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Jay White

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By Esther Lynn

If you can't wait until Neil Diamond's next Las Vegas appearance, aren't willing to travel to other parts of the world to see him in concert, or you just don't have the discretionary income to do either, the answer for fans of the "Solitary Man" just might be vocal impersonator Jay White.

Termed his "favorite" of the tribute artists by Diamond himself, Jay White is much more than a rhinestone. It's very obvious that he is not only a fan and admirer of the performer, he has done his homework. The voice, the wardrobe, the hair, the movements are all the real Neil deal.

Jay White has been performing as Neil Diamond for 20 years, including nine years in "Legends In Concert" where he was the first cast member to portray a living legend. Additionally, he has been featured on the Tonight Show and Entertainment Tonight, worked with Bob Hope, Rodney Dangerfield and Kenny Rogers, and has been applauded for his work by thousands, among them Leeza Gibbons, Shirley Eder, Jay Leno, President and Nancy Reagan, and even Neil's mother, Rose. White has had the opportunity to meet Neil Diamond and is extremely honored to be included on the real Diamond"s new DVD multi-disc Stages box-set.

Now in his third year at the Riviera, White succeeds in creating a gem of an experience for audience members. The lines outside the LeBistro Theatre, including many repeat customers, confirm that. Diamond fans come in all ages, although most of them were probably around in the 1960s at the beginning of the singer/songwriter's career.

Videos show some highlights from those early years prior to Jay White"s stage entrance. Led by Brian Tidwell, five talented musicians accompany White and fill the intimate theater with Diamond favorites from 1966"s hit, "Cherry, Cherry," to "America," from the 1981 film, "The Jazz Singer." During the approximately one-hour show, White accurately interprets "Kentucky Woman," "Brother Love"s Traveling Salvation Show," "Holly Holy," "Cracklin" Rosie," "I Am"I Said," "You Don"t Bring Me Flowers," "Forever in Blue Jeans," "September Morn" and "Hello Again." White even manages to get audience members involved in singing along to "Sweet Caroline" and "Song Sung Blue," and includes "You Are My Sunshine" and "I'm a Believer," a tune written by Diamond that became a 1966 hit for The Monkees, in his set.

See Jay White in America's Neil Diamond Tribute, Sundays through Thursdays, 7 p.m., in the Le Bistro Theatre at the Riviera, 2901 Las Vegas Blvd. So. Reservations are suggested. 794-9433.

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