This Stage Costume is a Survivor

photo of costume on exhibit Currently on exhibit in the Curator’s Canyon is a rare stage costume created for a “Love Songs” medley in the Las Vegas production show Jubilee.

Jubilee is regarded as one of the most lavish and expensive “showgirl shows” to ever grace the Las Vegas Strip. The “costume-spectacular” production was staged at Bally’s Las Vegas from 1981-2016.

The floor length gown is embellished with hundreds of rim-set rhinestones, positioned by color, creating a subtle chevron pattern. The costume was designed by Pete Menefee in 1980.

Just two weeks shy of the Jubilee premiere at the MGM Grand Hotel, a tragic fire swept through the Las Vegas Strip property taking lives and destroying the majority of the show’s stage props, sets, and costumes. This gown survived the fire but required significant restoration resulting from smoke and water damage. The most tedious reconstruction concerned all of the rhinestones; each individual stone on each individual costume was removed, cleaned, refurbished, and finally reset. The rebuild of the production delayed the show’s debut until 1981.

You can view additional images of the gown in the Museum’s online collection.


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