Jubilee! was a long-running Las Vegas Strip-based spectacular revue. It opened on July 31, 1981 at an initial cost of 10 million dollars and was originally produced by Donn Arden. Donn Arden set the standard for all the spectacular Las Vegas shows that celebrated female beauty, in combination with a demand for only the best; in costumes, set, and talent. When it closed in 2016, this resident show at Bally's Las Vegas was the longest-running production show in Las Vegas. The Jubilee!showgirls were an icon of old Vegas. The show used costumes designed by Bob Mackie and Pete Menefee. UNLV Special Collections houses many of the original costume design drawings which can be accessed online through the Showgirls collection from UNLV Digital Collections. Many of the show's sets date back to the original production and include the sinking of the Titanic and the bull used in Samson and Delilah. The bull is 27 feet tall and collapses down to 13 feet after it has been destroyed. The bull is the heaviest single piece of scenery in the show weighing 3 tons. It takes 9 stagehands to move it from one position to another. Jubilee!'s longest serving principal dancer from the opening night until her departure 23 years later was Linda Green. The final closing cast consisted of 3 female singers, 3 male singers, 18 male dancers, 23 topless dancers, and 19 female dancers. Within the female covered and topless dancers, they are further categorized as "short" and "tall" dancers. A "short" dancer is a female dancer between 5'8" and 5'9" and a "tall" female dancer is between 5'10" and 6'2." One may be surprised at how tall the dancers are because of the proportions of the stage, which is three and a half stories high, giving the illusion that the performers are smaller in relationship to the stage.
The show ended its 35-year run on February 11, 2016 as the last showgirl show in Las Vegas.
At its closing date Jubilee! features a cast of 66 showgirls and show boys. When it first opened the cast had over 100 performers in it.
The theater seats 1,033 people in a combination of theater style seats, swivel chairs, tables and booths.
This is a topless show for 18 and over.
There are 75 stagehands working on the show.
The total width of the stage wall to wall in 190 feet- half the size of a football field.
All of the dressing rooms are in the basement, 2 flights of stairs below the stage, making for some dancers to do over 1,700 stairs a night.
The heaviest set piece lifted by a motor weighs over 6,000 pounds and the heaviest set piece of scenery lifted and lowered by the crew weighs 4,000 pounds.
The sinking effect of the Titanic is achieved by a combination of the ship and the stage moving at the same time, creating a singular illusion.
Over 1,000 costumes were designed for Jubilee! By Pete Menefee and Bob Mackie.
The feathered headdresses worn by the showgirls can weigh up to 35 pounds.
There can be between 20 and 2,000 feathers on a single costume.
Delilah’s crown is the largest jeweled headpiece in the show. The crown is 2 feet tall and is covered with 20lbs of rhinestones.
The costumes worn in the Grand Jewel Box Finale tribute to Florenz Ziegfeld, were designed by Bob Mackie. There are 36 individual designs, each based on the jewel tones of amethyst, sapphire, emerald, and ruby.
The Rhinestones that are used on our costumes are all Austrian crystal by Swarovski, the highest quality rhinestones in the world. If all the jewelry were weighed together, they would weigh 10,000 pounds.
According to designer Pete Menefee, when Jubilee was in production in 1980, there was a worldwide shortage of rhinestones because they were all being used in Jubilee!