegan Sun,” said Mitchell Etess, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mohegan Sun. “We’re thrilled to welcome House of Blues here at Mohegan Sun, an arrangement that is designed to bring together two leading entertainment destinations at one location.”
“We have worked tirelessly with the architects and designers to organically and seamlessly expand the existing facility while honoring the past culture and future generations of the Mohegan Tribe,” added Mitchell. “Over the years, we have created the premier entertainment destination in North America and continue to build unparalleled guest loyalty.”

The design of Project Horizon is a collaborative effort by several of the world’s most renowned firms, including Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, architects of Mohegan Sun’s dramatic exterior, and the Rockwell Group, in charge of creating the Mohegan-inspired design for the new gaming space, hotel lobby, retail and dining areas.

“The Source,” a concept with special meaning to the Mohegan Tribe, served as the inspiration for the designs of Project Horizon. Water, the ultimate source of life, will act as a key design feature. In the new hotel lobby, a reflecting pool will evoke the spirits of the sea, earth and sky, while thirteen springs will represent the new generations that will prosper from the Tribe’s vision. “‘The Source’ is about water, light, and the basket – the vessel for future generations.” said David Mexico, principal, Rockwell Group. “The new lobby will have liquid points of light, surrounded by shards of crystal, all encompassed in a basket.”

The new 1,500 capacity House of Blues Music Hall will feature live music from a wide variety of musical genres, while the 300-seat casual dining restaurant will offer unique regional and international cuisine and traditional southern-inspired. “I have personally been promoting concerts in CT for over 35 years bringing the biggest artists in the world to this great state,” said Jim Koplik, President, Live Nation CT. “To be able to finally promote club shows at the most respected club venue brand in the world will be hugely beneficial for both the artist community and the music fans who love coming to see live entertainment at Mohegan Sun.”

Actor and comedian, Dan Aykroyd, founder, House of Blues, arrived on his Harley Davidson. “We are here to marry the spirits of two great entities,” said Dan. “God knows in this day and age we need music, fun, and leisure more than ever.” Dan began his association with the Mohegan Sun when his wife Donna threw him a surprise fiftieth birthday party. “They were wonderful to me. We started talking and I decided to bring my brand here. It’s thrilling and an honor to work with them.”