Salute to the States

Veterans Day is the perfect time to celebrate America, as we honor those who have fought for our country and freedoms. This land of opportunity receives some recognition, alongside the people who make it great, in a new show coming to Laughlin called America the Beautiful.

Show creator and producer Nick Davies was born in England, but moved to America as a child and has a great appreciation for this country. With his talent for creating musical tributes, Davies decided to share that pride with his fellow Americans through a celebratory production.

“It’s a show that has been in the works for a long time,” Davies said. “We knew we wanted to make this a big one because we wanted to give the right salute to the states. I moved from England over to America when I was 6 years old. My parents moved me over to Arizona with them back in 2000 and from then I’ve just seen my parents flourish in the music industry, which is a hard industry. You move to the states and you just see the opportunity that the states give you. That is something I’ve taken with me through all the years I’ve lived here, so I’ve always wanted to write a show that paid tribute to America and the opportunities it gives.

“Then you look at the music that came out of here, you have Eagles and Johnny Cash and Simon and Garfunkel and all these incredible artists. It just felt right to put them all into one show and make it a big thing.”

Davies’ parents were show creators, and he got into the act when he was just 14 as a performer. He produces and has starred in the December ’63 show, which makes an annual appearance in Laughlin as well.

“The first one I started performing in when I was 14 years old — I was in the back playing assorted percussion instruments — was a show called ABBAfab, a tribute to ABBA,” he said. “I’m actually still in that show, with my wife now in it. But after that came the Billy Joel and Elton John show, then came Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and then I started doing a Buble show and a Carpenters show and the ball just kept rolling.”

Davies’ role performing in the shows has lessened as he has taken over the bulk of the production work from his father. However, he does still take the stage when he gets the chance.

“My dad and I used to co-write the shows, but nowadays he has kind of passed the baton on to me. I’m usually writing the shows that you see on stage rather than performing in them these days,” he said. “Both of my parents created the ABBA tribute originally 14 years ago and my dad and I both created Piano Men, the Billy Joel and Elton John show, and December ‘63. We’ve made a bunch of other shows as well. My dad and my wife are both actually in the Piano Men show. He takes most of the Elton stuff and I take most of the Billy stuff and my wife Julia is behind us on backing vocals. It’s a really cool family ordeal.”

Davies has taken some time to perfect this new tribute show, which his troupe just started performing a few months ago. While his other shows have been staples on Casino Drive, America the Beautiful will debut in Laughlin at Don’s Celebrity Theatre within the Riverside Resort Nov. 9-13.

“We always look forward to coming back to Laughlin,” Davies said. “It’s one of the only places we can wake up in the morning, go grab an awesome meal, then go laser tagging and then do a show. It’s awesome. We’re really glad we’ve had the opportunity to play that beautiful room so many times and I’ve been wanting to bring this show there. We’re looking forward to seeing the crew, the theater and the audience once again. It’s always a pleasure.”

Crowds in Laughlin are sure to take a liking to this new production, as it showcases so many classic American artists.

“The show is basically a celebration of the musicians and bands that came out of America, and a celebration of America itself. It’s basically a story of America told through music,” Davies said. “There are six people on stage total — four incredible musicians in the band and two people up front who are the lead singers. Some of the band takes lead vocals sometimes as well. It’s packed with so many artists like Bruce Springsteen, Lee Greenwood, Garth Brooks, John Denver, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton — there’s so many songs, so it’s really packed full of great music.”