Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Just got back from Las Vegas. I'm never sure how I feel about that place. (The Strip and the casinos, not the City.) On one hand, it's grotesque in the literary sense in that it evokes divergent emotions, mainly disgust and fascination. On the other hand... nope, grotesque covers it.

We went for the SO's birthday. Other than hitting the new Star Wars slot machine, the thing he most wanted to do was catch a show. As the trip was ALL ABOUT HIM (I had so much fun reminding him of that whenever he asked me what I wanted to do) we decided to head out to a topless review. (It turns out that naked boobies are the perfect gift for the difficult-to-shop-for hetero man. Now I know what to get him next year too.)

The topless review Fantasy is at the Luxor. Unfortunately, it shares theater space with Carrot Top. No matter what you think about his comedy, you have to admit that a ten-foot high close-up of Carrot Top is enough to kill a soft-core porn buzz.

The audience was mixed racially (mostly white), average age about 47, and almost evenly split between men and women - to the obvious consternation of three college boys who were seated between women who could have been mom. The theater is tiered such that there are no bad seats, but the rows are tight, and we had to stand many times as people inched past us to get to their seats further down the row. Because of the layout, there's no drink service during the show, which you might prefer (leaving for the bathroom during the show will make the people on your row hate you).

Every show in Las Vegas gets 5 Star ratings, or is voted the Best of Vegas for some reason or another in the ads, websites, and magazines. Fantasy was no exception. Since you can't trust the ratings, you have to put your faith in the idea that a show wouldn't keep playing if it wasn't decent, but there's a fallacy in that logic. No one else knows either, so everyone gambles and buys a ticket, filling the theaters of both bad and good shows. Some people get lucky and love what they see. The rest of us crap out.

If you go see Fantasy, you will see bare breasts. Most of them even seemed real. If that's enough to keep you happy, then be my guest. However, there are other shows that feature topless dancers that I'd suggest before Fantasy. Having breasts myself, I'm not as enthralled by them as some people. It takes a bit more to keep me entertained. Fantasy didn't have more.

The comedian in the show was a talented dancer, but his routine was so painfully unfunny that I was relieved every time he left the stage.

If I were the director, I'd remind the singer that the microphone amplifies her voice so that she doesn't have to scream to be heard. Maybe that screeching was supposed to convey deep emotion. She did tend to scrunch up her face and look constipated at those moments. Every time she cranked up the volume, the audience flinched.

Almost every show I've seen in Vegas has taken pains to demonstrate that the dancers are real artists who have trained extensively in ballet and jazz. Fantasy didn't. It was number after number of unimaginative strip scenes that didn't come close to showing off the dancing talent on that stage, which was a pity. There was no variety. Every number looked like it was cribbed from a Janet Jackson video. Someone should tell the choreographer that a dancer constantly tossing her hair to a soundtrack of a women faking an orgasm may be sexy once, but after an hour, it gets old. So did the faked lesbian caresses and slaps on the butt, but I'll accept that as fanserve for middle age, middle class males who still think lesbian = two girls playing around while they wait for a man to join them.

If you go to Vegas, I can suggest two other shows that I'd see before Fantasy. If it's still playing, Crazy Girls is very good. The theater is old and kind of creepy, but the dancers are wonderful, and they get a chance to show off their skills in a variety of numbers. The poles that they dance on are out in the audience, so you get to see the dancers very close. Plus - their "lesbian fantasy for guys" dance number was hot. The other show I'd strongly suggest is Fashionistas. I reviewed it last year after I went, and my opinion of it still stands. Kick ass music, hot dancing, endless variety of scenes, and enough kink to keep my on the edge of my seat.

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