TRANSGENDER ROLE MODELS


Frank Marino



Interview by Marlayna Lacie

It's been twenty years since the legendary "La Cage" show first opened at the very 'drag friendly' Las Vegas Riviera Hotel and Casino on September 18th 1985. Sceptical casino owners first booked the show for only a three month run, but business mogul Norbert Aleman and determined twenty year old, Frank Marino both knew this was show was a winner. The rest is history!

Frank always knew he'd become a star. What he didn't realise is that he'd be dressed in Bob Mackie gowns, to do so. Frank says, "climbing the ladder of success was even harder wearing heels." Now an accomplished author, newscaster, columnist, spokesperson, and America's favourite "male actress". His ten year, ten million dollar contract makes him the longest running headliner in Las Vegas. If you haven’t seen "La Cage" starring Frank Marino, I suggest you make your reservations ASAP. The show is a fast paced, energetic show in which a fabulous cast of female impersonators recreate a galaxy of stars. Frank entertains with dialogue and ad-libs in the persona of Joan Rivers with a change of costume between each and every act from a wardrobe which even the late Liberace would be jealous. The word is that when tourists visit Las Vegas there are three things they come for: gambling, a trip to the Hoover Dam, and a chance to see Frank Marino perform in this award-winning. For more information, call the Riviera Box Office at (702) 794-9433, or click on either www.theriviera.com or www.frankmarino.com !

Marlayna: I have to congratulate you on your 20 year anniversary at the Riviera. After 13 years at the QMSL I know a just little bit about the hard work and sacrifices that come with the drag/stage lifestyle. Can you tell us how you feel after making history as the “premier drag diva” of the 20th Century. You ARE a living legend!
Frank: I don’t know about a living legend, but I realise I have made a mark and opened the door for other female impersonaters to take their craft higher than some thought was possible.
M: When did the you realise that you were not like all the other boys? F: I always liked the female Divas and never really cared much for the big male action starts. M: A little please about thefirst time you got all dolled up?
F: I was 17 and it was Halloween and I got dressed up like the supreme diva Diana Ross.
M: Did you date in high school or did you know you were gay by then?
F: I always knew I was gay from the day I was born.
M: A little about the magic! How was it when people reacted to how hot you looked?
F: I feel people always react to glamour and the attention you get is such a great high.
M: When did you first hit the stage in drag doing your infamous 'Joan Rivers' impersonation?
F: After doing Diana Ross I wanted to do something a little less challenging with the make-up and tried Joan Rivers. I also wanted to be a live performer and tried stand-up as Joan Rivers in a nightclub on an open mic night.
M: Were you surprised or relieved or both when Joan dropped her lawsuit and you two bonded as friends?
F: I was surprised when Joan gave me the infamous law suit and was then relieved when we settled it. After all I was about 80 bucks short.
M: How long did you tour and perform before you signed with the Riviera?
F: I toured for about two years in the tri-state area and then ‘lucked out’ (got lucky) after a Joan Rivers performance for the producers of the ‘La Cage’ show.
M: There is always a first! A few words about the time you wore your own Bob Mackie gown!
F: Well, I had always heard of Bob Mackie. But when I finally had a chance to get one of his gowns for myself, I felt that I had really arrived!
M: A few words please about the good times and a few about the things that you lose when you have a career and it forces you to make sacrifices on many levels.
F: Most of the times here have been good. Although there are many sacrifices that must go along with. Like not being able to see your family or the amount of doors that close in your face when you try to meet a guy.
M: I appears all worthwhile! How do you feel when you look back and at the same time look forward to the future?
F: I look back in amazement and just smile. I could just hope the future is as bright as the past.
M: Can you tell our readers what they find then they visit your award-winning website
F: They will see the latest happenings of both Fran Marino and the La Cage Show plus some merchantry souvenirs.
M: I love your show! Please give all those globe trekking trannies making plans of visiting Las Vegas an update on your La Cage show at The Riviera?
F: Well, we pretty much are the Grand Divas of the 20th Century! Its a high energy, fast paced review with a lot of Glitz and Glamour!
M: OK Frank we are gonna call it "a wrap” for the Tranny Guide. I want to thank you for your time and attention and I will be watching for the UPS guy as I am hot for the Bob Mackie gown I begged you for!