The fabulous feathered headpieces, the rhinestone embellished costumes, the beautiful, long-legged (and topless) showgirls – this is Jubilee.
Jubilee is more than a topless revue. It is the only remaining showgirl production in Las Vegas. Choreographer and producer Donn Arden opened the show in 1981, bringing to the stage over-the-top dance numbers and elaborate sets, such as those telling the stories of the sinking of the Titanic and the Bible's Samson and Delilah.
The show was reworked in early 2014 by choreographer Frank Gatson Jr., who attempted to stay true to Arden's original vision.
Arden made his mark in Vegas when he produced one of the first showgirl production shows, Lido de Paris, for the Las Vegas Strip in 1958.
Many of the original elements remained with this latest incarnation, including the grand opening and finale numbers with dozens of Vegas showgirls and showboys descending a grand staircase.
The music has been updated, as has the theater's sound system, lending itself to a crisper sound. Although the stellar vocalists are singing to canned music, the sound is decidedly more modern, with a primarily R&B flair.
In the new production, the show introduces Miss Jubilee and her glow stick-carrying, faceless companions. An unseen narrator announces that Miss Jubilee must travel back in time because "her rightful place is on the Las Vegas Strip … and her journey (is) to reclaim the night."
She travels through the Valley of Sorek, where Samson and Delilah's ill-fated love story takes place, only to make her way onto the equally doomed Titanic "to find true love."
Miss Jubilee makes her way to America, where tap dancing showgirls greet her to the tune of "You're a Grand Old Flag." The performers take on energetic dance routines that span American choreography (think swing, tap and hip hop), getting the audience to their feet.
Gatson, who is pop superstar Beyoncé's creative director, told Vegas.com he took special care to stay true to Arden's vision, all the while adding new dances and the storyline of Miss Jubilee.
-- By Nicole Lucht