Las Vegas Up Close | Season 1 | Episode 9 | Bill Acosta | Tony Sacca | Dana Rogers
Town. They call Vegas. Every. Nights New Year's Eve. With. Casinos, and so guns they. Did lock tuck in your sleeve. Bring. Your fantasies. And, dreams here, and. With luck they, could all, try. Your luck in the desert. Your. Fart suit waits for you. Hello. I'm, Bill Acosta, welcome. To Las Vegas up close the, most exciting, show about the most exciting city in the world Las, Vegas and, one of the things that makes Vegas so exciting, is that it has the biggest everything. The, biggest hotels the biggest shows the. Biggest buffets and yes even, the biggest video poker and slot machines and tonight's show is, just an example of what I mean we're. Gonna take you on a trip to the Caribbean islands. When, we tour one of the remaining icons of the Las Vegas Strip, the, legendary Tropicana. Hotel and, Casino, while. We're there we'll, take in the longest-running, productions, show in Vegas the, follies version, next. For, something truly amazing we'll, head over to the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino and go backstage to. See the making of Cirque du Soleil 'he's critically. Acclaimed show, Mystere. Then. For, something a little different but extremely, interesting, will tour the world-renowned, Madame, Tussauds Wax, Museum, go. Rub elbows with, a rich and famous. Afterwards. We'll watch the fun and exciting show Smokey, Joe's cafe they, meet the show's star and icon of R&B and soul music the, very talented miss. Gladys Knight. Finally. If you're ready for an uplifting, experience we're. Going to give you skydiving. Lessons at flyaway, one. Of only two indoor, skydiving, schools, in the United States big. Bigger, biggest and, the. It's all Vegas, and, it's all incredible so, if you're ready let's. Begin the ride of your life Las. Vegas. The, 1950s. Was called the decade of development in, Las Vegas during. A nine year period from 1950, to 1959. Eight, hotels. Were constructed, on the strip alone upon. Completion. Seven, of the eight were each billed as the largest, hotel in the world in. Order was, the Desert Inn in 1950. The, Sahara and the sands in 1952, the. Riviera and the dunes in 1955. The, Tropicana, in 1957. And the Stardust. In 1959. The. Sands, and the dunes have, since been imploded. Of. The, remaining five the, Tropicana, Hotel and Casino became, world famous for, its 17, acres of manicured lawns and Gardens and for, the fact that more than one employee per guest was always provided, ensuring. That patrons, received, prompt. Service the. Tropicana, also, offered the best in Vegas entertainment, in addition. To already hosting, the world-famous Folies, Bergere the, hotel built a new. 1150. Seat superstar, theater in 1973. Making. It the largest showroom. In Vegas, it. Was built to the specifications of, Sammy Davis jr., and it. Became his showcase, as well as for other Vegas legends such, as Ann Margaret Jack, Benny, Luke Rawls and many others today. The Tropicana, Hotel and Casino has long been surpassed, in size by, some, of the newer themed hotels, but. With over eighteen, hundred seventy, rooms it is still considered to be the 21st largest, hotel, in the world and although. One of the oldest hotels on the strip it. Underwent a renovation, in 1995. Giving. It a totally, new look what makes this property, really unique, is is, number, one is the great value I mean this is a fabulous, resort, with the best amenities, when you think about the rooms the pools the, the restaurants. The entertainment. We, have a great casino, if you think about the, new properties, in Las Vegas and you ask yourself, what, are they well, in my opinion they're.
