Thursday, October 19, 2017

With faith, group puts in a Good Word

Aaron Arrington’s brand of entertainment catches on with the Las Vegas faithful.

BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD

Juane and Aaron Arrington with Tamela and David Mann after Facebook Chorale Concert.

Juane and Aaron Arrington with Tamela and David Mann after Facebook Chorale Concert.

Las Vegas is sometimes called Sin City, but faith-based entertainment is a growing industry in a metropolitan area that boasts one of the nation’s highest number of churches per capita.

For several years, Aaron Arrington has been producing specialized entertainment events for families and the gospel community that include: The Ten Tenors’ Annual Holiday Show, “Church Girls Rock,” “Gospel Giggles,” “Facebook Chorale Choir” and “Midnight Boiling.”

The idea behind them all? Filling a void for those who prefer to enjoy more wholesome, family-friendly entertainment. For example, “Gospel Giggles” is stand-up comedy show with what many see as a refreshing lack of vulgarity.

“The concept for ‘Gospel Giggles’ came from my involvement in the gospel and Christian community,” said Arrington. “Many Christians in Las Vegas don’t have a lot of things to do outside of a triple-church service and other church-related events. So I knew there was a platform to produce a top-rated comedy show where the Christian community and families could attend and feel comfortable with the material. You know we love to laugh, and there are a lot of gospel comedians who haven’t been booked at properties at our Las Vegas Strip hotels. ‘Gospel Giggles’ is not a gospel show; it’s a clean comedy show. This year’s host, Michael Perry, also known as Mike P, is known as a Las Vegas comedian who does not perform clean comedy. Nonetheless, Mike P stepped out of his comfort zone and did an incredible job with his clean comedic material. He didn’t use one curse word.”

Arrington’s popular approach and high production values won the notice of hotel property owner Boyd Gaming, and he was invited to hold his events at their sites. Said Arrington: “I come from a creative background with 20 years’ experience in the career field of window dressing for major department stores. I am a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. So, creativity is in my blood. Also, being a choir director in the community gives me first-hand knowledge of what the Christian community is interested in. There was a void and nobody was tapping into the market on the entertainment level that I address.”

According to Arrington, “What is really great is that Boyd Gaming has really opened their doors to the Aaron Arrington brand, and have given me seven properties to choose from for any events that I produce. The Facebook Chorale was my first production that was such a success. I saw then that people had a need to do something different — not just anything. The Las Vegas Ten Tenors really showed me that people would pay … for great entertainment. The Las Vegas Ten Tenors’ show was picked up by the Suncoast Hotel & Casino as an annual event, which is our annual holiday show. We sell out the Suncoast’ Showroom for two shows.”

Given the enduring popularity of musical competitions, Arrington has reason to be excited about his next project: “Sing First Lady Sing,’ which he says “will feature several pastors’ wives who can really sing.” It is scheduled to be held at Sam’s Town Live on Sept. 6. Some of the women to be featured include Mary House of MountainTop Faith Ministries; Avis Chaney of Second Baptist Church; Rose Gaston of Alpha & Omega Church; Faye McDonnell of Ebenezer Church of God in Christ; Jennifer Thomas of Reconciliation Apostolic Ministries; Bessie Richard of Bread of Life Ministries of his Glory; and Sandra Harris of Bethesda Church of God in Christ.

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