‘Legends in Concert’ closes run at Tropicana as it looks to ’23
“Legends In Concert” is planned for 2023 in Las Vegas.
Tropicana is not in these plans.
The tribute production, the longest-running live show currently in Vegas, is ending its run at the self-titled theater at the Trop. The famous production closes after Elvis’ Friday night “Back in the Building” performance.
“Legends” COO Brian Brigner confirmed Thursday that the show will be leaving its home of four years as it gathers concepts to reopen next spring.
“We had an opportunity to come back to the Trop and it was great to be invited, but in the ever-evolving entertainment landscape in Las Vegas, the Trop is not the best option for us,” Brigner said in a phone interview. . “We have some alternatives, which we will announce very soon.
The obvious options on the Strip would be for the show to become a Caesars Entertainment property. The company closes 2022 with two major free exhibitions. The Paris theater is looking for a show again, with “Bat Out of Hell” closing New Year’s Eve. The Jubilee Theater at the Horseshoe Las Vegas (formerly Bally’s) is also available, as the “Extravaganza” opens on January 7th.
“We have a prior relationship with Caesars and we’ve been exploring options with them,” Brigner said, adding that there is an option to move the show downtown.
That option is of course the Plaza Showroom, which has an attractive old Vegas design and atmosphere. The room is also filled with the less appealing challenge of selling tickets to a downtown production show. The original musical “A Mob Story,” the Plaza’s latest effort to present a stage show, opened in February 2019 after opening last September.
Officials do not want a repeat of “A Mob Story,” through “Legends” is a proven production that spans several decades.
“We are exploring many options,” Brigner said. “We’d love to have something locked in January, when we’re in the dark anyway. We want to come back reorganized, loaded and ready to sell a lot of tickets.”
“Legends” is entering its 40th year in Las Vegas. The show opened at the Imperial Palace (now the Linq Hotel) in 1983, then moved to Harrah’s in 2009 and the Flamingo in 2014. It has been running since February 2019 at the former Tiffany Theatre. Over time, the show has played to more than 35 million fans worldwide, maintaining its international headquarters in Las Vegas.
But maintaining the energy behind the Legends brand hasn’t been easy. Similar to most production shows in Vegas, sales have seen a high volume of ticket options on and off the Strip. These include numerous superstar headliners – the very legends depicted on the Legends show.
Adele, Lady Gaga and Celine Dion all appeared on Legendary Divas this year. In recent years, Sting and Garth Brooks have also been introduced. All have either announced or are expected to be on the Strip in 2023.
“What kind of show we come back with depends a lot on who is already performing on the property,” Brigner said. “When we had Celine at the show at the Flamingo, she wasn’t at the show when Celine was performing at the Colosseum.”
“Legends” has shown its range at the Trop, opening with a traditional all-star lineup of Frank Sinatra, Gaga, Elvis and Whitney Houston. This year it moved to the talented cast of “Divas” for nine months before closing on Halloween. It was the first time the show had ever gone with an all-female cast.
The Elvis show was also a first for the company, which had never focused solely on The King. The production rotation of veteran impressionists Elvis. The last two Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest champions, 2022 winner Victor Trevino Jr. and 2021 champion Patrick Dunn led that cast. 2009 winner Bill Cherry; 2010 champion Justin Shandor and Daniel Durston all performed at the show. Ann-Margret was alternately played by Carol Maccri Gossamer and Kate Steele.
Brigner said the Elvis show sold “pretty well” and says they remain an option for Vegas in 2023.
Tropicana Vice President and General Manager Arik Knowles said in a statement: “We were delighted to recently host this special Legends in Concert themed production as well as many of their other productions since 2019. We have been grateful for the opportunity to be home to Las Vegas’ longest-running live entertainment attraction and wish them well in the future.”
The hotel is hosting Michael Jackson’s MJ Live tribute and Jason Tenner’s Purple Reign tribute to Prince in the main theater. The Trop is also continuing its partnership with the Laugh Factory at its intermediate level. Knowles says the hotel will “continue to explore other entertainment options” in the coming year.
Brigner said Legends’ storied history in Vegas is motivating the company to reopen in ’23.
“Being the longest-running show in Las Vegas is a big message,” Brigner said. “We don’t want to leave it.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in Section A. His “PodKats”! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.