The Tropicana Resort & Casino kicks off 2004 with a complete show makeover of the legendary production show, "Folies Bergere." Jerry Jackson, director, choreographer, and designer, puts his talents to work and adds a sexy new 1940's number, along with other enhancements to the current version of the show.
"Folies Bergere" continues to take audiences on a journey of the evolution of women, beginning in the 1850's into present day, as they reinvent themselves in the true fashion of the femme fatale.
The newest addition to the show is a tribute to the Tropicana and its heritage, taking audiences back to "Club Tropicana" in the 1940's. The scene is a sparkling night in Cuba complete with lighted palm trees edged in silvery-turquoise and silhouetted against a sky blue chiffon curtain with stars twinkling in the background. Lead male singer, Dan O'Brien opens the number accompanied by female dancers singing "Jumpin East of Java." The women, dressed in bright colored dresses accented with bold black and white stripes, are eventually joined by cigar-smoking men sporting black zoot suits with hats, demonstrating the hot Latin dance style, the mambo.
When researching this era, Jackson discovered the mambo originally hit the Cuban dance scene in 1947 at La Tropicana, the premiere nightclub in Havana, and soon spread to the United States. The mambo combines American Jazz with an Afro-Cuban beat. "The overall flavor of the dance is contained in the translation of the word mambo which means 'shake it' or 'say it' and our Folies Bergere dancers do a fantastic job demonstrating the fancy footwork and Latin hip movement involved in the mambo."
"Pin-ups" become the focus of the second segment of the new 1940's scene. The term was coined during the pre-war era when men would tear pictures of pretty girls from magazines and "pin them up" on their lockers. Lead female singer, Traci Ault, is featured during this number dressed similar to that of former "pin-up" model Betty Grable. She sings the song "Keeping Out of Mischief Now" while flirting with the male dancers who are wearing white Eaton Jackets, a signature evening look from the 40's. This eventually develops into a "tongue-in-cheek" strip tease, the third strip tease currently in the rundown of the "Folies Bergere," adding to the overall sexy sophistication of the entire show.
In addition to the new 1940's scene, Jackson focuses on lighting to enhance a few of the current scenes in the show. He also adds new costumes and choreography to other numbers.