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Nightlife in A.C. continues to grow, provide escape

Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2016 7:30 am

SARA TRACEY, Staff Writer
When Bill Strange entered the stand-up comedy world just about a year ago, he had higher expectations. He’s a bit disappointed.
He says he thought there’d be mountains of cocaine, lots of girls, and buzzing around the city until 4 a.m., a la Quentin Tarentino’s “Pulp Fiction.”
Joking aside, the 25-year-old Ocean City resident and his friend Tim Chivalette, 22, of Galloway Township, have found their own niche in nightlife in Atlantic City. Both are budding comics at Butch Bradley’s Comedy Hideaway on New York Avenue. They ventured out to the Tropicana Resort Casino Thursday night to support their boss, Bradley, as he hosted the AC Weekly Nightlife Awards.
The 20-somethings only perform once in a blue moon — Chivalette said they’re sort of underlings, getting to know the business — but they’ve learned that Atlantic City has more to offer in terms of nightlife than some may know.
“There can never be enough people to come to the club,” he said. “You know how there’s this push to eat local? You should stay local for your entertainment. Don’t go to Philly. We’ve got a lot going on here.”
Thursday’s award show highlighted the cream of the crop of Atlantic City and Atlantic County in performance, music, food and drink, and general ambiance. Those in the industry say nightlife has changed throughout the decades, but it remains an important part of the city, especially as officials push for more non-gaming entertainment.
Nightlife and the local entertainment scene have evolved since Dave Pena started visiting Atlantic City, accompanied by his parents, in the 1980s.
Then, lounges, cabarets and live theater sprawled. Think the since-shuttered La Cage at Bally’s. When he was in his 20s, Pena said, casinos started booking more mainstream, big concert acts to fill their entertainment halls. The 2000s heralded smaller clubs, highlighting deejays and dance music.
Pena is deeply involved with the nightlife scene in the city. He started karaoke club Planet Rose in Tropicana in 2004, closely followed by the throwback dance club Boogie Nights.
He said the trend has closely followed what customers demanded, which could be seen in larger metropolitan areas like Las Vegas, with a mix of large casino venues and smaller, independent spots.

Read the full story on the ACPress website

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