Frederic Apcar, producer of the long-running “Casino de Paris” and ground-breaking “Vive Les Girls” at the Dunes, died Saturday in Las Vegas. He was 93.
The Paris-born producer first made his mark on the Strip in late 1961 with “Vive Les Girls,” a lounge-sized revue that boasted a cast of 30. Production values competed with the large French-style revues but in a more intimate setting with more daring choreography and performances as late as 3 a.m.
“Vive” continued into the 1970s, and elements of its formula echo in today’s topless cabaret shows.
The success of “Viva” gave Dunes management the confidence to invest $2 million in a main-room production. “Casino de Paris” opened Dec. 27, 1963, with a 100-member cast and singer Line Renaud, who had starred in the original French production of the same name.
The show ran until 1982. Apcar also produced “Bare Touch of Vegas” at the Stardust and Marina hotels, and he continued to produce shows in Reno and Tahoe until 1992. Some elements of his business are continued by his son, Frederick Apcar Jr.
Las Vegas success came on top of an already colorful career for Frederic Stephen Apcar, who was born in Paris on Sept. 16, 1914. He studied all forms of dance as a young teen, and became a chorus boy for “Folies Bergere” at 16.
He formed an adagio act, Florence and Frederic, which played the “Lido de Paris” in France for three years after World War II.
In 1955, the adagio act expanded to the 14-member Florence and Frederic Ballet, which appeared on Ed Sullivan’s variety show before joining the first U.S. edition of “Folies Bergere” at the Tropicana in 1959.
Apcar is survived by his wife Olga, daughter Elisabeth and son Frederic Jr., all of Las Vegas.
Services are 3 p.m. Sunday at Palm Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Ave. A viewing will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Nevada Ballet Theatre or Keep Memory Alive/Lou Ruvo Brain Institute.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at email@example.com or 702-383-0288.