Las Vegas Sun

November 19, 2018

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Strip star Frank Marino explains the closing of ‘Divas Las Vegas’

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Frank Marino was the star of “An Evening at La Cage” at the Riviera from 1985-2009.

Three-decade-plus Las Vegas Strip headliner Frank Marino’s show “Divas Las Vegas” at the Linq casino-resort closed suddenly over the weekend. In a statement sent to the Las Vegas Sun today, Marino spelled out the factors that apparently prompted the show’s termination.

“As some are aware, I have historically given a portion of the proceeds from the sales of certain ‘Divas Las Vegas’ merchandise to the Make-A-Wish foundation. … I’m saddened to say that due to my own negligence, Make-A-Wish has not received a check from me for some time,” Marino said in the statement. “I am personally embarrassed and ashamed. I take full responsibility and am sincerely apologetic for this situation. I have confirmed the figure which I would have customarily donated to them from a percentage of my merchandise sales and have offered to substantially increase that many times over.

“Make-A-Wish is an important charity and my favorite in the world because it lifts the hearts and spirits of children desperately in need of joy, comfort and compassion. I hope my mistake will not prevent others from donating generously to this organization and I pray that I will be able to work with them for many years to come.”

Caesars Entertainment, operators of the Linq and the Mat Franco Theater where “Divas Las Vegas” was performed seven days a week, sent a statement on Monday explaining that Caesars and Marino’s production company had mutually agreed to close the long-running show. Early Tuesday afternoon, Caesars sent an additional statement:

“Caesars Entertainment holds itself to the highest standards and given the non-payment of donations to Make-A-Wish by ‘Divas,’ we determined that a relationship with this show was no longer suitable. Upon discovering and fully investigating this issue, we immediately took all appropriate actions in response. Caesars enjoyed a long, mutually successful relationship with the ‘Divas’ production team which it hoped would have continued for many more years and the show’s cancellation is due solely to these circumstances.”

Marino’s statement continued: “Numerous other false allegations have been circulated, they are inaccurate; ‘Divas’ agreed with Caesars to terminate the production. … I personally want to state that Caesars Entertainment and the ‘Divas Las Vegas’ show have always maintained a very positive and professional working relationship. I also want to go on record and state that the last eight years of performing at the Linq has been nothing less than a wonderful and amazing experience for myself and the cast.”

In a statement from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, President and CEO Caroline Ciocca said: “While we were very disappointed to learn about this situtation, our understanding is that things will be made right. We are so grateful for the many corporations and individuals in our community who support our kids by helping us grant life-changing wishes. This situation will not deter us from our mission of helping as many children as possible.”

Learn more about the local chapter of the organization or donate at snv.wish.org.