Las Vegas has been home to many celebrity impersonators and impressionists over the years; and from the casts of Kenny Kerr’s Boy-lesque, An Evening at La Cage, and Legends in Concert to Rich Little, Danny Gans, and Véronic DiCaire, the very best in the world have headlined many of the town’s most venerable venues. Now, Jimmy James—one of the rare impersonators to evolve into a vocal impressionist and then a recording artist—is returning to Las Vegas with a New Year’s Day performance of his Fashionista & Legendary Voices show, at Jimmy’s@Madison, combining the all-live singing impressions, tributes, original music, and comedy that have made him an institution from New York to Provincetown to Palm Springs.
One of the world’s most acclaimed Marilyn Monroe impersonators, Jimmy James went from the cast of An Evening at La Cage in Atlantic City, to guest appearances on the eponymous shows of such daytime television stalwarts as Phil Donahue and Sally Jesse Raphael, to being featured on a billboard in Times Square—in drag as Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and Bette Davis—alongside Linda Evangelista for Kenar. * Jimmy’s portrayal of Marilyn was so indistinguishable from the original that, in 2014, when the Central African Republic issued a series of stamps honoring Monroe, one of them erroneously featured the image “Jimmy James as Marilyn” taken in 1989, by photographer Greg Gorman, as part of his decades-long campaign for l.a. Eyeworks! **
But it was music that lit a fire in James, and soon he was delivering impossible-to-spook singing impressions of some of the greatest female artists of the recorded era, including his “Eight Divas” Cher, Mae West, Judy Garland, Eartha Kitt, Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday, and Bette Davis; as well as other great ladies of song, ranging from Patsy Cline, Karen Carpenter, Liza Minnelli, Tina Turner, and Stevie Nicks, to Madonna, Lana Del Ray, Adele, Macy Gray, and Lady Gaga. James even throws in a few male impressions (usually in duets with his divas) including the likes of Elvis, Neil Diamond, and even Kermit the Frog!
And for most artists, this would be plenty, and they would happily rest their career on the success they’d found as a vocal impressionist; but Jimmy had bigger fish to fry, and after a songwriting deal with Warner Chappell Music, began writing and recording his own songs, starting with ‘90s dance-music hits like “Who Wants to Be Your Lover” and “It’s Morning Again,” and followed by 2006’s Jamestown, a full album of his original songs, including the singles “Summer Sun,” “Famous,” “Kissing a Fraud,” and the international club sensation, “Fashionista” which, in its various forms, has been viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube, and has appeared numerous times on film and television (most recently, on the second season of the HBO series, “We’re Here”).
Now, on the evening of January 01, the artist who has performed for Sir Elton John, Dame Joan Collins, Joan Rivers, Natalie Cole, Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle, Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, Denise Rich, Bob Mackie, John Waters, Gloria Allred, Rich Little, and Whoopi Goldberg will perform for you at Jimmy’s@Madisons in a one-night-only bravura performance that is guaranteed to keep you thoroughly entertained. And laughing. A lot.
As Jimmy says, “Hopefully you recognize some of the voices; but if you don’t, keep drinking and enjoy the makeup!”
JIMMY JAMES: FASHIONISTA & LEGENDARY VOICES
Jimmy’s@Madison | 855 E. Twain Ave; Suite 114
Saturday, January 01 | 8pm
FOR TICKETS, CALL: (702) 463-4499
Get into it!
[Editor’s Notes: * Jimmy James stopped impersonating Marilyn Monroe once he turned 36, the age Monroe had been when she died // ** The advertisement featuring the photo “Jimmy James as Marilyn” by Greg Gorman for l.a. Eyeworks ran only once—in Andy Warhol’s INTERVIEW Magazine (November 1989)—after which l.a. Eyeworks, Gorman, and James each received cease-and-desist letters from Monroe’s estate. The ad was immediately canceled, and the image was banned from further commercial use.]