Casinos are generally thought of as being primarily about gambling, but if you look at all of the major casinos around the world there is a strong emphasis on being entertainment destinations – restaurants and theatres (together with hotels) are all important components of what goes to make casinos so hugely popular.
The city of Las Vegas has always set the standard when it comes to entertainment, with many of the big casinos there have big-name artists with residencies, performing their shows night after night to help bring in the crowds.
In this article we take a look back through the years at some of the biggest names that have set up show in the casinos of Las Vegas – bringing the razzle dazzle to the strip.
Perhaps one of the most surprising stars to make it big in Vegas was Charo – a unique combination of sex appeal and musical talent. Charo was an accomplished flamenco guitarist but she received more attention for her sexy costumes and “cuchi-cuchi” catchphrase. In the early 1970s Charo was headlining the Sahara’s Congo Room, but also performed regularly at Caesars Palace, the Flamingo Showroom, and the Tiffany Theatre at the Tropicana.
The kind of magic tricks that David Copperfield specialises in were the perfect fit for the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. His long-term residency at the MGM Grand casino in Las Vegas has helped him to become one of the biggest ticket-selling artists of all time.
Las Vegas loves comedy and no one quite captured the spirit of the Las Vegas clubs like Phyllis Diller. With her crazy outfits and massive headpieces, Diller made her Las Vegas debut in 1964 with her show at The Flamingo. She performed in Vegas for decades, her final live show was in May 2002 at the Suncoast Showroom.
If you wanted to see lingerie thrown on stage then you needed to see the Welsh crooner that is Tom Jones. He was right there when Elvis was at his peak but Tom Jones is still going strong.
If you ever had to come up with an entertainer that epitomised Las Vegas it would have to be Liberace. A classically trained pianist, he was pure showman – dressed in opulent suits dripping with crystals and jewels, Liberace defined showmanship and performance.
When the massive Colosseum theatre was built, it was Celine Dion that took up residency and she filled it every night. At the height of her fame, Celine set up shop in Las Vegas and the crowds came to her.
In 1969, Elvis took up residency at the Las Vegas Hilton and delivered 837 consecutive sell-out shows. It’s hard to comprehend the level of stardom that Elvis achieved during this period – he truly was The King.
So many stars, so many shows. There’s a lot more to Las Vegas than just the table games and slot machines of the casino gaming rooms. Book yourself in for a total entertainment experience.