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The King starring Trent Carlini

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Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino

Venue: Shimmer Cabaret

3000 S. Paradise Rd.

Las Vegas, NV

Show Times: 7pm

Age Restriction: 4

Show Length: 60 minutes.

Starting at $63.15

The King starring Trent Carlini

The king of tribute artists is still performing at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, where Elvis rocked decades ago, but Trent Carlini has moved from the showroom where Presley played to the smaller, intimate Shimmer Cabaret. With the transition has come a change in the style and focus of the show that has won Carlini praise as one of the best.

"The King" starring Trent Carlini is a true tribute -- not an imitation of Elvis but an homage to his life, times and work. The show focuses on Elvis' time on the silver screen. Carlini's wife Ashley Belle co-stars in the show, dancing her way through representations of the leading ladies that performed beside Presley in films.

Carlini will be loved even more for his new approach to commemorating Elvis' character and career, but the spirit with which Carlini captured audiences throughout his career and made him the sweetheart of Vegas tribute acts since 1977still soars in "The King."

The way Carlini works a room makes him a long-time Vegas favorite. Shimmer Cabaret at Westgate is 350-seat showroom. The stage is low and close to the audience and it's just big enough for Carlini and his co-star to put on an intimate show. The small crowd is just right for Carlini, who works to look every guest in the eye and make each member feel like the sole object of his serenade.

But the biggest reason Carlini has won hearts with Elvis' music for so long is the total honesty with which he performs his role. There's none of the garishness of over-eager impersonators -- no excess of hip swinging or thankyouverymuch-ing. Carlini doesn't try to be Elvis. He is himself throughout the show: A lover of Elvis' music willing to share his passion with an audience.

As the show draws to a close, Carlini calls on the audience to "stand up for Elvis Presley." He then exits the stage and from behind a white curtain, backlighting shows his silhouette. The moment is sincere -- even poignant. Your get the sense that during this brief, quiet scene, Carlini mourns a little for his idol.

"The closest I get to Elvis is when I'm singing," he said, explaining that he seeks to feel the emotion of each song as it was originally experienced. "The only way to feel that is to humanly feel the emotions [Elvis] would have felt."  

The show soars when Carlini's connection to the music and its original performer is strongest and he is at his best vocally when he sings love songs. One of the most powerful moments in the show is the end of "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You," which Carlini called "the most beautiful love song in the world."

It could just as easily be the soundtrack to Vegas' love affair with Carlini -- a relationship that will hopefully last as long as the memory of the artist who inspired him.

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