They're Too impersonal. They're too large they're, too crowded they're too expensive and, so, all of this development in Las Vegas has really created a niche for the Tropicana, where we come in and we say you, know we're a great resort, but this is a place where, people know your names this is where you can still get great service this, is a traditional, casino where you still get a great gamble, without, getting run over by a baby stroller, inside. Running, a full extension across the main blackjack, gaming area is a leaded stained glass ceiling, valued, in excess of 1 million dollars and containing. More than 4,000. Square feet of actual, leaded glass, due. To building vibrations. Caused by massive air-conditioning, and mechanical, systems the, ceiling had to be suspended on vibration-free. Pneumatic. Shock absorbers, the. Ceiling actually, remained stationary, and the, building vibrates, around it, outside. In the courtyard is the world-famous, 5 acre tropical, Lagoon filled, with tropical foliage and one, of the world's largest, indoor. Outdoor pools, complete. With waterfalls. We have a fabulous pool, in the outdoor Gardens and one of the best in Las Vegas still, we, have a tropical, motif, and, our latest is the Birdman, of Las Vegas joke Rothko. Who does a fabulous, show during the day of good for all audiences and does three free shows every, day and the. Things he does with those birds are tremendous. This. Is Tiki he's one of the new birds in the show that's, a microphone you're. Gonna be seeing a lot of that this summer aren't you bird yeah, he's. Actually lived here at the Tropicana, for 15 years and when. We brought in The Verge show this time we're, doing it at the indoor location, where the bird display. Has always been so, we figured we would take, some of the birds that were on display and incorporate them into the show including, this big guy. Another. Distinction, held by the Tropicana, Hotel and Casino is the fact that it currently hosts, the longest-running. Production, show in the history of Vegas and the United States the. Folies Bergere, in. 1959. Lou, Walters father, of journalist Barbara, Walters, an entertainment. Director of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino brought. Over from Paris the world famous French Review Folies, Bergere the, show introduced, two new concepts, to Las Vegas the. Nude showgirl, and the French pancake, and it, wasn't long before the, Tropicana, Hotel became, known as the home of the most beautiful, women. Since, it began, it has performed, for more than a million people over.
40 Years later on august 1999, the, show celebrated. Its 40th anniversary and. 25,000. Performance, that. Statistic, by itself is staggering, but you may be more amazed at what it takes to produce a Las Vegas review, of this size there. Are a hundred and ten costume, designs in a total of four thousand custom pieces and accessories in the show's wardrobe. The, stage is nine thousand, two hundred square feet there, are over 62, different backdrops, of scenery and props the. Cast and crew consists, of more than 100. People. Classical. Is my kind of background and then, my mother taught, gymnastics. So I sort, of became quite flexible and, then. For Adagio, it's sort of like a combination of the two so you've, got to have like the classical, background and then, you've got to be able to do, tricks, I'm, from, Hungary Budapest Hungary, and I'm, exactly. The opposite from Lea she started as a classical, ballet dancer, and. To. Gymnastics, on the side I am from the circus background I started as a little boy I was on the on the top and then when I grew up I started to live people so started. That way and on the side I saw I was studying, dancing, to ended. Up here in Las Vegas and, met. Lea and we. Knew that there is a great opportunity to to, be in a show like this and and, I think it's a great combination that, what, we have because we, both have a strong, side on each. Part. And and, I think we, molded. Together in this past, two years really well we're, not married. Being. On stage every night performing, it's not even like a child it's still not like a job even after all this time. Even. Though when you come to work and you have problems, and you have to perform on stage this, is your little home that you can feel secure in right. Before you go on stage so you kind of leave the problem or or the hurt feelings or whatever you're going through that night you leave them in the room and the girls can help you out with it when you have a good responsive, audience and giving off energy and, you know it's, fabulous it's a great feeling. We. Decided, to offer the first show, the early show of quality for sure covered, and then the Late Show is the traditional. French topless, revue in, that way we really have two choices we're, serving two segments, of the market the consumer can come early if they want to see a cover to more traditional fandom. Or any show or later, to the popular shower that's their preference, the, Folies Bergere set, the stage for what has become the classic, Las Vegas production, show after. 