How were the artistry, imagination, and elegance of the Parisian stage show transferred to the Las Vegas Strip?
"French Connection: 'Lido de Paris' and 'Folies Berg?re' in Las Vegas," a new exhibit on display starting May 5 in UNLV's Lied Library, explores the origins of two of the city's first French revues as well as the dancers and showgirls that brought an entire entertainment tradition to life.
The exhibit features costume sketches, set designs, programs, and photographs from UNLV University Libraries Special Collections as well as original costume pieces from the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas. It shares the story of how two 1950s Paris imports, the "Lido de Paris" and "Folies Berg?re," ushered in the use of large-scale production shows to attract visitors to Las Vegas and helped define the showgirl for years to come.
"'French Connection' was inspired by my fascination with how these Parisian shows gained such a foothold in Las Vegas, a city just a few generations removed from its frontier origins," said Karla Irwin, UNLV University Libraries special collections librarian and the exhibit's curator. "The University Libraries are thrilled to be able to bring this unique piece of our city's history into the spotlight."
The public is invited to a special event from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 17 at UNLV Lied Library's Goldfield Room to celebrate the opening of the exhibit. Longtime "Folies Berg?re" creative director and choreographer Jerry Jackson and former showgirls and dancers including Jillian Hrushowy, Trenna Howard, and Dawnie Sachs will participate in a panel discussion.
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