My first taste of Vegas was in the late 90s with my Dad. Vegas is perpetually reinventing itself. We stayed at Stardust right before it bit the dust and the Aladdin casino during its extreme makeover. The sign at the time read planet hol. We caught the escapades of Sigfried and Roy before Roy’s tragic accident with a lady’s distracting hairdo. On a later trip I proposed a trip to Avenue Q but my Dad vetoed the puppet sex.
As a compromise we ended up at Zumanity, Cirque-to-Soleil’s attempt at circus burlesque. I love the circus. I love burlesque. I wanted to love Zumanity. Zumanity starts in the right place with a drag queen emcee, followed by plenty of dancing, prancing, and dry humping that builds to climactic lazy-susan orgy. Two girls swim in a giant goldfish bowl – a good blend of burlesque and body contortion. But then my Dad fell asleep and Zumanity fell flat. By trying so hard to satisfy middle-america tourists, the show is left without enough subtlety or scandal to be either a proper burlesque or circus. So three weeks ago when I was back in Vegas, a friend invited me to the new show at Ceasars – “Absinthe”. Though lacking in drag queens, Absinthe is just what Zumanity should be. The tent top is intimite, the acrobatics dangerously jaw-dropping, with plenty of jokes to offend everyone. I don’t want to spoil the show, but it even has puppet sex!