Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Showgirls Now Share Stage with Monet, Broadway Broadway Legend Tommy Tune Has Brought His Dancing Shoes to Las Vegasin the Latest Effort to Give the City a Little Class

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Showgirls Now Share Stage with Monet, Broadway Broadway Legend Tommy Tune Has Brought His Dancing Shoes to Las Vegasin the Latest Effort to Give the City a Little Class

Article excerpt

In an effort to bring some truffles and caviar to the popcorn- and- soda-pop crowd, Las Vegas is attempting to shine the bright lights of Broadway on its neon Strip.

If anyone could bring some class to Sequin City, critics have said, Tommy Tune could. After all, the nine-time Tony Award-winning dancer and choreographer is himself a Broadway legend. Mr. Tune opened as the lead in the $50 million high-tech "EFX" show at the MGM Grand earlier this year.

But in the desert city known around the world for scantily clad showgirls, some say the effort to import good taste is like getting an opera diva to perform at Chuck E. Cheese's. "It's a big gamble," says Bob Brewer, a former instructor at M.S. Juilliard School of Music who has been producing plays at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas for 10 years. "Is this town going to become a San Francisco or a New York City? I think it's very risky. But I want to think they can pull it off." Tune, who has not been the breakout hit widely expected, isn't the only member of the Great White Way to move out west. Last month, a production of "Chicago" opened at Mandalay Bay, the newest megaresort. The Tony-award-winning musical has an unlimited run and features an all-star cast, including two-time Tony winner Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen. Certainly the show's skimpy costumes and Fosse sensibility fit right in, but what sets "Chicago" apart is that it is the first- ever full-length Broadway production to hit the Strip. While the final tally has yet to be made, tourists are warming up to the idea of a Broadway play, says Bill Doak, spokesman for Mandalay Bay. "Chicago" hasn't sold out, but sales have not been disappointing either, he says, declining to give exact numbers. "It is a departure from what generally is playing on the Strip. We feel as if we are filling a niche." While tourists may consider Broadway just another show, they are lining up in droves for the fine-art exhibit at the Bellagio. That's right, Picasso and Renoir have also moved to the Strip. At the heart of the middle-brow movement is the same thing that inspired architects to recreate Venice in the desert: money. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.