Another popular Las Vegas Strip show closing unexpectedly.

Tribute shows have always been a big part of the Las Vegas Strip. As actual legendary bands take up long residencies on the Strip, however, it has been harder for shows featuring impersonators to work.

The Strip’s longest-running show, “Legends in Concert,” which featured a variety of different tribute shows under that catchall umbrella, closed in the summer of 2023. Over the past year or so, the Strip also lost a Michael Jackson tribute show (although others remain) and the high-priced “Meatloaf: Bat Out of Hell” musical barely lasted a month at Caesars Entertainment’s (CZR) Paris Las Vegas. 

Related: Popular residency off Las Vegas Strip closes sooner than expected

“Jersey Boys,” a musical based on the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons closed at the off-Strip Showroom at The Orleans Hotel & Casino on July 7. That followed multiple Strip engagements for the musical dating all the way back to to 2008 at The Palazzo Theatre before it moved to Paris Las Vegas in 2011 and closed in September 2016 after more than eight years.

In addition to those closures, “Beatles: Love,” perhaps the biggest show in Strip history based on popular music, also closed on July 7. That show did not shut down due to a lack of interest in the Cirque du Soleil production. Instead, it was a casualty of the impending shutdown of the Mirage.

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When you have actual bands like The Eagles and U2 playing venues like the Las Vegas Sphere, it’s harder to get people excited about tribute bands.

Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet.

Girl power is not enough on the Strip

Tribute bands tend to be bigger when the artists they’re honoring no longer perform. The Beatles and Elvis Presley are two huge examples of that, as is Abba, a band that has inspired countless impersonators and tributes.

Michael Jackson has also been a huge act for tribute performances because, like Elvis, he’s a larger-than-life character that’s well-known to pretty much the global population. The Spice Girls check both those boxes. They’re a basically defunct band (they did play the Olympics opening a few years ago) that features five over-the-top members. 

They’re easy to pay tribute to because multiple generations know their big hits and fondly remember the band. For a generation of young women, the Spice Girls were a part of their childhood that they have shared with their daughters.

Since they can’t take them to see the real thing, a tribute band seemed like the next best thing. That made “Spice Wannabe: The Spice Girls Tribute ” seem like a safe bet for MGM Resorts International’s (MGM) Excalibur.

The show, however, did not consistently sell enough tickets and it will be closing down on July 28.

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Spice Girls forever, but not on the Las Vegas Strip  

The Spice Girls tribute show may be closing on the Strip, but it had a life before it opened at The Excalibur’s Thunderland Showroom and it will continue to tour across the United States.

“’Spice Wannabe’ is bringing us back to the 90s with their high-energy show, paying tribute to the best-selling girl group of all time The Spice Girls! Live with five-part harmonies, original choreography, iconic costumes, and British accents, this Girl Power cast delivers a nostalgic experience that is sure to ‘Spice Up Your Life,” the production shared on its website.

Producers are openly calling for venues and events looking to stage productions of the show.

“Contact us today to bring ‘Spice Wannabe’ The Spice Girls Tribute to a location near you. Perfect for performing arts centers, casinos, festivals, corporate events, and special occasions,” the company added.

The Las Vegas version’s failure may simply be a case of the changing demands of the market. Tourists are only there for a few days in most cases and if they can see the real Adelle, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and so many other big names, they may opt to do that over seeing a tribute act.

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