40 years it's, still ways to a full house sound, unbelievable, that's. Vegas. Sit. Back relax. And. Enjoy. A. Celebration. Of life, that's, how director Franco Dorgan describes. This show it's. Guaranteed to lift your spirits and dazzle, your senses with, a performance nothing, short of unbelievable. I've. Heard people say after they see the show it, looks impossible how do people do that and that's what it is it's a lot of work you know and a lot of work once, we're here but even all, these people have trained for years and years and years before they come to this show in. Their own discipline, but it's all relative. To what they're doing here. Something. That is not in the show right now it's called the chest-to-chest cash it's. Very, hard because it's all about timing and, precision. And, obviously. Synchronism, that, such a success and right now they're supposed to be catching but. Like I said it's very hot they're always so close but it is also the pullers because, they're not obviously, swinging themselves, so, the police have to be exactly at the same time they have to leave exactly, at the same time and have, exactly the same angle of. Of. Motion. Produced. By the French Canadian, group Cirque du Soleil Mystere, centers around the story of a pair of babies who, into a world of strange and colorful creatures a misguided. Clown, and, a variety of acrobats, dancers, and musicians, for, discipline incredible, tempo. Everything. That they do on, stage is movement from. The moment that they enter. From, the wings and, immediately. Going into the. Acrobatic. Skill, is. Moving the physical body so you're. Dealing with with line all the time and. Something, that we want. Here that is different, than the, Olympics is you know that you know Olympic skills they have strict guidelines as to how a certain. Feat. Must be performed. Here. And we're not so interested in, those, specific, guidelines, I mean that there is a very high technical. Skill. Which, you can get with that technique but we want more than that we want the performance now, of that from, beginning to end the, performers, continuously, display, unforgettable, feats of strength and agility that will leave you filming.
If. There's any show in Las Vegas that shouldn't be missed it's definitely, misty. Renown. Is the world leader in creating, exquisite. Wax portraiture, the, torso group celebrated, its US debut with. The opening of Madame Tussauds celebrity. Encounter, in Las Vegas in July, 1999. The. Twenty million dollar attraction, anchors, the Venetian Hotel and Casino and provides. Guests with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to. Literally rub, elbows with the Stars the. 30,000. Square foot two-story, Madame Tussauds celebrity, encounter, features, themed environments. Showcasing. More than 100, specially, crafted wax, figures. Guests. Will attend a star-studded, gala with some of Hollywood's biggest names, in the world's greatest athletes, witness. Of fantasy fight between Muhammad, Ali and Evander. Holyfield, attend. An ultimate, concert featuring the world's greatest crooners learn, about the history of wax modeling, and enter, a Las Vegas time war for a state-of-the-art, multimedia. Theatrical, tribute to, the city's finest stars and legendary. Icons. Unlike. Other wax attractions, in the United States Madame, Tussauds portraits, are created, from sittings and based, on precise measurements, impeccable. Craftsmanship and, dedicated. To artistic perfection, it. Takes up to 6 months to complete one portrait, beginning. With a sitting, sculptors. Spend several hours with their subject they, take more than 150. Precise, measurements, of the body hands. And face with, calipers, and cloth, take measures during. This process they photograph their subjects head and body, from, every possible angle it. Is at this time that the sculptor makes, the all-important, observations, that will convey the subjects, personality, and character, in wax, form the. Sculptor, models, a clay portrait of the subject then, clay is molded in plaster. From. The mold the body is cast in fiberglass. Durability, and the head is cast in wax it is. Then ready for eyes skin. Color hair and teeth, each. Pair of eyes is individually, crafted in acrylic, and takes approximately, 10 hours to produce, eyeballs. Are hand painted to exactly, match I color and fine, red silk thread is, used to create natural-looking. Veins. Skin. Coloration is carefully applied to bring out facial characteristics, hair, color curl, and texture are perfectly, matched to a sample taken at the sitting and hair, is painstakingly. Inserted, strand by strand into, the wax scalp. Clothing. Is either provided, by the celebrity, or replicas. Are made by going directly to the celebrities tailor, Madame. Tussauds for, over 200, years it has been entertaining and educating, millions, with its signature wax portraits, and now, in Las Vegas the. Legacy, continues. While. Performing in Smokey Joe's Cafe at Caesar's Palace up, close producer, Tony Sokka had a chance to sit and talk with the legendary, miss, Gladys Knight. Smokey. Joe's is nothing like what you probably would imagine it is. First. Time I saw it I said what is a Smokey Joe who, is smokey, Jones. And. Then I went to see the play. The. Musical, experience the journey that I went on. When. I went to see that play I left that theater feeling so good and that's what I love, most about doing the play I. Think. In anything. That you choose to do if you have that passion if, you really have that inner love and spirit for what you do it, shows and it gives a light to whatever that is that you choose to do. Even, I am an awesome time on the fact that I'm. Still here I mean, I when, I was younger and and the Kipps and I put our thing together our dreams master, plan I don't know if I envisioned, this time fifty years later being here.
