Thursday, February 25, 2010

X Burlesque

To describe X Burlesque at Flamingo Las Vegas as “hot” would be the understatement of a lifetime, something akin to calling Mt. Everest simply “tall” or the universe “big.” Sure, it gets the point across, but fails to convey the white-hot sexiness of X Burlesque.

The intimate 180-seat Bugsy’s Cabaret ensures that every seat is tantalizingly close to the six gorgeous X Girls who make frequent trips into the audience and to the mid-theater vertical dancing apparatus, better known as a stripper pole. Newer pop music is combined with rock and country favorites, each song drawing on the individual talents of each dancer. Two stage-adjacent screens interact with the show and introduce each vignette.

A striptease to Aerosmith’s “Pink” is both seductive and playful, and boots are the last thing on anyone’s mind during the country-western medley set to Jessica Simpson’s cover of “Boots.”

Mid-show comics like Nancy Ryan and James Bean entertain with adult humor and allow the audience to catch their breath before the next heart-pounding experience.

The girls entertain nightly at 10 p.m.

By Charlie Johnston

Cirque du Soleil’s Viva ELVIS

“All Shook Up” would be a good way to describe my coworker, Nevada Magazine Editor Matthew B. Brown, and me as we exited Aria Las Vegas following the world premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s latest production, “Viva ELVIS,” on February 19. The high-energy homage to the King of rock ’n’ roll could get a corpse snapping its fingers and tapping its feet.

That’s obviously something of an overstatement, but you get the idea. “Viva ELVIS” pairs some of Presley’s best-loved songs—about 30 in all—with the out-of-this-world, superhuman acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil in a tribute worthy of the King. The fast-paced, playful performance watches more like a variety show than a traditional Cirque production such as “O” at Bellagio or “” at MGM Grand.

A jailbreak set, built for gymnastic and acrobatic antics, sets the stage for “Jailhouse Rock,” a military-themed jungle gym provides a playground for the troupe during “Heartbreak Hotel,” a massive, seven trampoline set accommodates the high-flying tricks of “Got a Lot of Love,” and “Viva Las Vegas” is accompanied by what else but showgirls and feathers. A handful of songs, such as “Love Me Tender” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” are accompanied by more somber, emotional performances.

While some critics have noted the show’s perhaps too-cheery tone—if “Viva ELVIS” claimed to be a biographical portrayal of Elvis’ life, I would agree, it is, however, a tribute—one thing is certain, “Viva ELVIS” has the strength and energy to please Elvis enthusiasts from the mildly interested to the raving fanatic.

By Charlie Johnston