The stars align with ‘Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas’
The world’s finest drag queens have been re-creating pop culture’s most legendary songstresses for decades in Las Vegas under the direction of host/drag queen extraordinaire Frank Marino, yet the latest incarnation of his show, Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas, demands to be seen over and over—with a cast of more than a dozen personalities featured every night, you’ll never see the same show twice. And never has that been more true than right now. After five years, Marino, who is celebrating his 31st year performing in Las Vegas, has changed up his show dramatically, adding new numbers, new celebrities and new performers.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the show’s frenetic energy, led as always by master of ceremonies Marino, appearing in no fewer than 15 different outrageous costumes and delivering some off-color, hilarious routines. “The show has always been high energy, but I wanted it to be a show that no one’s ever seen before,” Marino said. “So instead of highs and lows and dips and valleys, I just wanted it to be like one rocket ship through the whole thing, a party building bigger and bigger.”
Don’t fret, longtime fans—Divas still features the celebrities you know and love, including Britney Spears, Liza Minnelli, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Patti LaBelle, Cher and Whitney Houston. But now you can enjoy Adele performing “Rolling in the Deep” and Pat Benatar rocking out to “Shadows of the Night,” “Love is a Battlefield” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Barbra Streisand makes an appearance as well.
There’s also the addition of cast member Bryan Watkins (featured on RuPaul’s Drag Race), who performs as Shannel while belting out a showstopping “Bring On the Men” from hit Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde.
Other changes are more subtle. Several of Marino’s longstanding performers now perform to different numbers. Madonna, for example, has been taken back to 1989 and 1990 with “Express Yourself” and “Vogue,” complete with signature dance moves. And Dolly Parton has fun with “Why Did You Come in Here Looking Like That?” “Some changes were for nostalgic reasons,” Marino explained. “We wanted something for the young people as well as the old.”
And, as always, Marino’s troupe of male dancers provides plenty of distraction. “Divas Las Vegas is not only where you see great impersonations, but the dancing rivals it equally,” Marino said.
Marino believes the show’s new incarnation is “one big party,” adding, “This is not something you’re going to see on a cruise ship. And it’s not your mom and pop’s drag show. It’s just something totally over the top and outrageous, and a show that every age group can enjoy. I get everyone from prom kids to senior citizens.”
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