Haute Event: ‘Jubilee!’ Celebrates 30 Years in Vegas

Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss closes the 30th anniversary performance with his song "Lovely Las Vegas."

“Jubilee!” at Bally’s Las Vegas marked its 30-year anniversary last night with a special show featuring new costumes, a touching tribute to long-time company manager Fluff Le Coque and a special encore performance by Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss singing “Lovely Las Vegas” as he descended the show’s grand staircase appropriately flanked by the stunning showgirls of of the longest-running production show on the Strip.

The milestone anniversary performance was immediately followed by a gala celebration inside the Vendome Ballroom at Paris Las Vegas, featuring the unveiling of “Jubilee!: Last Showgirls Standing, a Photo Essay of Vegas’ Classic Showgirl” by Denise Truscello. The renowned photographer has spent the last few months photographing the “Jubilee!” performers, collecting rare behind-the-scene glimpses of the girls who make up the longest-running show in Las Vegas. Also in attendance was famed costume designer Pete Menefee, who recently designed 20 new costumes for the show’s Titanic Pier scene, which were unveiled for the first time during the 30th anniversary performance.

The iconic and ultra-glamorous showgirl has become synonymous with Las Vegas, and “Jubilee!” proudly stands as the last production show of its kind. Conceived, staged and directed by the legendary Donn Arden, the elaborate retro-glam extravaganza features lavish costumes, dazzling scenery, world-renowned specialty acts, dynamic music, graceful pageantry and, of course, gorgeous showgirls wearing their trademark bright shade of red lipstick.

The grand-scale production numbers of “Jubilee!” are astounding in size and scope. The stage itself is 190 feet in length and 73 feet deep — making it half the size of a football field and 15 stories tall from the bottom of the orchestra pit to the roof. The show contains sequences not found on any other stage in the world, including amazing aerial stunts and memorable scenes such as “The Sinking of the Titanic” (where 5,000 gallons of recycled water cascade across the stage during the “iceberg” scene) and “The Destruction of the Temple by Samson.” The finale, which includes the famous Red Feather Fan number, has remained a show-stopper for the 30-year run.

From beginning to end, “Jubilee!” features 100 different sets and backdrops,100,000 light bulbs and more than 125 miles of wiring. Additionally, 4,200 pounds of dry ice are used every week to create the smoke effects, and 10 pounds of explosives are used nightly in the 50 different pyrotechnical effects.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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