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The Las Vegas Showgirl Extravaganza Comes To An End

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AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta

Showgirls get ready backstage for the opening number of Jubilee Tuesday Dec. 4, 2001 in Las Vegas at Bally's Hotel and Casino. The long running show announced it is closing.

One of the longest-running shows in Las Vegas will in February, Ballys announced, as the lights go out for Jubilee. 

Jubilee has been part of the showgirl entertainment era in Las Vegas for the past 34 years, and represents one of the last costume extravaganzas in existence on the strip. 

KNPR talks with Karan  Feder, Guest Curator of Costumes & Textiles at the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas, and an astute observer of the Las Vegas showbiz scene.

"Jubilee is an incredibly important part of the Las Vegas legacy in entertainment on the stage," Feder said. 

Described as a "Parisian-style show," Feder said that it was Americanized in terms of its scale, with an upward of 100 showgirl dancers on an enormous stage. 

Showgirls carry headdresses that often weigh up to 35 pounds, and can be anywhere from three to 10 feet tall. 

"They make it look easy, but the showgirls are really quite talented," Feder said. 

As the costume and textile curator at the Nevada State Museum, Feder is interested in obtaining costumes from the show to represent an era that kickstarted entertainment in Las Vegas. Jubilee in particular, she said, had a very specific style. 

"Some people credit it to the producer Don Arden," she said. "He had a certain look he wanted them to achieve and that style is very evident when compared to other shows." 

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Karan Feder, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Jubilee archive/Costume & Textile Collection

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Karan Feder, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Jubilee archive/Costume & Textile Collection

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Karan Feder, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Jubilee archive/Costume & Textile Collection

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Karan Feder, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Jubilee archive/Costume & Textile Collection

jubilee-wardrobe.jpg

Karan Feder, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Jubilee archive/Costume & Textile Collection

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Karan Feder, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Jubilee archive/Costume & Textile Collection

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Karan Feder, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Jubilee archive/Costume & Textile Collection

 

KNPR's State of Nevada
Aug 24, 2009

Jubilee

Guests

Karan Feder, Guest Curator of Costumes & Textiles at the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas

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KNPR's State of Nevada
KNPR
KNPR's State of Nevada
Aug 24, 2009

Jubilee