Legends in Concert
At a Glance
What is it?
A long-running “tribute show” featuring celebrity impersonators singing, dancing, and telling jokes.
Where is it?
At The Tropicana on the Center Strip.
Is it worth the cost?
It’s not that expensive but it still depends on the quality of the performers, which change frequently so you never know who you’re going to get.
Why should I see this show?
Because you can’t afford to go see the real Elton John.
What else do I need to know?
The show took up a new home at the Trop in 2019.
What’s the bottom line?
A pleasant diversion but not a must-see show.
“Legends in Concert” has been running in some form or another at one hotel or another for more than 36 years. Anything that lasts that long in a town with as short an attention span as this one deserves a tip of the hat. But is it a Vegas institution because it’s such a great show or simply because it has been around for so long?
Despite moving to the showroom at The Tropicana in 2019, the Legends haven’t changed their formula much. It is the only major celebrity impersonator (sorry, “tribute artist”) show left in town where they actually sing instead of lip-synching. This is both a good and bad thing. Since these people can’t rely solely on looks, the show itself, and therefore your enjoyment of it, is going to totally depend on the talent of the particular performers on the evening you attend. Since they have a rotating cast of impersonators it’s kind of a “luck of the draw” evening.
The sets have been upgraded a little – it used to be ’70s variety show but apparently Joey Heatherton wanted her set back so they upgraded it to something resembling more of an ’80s variety show. Late ’80s. It’s fine; you’re not there to look at the sets.
Because they keep moving the show around and because I like to check in on things that have become a part of the background every now and the, I have seen this how four times (!!). On the first viewing I hit it on a good night. There was a very good Dolly Parton, a fantastic Charlie Daniels, a decent Elvis, and three other acts that ranged from fair to passable. A few years later I got a “who knows?” Ritchie Valens, a terrible Janet Jackson, an okay Tom Jones, a pretty good Cher, some terrific Supremes, and a downright embarrassing Elvis. Overall it was disappointing. The third time I got a mildly passable Elton John, a decent Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, a vocally impressive Tom Jones, a terrific Aretha Franklin, and a pretty good Elvis.
By the way, in case you haven’t figured it out already, there is always an Elvis. Apparently it’s a law.
This last time we had a breathy Marilyn Monroe who spent most of her time doing a risque flirt with an audience member; an over-exaggerated to the point of silliness Tina Turner; a visual and audio solid Shania Twain; a pudgy Michael Jackson, which was weird; and a mid-level Elvis. Back to a little disappointing this time.
So ultimately, whether “Legends in Concert” is worth the relatively inexpensive $50-80 is totally dependent on which “legends” you get to see. The first time I thought it was worth it. The second time, not so much. The third time, worth it again. This last time, meh.
Legends is not a Vegas institution because it is a great show – the changing cast and the quality of their performances pretty much guarantees that you’ll never have a perfect experience. But there is enough “great” amidst the “kinda” to keep it going and to keep audiences entertained.
For 30 (plus) years I’ll still give this one a solid B.