De Alba on Marino 

By Entertainer David de Alba*


Frank Marino 
 & David de Alba

  The La Cage Show begins with Frank Marino in his live visual and vocal impression of comedian Joan Rivers. I have seen his act several times and even though much of the material is the same, it always comes off like a fresh performance. In July, 2000, I had the opportunity to meet and converse with him after the first show. At first I was a little intimidated meeting an entertainer that has become so famous, with a business contract that is unequalled for a female impersonator. However, he was focused in that moment, not as Frank Marino superstar, but relating to me as a fellow performer that had worked at the famed Finocchio Club of San Francisco, asking me what I was doing now that the club was closed, etc.. We even spoke about our theatrical Web sites. I asked him if he would be interested in participating in one of my on-line interviews, and he said that he would love to. He has published an autobiography, "His Majesty The Queen" but to those of you in Cyberspace who may not have read it or seen him on stage as of yet, I proudly present to you, the one and only Frank Marino!


Frank Marino 
 as Joan Rivers

David:  Dear Frank, is Frank Marino your real name or is it a stage name? With a Latin surname like Marino, was your dad or his ancestors from Europe?

Frank:  Actually it is an Italian name; and yes, it was the name given to me at birth.   I never gave thought to change it because I enjoyed seeing it in lights.

David:  I heard you say on stage that you are from New York.   What made you leave it behind for Las Vegas?

Frank:  CASH.   Just kidding.   Actually because the Riviera Hotel loved the La Cage show so much, they built us a showroom to perform in.

David:  By the way, did you leave many loved ones behind, like family members or close friends?

Frank:  Yes, I did leave a lot of loved ones behind, but was lucky enough to have some family already living in Las Vegas.

David:  How did you become the emcee and starring act at La Cage? Did you have to audition, with a difficult process of elimination, or were you pretty much hired based on your prior entertainment experience?

Frank:  In 1984 I went to an audition in Beverly Hills and was hired for a show they were taking to Florida.

David:  Before your big break at La Cage, were you happy the way your career was going and what sort of shows were you doing and where?

Frank:  I was actually going to college to be a doctor and was performing on weekends in local nightclubs and private parties.

Frank Marino 
 in make-up Frank Marino 
 in costume

David:  Would you like to perform as a solo act in concert form once in awhile or do you feel at home in a revue format?

Frank:  I already do solo acts when I go on the road and perform at benefits.

David:  You are at the top of your profession, but is there anything in the theatrical field that you would like to do that you have not done so far?

Frank:  Recording an original song has always been one of my dreams.   I have already done a comedy CD and have written a book that has become a best seller called "His Majesty the Queen".

David:  When you do promotion for your book, His Majesty the Queen, video Bold, Blond, & Beautiful, or comedy CD Live from Las Vegas, do you appear at the store in drag or as yourself?

Frank:  Every time I make a public appearance I show up in drag, but any other time I live as a man.

David:  Most Stars write autobiographies in the twilight of their careers, but you are still young and wrote a book about your life, when there is so much of your career ahead of you.   Do you plan to write a sequel some day?

Frank:  If the second part of my life is as exciting as the first part, I will have to write a sequel.

David:  I have seen many photos of you with "big name" Celebrities. If the ones of you in costume were taken backstage when the Stars came to greet you, how about the ones of you in male attire . . . did you visit them at their own performances?

Frank:  Probably, or some of them are personal friends.

Frank Marino 
 as Himself

David:  If you could wish for something in your life that you donít have now what would that be?

Frank:  Freedom not to have to answer to anyone.

David:  Do you have any artistic control over the format or the casting in your revue?

Frank:  I guess my previous answer tells you I basically only have control over myself . . . as for the rest of the show, there is a producer that directs them all.

David:  Though you have achieved fame, have a wonderful job, and are truly a handsome guy out of drag, has that brought you complete inner happiness in your life?

Frank:  Absolutely, and I am extremely grateful for everything God has given me.

Sorry it took so long David.   I was away.   Thanks, Frank.

Visit Frank's Web Site at   http://www.frankmarino.com

NOTE: Make-up photo by Justice Howard.


* Cuban/American entertainer David de Alba (also known as "Heri, Hairstylist of the Stars") is known for his live singing impressions as a concert artist since 1965.   He has worked at the world famous Finocchio Club of San Francisco (USA) for many years.   Visit the award winning Web Site "David de Albaís Theatrical Arts" at  http://david-de-alba.com and you can e-mail him c/o  paulryner@cox.net