Continuing on my quest to catch all the free show tickets for locals, I decided to cash in on the offer for Frank Marino's Divas. This is a drag show that is playing in the auditorium at the Imperial Palace. This theatre houses all of Imperial Palace's shows including Human Nature and the audience-participation game show Name That Tune, all of which I plan to see soon. One feature of this theatre is it still has the classic Las Vegas showroom atmosphere of having seating at tables and booths where waiter drink service is provided. The markup on the wine is very reasonable, although most people seemed to be ordering bottled beer.
Frank Marino has been performing in Las Vegas for over twenty-five years. He boasts about being the only performer in Las Vegas who has two stars on the Walk of Fame, as well as having a street named after him and having his own day, February first, declared in his honor by the mayor of Las Vegas in 2005. Tickets for this show range from about forty to eighty dollars, but discounts can always be found so never pay full price. Frank opens the show in drag, dressed as Joan Rivers, delivering a hilarious monologue where he makes fun of many celebrities, himself and his career. The show consists of approximately fifteen songs performed by about seven different drag queens, sometimes backed by very handsome male dancers.
A drag performance consists of a male dressing up as the intended celebrity and lip-syncing a song. The outfits are elegant as are the hair and makeup. It is amazing how similar the men can make themselves resemble the intended performers. Drag shows are often associated with the gay scene, however this show is definitely targeted to providing entertainment for any Las Vegas tourist.
The musical numbers performed in the show are a mix of classic artists such as Cher, Whitney Houston, and Bette Midler as well as more contemporary artists such as Lady GaGa and Britney Spears. It was no surprise Cher was portrayed, as she is likely the most impersonated celebrity in a drag show. The drag queen performed Turn Back Time in the full revealing outfit as seen in the music video, leaving the audience to wonder, "Where did he put it?"
One part of the show that seemed to grow repetitive was the format. Frank would introduce a number, the number would be performed, and then Frank would introduce the next number in a new outfit after delivering a small joke. Perhaps a dance number could be performed or a different interlude could occur between some of the numbers.
The Divas show is an excellent alternative to the larger Las Vegas shows such as the Cirque or high profile artists performing across the street at Caesars. Why pay big bucks to see Celine when one can see her at the Divas show for a fraction of the cost? The show was practically sold out and the audience seemed to love it. For an entertaining evening of female impersonators performing top hits, Divas is an excellent choice.
FRANK MARINO'S DIVAS LAS VEGAS
Sat.-Thur., 10:00 PM
$49.90 (reserved), $75.90 (general admission), $86.90 (VIP), including tax.