Nearly nude dudes to shake it at Hooters

Las Vegas may never shed its reputation as a guy’s party town where women are commodified — but well-paid — dancin’ dolls in cabaret shows, strip clubs and nightclubs.

But here’s a bit of a watershed. When "Men of X" opens at Hooters on March 13, at least the first category will be at or near equality. There will be four male G-string revues to match four female topless cabaret shows (though it’s five if you count the vampire-themed "Bite").

Assuming all the rest stay open, "Men of X" will join "American Storm," "Thunder from Down Under" and "Chippendales: The Show," which celebrates seven years at the Rio at the end of February.

The six-man revue at Hooters is produced by Angela and Matt Stabile, who also operate "X Burlesque" at the Flamingo. The revue replaces comedian Bobby Slayton, who goes to the gym but still opted not to audition for the "X" revue after his last night of stand-up at Hooters March 8.

Instead, Slayton says he is close to announcing a new Las Vegas venue that probably will be ready in May. Hooters was "really great to me," the comedian says of his two-year run, but the casino didn’t want to continue paying him a guarantee.

Slayton figures that if he is going to self-produce a show (in this case, with help from an investor), he says he might as well try for a larger casino on the actual Strip.

"The Mentalist," Gerry McCambridge, will continue six nights a week in the early 7 p.m. slot at Hooters.

Whether you count "Bite" and the upcoming "Peepshow" as larger production shows, that fragile balance of nude dudes and female topless cabaret ("X Burlesque," "Fantasy," "Crazy Girls" and "Crazy Horse Paris") may not hold for long.

With both "Menopause The Musical" and The Scintas soon vacating the Las Vegas Hilton’s Shimmer Cabaret, word is Glen Medas and Michael Chambers, the producers of Shimmer’s late-evening lounge act Sin City Heat, will either be moving their topless "Sin City Kitties" from Whiskey Pete’s at Primm or creating a new topless revue for Shimmer. …

In the Hilton’s big room, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider is the first guest to launch the packaged rock show "Monster Circus" on its first two weekends, March 19-21 and 26-28. …

A couple of more updates on the small venue front. Popular lounge duo Zowie Bowie makes the Palms home base on Fridays and Saturdays starting March 6. It won’t be a ticketed show; general admission seating will come with a two-drink minimum in a lounge that will be slightly remodeled for aesthetics, but won’t add significant capacity.

And a gross-out, sideshow-themed production from hypnotist/producer Anthony Cools is said to be all but a done deal for the small theater at O’Shea’s, which has sat vacant since August, when comedian Vinnie Favorito moved to the Flamingo. …

Recession be damned. The Hard Rock Hotel is charging $195 just to get in the door for Paul McCartney on April 19 and Bon Jovi on April 24, both in a new 4,000-seat concert venue (I would otherwise never equate the two). The top seats for both concerts go for $750.

McCartney quickly sold out at those prices — Bon Jovi goes on sale at noon Saturday — so call your broker and tell him happy days are here again.

If hip-hop’s more the way you roll, Lil Wayne’s a steal at $129 to $204 at the Palms’ rival concert venue on March 28. …

After last week’s column let the cat out of the bag, producer Adam Steck confirms he is close to a deal to bring the Australian vocal group Human Nature to the Imperial Palace room vacated by "Legends in Concert."

"There’s no slam-dunk on this one," Steck admits. "Nobody knows who they are. It will be a big challenge." At least, no one in the United States. But he hopes the group’s transcontinental following will provide an early boost for an act that started as a boy band, then successfully reinvented itself as custodians of Motown. (They have the endorsement of part-year Las Vegan Smokey Robinson.)

The group performed a private New Year’s Eve party with Mary Wilson at Bellagio. A U.S. record label may also release a compilation album of the quartet’s Motown covers. …

The Tropicana has yet to own up to its future after "Folies Bergere," but Lance Burton publicist Wayne Bernath dismisses talk in magic circles that Burton will be headed back to the old showroom. What is true so far is that Burton and MGM Mirage must decide whether he will continue at the Monte Carlo after June 21 and hammer out a new contract if he does.

As I’ve pointed out before, talk of evicting Burton was much more plausible before "Criss Angel Believe" opened to a dismal reception. Now, it’s just as likely that MGM Mirage has gone from not wanting another magician competing with the new golden boy to not wanting to rock the boat or adding a show hunt to the stress already facing the corporation.

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

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