The figures are updated routinely, but artistically time stands still at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. The attraction at the Venetian is still presenting stoic celebs of past and present.
This is true even during a COVID shutdown of most entertainment amenities on the Strip.
“These are figures you can get close to and not have to worry,” Madame Tussauds Marketing Manager Rachel Peltier said during a visit to the gallery last week. “Business has been going really well. We have tourists enjoying vacations, locals enjoying the Strip for the first time in a while.” The hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The attraction is following COVID Phase Two protocols (for a deeper dive, go to madametussauds.com/lasvegas).
Madame Tussauds at The Venetian launched with the hotel in May 1999, the first U.S. outpost for the legendary exhibition that opened its first permanent home in London in 1836. About 100 figures are in rotation in the Vegas attraction, including such Vegas-centric figures as Steve Aoki, the Rat Pack, Elvis, Siegfried & Roy, Donny & Marie Osmond, and even a martini-clutching Oscar Goodman.
The “Hangover” experience is a highlight, as you can sidle up to a bedraggled Zach Galifinaikis.
As always, subjects agree to a series of 250 in-person measurements — 150 just of the face and head. The attention to detail is evident in Evander Holyfield’s gnawed right ear, and Justin Bieber’s extensive body art.
The process for finishing a figure takes about four months, and figures cost about $190,000 from beginning to display.
“It’s an honor to create a figure, because it’s the creme de la creme of celebrities,” Peltier said. “Everyone loves being a figure. It’s something you can never do again.”
Last summer, rap superstar Drake and R&B icon Aaliyah were added to the exhibit. So was an updated Beyonce. Peltier said there are two major stars coming late this year and in early 2021, who are “really big names everyone will love.”
The marketing exec says it’s too early to say who, but Post Malone and Cardi B. were being played on the the exhibit’s sound system. Neither is yet on display. Maybe it was a coincidence, or a Tussauds tease.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.