Barry Manilow at Paris Las Vegas

The hit singer’s incredibly entertaining show is an up-close look at his life and work.

Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow

His records have sold over 80 million worldwide, and not only does he writes the songs, he writes the songs the whole world sings. Now, after a five-year stint at the Las Vegas Hilton, Barry Manilow has arrived at the Paris for a two-year run of a brand new show. And fans can rejoice: Manilow can still work his magic! Indeed, Manilow’s voice is still in top form, and more importantly, his showmanship during the almost 90-minute performance is downright infectious.

Directed by film and stage veteran Jeffrey Hornaday, Manilow’s show takes full advantage of the Paris Théâtre’s intimate setting, and the resulting experience allows an up-close and personal look at the singer/songwriter and his songs.
After starting the show with “Could it Be Magic,” literally asking the audience to “come into his arms,” Manilow throws a few more 1970s hits at the crowd. And when “Can’t Smile Without You” kicks in, so does Barry the born showman, effortlessly convincing the audience to clap along with him.

Manilow also takes a sentimental turn, telling the audience of his grandfather’s early support of his musical ambitions. A scratchy “record your own voice” recording of a young Barry singing “Nature Boy” plays, before Barry jumps in and finishes the song. Grateful to his grandfather for everything, Barry dedicates “This One’s For You” to him.

The show soon goes from melancholy to raucous, with the show-stopping “New York City Rhythm,” a concert highlight. Manilow really goes wild in this one, incorporating an unforgettable “dueling pianos” number that eventually lets all his pianists “tag team” the ivories.

Embracing the Paris theme of his new Las Vegas residence, Manilow discusses his trip to The City of Light, beaming about the culture and the romance of Paris, before belting out a few numbers from his latest album, The Greatest Love Songs of All Time.

Manilow’s tribute to American Bandstand is another high-energy piece, complete with vintage footage of the dance show, and a performance of “Bandstand Boogie.” This fun medley of 1960s dance songs and the dances themselves — yes, this is your one chance to see Barry Manilow dancing The Batusi — personifies how much fun Manilow is having onstage.

The final three numbers, however, could be the highlight of the concert. Without giving too much away, fans of “Mandy” will truly appreciate his rendition of the classic. Following that, “I Write the Songs” could get even the most hardened cynic up on his feet, cheering and begging for more. And the finale, fittingly, is the extremely entertaining “Copacabana.” Once again, it looks like he’s made it to the
apex of live performance.