Casinos come and go leaving behind a rich history of showbusiness.
Casinos come and go leaving behind a rich history of showbusiness.
Opened night festivities on April 4th 1957 were provided by Monte Proser's Tropicana Revue a $250,000 musical starring Eddie Fisher who was married to Debbie Reynolds at the time. The show took place in the Theater Restaurant later renamed Fountain Theater.
In 1957, Leona was dethroned from her first place winner in the Miss U.S.A. contest because she was married with two kids which didn't qualify her for a Miss beauty contest. She was signed as a Showgirl at the resort in August 16th, 1957. The early Tropicana Revues co-starred Carol Channing with Elaine Dunn and Jack Costanza.
Monte Proser the Producer of the show was instrumental in the discovery of Eddie Fisher, Perry Como, Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Dorothy Dandridge, Dean Martin, Eartha Kitt, Jackie Gleason, Phil Sylvers, June Allyson, Nat Kink Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Lena Horne. Monte was the owner producer of the world famous Copacabana and La Vie en Rose.
IN 1958 Eddie Fisher established a new attendance record for his show that opened with Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Cantor and Sammy Davis Jr seated in the audience.
Famed comedian, Shecky Greene decided to have some fun when he took a half page ad in the 1959 Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine that read:Dear Hal and Jack
Since I'm in the main room, I'm only doing half my act so I'll take out half a page, When I open March 4th in the Tropicana Lounge and do my full act I'll take out a full page
July 12th 1959 Joan Crawford was chosen to be Hostess and guest of Honor at the United Jewish Appeal Dinner. Jayne Mansfield appeared nightly for four weeks for $25,000 a week, she packed the house.
In 1960 the Tropicana debuted the Follies Bergere the show that made Paris famous at an estimated $800,000. The Follies had a cast of 80. This was the most wildly successful gamble a resort took during this time and it paid off as the Tropicana became a rival to her strip sisters. At that time Carol Channing was set to appear in the Blue Room but bowed out saying Nudes and jokes don't mix
In Sheckey Greene's contract he insisted on a certain clause calling for a horse to be named after him. J. K. Housells named a steed Shecky G. who later won first place in Pomona in 1961. In 1965 Walt Disney was given a tour of the resort.
One of the Tropicana's baboons, Mary Jane, escaped for a few hours. Fortunately some neighbors fed her cookies and called the Hotel and asked if they were missing a baboon.
In 1965 the resort reinstated booking top names in the Blue Room, which was the lounge. The opening show comprised of Mel Torme, Jerry Lester and Si Zenter. Also scheduled to appear was Count Basie, Guy Lombardo and Julie London.
1966 the Theater showcased the Centennial Edition of Folies Bergers with a cast of 100. This show involved huge merry go rounds rotating over head, a funny and original puppet act, Gus Augsburg and his Girlfriends hailed as the funniest performing monkey act ever, along with Francis Brunn a juggler.
The Blue Room showcased, Louis Armstrong, Maynard Ferguson and his Orchestra, Woody Herman and his Orchestra, Mel Torme, Jackie Gayle, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman and his Orchestra and Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians.
In 1967 the Centennial addition of Folies Bergere included the Bel Air Sisters and lead nude Patricia La Forge. This show involved an imaginative chess game with dancers as the chess men, a Venetian story and a Magic Screen The Magic brilliantly incorporated Film and for-real performers. The cast included contortionists, trapeze artistes and a comedy marimba act.
Siegfried & Roy first appeared in Las Vegas in 1967 at the Tropicana in the Follies show. The pair eventually became headliners at a time when hotel executives didn't think that magic in showrooms was cool or profitable. The duo proved them wrong, eventually entertaining more than 25 million people.
1968 the Tropicana was sold to Trans-Texas Airways (Texas International Airlines) and Maynard Sloate was named Entertainment Director. His responsibilities included co-producing Follies Bergere and booking lounge shows. That Year Louis Armstrong appeared in the Blue Room. A new tradition began of nightly dancing to the Guy Lombardo Band beginning at 11pm each evening. Guy's show began at 10pm and by 11pm everyone was dying to get on the dance floor.
