Friday, October 4, 2013

Restoration Hardware

*** CORRECTION *** - And a video!

I was mistaken when I mentioned that there was an airplane in stage during Hallelujah Hollywood. That was in Hello Hollywood Hello, a different Donn Arden production. Too many show to keep straight! Hallelujah Hollywood featured production numbers celebrating the MGM musicals such as "Kismet," "The Pirate" and "Meet Me In St. Louis."   The finale was a tribute to The Zeigfeld Follies. A big thanks to Grant for helping to keep the history straight!  

Also I wanted to include a video of the restored Bob Mackie in action. Grant Philipo did an amazing job making sure the costume still functioned as originally intended.  I'm could watch her sparkle for hours!! 

*** Original Post ***
By now, my affinity for showgirls should be quite obvious. As it turns out though I'm not alone, there is a Las Vegas Showgirl Museum! How I have managed to NOT visit this place is beyond me, but it is on the top of my to do list!
Grant Philipo, a former performer himself, runs and curates this haven for headdresses out in Las Vegas. In addition to displaying many costumes the museum also houses a collection of photos, videos and assorted show memorabilia.
The respect that Mr. Philipo and I share for all things showgirls sadly isn't a worldwide phenomenon. Many of the costumes for the curtained Vegas shows have been discarded, improperly stored and/or have fallen into disrepair. 
Grant recently finished restoring an original, circa 1978, backpack from"Hallelujah Hollywood" designed by Bob Mackie.  They have taken to calling her "The Golden Cage." It took him over two years to get her on display, but it was well worth the wait considering how far she came. 


In Process

After - Take that daytime talks show make-overs!

The original design sketch by Bob Mackie is housed in the collections at The University of Las Vegas. 

"Hallelujah Hollywood" ran from 1974-1980 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (currently Bally's Hotel and Casino) and celebrated all things Hollywood. This included the signature MGM roaring lion, a Ziegfeld style finale and even a 747 on stage!  Because why not?! 
The show was closed to make way for "Jubilee!" which still runs to this day at Bally's Hotel and Casino. 

This is how the costume appeared on stage during the finale.  Not a lot of photos from this show are circulating anymore.  

Here are links for more information on The Las Vegas Showgirl Museum. I can't wait for my next Vegas trip. All showgirls all the time! Sorry Ryan...

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All photos courtesy of Grant Philipo

-Philip Estrada
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