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Elvis, Sinatra, showgirls lead ‘Legends’ to new Las Vegas Strip home

Updated February 9, 2019 - 2:21 pm

It’s comparatively easy to close shows in Las Vegas. We do it all the time. But shutting down the icon that is the Las Vegas Showgirl is an entirely different matter.

The Showgirl (uppercase treatment intended) is onstage again in a legendary Strip showroom, boosting “Legends In Concert” at Legends In Concert Theater. That famed showroom, formerly known as Tiffany Theater (and for a time, Tropicana Theater) was home to “Folies Bergere” for 49 years before closing in 2009.

On a chilly Thursday afternoon,”Legends” unveiled the cast that will re-open the show Monday night for previews at the Trop. The four acts that will open the show, Frank Sinatra (Brian Duprey); Elvis (Cody Slaughter); Whitney Houston (Jazmine Katrina); and Lady Gaga (Tierney Allen) all performed on a stage near the hotel’s main entrance.

An octet of dancers donning showgirl costumes built specifically for the show also joined the celebration, highlighted by a ribbon-cutting by Tropicana executive Aaron Rosenthal and Legends producer Brian Bigner. The showgirls are to be featured throughout the show, and also in an opening scene to debut in about a month.

The longest-running Strip show still in production, “Legends” is moving to the Trop after a five-year run at Flamingo Las Vegas. The show opened at Imperial Palace (now Linq Hotel) in 1983, then moved to Harrah’s in 2009. The show has famously invoked such legendary performers as Aretha Franklin, Cher, Celine Dion, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi and Sting. Those rotating into the new Tropicana production include Diana Ross, Madonna, Prince, Steven Tyler, Garth Brooks and George Michael.

As Rosenthal said in a statement before the event, “This iconic show has entertained more than 35 million fans around the globe, and its remarkable history on The Strip makes for the perfect partnership.” As they say, cue the Showgirls.

Ellis to be honored

The Ellis family behind Ellis Island Brewery & Casino on Koval Lane is to be honored May 10 at the annual JDRF Hope Gala at Mandalay Bay. Gary, Cindy, Christina, Anamarie and Michaela Ellis were recognized at a kickoff event Wednesday night at MB Steak at Hard Rock Hotel.

The 301-room hotel and casino, which opened in April 1968, was the site of a barn-burning night of karaoke on Oct. 17, 2017, when $100,000 was raised for Las Vegas Victims Fund for victims of the Oct. 1 mass shooting on the Strip.

By the time the gala is held, Ellis Island’s Front Yard should be open to the public. The family is planning for an April soft opening of the two-story, entertainment-dining venue.

That’s Amore

A statue of Dean Martin is being unveiled at noon Monday at the clubhouse of Las Vegas Country Club. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and former mayor Oscar Goodman will both be on hand. Martin played the course regularly beginning in the 1960s, and the Goodmans were neighbors and friends of Martin dating to the days when the club was known as Las Vegas International Golf and Tennis Club.

The Martin family, including his daughter Deana, who frequently headlines in town, has endorsed the decision to honor Dino.

Las Vegas Country Club is a legendary neighborhood, founded in 1967 by then-Boston Celtics owner Marvin Kratter. Members took over in 1970, when legendary Vegas figures Merv Adelson, Moe Dalitz, Irwin Molasky and Allard Roen led a group of 36 in a purchase of the club.

LVCC was purchsed on Jan. 1, 2018 by Samick Music Corporation. That transaction marked the first time in nearly 50 years it was not owned expressly by its members. The statue is the centerpiece — metaphorically and in fact — of a multimillion-dollar upgrade to the property.

As former Samick exec and current LVCC President Baik Lee says, ““One of the main reasons we purchased The Las Vegas Country Club was because of our deep appreciation of the amazing club history, but we also wanted to immediately invest significantly in a modernization and renovation plan to ensure the club retains its status as the most important private country club in Las Vegas history.”


Marie Osmond is adding “The Flower Song” to the Donny & Marie show at Flamingo Las Vegas in a few weeks. She’ll be dueting with herself on the showroom’s video screen. Marie has been working on this number for months … Blair Farrington’s role with producer Tegan Summer extends beyond the “Marilyn.” musical. Summer is working with the highly regarded, veteran Vegas producer and director on his other long-term projects — including his musical centered on Bettie Page that is auditioning its cast in L.A. through Michael Donovan Casting agency … Andrew Dice Clay returns to the Laugh Factory at the Tropicana with headlining sets at 10 p.m. March 15-17. His appearances are the highlight of the room’s seventh-anniversary weekend … Feeling confirmation of the Elvis-inspired musical “Heartbreak Hotel” moving into at Harrah’s Showroom will arrive by the end of the month … Check for coverage of this only-in-Vegas event, as Veteran stand-up Rob Sherwood and comedy-club manager Cyndi Nelson exchange vows Saturday at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club. Fittingly, Garrett is performing the service himself (he’s been ordained, I believe, by the Church of the Poison Mind). Sherwood has headlined the club, and currently opens for Carrot Top at Luxor; Nelson manages Garrett’s club … Paying a visit, soon, to rehearsals for “Ester Goldberg’s Outrageous Brunch.” I’ve already pumped this show, which opens at The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas on Feb. 23, and one reason why is column fave John Di Domenico is performing multiple roles (Donald Trump, Austin Powers, Dr. Evil in the mix). I’d pay (or, not) to watch Di Domenico read the phone book as, say, Dr. Phil.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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