‘Striptease’ covers bases while ‘Echoes of the ’60s’ needs a star

Two shows from first-time producers seek a foothold on the Strip through durable genres: topless cabaret and never-out-of-style ’60s hits.

But while "Striptease the Show" works hard to live up to the second two words of its title, "Echoes of the ’60s" forgets that a show is more than a band.

‘Striptease’: Classy camp

For years, Vegas topless shows were sold by body parts, not names.

But Holly Madison’s "Peepshow" steered the attention to familiar, uh, faces. For at least three months, the Sahara’s new "Striptease the Show" counters with its own reality-TV star, Taya Parker, the Penthouse model who won Bret Michaels’ affections in the third season of VH1’s "Rock of Love."

Parker also hosts "Striptease" because producers Jim and Ann Marie Hayek supply "featured" headliners to topless clubs around the country and decided to see how they would draw in a ticketed show here.

If you are familiar with the work of Aspen Reign (four-time winner of Miss Nude World to you, mister!), Christmas comes early. If not, "Striptease" still boasts a strong infrastructure, thanks to choreographer Enrique Lugo and six "house" dancers (one of them male) who are less cartoonishly implanted than the stars.

The show has its ridiculous moments, as this kind of stuff tends to. But more often you tend to play along with its good humor and respect fresh ideas that steer clear of "You Can Leave Your Hat On" cliches.

Lugo’s eclectic background includes Russian ballet training and pop-star choreography. He honed a fine balance of camp and class in the highbrow erotica of "Fashionistas" and puts it to good use here. Women behind bars never moved so well.

The jailhouse sequence includes a three-woman "shower," one of several roll-on props that upsize to the challenge of a wide stage in an 800-seat theater.

Ms. Reign might be a bit mechanical, but she isn’t wanting for stuff to do. Her routine begins in a giant picture frame, moves to an elevated tub of water and then to a staircase, with transport assist from sculpted male lead Alin Campan (another "Fashionistas" alum).

Parker is a spirited host with a confident party-girl presence. But when it finally comes time to drop top? Where’s the Bret tunes, dude?

Lugo goes pretentious by putting Parker amid giant statuary and floating swaths of fabric, a bit that lands somewhere between the title credits of a James Bond movie and the old biddies in "The Music Man" doing their "One Grecian urn …" routine.

The athletic Jenny Romas, a Las Vegan seen on "America’s Got Talent," is better matched to a Latin sequence framed with ballroom dance. But more still could be done to incorporate her acrobatic and fire-manipulation skills.

The fourth guest star, the enticing Tali De’Mar, offers the genuine striptease promised by the title, a meticulous burlesque number dropped in from the retro cult spearheaded by Dita Von Teese. Nothing wrong with covering all the bases — or uncovering them, as the case may be here.

’60s band seeking star

Most of the six members of "Echoes of the ’60s," a late show at the V Theater, were in the backing band of late headliner Danny Gans.

This explains why:

a) They are a fine, versatile outfit. After all, Gans offered musicians a premium gig on the Strip.

Here they traverse the ’60s classics with ease, be it Motown pop, the intricate vocal harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or the instrumental Santana blowout "Soul Sacrifice."

b) They had an itch not merely to keep working after Gans’ death last year, but to step from the background into the spotlight.

Despite some nice-try wigs and costumes, this Bill DeLoach-led effort produced by Greg and Gracie Fulljames doesn’t really make the leap from "show band" to "show." The group seems to be here at the V Theater because it’s too good for low-paying lounge gigs. But neither is it bringing a production most would expect from a $62 ticket.

Too much of it plays like the backing band waiting for the star to arrive. Singer Marilyn James (long-timers may remember her in the Stardust’s "Enter the Night") gets the focus by default with her bang-up "White Rabbit" and "You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me."

It’s easy to identify the problem here, harder to offer a solution. Perhaps more of a multimedia, "planetarium" approach? Fancy lighting cues and way more historical photos to better use the venue’s rear video wall?

Whatever they do, I get the idea they better think of something quick.

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

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas
Trainer Lou “Mack” McCammon guides several rescue dogs through a series of tricks and jumps two shows a day weekends through December at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like