‘La Cage’ closing, but might reopen after break, producer says

Frank Marino, "An Evening at La Cage"The venerable drag show "An Evening at La Cage" abruptly ended its 23-year run Monday, though the revue still might have two possible futures under different scenarios.

Producer Norbert Aleman said he characterizes the closing as "a break." He said he has made a deal with reality-TV producers for a backstage-drama series and hopes to reopen the live show when the cameras are ready to roll, perhaps in May.

"The writing is on the wall," Aleman said Tuesday. "It’s better if we take a break right now and see what’s up with the economy, rather than see my numbers go down and have to perform for under 100 people."

If he sells the reality series, Aleman said he will ask the Riviera if he can reopen. However, he said he understands, "I cannot ask the Riviera to not rent the room if somebody (else) is going to come along," and he would then look for another venue.

Pictured here in character as Joan Rivers, Frank Marino, the host comedian of "La Cage" from its earliest days, said he wants to step up as producer. "It’s about time I try to do my own thing," he said Tuesday. "I’m going to sit down with the Riviera hotel and see if we can work something out."

He said he would retain the same format and many of the same celebrity impersonators. "Hopefully I will be able to get these kids work again," he said.

But Marino said if he remains at the Riviera, the show would be his under a different title and Aleman would not be able to come back and reclaim the room. However, he said the two could iron out an arrangement to combine forces, such as "taking the winner of his (reality) show into my show as part of the reality show."

The producer told the cast in person after Monday’s show and took them to dinner at a Riviera restaurant. Aleman was vague about the timing of his decision, but said the long-term picture was pessimistic enough that the upcoming three-day weekend was not enough of a factor to delay it. Aleman said there have been 80 more layoffs at the Riviera in the past two days, and that room occupancy at the hotel has tumbled.

"We sincerely regret the decision to close La Cage, but fully understand the economic pressures forcing the situation," Riviera president Robert Vannucci said in a statement. "We wish the producer and the cast well and hope in the near future that conditions will change and encourage reinvesting into the show and its reopening. In the meantime, we are in negotiation with several different show producers and hope to announce a new Riviera show very soon."

Aleman said he will keep his other show, "Crazy Girls," at the Riviera. The show reopens today after sitting out January. It has a cast and crew of eight people, compared to 18 in "La Cage."

"Right now I’m in shock," Marino said Tuesday as he cleared out his dressing room. "I’ve never had another job in my entire life. I know nothing else." The show opened in September 1985, with Marino hosting all but the first few weeks in the guise of Joan Rivers. Other veteran cast members include Chris Woods as Diana Ross, Steven Wayne as Cher, and Jimmy Emerson doing a campy burlesque routine.

"I feel right now like the kid who’s got to go off to college," he added. "He knows all about staying home, but he wants to be set free and he has his own way of thinking about how he wants to live, and I feel like a bird being nudged out of the nest to say, ‘Go ahead and fly.’ "

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

Spring Preserve kicks off its Holiday Express
Springs Preserve hosts its Holiday Express, which includes a train ride, visits with Santa, SNOW, and a village winter wonderland.
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like