Friday, July 10, 2009

Titty Smackdown: Crazy Horse v Peepshow

It is true, this show was not for me. Literally. "Crazy Horse Paris" is a burlesque show at MGM Grand that, ostensibly, exists primarily to turn on heterosexual men. And there's nothing wrong with that, exactly. It's what this city was built on, right?

Except that I feel a little sorry for the heterosexual guys out there. You deserve better.

I was primed to like this show, which I finally got out to see last night because of the publicity stunt that is the blink-and-miss-her guest star gig by ex-"Baywatch" jiggler Carmen Electra. The posters look cool, the showroom was intimate and exotic and so much else about MGM Grand these days is all so classy. Plus, R-J columnist Doug Elfman said the other day when we were prepping to begin our semi-regular sparring match on KNPR that he considered CHP to be the best, most artistic stripper show in the city.

Sigh. I suppose that could be so if you ignore the awful choreography, simplistic tableaus, kaleidoscopic lighting, extremely poor lip-synching and comical costumes. There were some geniunely erotic and creative moments -- there's a scene where we see just the bottom half of a woman with a perfectly formed bottom and legs as she removes her stockings -- but more often it's a bunch of women bopping around in wigs, doing something repetitive until the music ran out. All yours for $60 a seat; what's it cost for a pole dance at Olympic Gardens these days?

And Carmen Electra? That was just...sad. Like a couple of years ago when we all got snookered into seeing the atrocious Hans Klok magic show at P-Ho because Pamela Anderson was in it, we all waited and waited and waited for the former Mrs. Rodman-Navarro to appear and she finally did about halfway through. She showed no boobies at that point, just shook her big hair about and rolled around on a lip-shaped couch. Yawn. She returned a good 20 minutes later to dance with some bendy poles, vulgarly grinding her g-stringed crack into one of them and sort of obliterating the patina of high-class CHP pretends to attain. Oh, and she showed one breast at the end of the misery, clad in a pasty which, I'm now told by every straight male reader of this blog, doesn't count.

Carmen, in the show through this weekend, does return in one final scene fully topless -- and her surgically created boobs are quite lovely with a cute flair to the nipples -- so I guess the vaginally inclined boys got what they wanted and seemed forgiving of how brief the satisfaction was. But I kept feeling sorry for Carmen that, at 37, she was reduced to such tawdriness to pay the mortgage. There could be no other explanation for why she's there other than the money; she sure didn't put a whole lot of pride in making the performance much.

There are dissenting opinions, to be sure. The R-J's Norm Clarke Tweeted during the show: "Carmen is writhing on the red velvet couch in the shape of Michelle Pfeifer's lips. Eat you hearts out Baker Boys." A few moments later, he Tweeted this: "Swinging door routine...they might be the 8 --ok who's counting -- most breathtaking performers on stage at one time in Vegas."

But even Norm seemed to lose interest; his next two Tweets, sent during the show, were about the Vegas location of the Travelocity Travel Gnome. I thought maybe someone else was Tweeting that stuff for him, but then he wrote: "But I digress....back to the Land of Merkin...and the Hot Legs routine."

OK, so you're thinking, "You're GAY. What do you know about shows about sexy women?" Fair enough. Except that I love "Peepshow" at Planet Hollywood. That is a show with high production value, a bit of a story, original music sung live and really creative ways of presenting gorgeous topless women. Also, at the moment, it has another It Girl, Holly Madison, who unlike Carmen is actually in her career prime. Holly's also required to do a little actual dancing and acting, however uncomfortable she may appear doing so.

The irony of all this is that Crazy Horse Paris is more akin to Crazy Girls, the struggling Riviera show whose operators insist remains a viable business despite a nightly audience of about 100 -- and God knows how few of those suckers paid full price -- and a cast larger than the now-gone "An Evening at La Cage." The most important difference between the two, besides the fact that CHP admittedly has more beautiful women, is that Crazy Girls doesn't pretend to be high art. CHP does, but it ain't.

10 comments:

mike_ch said...