In 1969 the new 90 minute production of Folies Bergere opened at a the Trop. The cast was listed as 100 boy and girl dancers, singers, principals and semi nude mannequins. This show involved almost impossible acrobatic dance feats of the dozen Rudas dancers. The Magic Screen was almost Cinerama in scope with a thrilling finish that brought the entire audience up on their feet.
In 1970 plans were announced for the new 1971 Folies Bergere with an estimated cost to exceed $1 million with more than $400,000 allocated for scenery and costumes. The set design and apparel was to be supervised and made in Paris Michel Gyarmathy.
Maynard Sloate was quoted as saying,while nudity in the present show is offered in a classic ballet style, we will give a little more accent on this in the new show, in other words there will be more nudes in the new extravaganza.
Count Basie and Buddy Rich were added to the entertainment in the Blue Room
1972 he Never Before Folies Bergerewas showcased.
In June of 1973 the Theater switched the name to Folies Bergere that same year Tiffanys showcased Disco Dancing.
1974 the Osmond Brothers were showcased in the Superstar Theater, while the lounge showcased Louis Prima & the Witnesses.
1977 while the newly named Tiffany Theater housed the Follies Bergere the Blue Room showcased Rodney Dangerfield and Debra Duke.
December 1979 Ramada Hotels purchased the resort. They added a new 22 story wing and the Hotel was redecorated to an elegant European Art Noveau motif.
1980 you guessed it, the Tiffany Theater showcased Folies Bergere while the Blue Room had disco.
1985 Folies Bergere 85 had two award winning acts perform in the show. Lance Burton who had won the World Gran Prix of Magic Award and Ron Lucas who had won the Society of American Ventriloquists, Ventriloquist of the year award for 1985.
In 1989 the Tropicana now operated by Aztar Corporation completed its Tropical Theme with the logo Paradise Found It featured Tropical Landscaping with Tropical birds, Polynesian TIki Carvings 35 foot tall Aku Aku Gods weighing 300,000 lbs each as well as the worlds only swim-up blackjack table.
In 1990 a Laser Light show was added nightly to the Folies Bergere show.
1995 Marked the 35th Anniversary of Folies Bergere. The show having been transformed over the years now used more than 1,700,000 watts of electrical power. And the light curtain which housed more than 13,000 miniature bulbs and was the first computerized board of its kind in Las Vegas. 62 wagons of scenery were rolled on and off stage and over 33 tons of theater sets were stored on pipes above the theater stage. The show had more than 110 separate costume designs and 4,000 costume accessories and pieces.
During the Folies run, singer Bobbie Gentry had once been a showgirl and so was Claudine Longet, former wife of Andy Williams. Debbie Lee was the longest running showgirl in the Follies performing for 20 years.
In 2009, Le Follie Bergere closed, just months shy of its 50th Anniversary.
In 1997 an afternoon magic show was added the illusionary Magic of Rick Thomas complete with white Bengal Tigers.
In July of 2009, the Tropicana was sold to former MGM Vice President Alex Yemedijian, who hopes to bring the Tropicana into the 21st Century and once more be worthy of the name "The Tiffany of the Strip".
In 2009 Bobby Slayton , often referred to as "The Pitbull of Comedy", opened in the stand up room and The Soprano's Last Supper opened in the new entertainment room the cellar
Also in 2009 Magician Dirk Arthur who had been performing for many years in the main showroom at the Trop as an afternoon magic show with grand scale illusions and tigers and leopards continued in this slot but also adding evening shows as Follies had departed and the room was largely unused in the evenings.
If you have any information about the history of entertainment at this property please do contact us, we aim to update this section of the site as frequently as possible so that we can ensure as accurate as possible correct historic information.
|Hotel Name :||TROPICANA CASINO AND RESORT HOTEL|
|Address :||3801 Las Vegas Blvd South|
|City/Region :||Las Vegas|
- Cellar show room Tropicana
Cellar show room Tropicana