Art Vargas bringing 'Vintage Vegas' to Rampart Casino

When "Mad Men" revived early '60s fashion swank for the second or third time in the career of Art Vargas, he would simply tell people, "I've known about this a long time, baby."

Indeed he has. "I've always remained true to what I do, knowing it was great and classic," says the sharp-dressed crooner, who swings his "Vintage Vegas Live" show at the Rampart Casino today through Sunday. "I'm such a big fan of the whole golden era of Vegas."

Vargas grew up in Detroit and moved to Las Vegas in 1987 to play Bobby Darin in "Legends in Concert," and he still remains in the show's rotation. But even as a kid, "I was always dancing and singing. I always felt like an old soul."

His record-collecting interests expanded as he grew up, "but instead of going forward it was going backwards," he says. "I was into the music of the '60s and the '50s and the '40s. ... I could relate to it; I understood it. Feeling some sort of connection to it I just don't understand."

The Vargas stage persona is that of a hepped-up, retro lounge cat, but it stops short of spoofery. "It's a sincere, heart-and-soul performance when it comes down to the song," he says. "There's a lot of old-school ethics that just seem innate in me."

Since Vargas has guested in recent shows by fellow vintage aficionado Laura Shaffer, she is planning to return the favor this weekend.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ or 702-383-0288.