I've been torn between whether or not to see this show because, like you I've heard a lot of positive comments from the hetero crowd. And I suspect I'd like it more than you do because I do find the colourful wigs and kaleidoscope lighting that I see plenty of in the posters rather sexy.

And I've heard the talent on display at CHP is very, ah, genuine. Carmen is (supposedly!) a bit out of her element with her Better Living Through Science set.

Only thing stopping me is that I have better things to do with $60.

As far as Peepshow goes, I wouldn't mind seeing that either, but I find it really bizarre that a booby show in Vegas gets as much publicity as Peepshow does. I've meant to comment about here sometime, because it seems to be landing much more press than larger, more elaborate shows.

Tropicana Sal said...

Dude, you're right. This show is not for you and you should not be reviewing it.

You're GAY~

You don't know from sexy women.

No offense, but Carmen Electra and sexy chicks IS high art. But you're gay, so you don't know!

I wouldn't try to review Bette Midler.

Doll said...

It has nothing to do with the reviewer being gay. The fact is, it's not erotic, unless you're from Peoria. There is no true erotic show in Vegas.

I'm a straight female and have gone to these shows with straight males and we've thought they were yawns. We're in our 40's, not 20's, so maybe we're just expecting a bit more.

ChrisR said...

I think Tropicana Sal is confusing high art with high class strippers.

Besides, the most breast obsessed man I ever met was gay.

Go figure.

V.S. said...

Dear Sal, Many, if not most, of the creative talent behind shows like this-- as well as other shows that while not primarily sex shows still have hetero sexiness and sensuality as significant components-- are gay. If gay choreographers and costume designers are responsible for creating these shows in the first place, it would seem to be a no-brainer that a gay man should be able to review them.

Shaun said...

Actually, a gay critic might be the better choice for this show, which, based on its $60 ticket price, seems to aspire to something more than a night at the old Crazy Horse on Paradise. Somewhere behind the boobs and the butts and the writhing on various objects there should probably be a little production value, elements of a show that might stand out -- or not -- for someone not hypnotized by jiggling appendages. Besides, who says a gay guy can't appreciate beauty when he sees it, clothed or un-.

Anonymous said...

This review reminds me of someone watching a porno flick and complaining because the plot isn't as good as Citizen Kane. I haven't seen Peepshow or Crazy Horse, so I'll grant that Peepshow is better. However, I did look at the photos and video on the Sun UK website:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/usa/2526014/Naked-Carmen-Electra-dances-in-topless-burlesque-revue-at-The-Crazy-Horse-Paris-Show.html

Carmen looks great. She may not be an accomplished acrobat or opera singer, but she looks like she's more than worth the price of admission.

rachel said...

Interesting that this blog post gets all the comments.

SG

Anonymous said...

Looking at photos on Keltie Colleen's blog, who attended the Crazy Horse show the other night and is a member of the Peepshow cast, I think the Crazy Horse girls are gorgeous. I say that as a straight woman, but I think we have been conditioned as well as men to recognize beauty in the female sex. The photos shows them in pasties and g-strings, and most look totally unenhanced. In fact, men might find them a little flat (being tall, thin, and in good shape usually leads to smaller breast sizes). I think they're prettier as a group than the Peep girls, many of who are from theater, and theater people are not all raving beauties. Some of the Peep girls are cute, Keltie is, but some of them are a little hard looking. Maybe it's the difference between French and American girls (Crazy is mostly French, except for Carmen). Crazy also probably has a vastly smaller budget, using canned music and less elaborate sets and staging. Peepshow has to have cost a fortune to put on and keep running. If Peepshow is a better product, it's also more in danger of not running that long due to its high budget. I've read it has always had discount tickets and doesn't always sell out. Will Peep last as long as Crazy?

Michael said...

Steve, in my opinion it's not you. I'm sure Crazy Horse was nice for it's time, but it's routines and numbers plain old stink. It put me to sleep. Dancers were gorgeous of course, but aren't they all in these shows. I just felt like the dancers never got a chance to do anything athletic, spectacular, or sexy.

In my opinion, it's time has passed, I haven't seen Peepshow yet, but if you want to see "Modern" burlesque, go see X or Fantasy.