Las Vegas

The very name Las Vegas has been synonymous with a certain style of showbiz ever since Jimmy Durante first headlined at Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo Hotel in 1946. Through the years this entertainment mecca has redefined itself a number of times, but one thing has remained consistent: doing things big.

The star power that made the old "supper club" days glitter with names like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin is making a latter-day comeback in showcases by veteran concert acts Rod Stewart and Elton John. Nationally known performers such as Penn & Teller and Boyz II Men have come to roost on the Strip after years of living out of a suitcase. While Jubilee! hangs in there as a shimmering example of the "feather shows" that made an icon of the showgirl, Cirque du Soleil dominates the Strip with its technologically advanced shows presenting little or no language barrier to the city's large numbers of international tourists. Contemporary entries such as the break-dancing Jabbawockeez try to lure younger audiences the nightclubs have skimmed from the ticketed shows.

In the not-so-olden days, shows were loss leaders intended to draw patrons who would eventually wind up in the casino. Nowadays the accounting's separate and it can cost you more than $100 to see name performers such as Donny and Marie Osmond and $250 for Celine Dion. Meanwhile, the lesser names and production shows that run year-round have become a confusing, "never pay face value" circus of discount outlets and offers.

The new generation of resident headliners ranges from ventriloquist Terry Fator to "mindfreak" Criss Angel to pop star Britney Spears. There’s still no other place in the world to find such a concentration of female impersonators, "dirty" dancers, magicians, and comedians—all continuing the razzle-dazzle tradition Las Vegas has popularized for the world.

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  • 1. Celine Dion

    Center Strip | Concerts

    Celine Dion became a divisive pop star in the '90s, and so may be singing to the converted at this point. Too bad, because those willing to...Read More

  • 2. Donny and Marie Osmond

    Center Strip | Concerts

    The Mormon siblings who grew up in front of America still look and sound great, and their variety training on the Strip back in the 1970s allows...Read More

  • 3. Elton John

    Center Strip | Concerts

    The pop and rock legend's return to Caesars Palace is called The Million Dollar Piano , based on embedded video panels that display everything...Read More

  • 4. Rod Stewart

    Center Strip | Concerts

    Wearing age 70 as comfortably as a mop of sandy hair, Rod Stewart breezes through a gentle-rocking showcase of his hits. You can almost see...Read More

  • 5. Barry Manilow

    Center Strip | Concerts

    The king of '70s piano pop performs rarely in other parts of the country, making Paris Las Vegas a city of love for "fanilows." After a five...Read More

  • 6. Garth Brooks

    Center Strip | Concerts

    Casino developer Steve Wynn lured Brooks, one of the biggest-selling acts in music history, out of early retirement to play on the Strip one...Read More

  • 7. Britney Spears: Piece of Me

    South Strip | Concerts

    Pop princess Britney Spears has opted to present Piece of Me exclusively in Las Vegas. Perhaps there is no greater generational divide than...Read More

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