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Faux Legends

Adele and other legends sometimes cancel their shows, but you can always find a reasonable facsimile.

Faux Legends

If you’re one of the Adele fans outraged over the English singer canceling her residency at Caesars Palace in January, Tropicana Las Vegas has the answer:

Faux Adele. And it’s free.

A little background: The famed singer was set to begin her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace in January. Caesars even gave her the hallowed ground of Celine Dion’s former dressing room for the gig. Then, the day before her first performance, she canceled.

She cited a depleted staff due to Covid-19, but there were conflicting stories. Rumor has it (sorry) she had a big fight with the designer of the extravagant production.

Whatever it was, there were a lot of disgruntled fans, many who had arranged travel from around the world to see their adored heroine. If you’re one of those folks, don’t worry—the Tropicana has your back.

The Trop is offering spurned Adele fans free entry to Faux Adele. OK, the show’s probably not called that, but it’s a tribute act dedicated to the singer featuring Janae Longo, who people say really nails both the visual stage presence and voice of Adele. Longo’s part of the Legends In Concert revue at the Tropicana, a complete lineup of fake stars.

Fans who have canceled Adele tickets from Caesars Palace are invited to see Longo’s act for free until September 5. If you stay, maybe you’ll also get to see Elvis.

Personally, I was never one for tribute acts, but I do remember Legends In Concert from the old days at Bally’s Atlantic City. In fact, Legends was a thing way back when that property was still known as Bally’s Park Place.

I saw it when I worked for the Atlantic City Insider in the ’90s. They had faux Michael Jackson, even though the real MJ was still alive. They had faux Madonna, faux Little Richard, and fake versions of just about every other legendary star you can think of, all leading up to the coda: faux Elvis, all decked out in the white jump suit, looking like The King in his Vegas heyday, before the peanut butter and banana sandwiches caught up with him. He had the curled lip, the karate moves, the great voice—the whole enchilada.

I remember really enjoying Legends when I saw it, which really surprised me, because normally, I can’t bring myself to suspend disbelief and buy into a tribute act, and I’ve seen a couple that bordered on ridiculous. I remember a Beatles tribute act at an Atlantic City casino where the group changed outfits three times to reflect the different Fab Four eras. The guy playing Paul McCartney was almost believable, but the John Lennon and Ringo Starr guys were chubby, which made them look fairly comical in those Sgt. Pepper outfits.

As I recall, my review in the Insider called them the “Fat Four.”

From all I’ve heard, the fake Adele, part of the Trop’s Legendary Divas version of the revue, is actually a spot-on reproduction of the star. And by the way, I gave the wrong impression a few paragraphs back when I said you might see Elvis—the Trop show is all about divas, so no Elvis, no Sinatra, no Sammy.

Of course, you can see Sinatra and Sammy at any number of dead-guy revue shows around Vegas, and you can see Elvis on just about every street corner.

The Legends show, meanwhile, will have come full circle this year when Bally’s Corp., the operator that now owns Bally’s Atlantic City, buys the operations of the Tropicana Las Vegas. No word on whether they’ll keep the show, though, or any other aspect of the iconic Trop. There’s talk of a complete makeover. If it remains as the Tropicana, I’m guessing they’ll change the name to TROP, all caps, like Golden Entertainment did with the Stratosphere (the STRAT) and Dan Gilbert did with the JACK casinos.

Enough with the caps. It’s like the casino is shouting at me.

Speaking of the STRAT, a guy threatened to blow the place up last month. According to press reports, some nutball told security he had a hand grenade and was going to pull out the pin. Police were called, and they sensed he was lying when, according to the article, he started “saying random things and talking about Joe Rogan and his ex-wife.” They said he even claimed to have the grenade hidden in his derrière, and he was threatening to pass gas. (Can’t make this stuff up.)

Police found no explosives on him, and threw him in jail. I hear they subsequently released him, because he did a killer Elvis impersonation.

I’m guessing he snapped because he had Adele tickets.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.