‘America’s Got Talent” fills a niche left empty for years by “The Ed Sullivan Show.” At one time, a gig on Sullivan virtually assured contracts with casinos in Reno and Vegas. “America’s Got Talent” gives its eventual winner a Vegas date, of course, but it also presents a broad spectrum of entertainers who parlay their appearances into live performances, frequently under the AGT banner.
On Sunday, Nov. 22, “America’s Got Talent Live” plays Reno’s Grand Sierra, bringing not only highlights from the recent season but from all 10 seasons of the popular summer show. In addition, the winner of the first season, ventriloquist Terry Fator, plays Reno’s Silver Legacy on Friday, Nov. 20.
In the announced lineup for “America’s Got Talent Live”:
▪ Singer Emily West powered her voice and personality to second place (behind magician Mat Franco) in the ninth season. When she hit the show she was no novice at television, having won on “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader” in 2009 and being the target of a “music makeover” by Cyndi Lauper’s team on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2010. Since AGT she’s been recording; she released a single, “Bitter,” this past April.
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▪ Comedian Taylor Williamson finished second in the eighth season of the show, behind Kenichi Ibina. Williamson created huge word of mouth, pleasing Howie Mandel and Howard Stern in particular and being named Heidi Klum’s favorite act of them all on the 10th anniversary of the show.
▪ Brothers Kristofer and Stefan form the KriStef Brothers, a hand-to-hand and head-to-head acrobatic team with a wicked sense of humor. They made the Top 12 on Season 8.
▪ And expect lots of noise and lights when Recycled Percussion takes the stage. They took third place in Season 7 and have since started a long-term engagement at the MGM in Las Vegas. (8 p.m.; $32.11-$46.28; grandsierraresort.com)
As for Fator, he remains the most recognizable of all the AGT talents of the last decade. He continues his long run at Vegas’ Mirage and occasionally pops up elsewhere on the circuit as he does Friday, Nov. 20, bringing along Winston the Impersonating Turtle, Emma Taylor, and the one puppet that demonstrates his amused grasp of casino entertainment history, the lounge lizard Monty Carlo. (8 p.m.; $69.50-$79.50; silverlegacy.com)
Also Friday, Nov. 20, the Grand Sierra is hosting Melissa Etheridge in her “This Is M.E. Tour” named for her new album. She will be certainly promoting that effort as well as revisiting hits like “Come to My Window” and “I Want to Come Over.” (9 p.m.; $22.94-$36.70)
Al B Sure brings some new swing to Cache Creek on Saturday, Nov. 21, with “Nite and Day,” “Off on Your Own (Girl),” and “Misunderstanding,” among other nostalgia trips. (8 p.m.; $25-$45; cachecreek.com)