Longtime Las Vegas headliner Frank Marino talks return of entertainment

Posted at 1:20 AM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-03 21:44:45-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From its fabulous opening all the way to the end, Legends in Concert is proving why it's the longest-running show in the history of Las Vegas.

Frank Marino is at its forefront. As the longest-running headliner in town, he knows a thing or two about live entertainment.

Marino has over 36 years of experience headlining multiple shows on the Las Vegas Strip. He says the gay entertainment scene has seen a lot of changes in the right direction.

"It's unbelievable because when I first got here, it was just a couple gay bars and it was like undercover," recalled Marino. "Now they're out proud. I'm so happy that they can do that."

13 Action News Anchor Tricia Kean got to see the Legends show at the Tropicana hotel-casino and spend time with Marino in his dressing room. From the crystal mirror to the throne, to the closet of dazzling over-the-top outfits -- it's a dressing room fit for a diva.

"Tonight I put a lot of new stuff in. I was kinda nervous. If it didn't go over, I didn't want to bomb in front of you," Marino told Tricia Kean. "But it did and I was very happy."

"I'm excited about it because it's all current events," he continued. "It's a brand new monologue from beginning to end."

The Legends in Concert isn't a drag show. Think of it as a mini-concert with something for everyone in the audience.

"You get a mini Tina Turner concert, or Rod Stewart and Elvis Presley," explained Marino. "And the show changes all the time."

The show is back in full swing after dimming the lights during the pandemic.

Las Vegas was hit hard, but especially those in the entertainment and hospitality industries.

"I'm sitting at home and I'm not gonna lie, the first eight, nine, 10 months got really crazy. By 12, I started liking it a little bit too much," he confessed with a smile. "So I don't want that to ever happen again, because you know, working keeps you young, keeps you thinking."

Many drag entertainers got creative as bars and venues were closed. Some took their shows to Facebook and Instagram, streaming from their living rooms and even sharing their Venmo accounts for tips.

Now, with fewer restrictions, the real fun is back.

But is retirement in the future for Frank Marino?

"I think that I'm going to do this for five more years, and then I want to go back to just traveling and doing what I want to do," he said. "So I'm going to give the audience five more years of my life and then I think I'm going to stop, stop."

"Whether it be with Legends or whether it be with Divas -- and maybe I'll own a show -- I just won't be in the show."

Marino is releasing a new book in August where he talks about how hard it was not to work and how he's planning his retirement.

Legends in Concert shows are Thursday through Sunday at the Tropicana hotel-casino. Visit troplv.com to learn more.