Jubilee Las Vegas is a long running classic that’s been delighting audiences at Bally’s for over three decades. The last remaining showgirl revue in Las Vegas (and one of the last in the world), Jubilee was recently modernized without sacrificing any of the magic that’s packed in the crowds since 1981. A giant-scaled variety spectacular, Jubilee/ is as glittery, bombastic and just plain big as the town itself. Nearly 100 dancers, singers, show-boys and those famous showgirls don a series of spectacular costumes and perform tightly choreographed routines on a massive stage that’s the size of half a football field.
The definition of Vegas glitz, the show cost $10 million to produce when it first opened in the early eighties (a fortune at that, and any other, time) and has come to define a kind of Vegas entertainment that doesn’t exist anywhere else. The updated version of the show was choreographed by Beyonce’s creative director Frank Gatson Jr., who worked hard to make the show relevant to contemporary audiences with new set-pieces and a fresh, R & B-heavy soundtrack while still honoring the vision of Jubilee’s legendary original creator, Donn Arden.
The rebooted version of the show still kicks off with the original massive $3 million opening number, but in a new narrative arc, Miss Jubilee is sent on a journey through time to reclaim the night and her rightful place on The Las Vegas Strip. On her journey, which includes 11 full cast costume changes, she travels to The Valley of Sorek (and witnesses the legendary love story of Samson and Delilah), the doomed decks of The Titanic (which sinks onstage in one of the show’s signature set-pieces) and to the streets of America, where she and the cast perform a medley of American dance styles that range from swing to hip hop. The epic production closes with a nod to original finale, as a chorus line descends a grand staircase and perform a massive number in spectacularly glittery costumes.
The scale of Jubilee has always made it hard to ignore, but it’s the cast of beautiful showgirls that has turned the show into an all-time classic. Dozens of gorgeous topless showgirls appear onstage, stunning audiences with their long legs, grace, and beauty. No wonder the performers in Jubilee are consistently voted “The Best Showgirls in Vegas” by readers of the Review Journal.
The producers of Jubilee are not merely looking for young starlets with sex appeal; each dancer in the cast is expected to have real chops if they want to make the cut. That’s why the show stuck with its iconic principal dancer, Linda Green, for so long. Green made her debut in the show’s original opening night and performed the role until she retired 23 years later during a run that made her a Vegas legend and earned her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
A classic that’s been given a major renovation without sacrificing what originally made it so special, Jubilee has remained Bally’s headline show through Sin City’s many reinventions and changes, outlasting other big-budget entertainments that have come and gone over the years. Jubilee has maintained its status as an audience favorite by integrating contemporary trends without sacrificing the old school vibe that made it popular in the first place. After over three full decades, Jubilee Las Vegas remains a legend and irreplaceable institution. It’s comforting to think that no matter how Las Vegas continues to reinvent itself in the next three decades and beyond, Jubilee will still be there, with the same level of glitz, glamor, and spectacle that wowed audiences on its opening night over thirty years ago.