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Divalicious Frank Marino Dishes On The Success Of Divas Las Vegas

Last updated: March 22, 2018 at 9:39 am. Posted by in Las Vegas Shows. Comments Off on Divalicious Frank Marino Dishes On The Success Of Divas Las Vegas.

The cast of Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas

The cast of Divas Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Divas Las Vegas.

The Queen of Las Vegas, Frank Marino, has 35 years of drag performance under his belt and still looks fabulous as he hits the stage at The LINQ Hotel & Casino as comedian Joan Rivers in “Divas Las Vegas.” Marino combines his vast performing experience, sharp tongue and to-die-for gowns to lead a cast of the most fabulous female impersonators and sexy male dancers in a fun and cheeky romp through your favorite hits.

What’s his secret? Well, let’s just say he’s not afraid to admit he’s a fan of a little Botox. In fact, he’s not afraid to admit anything. He said we could ask him anything, even boxers or briefs, so we did. His answer? Commando, of course! He also dished about his beauty routines and run-ins with the famous celebrities his cast impersonates nightly.

Frank Marino of Divas Las Vegas posing in one of his exquisite signature gowns

Frank Marino in one of his exquisite signature gowns. Photo courtesy of Divas Las Vegas.

How does it feel To have performed for so long on the Las Vegas Strip?

Frank Marino: I’m the longest running headliner on the Strip. The fact that we’re still relevant after all these years really makes me feel good.

How have you kept the show fresh over all these years?         

FM: The reason I think we’ve been here so long is the show has been able to change. When we first opened we had acts like The Andrews Sisters in the show. We had Charo in the show and now we have people like Katy Perry and Britney Spears in the show. It’s able to evolve with the times but I still do keep the key legends like Cher and Diana Ross and Joan Rivers, those powerhouse superstars that are able to last the entire 35 years I’ve been doing this.

How do you maintain the party vibe of the show?

FM: I think it just comes naturally. I think that I’m one of the few producers who lets the cast have a say in what they do; they go on with enthusiasm every night and give their portion of the show the best vibe and energy they can. It sort of becomes a competition with each other, who’s going to have the best spot and I think that’s what keeps the entire show electric the entire time we’ve been doing it.

Frank Marino of Divas Las Vegas as Joan Rivers

Frank Marino from Divas Las Vegas as his Joan Rivers alter ego. Photo courtesy of Divas Las Vegas.

How did you settle on the Joan Rivers persona?

FM: When I first started, the two top female comedians were Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller. Joan, at the time, was the more glamorous comedian with the evening gowns and the fancy dresses. Little did I know that later on in her career she would be come chief of the “Fashion Police,” which is something that really worked for an emcee of the show. To be a comedian and be that glamorous and be able to change costumes in a way you would see Jennifer Lopez and people of today do with their fancy clothes was amazing.

What’s the most that you’ve ever spent on a dress?

FM: I think the most expensive dress I’ve ever bought was about $15,000. Most range between $5,000 and $10,000. At this point I have thousands in my warehouse. I change 17 times per night.

What’s one of your most memorable encounters with a showgoer?

FM: We get a lot of celebrities come in to see themselves be impersonated. We’ve had everybody from Whitney Houston sitting in the front row to Dolly Parton coming in and taking off her earrings and giving them to our Dolly Parton. One of the more recent ones was when Shania Twain came in. She loved her impersonator but when our Reba came on she actually called Reba and got her on the phone and said, “I’m looking at your twin.” Soon after that there was a night where we were completely sold out. After the show someone told me that the night before Shania had stopped her show at The Colosseum and said, “If you want to see my twin tomorrow night, go see Divas.” It’s so nice when you get a celebrity who appreciates the tribute you’re doing and actually tells the world. What a lovely lady.

Who are some of the newest acts to join the show?

FM: Our show is seven days a week and it changes every single day. Starting next month, I’m working on a way to make it a uniquely interactive show. Twenty minutes before it starts, I want to live stream on Facebook and I’ll have someone come out to the audience telling everyone to get on Facebook and tell us if they want to see Tina Turner or Patti Labelle or would they like to see Katy Perry or Miley Cyrus and I’ll let them customize a portion of the show. Depending on who’s at the show that night, they can, by majority vote, decide who they want to see. That’s something only we can do because we have so many different characters available. It’s going to make us one of the most interesting shows on the Strip.

Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas fabulous dancers

The fabulous dancers of Divas Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Divas Las Vegas.

How long does your stage makeup take to apply nightly?

FM: It takes me about an hour to get it on but about an hour and a half to get it off because I use a lot of theater makeup and it takes a lot of mineral oils to get it off. I use waxes to take away my eyebrows and my sideburns, so it’s hard to get off.

What’s the one beauty product you can’t live without?

FM: Well I use three make up brands. I use MAC, Kryolan and La Femme. There’s no beauty product I can’t live without but I have my facialist on speed dial! If you keep your skin good, you can use almost any product. I am a skin fanatic. I’m on my way to go get a laser facial right after this interview. I do everything from Laser Genesis, Fraxel, Botox, fillers, anything that rejuvenates the skin or keeps it young and fresh looking.

Is there any celebrity you hope will someday visit the show?

FM: I think everybody who is alive that we have in the show has come to the show. Right now we’re putting a brand new Beyoncé in and I would be extremely honored if we could get the real Beyoncé to come see the show.

What advice do you have for fans coming to see your show?

FM: A lot of times maybe the husband or boyfriend are a little hesitant to come in and see the show with their significant others but thankfully the wives always win because the husbands or boyfriends come in and end up enjoying the show as much or more than the wives. That’s because I think my humor is risqué enough that they enjoy it, yet I try not to ever be vulgar. I say what everyone else is thinking and everybody loves the fashion in the show. In most tribute shows, you only get one impersonator or maybe like four acts. At Divas, you get 17 different acts every night. You get a variety. That’s why my audience is filled with everyone from prom kids to senior citizens.

“Divas Las Vegas” runs nightly at The LINQ Hotel and Casino, with showtimes at 4 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Show tickets start at $24.99 plus taxes and fees and can be purchased here.

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About The Author

Allison came to Las Vegas over a decade ago and fell in love with the city and all its dining and entertainment options. A live music junkie and tequila enthusiast, she has written for Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas Sun, Vegas Magazine and Conde Nast's VegasChatter.

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