She. Is, an, amazing you, know performer, of course she's a legend, but she a, person. And her spirit, is. Overwhelming. When she when she comes on the stage at the beginning of the show, chills. She's very down-to-earth she's so much fun she's a blast to work with and she's so talented he, just you, learned so much being around her and it's just such a joy. The people that I work with I love all the people that support us I'm a real people person you. Know I mean I don't I don't mind it they are such a blessing to me and so, I'm in the right business I am, I'm in the right. The. Highlight for me in the show, is. When I'm offstage. The, highlights are like whenever whenever I'm onstage let's, see the audience laugh and enjoy, themselves, because all, the music is great and we bring a little comedy flare to it just kind of like like break the monotony a little bit. It's. A feel-good, time, it's. A wonderful, memory time it's, a very. Basic and simple time the 50s and 60s were, more like honey suckle on the fans and and the, sock hops and, you, know that kind of thing it, takes you back to that time where we can calm down and get away just a little bit from all the turmoil, and the ugliness. A lot of it that we have going we have going on today so, we we are to ourselves to, have just that moment just, that little bit of time so Smokey. Joe's is in you, look for the movies yeah, Magus is great. If. You're looking for the thrill and excitement of a free fall from 10,000, feet in the air traveling. At over 150, miles per hour then. You can experience this phenomenon very easily while in Las Vegas, it's called fly away and it's safe fun, and an, experience, you will never forget it's. A vertical wind tunnel that simulates, the freefall, experience, of skydivers. Participants. Fly in a column of air 12 feet across and 22 feet high moving. At air speeds up to 115. Miles per hour, this, facility, is only one of two commercial. Wind tunnels in the United States and. Although it's been a training resource for national and international, skydiving, champions, you. Definitely don't have to be a skydiver, to enjoy it in, fact over 80 percent of all participants, are tourists, who have never skydive, before this is basically, skydiving, without jumping, from an airplane it's, a way that you can fly, literally, fly but. Do you have like a mesh wire trampoline, beneath you and it's. The coolest thing in Vegas parachuting. You jump out with a rig you fall, you, hope you pair she works this, is more the freefall aspect we call it body flight you, actually use your body as. A tool to grab air and you float you fly you're Superman, for three minutes by, the time you exit the plane the time you open your parachute you, have about 30 to 45 seconds of freefall time so. With this you have three minutes that's better than three sky dives the students watch a short video explaining, the safety features and proper technique to body flight, afterwards. The instructor, explains the hand positions, how to fall in the right body position, in the wind tunnel, once. The waiver is signed the, student is ready to be suited up. Fly. Away, a Vegas, phenomenon, that's for all ages, and anyone. Who loves the idea of jumping out of a plane but would rather do it on land. I. Bet. You never thought there could be so much to see and do in one relatively, small place a word. Of advice don't, bet at least not against this town well. That's it for this week's show I hope you enjoyed it next, week we'll pick up where we left off in bringing. You the fabulous fascinating. And fantastic, Las Vegas until. Then be happy be, safe and good. Luck set, your, sights, on, Las. Vegas. Swingin, lights in Las, Vegas. The. Bright, lights of Las, Vegas. Shine. For, you. The. Plaid blue sky, I love. Las Vegas. Grab. Your prize. Hey this is Vegas, that. Is jewel. It's. Gonna suck for, you.