Frank Marino’s "Divas Las Vegas"
Frank Marino is still fresh, fabulous, and flawless after headlining on The Strip for almost 26 years! Soon to become the longest running headliner in Vegas history (with the most costume changes and being tracked by the Guinness Book of World Records folks) Frank Marino is not only a headliner but also a producer of his own show, Frank Marino’s "Divas Las Vegas" at The Imperial Palace.
Frank Marino has made a career impersonating Joan Rivers (he was sued by Rivers at one point making international news, the lawsuit settled out of court, and both parties apparently are back to being pals).
He was also the star of "An Evening At La Cage" which appeared all over the world but was a fixture on the Las Vegas Strip for years. So what’s a boy to do when they tell you the show is closing? Start your own show! And that’s what Frank Marino has done -- and he has done it very well.
Marino is still introduced as, "Frank Marino as Joan Rivers" but watching his show it seems his old Joan shtick and the big "Can We Talk" words as a set piece are the only things that make the show feel dated. Personally, I don’t think he needs the Joan character anymore because he’s become a character in his own right (complete with a street named after him, a key to the city, and bragging rights as the only celeb with two stars on the Vegas Walk of Fame).
Marino’s delivery of his comedy is precisely in timing and he has honed his craft so well that it sounds as if he’s telling us everything for the first time. The audience (which encompasses all ages and genders, an older woman behind me was proud to tell me she’s a "regular" at the show) delighted in his every word and was dazzled by his lightning-fast costume changes (I counted a total of about 18 costume changes in a 75 minute show).
Marino’s costume changes aren’t the only thing that moves lightning fast; the show itself has a pace that has you breathless as the cast of eight female impersonators and five male dancers go through their paces. Each impersonator is truly an artist of illusion and takes on not one but two famous performers during the course of the show, Bette Midler, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Cher, Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, and Whitney Houston, to be exact.
While these are men in drag, to call these performers drag queens is far too limiting a description. You immediately accept them as women and sure, they look like the celebrities they’re impersonating, but they’re doing more than just lip syncing to the vocals. They are embodying the characters with the signature movements and even facial mannerisms of the celebrity they’re portraying.
Some performances are more comical takes than dead-on impersonation, but all entertain. Often times they are performing to live recordings of the artists which only enhances the illusion as these tracks include spoken asides in some cases from the celebrity which the Divas perform without missing a syllable.
Frank Marino’s "Divas Las Vegas" is a rarity in this town. It doesn’t rely on huge sets and effects, just the talent of the phenomenal cast. This is precisely why everyone should see this show. (Not to mention that the cast changes on occasion, so you never know whom you’ll see when you go!)
Marino and his talented cast prove nightly that being the longest-running headliner isn’t just about quantity, but also quality. And if that’s not enough to make you buy a ticket, let me put it this way: you can see guys dressed like gals and dancing boys with washboard abs. I mean, come on: who could ask for anything more, right?
Frank Marino’s "Divas Las Vegas" plays an extended run every evening at 10 p.m. (except Fridays) at the Imperial Palace, 3535 Las Vegas Boulevard South in Las Vegas. For info or tickets call 702-794-3261 or visit https://harrahs-web.vegas.com/imperial_palace/imperial_palace_frankmarino.html