Smash Hit

All of the songs you love to sing along to, paired with dancing, aerialists and plenty of crowd interaction — that’s The HITS. This new show coming to the Riverside Resort promises an experience that Laughlin has not seen before.

Producers John Torres and Sonia Miller have vast experience in the entertainment industry and have used their joint knowledge to create this one-of-a-kind show, originally for Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas.

“We had this concept — it was an extreme live show that we had developed for Caesars Entertainment and we were running on the strip for a couple of years before COVID,” Torres said. “So this will be kind of a stage adaptation of what we were doing for Caesars. We’ve had an entertainment company in Vegas since the late ‘90s up until now, doing boutique production shows, and the concept for this show was the integration of media and music and aerial acts and to make that accessible to our audience.”

This will not be a tribute to any single artist, but rather a showcase of chart-topping songs from the ‘70s through today.

“This is not what you would normally call a tribute show,” Miller said. “It has 50 songs covered within the span of the show and I think Bruno Mars is the only artist who has two songs in the show. Most of the songs are by single artists and it’s their top hit. It is one song after another, and many are actually medleys because they are well known songs that people can sing along to. Our main purpose is to get the audience involved and make it a fun show. It is extremely high energy. We have some of the girls on lyras who are singing while upside down and spinning on the lyra. So it is nothing like a tribute to a single act.”

All of the industry’s heavy hitters will be represented from Madonna to Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Gladys Knight, Pink Floyd and many more.

“There are five lead vocalists that switch off throughout the course of the night, as well as some of the band members who will sing some lead vocals,” Torres explained. “It’s more of a tribute to the greatest music of all time, not relegated to any one genre. We play country, classic rock, pop, dance — everything that you can imagine will be represented in this show. We combed through the Billboard charts to see what songs have been the most successful as far as chart standings, as well as just from experience, which songs seem to light up and connect to the audience the most.””

Torres will play drums in the show and Miller will run the multimedia backstage.

“My background is I have had a video production company in Las Vegas since 2000 and I used to do all of the media and marketing for large hotels, Harley Davidson, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and Las Vegas Visitors Authority,” Miller said. “So there’s a lot of media in the show. We have everything on the screens from original music videos to lyrics to some of the songs on the sing-along portion. I’ll be running the media from the back and operating cameras. We even have a party cam that we use to put the audience on the screen.”

While aerialists spin on the lyra apparatus, performers will walk on stilts and cruise through the aisles of Don’s Celebrity Theatre and the audience becomes part of the show.

“We do have one part in the show where at least one audience participant will come up on stage. We try to make them a part of the show, not just play at them,” Miller said.

“We wanted to do something that was more immersive to get the audience involved,” Torres added. “We bring them onstage and the cast spends a lot of time in the audience throughout the show. They are going to take out the first three rows on the floor so they can extend the dancefloor and the stage so we can utilize that part of the floor. This is one of the first shows that the Riverside is encouraging people to get up and dance and participate. It’s open for anyone who wants to join in and participate at any time.”

Laughlin guests will have five chances to catch the show at the Riverside, playing Sept. 14-18.

“It will certainly be an experience for Laughlin, unlike they are used to,” Torres said. “It is immersive, high-energy and visually stimulating. I think people will connect with the music as every song is so familiar.”

“This is truly a ‘come out and have fun’ show,” Miller added. “It is for the audience to come up and have the time of their life.”