During the summer of 1955, Noel Coward, that doyen of English style, made a splash in Las Vegas, that flashiest of resort towns. Coward's one-month engagement at Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn sparked a mass exodus from Hollywood to his standing-room-only performances, by celebrities ranging from Humphrey Bogart to Frank Sinatra. Columbia head Goddard Lieberson soon headed to Nevada as well (with recording equipment in tow), and Coward, while fighting a touch of flu in the 116-degree heat, delivered one of his finest performances in front of the microphones. What amazes about Coward's show is his ability to convey with no detectable effort all of the nimble diction and convivial grace necessary to perform these intricate songs in a live setting -- not a syllable out of place, not a line delivered but with ease and precision. And contrary to assumption, Coward did in fact share much with his audience; he leaves his audience absolutely cackling in glee at the English stuffed shirts who populate his comic pieces "Uncle Harry," "A Bar on the Piccola Marina" (written quite recently), and, of course, his classic "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." A vocal masterpiece, Noel Coward at Las Vegas is without doubt the master's finest appearance on record.
AllMusic Review by John Bush