Entertainers perform onstage at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, N.J. on June 28, 2018. Atlantic City's casinos are slowly resuming live entertainment, bringing back a staple of the casino experience as they comply with government-mandated restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City's casinos are slowly resuming live entertainment, bringing back a staple of the casino experience as they comply with government-mandated restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The A-list stars that filled arenas and ballrooms are still nowhere to be found. Instead, the casinos are offering smaller shows with lesser-known acts in rooms that can comply with occupancy and social distancing limits.

Hard Rock on Tuesday announced a series of Motown-themed Christmas shows from Dec. 11-30, saying its customers are getting antsy with months of coronavirus restrictions.

“Public demand is looking for activities, especially with outdoor temperatures keeping everyone inside,” said Hard Rock president Joe Lupo. “The large showrooms, with better air circulation and spacious seating, and less than 10% of normal (occupancy) can provide that safe and fun night out.”

Tickets will be sold as individual tables of two and four seats to ensure social distancing.

Harrah's offered a series of outdoor concerts over the summer featuring rock and country cover bands that were limited to 500 people, including staff members.

Caesars has live music and bands every Friday and Saturday at its Wild, Wild West area, and Resorts has live entertainment those same nights at its Bar One. Tropicana offers daily comedy performances at its Kiss Kiss nightclub.

Atlantic City's nine casinos are operating at no more than 25% of capacity under virus restrictions imposed by Gov. Phil Murphy. And they have to stop serving food and drinks at 10 p.m.

Many top headliners who were scheduled to play at the casinos this spring and summer either had their shows canceled or postponed for a year or more.

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SILENT NIGHT

A Jersey Shore town is silencing Christmas carols at its tree lighting ceremony this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mantoloking is having its ceremony Dec. 6, but has decided to prohibit singing this year.

“We will not be able to sing Christmas carols, I am sorry to say,” Mayor Lance White wrote in a recent email to residents. “As we know, singing is one of the factors that can increase the likelihood of spreading the disease.”

It is typical of group restrictions on holiday singing being adopted in many places around the world this year, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discourages singing as a means to avoid spreading virus particles.

Music will be played over an outdoor speaker at the tree lighting ceremony, and masks and social distancing will be required.

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Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC