After 23 years at the Riviera, Frank Marino has joined Las Vegas’ many laid-off workers. Marino’s former job—star of drag show La Cage—turned the Joan Rivers impersonator into a local celebrity. Still, Vegas shows have been hit just like every aspect of the economy, and though the news was sudden (the cast found out after February 9’s last show that it would be the last show), Marino had already begun removing gowns from his dressing room of more than two decades.
“I am not surprised. When the economy hit about six months ago, you started seeing the crunch in the numbers,” he says. “I don’t think people really know how much it costs to put on a show. Even the advertising is expensive.”
But Marino isn’t intimidated by the economy. He intends to negotiate for his own show at the Riviera—with his own money. “In my head I’ve built this show ... Frank Marino’s Ultimate Drag Show,” he says. “I am going to put my money where my mouth is.”