Unusual roles, signs of progress

“I forgot what a weird job I have,” says Enoch Augustus Scott.

I didn’t. Not after seeing Scott in two shows within a few days. Not your typical shows either.

In “Pawn Stars Live,” Scott plays several characters as part of a comic ensemble, including the voice of the soft-sculpture puppet representing “The Old Fart” in the “Pawn Stars” spoof.

When he wraps that one at the Golden Nugget, Scott heads to the V Theater inside the mall at Planet Hollywood Resort. There he puts on white makeup with some stage blood around the mouth to become the emcee of “Zombie Burlesque,” a high-concept dance show. Think “Cabaret” performed by zombies.

So he goes from puppet Old Man to singing a little ditty called “Zombie Prostitute.” All in a day’s work.

I wanted to talk to Scott because it seemed so unlikely to have either of these shows opening on the Strip, and a longer shot still for him to end up in both. Maybe we can interpret their arrival as a collective sign of fatigue with the old formulas. Either of them catching on would give hope that Las Vegas entertainment can push the walls out a little farther.

Good for the town, great for Scott.

“I’m living the dream. I just can’t tell you how blessed I feel as an actor,” he says.

“I love being part of that creative process,” he adds. “I love that ‘Zombie Burlesque’ did not exist five months ago, and we made it out of whole cloth, just people in a room. That’s what I love about the theater.”

The Duke University theater graduate came to Las Vegas 12 years ago, when the Rio’s production of “Tony ’n Tina’s Wedding” needed to borrow him from the Los Angeles edition. Two weeks turned into two years in the cast.

“I discovered I could find work as a talker because there was emcee work,” he says of gigs such as hosting slot tournaments.

“I have so much respect for the performers in this town. Everyone hustles and hustles every day,” he says. “All we know how to do is work. Book and book and book. Everyone has a show and a go-go gig, or an afternoon show and an evening gig.”

Scott also arrived when an audience was emerging for irreverent, off-Broadway style entertainment. He began to roll up one diverse resume, from “Cannibal! The Musical” at the Onyx Theatre to short-lived commercial endeavors such as “Shear Madness” and “Stripped: the Play.”

They remind us that Las Vegas does not break down its genre walls easily. But so far, Scott wouldn’t trade this path he has chosen.

“I’m glad that I grew up as a performer in this town,” he adds. “It’s made me so incredibly strong and able to sort of take on things. I feel like Las Vegas turns people into dragons. Indestructible.”

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

Find more Las Vegas show reviews at bestoflasvegas.com.