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Long-running Strip tribute show returns for anniversary

Updated May 17, 2023 - 6:51 pm

“Legends in Concert” has made it back to the stage in time for its 40th anniversary — in limited fashion.

The long-running tribute production is performing 11 shows from June 26-July 8 at Orleans Showroom. The show is again dubbed “Legendary Divas,” and runs nightly at 9 p.m., except for 7 p.m. the two Wednesdays scheduled (tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, under the “Legends In Concert” search function).

Las Vegas Strip icon Frank Marino is back as the star host in the latest “Legendary Divas” format. He is returning in his familiar Joan Rivers role. The cast in the latest “Divas” roster are Karen Hester as Dolly Parton, Jazmine as Whitney Houston, Annika Starander Weaver as Cher and Tierney Allen as Lady Gaga.

“Legends”most recently performed the all-Elvis tribute “Back In The Building” at Tropicana to close 2022. It has been seeking a resident theater since. It ran most of 2022 as “Legendary Divas,” with its first all-female cast of Adele, Cher, Lady Gaga and Celine Dion.

The longest-running production in Vegas when it closed, “Legends” continues to seek a long-term residency home, either on or off the Strip. Such a production would likely open in the fall-winter of this year, but nothing is signed. “Legends” might not return full-time until 2024.

The incoming production will join “MJ The Evolution” (June 12-July 9) and “Queens of Rock” (June 12-19) and “Love You U2 — A Tribute to U2” (June 20-June 26) in limited runs at Orleans Showroom.

All those shows, and “Legends,” are staged in an operating agreement between Boyd Gaming and Dean Coleman’s SPR & Promotions. Those entities have been working together for eight months. Coleman left Mosaic On The Strip, since destroyed for a shopping-entertainment center, on June 1 2022.

The “Legends” show is of course steeped in Vegas history. It opened at then-Imperial Palace (today’s Linq Hotel) on May 5, 1983, with an original cast of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Buddy Holly and Janis Joplin.

After a run at Imperial Palace, “Legends” moved to Harrah’s in 2009, and on to Flamingo in 2014 before settling at the Trop in February 2019 at the former Tiffany Theater. The showroom was made famous by “Folies Bergere,” and is currently presenting “MJ Live” and Jason Tenner’s “Purple Reign” Prince tribute.

“Legends” bolted from the building months before the A’s and resort owner Bally’s entered into an agreement to build a 30,000-seat baseball park on the property, throwing the long-term future of the hotel into doubt.

“Legends”has played to more than 35 million fans around the world, but its international headquarters has remained in Las Vegas during its run on the Strip.

On Dec. 31, the day of the show’s final performance at the Trop, “Legends” Chief Operating Officer Brian Brigner spoke of the show’s longevity.

“Being the longest-running show in Las Vegas is a big message,” Brigner said. “We don’t want to let go of it.”

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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