Showgirls to hang up headdresses as famed show closes

(CNN) — You know it’s a recession when leggy Las Vegas showgirls can’t sell enough tickets to stay in business.

That’s what’s happening to „Les Folies Bergere,“ a revue modeled after its famous namesake in Paris, that has run in Vegas for nearly 50 years.

The curtain will go down on the act for the last time on March 28, according to the Tropicana Las Vegas, where the show runs on the Strip.

The hotel’s Web site trumpets that the „timeless musical extravaganza embodies the very essence of sexy, classic Las Vegas entertainment.“

The classic show opened on Christmas Eve 1959 after being imported from Paris, according to the hotel.

Scandalous when it opened, it was known for its leggay, topless dancers wearing huge feathered headdresses, high heels, and not much more.

„Folies Bergere enjoyed an amazing and unprecedented run on the Las Vegas Strip,“ according to Ron Thacker, president of Tropicana Las Vegas. „We are extremely proud to have been part of such an iconic Las Vegas production and offer a sincere thank you to the cast, crew and support staff for their many years of excellence.“

The closing is an example of how the economic downturn has struck Sin City.

Tourism and real estate — two key industries in Las Vegas — have plunged.

Hotels have slashed prices to keep bringing in visitors, but that hasn’t helped keep Les Folies Bergere running.