Heavy rain from thunderstorms outside couldn’t dampen the fun indoors during Vegas Nights at Riverside Theatre last Friday evening, where some of the enthusiastic gamers opted to test Lady Luck at roulette and craps while others fiercely fed the clanging slot machines, hoping to win a jackpot payoff.
If the rain kept you home, Vegas Nights will continue to be held in the theater’s Orchid Lobby every Friday and Saturday during the month of July prior to each Comedy Zone and Howl at the Moon show. Authentic casino-style game tables are staffed with professional dealers from Orlando, Hollywood and Tampa, who travel throughout the southeast staging casino fundraising events and private parties.
“Vegas Nights has become a summer tradition,” said Jon Moses, Riverside’s managing director. “People love the novelty and variety of this event and the fact that they are helping children in the community find their inner star. In the past we’ve raised about $10,000 with this fundraiser. When we combine it with our annual Festival of Trees event, we are able to give in excess of $35,000 in scholarships to the Riverside Theatre for Kids’ Discount Tuition Program, allowing every child the opportunity to attend classes and camps at Riverside regardless of financial need.”
“I’m visiting a friend in Vero and we were looking for something to do on a rainy night,” said Kara Killen as patrons gathered around the crap table before she rolled the dice. “I’m not winning but I’m having fun. I was so excited playing craps for the first time that I threw the dice and they disappeared under the concession stand! Certainly, I rolled the lucky seven.”
Cheers of jubilation arose when a nearby blackjack dealer busted after a patron doubled down on his hand. Nothing was taken too seriously, however, because the stakes were relatively low, with $10 buying $20 worth of casino chips, and $20 buying $50 worth of chips.
When people were finished playing, their chips were exchanged for chances to win a variety of prizes generously donated by local merchants. A number of the prizes are given away nightly, while the larger prizes, with values over $500, will be drawn at the end of the month from all the entries.
Outside, the Live in the Loop outdoor stage featured the band Comfort Zone, playing their hearts out for the brave souls who dodged raindrops to listen. On less inclement Friday and Saturday nights, the Loop is bustling with activity as throngs of people listen and dance to the various live bands and enjoy delicious food and beverages from the Loop Grill and Bar.
The next Comedy Zones, featuring professional stand-up comedians, are scheduled July 13-14 and July 27-28. The Howl at the Moon dueling piano performances are scheduled to take place July 20-21.
For tickets and information call the Box Office at 772-231-6990 or visit www.riversidetheatre.com.
Article by: Kerry Firth, correspondent