Nothing promotes a live Las Vegas show like TV exposure. So Nathan Morris of Boyz II Men will be watching “The Bachelorette” for the very first time this week, because he is on it.
Sunday’s installment of ABC’s dating contest finds Boyz II Men aiding two guys who hope to sing their way into bachelorette Andi Dorfman’s good graces. In return, the Boyz are promised national exposure for two new songs. “Diamond Eyes” and “Better Half” will upload to digital music sellers to take advantage of the anticipated interest.
“We thought it’d be a great launching point. The audience definitely makes sense for Boyz II Men,” explains Morris, one-third of the vocal trio. “Several million female viewers” match right up to the Boyz II Men demographic of “85 to 90 percent females. It just kind of makes sense.”
If no one sends them a screener copy, The Boyz will have to set their DVRs, because they will be onstage at The Mirage when it airs at 8 p.m. Sunday. Morris says the trio had to plant its feet when it came to the new songs and resist friendly requests to sing an oldie such as “On Bended Knee.”
“They pushed it, we pushed back,” he says. “Sometimes you gotta try to find a happy medium. Giving them what they asked for, but you also have to accommodate the artist’s agenda as well. We’ve been doing this for 22 years. … You can’t sing 22-year-old songs to promote a new album.”
The rest of the vocal trio’s new album “Collide” will come out Sept. 30. Morris says he and singing partners Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris break out of the R&B ballad formula to embrace different genres. “After a while if you just keep doing the same thing over and over again, as an artist it gets kind of boring.”
The new songs also mark the debut of the Boyz as instrumentalists. That’s right, this former “boy band” is now an actual band, with Nathan on bass, Wanya on drums and Stockman on guitar. “We’re enjoying the (learning) process,” he says. “It gives us as artists something else to tackle, other than just singing like we normally do,” Nathan says. …
So, this TV thing is great exposure. And so many channels! Sunday also brings the really-truly-honest air date for the oft-rescheduled “Men of the Strip.” What E! bills as a “docusoap” about the making of a male revue was postponed, probably to its benefit, from Memorial Day Monday and expanded by 30 minutes to a full two hours.
“Men” has so far existed as a live touring show helmed by 98 Degrees singer and Las Vegas resident Jeff Timmons. The search for a Las Vegas show venue is part of the TV pilot’s storyline, which ends with a March showcase at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay.
Timmons says he is confident about getting picked up as an ongoing series and finding a permanent home on the Strip. But in the meantime, there’s no reason to waste any TV fame: The troupe will hit the road again, touring casinos in the United States and Canada. …
More TV? On Saturday, PBS viewers in Sacramento, Calif., get the first 30-minute look at “Frankie Moreno in Concert,” which the singer says is a test run to be tweaked before the special is offered to other PBS stations around the country. (While commercial networks air identical programming across the country, PBS affiliates book their own schedules from a “menu.”)
The PBS station’s Web schedule bills the show with the scintillating descriptive “Singer Frankie Moreno performs.” But wider PBS exposure has helped other Las Vegas acts such as Human Nature and Clint Holmes.
TV exposure on “Dancing with the Stars” was a huge boost to Moreno’s Stratosphere ticket sales and a self-released album. It also helped him reconfigure the live show to make it more of one piece in the retro-rock vein.
“It’s a whole different vibe,” he says of the new showcase, which returns from a break on Wednesday and celebrates 500 shows at the Stratosphere June 12. “It’s still retro, but it’s not so Sinatra retro, it’s more Elvis retro. A little more edgy.” …
New TV product is being created this week in Los Angeles, where Las Vegas-based magicians Murray (Sawchuck) and Jan Rouven are part of the action on “Wizard Wars,” a sort of “Chopped” for magicians. Las Vegas magician and writer Rick Lax is behind the Syfy cable project that began as a low-fi YouTube pilot. …
Attention bargain hunters. Saturday’s performance of “Divas Las Vegas” at The Quad sells tickets as usual, but will offer extra excitement for celebrating 25,000 shows by star Frank Marino. He also promises a super-duper show; most nights rotate drag acts to give everyone a night or two off, but on Saturday the entire roster will perform. …
Venerable local-TV personality Tony Sacca has a busy single-day book tour on Saturday, promoting his new memoir, “Tony Sacca, Las Vegas Ambassador of Entertainment.” He will be at the Henderson Barnes &Noble, 567 N. Stephanie St., from 2 to 4 p.m. Then he heads to the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara Ave., where he will sing and share stories from the book starting at 6 p.m.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0288.