On Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. when the curtain goes up on the “Crazy Girls” burlesque show at the Sin City Theater in Planet Hollywood it will mark the incredible 30th anniversary of the longest-running topless show on the Strip. Guys, don’t worry the cast is all new and there are no holdovers from three decades ago!
“When ‘Crazy Girls’ first opened we were the only all-girl topless show. Now, there are many others. The dancers then didn’t have any other jobs. Now, they also work part-time as waitresses, dance teachers, models and even a massage therapist,” said Jennifer Aleman, the show’s director and choreographer. “Back at the beginning, the audience was mainly all men.Now the audience is made up mostly of couples.
“We even get a few bachelorette parties! We were unable to push the boundaries of sexuality as much as we would have liked. Now, people are much more open than they were back then.
“Thirty years ago the G-strings were larger and covered more. If you look at the original butt poster and the one taken for our 25th anniversary you will see this. The girls all used stage names. Now, the girls all want to use their real names and be known. This has a lot to do with social media.
“It was hard at first to get qualified girls because going topless was considered so risqué. Now, getting girls to go topless is no big deal. In the beginning, the cast was made up of all Americans. Now we have ‘Crazy Girls’ from all over the world. The show had 10 dance numbers. Now the show has 16.”
Three of the dancers are former “Jubilee” showgirls; Jenna, Sara and Kelly are from Australia; and the MC, Dani, who dances and performs comedy, hails from a tiny town in upstate New York nobody has ever heard of, Niskayuna.
Over the three decades “Crazy Girls” has entertained millions of people, including such stars as Nicolas Cage, Magic Johnson, Tom Jones, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro. MSNBC hailed its bronze backside statue as one of the “World’s Top 10 Good Luck Monuments.” But it led to major controversy in Las Vegas.
Producer Norbert Aleman eventually won an expensive and lengthy First Amendment legal fight after city officials demanded that a backside photo advertising the former Riviera show near City Hall be removed. The notorious bronze statue of the dancers posed with their backsides was originally erected as a tribute to the win. In 1999, a state senator attempted to have the bare-butts ad banned from cabs, but again, the show prevailed. Today, it stands proudly on the casino floor by the escalators up to the Planet Hollywood mezzanine floor where the “Crazy Girls” dance nightly.
Norbert faced a bigger controversy, though. He made the decision that his dancers perform without fishnet stockings. Norbert explained: “I wanted the real beauty of the woman to show. There was no way for the girls to disguise extra weight or blemishes, so it was my way of ensuring that their legs stayed fit and fabulous.”
Dancer Stephanie added: “At ‘Jubilee,’ the fishnets added to the costume. Here at ‘Crazy Girls,’ they would be a distraction. At ‘Jubilee,’ the focus was on the costume, rather than the woman. Sometimes, we’d have a linebacker’s look with a pain in our shoulders carrying those 18- to 20-pound creations. We had to build up our neck strength.”
Dani, the host of “Crazy Girls” continued: ” ‘Crazy Girls’ is a topless show, as was ‘Jubilee,’ but much different in its nature. This is a very seductive, erotic and sexy show, which forced me to push the envelope as an entertainer. As MC for parts of the show, it allows me to connect with the audience more intensely than dancing alone. I’m growing as a performer and still eager to learn.
“Norbert has encouraged my growth and has woken up a new-and-improved performer in me that I never knew existed. I’m excited for the path I’m taking and eager to learn more about myself and my talents. All I want is to bring joy, laughter and excitement to my audiences.”
Asked why the dancers continue dancing even when rival shows close and their feet and legs are injured Lauren explained: “Every time I try to stop dancing, I simply cannot do it. I come right back to it. It’s a peace for my soul. It’s my personality to be pulled back into it. There are two deaths for a dancer: The day you stop dancing and when you cease to breathe. I can’t say no to it. It’s the only thing I feel comfortable doing. It’s a 100 percent commitment, so I don’t need anything else in my life.”
In honor of its 30th anniversary, the “Crazy Girls” will celebrate Thursday over dinner at TAO in The Venetian and then hit the TAO nightclub floor to strut their stuff.
Later this 30th year a second cast will be recruited so that the “Crazy Girls” can remain open in Las Vegas and also open a residency in the principality of Monaco near the French Riviera.
Norbert summed up: “It never feels like 30 years because we are always changing up the cast of gorgeous girls and their dances. We’re as up-to-date today as we were when we first opened. We’re still the original and everybody else just copies us.”