Guest columnists will be filling in for me now that July is about to arrive. I’ll be at my usual hideaway in Italy for the month recharging my batteries and planning another year of stories. In my absence, a great number of Vegas VIPs and entertainers will be filling these pages weekly and our daily website. And for their contributions, I’m very grateful. Our first guest columnist is “Miss Behave” who is launching a new unusual game show at Bally’s next week. It’s her second attempt at stardom on the Strip.
If you thought that “Absinthe” under the tent at Caesars Palace was a down-and-dirty night out of the outrageous and eccentric then just wait until the wonderfully chaotic world of “The Miss Behave Game Show” premieres next Friday (July 7) at Bally’s. Depending on your point of view this is fun-filled bad behavior at its best — or worst!
Grab onto your golden, sequined coattails and hold tight because the wildest night out you never even knew you wanted, is coming to the Las Vegas Strip. This fast, feverish, frantic, frenetic, frenzied and just down right fantastic fun night of entertainment will kick the dust off variety for good, at the former Liaison nightclub, now known as The Backroom at Bally’s.
It’s a show with no rules but where everyone’s a winner and the players’ lives are changed one game at a time. “The Miss Behave Gameshow” is a one-stop-shop of an evening, which will bring out the best and worst in us with prizes and variety of acts — occasionally of questionable quality — thrown in for good measure. This international comedy hit will entice audiences to step out of their comfort zone and immerse themselves into the sinful world presented to them.
Guests will be pitted against other audience members in a series of challenges, some involving their phones. In a world where no one can spend three seconds away from swiping, calling, playing or tweeting comes a show where you need your phone. Tweet, text, call — “The Miss Behave Game Show” is all about getting interactive on the audience’s terms. Except there are no terms or rules. It’s the most anarchic playtime out there.
Miss Behave, star of the Olivier Award-winning smash hits “La Clique” and “La Soiree,” is your host for the night aided and abetted by her glamorous assistant Tiffany (Bret Pfister). Two digital tribes — iPhones versus others — battle it out to win something, nothing or maybe a TV. There are no rules. Just games. Play to get your team to the top of the pile. Games include Dial My Number Quickest, The Laid Lottery, Sit on a Seat and See What Happens, Shazam That Riff, Porn I’ll Admit To and Smash a Phone.
Hot off a tour covering Europe, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, the smash-hit, sell-out renegade do-it-yourself game show has won critical praise from around the world. “The Miss Behave Game Show” is: “Like an episode of Wheel of Fortune written by Monty Python and directed by David Lynch,” stated the South China Morning Post. The Scotsman declared: “A full-on orchestrated riot;” and the Londonist wondered “How something this much fun hasn’t been criminalized yet is a minor miracle?”
Miss Behave was an established variety artist in New York and was signed up as a cast member in the East Coast version of Absinthe when it opened in Manhattan. Spiegelworld and The Gazillionaire have no connection to “The Miss Behave Game Show” despite earlier rumors. They are two completely separate and independent shows.
Here are her musings a week before the opening:
Hello there, I’m Miss Behave. And I do. I’m a Brit like Robin. New to Vegas, but not for want of trying.
To put me in context, my day job for quite some years now (Oh, yes, I’m a veteran.) has been international variety superstar. Think subversive variety show, and I was your go-to gal. Host, spesh act, clown — that was me!
Back in 2013, my dream gig came through. A variety show on the Las Vegas Strip hosted by me. I immediately canceled all upcoming work.
It was all finally happening!
Then … it wasn’t happening.
I had no work.
That deserved a four-letter exclamative!
I decided to head to Australia where a little sideshow tent allowed me a season of 15-minute, $5 shows to figure out what the hell I was doing with my life. When life hands you lemons … make lemonade. When life hands you cancellations, do it yourself. What else could a showgirl do? Play with all thing things you’ve always wanted to. No restrictions. No rules. A pet rage of mine had been how slow we, as live performers, have been to embrace the change in how our audiences traverse life and entertainment.
We are all on our cellphones all of the time, but no show ever acknowledged or had fun with that. That was my starting point.
NO MONEY SO PRIZES OF RUBBISH
I divided the audience into two teams, based on their cellphone of choice.
iPhones versus Everybody Else. An anarchic gameshow. Turns out people are really competitive when it comes to their phones. As a punk, anarchist and control freak I took the whole thing one step further to ensure total freedom. Where others favor high-end production I would do the opposite.
Anyway, there was no money for anything else. So I made the set out of cardboard, duct tape and sharpies. The prizes were, and remain (literally) rubbish. (Garbage to you Americans.) Turns out people really like playing with rubbish. Now, I had a lo-fi game show where people played with their cellphones and garbage. But how do I get them to be interactive? It’s a game show after all.
Another frustration of mine is enforced audience participation. So I refused to have any. Then it came to me. People should just do what they want. It’s amazing how engaged you become if it is an option, not a requirement.
Consequently, if you want to sit, cellphone-free, and enjoy the chaos, you absolutely should.
If you want to text and tweet for the duration, go right ahead.
If you want to jump up onstage and strip naked for an extra point for your team, then you’ve just earned yourself an extra point.
And to my utter joy, all of these things happen routinely thanks to the infinite and varied responses of a live crowd free to play as they wish.
Turns out people like anarchy as much as they like their phones.
AN INSANE SOCIAL EXPERIMENT:
I seemed to be addressing all the things that frustrated me in live entertainment. I decided to smash one more common showbiz factor into the dust. I’ve always found exclusivity and cliques divisive, cruel and unnecessary. As a result, I have ended up with a high-brow, low-brow, satirical, crass and insanely good-time social experiment. On the one hand: clever and proper funny; on the other: the biggest guilty pleasures party and you’re all invited.
No two shows are the same because one cannot know what the audience will do on any given night. Perfect for someone with a low boredom threshold and ADHD, which is pretty much all of us now, isn’t it?
So, the thing I did when my Vegas dream died is the thing that has brought me to Vegas. And on my own terms. I’ve learnt that when life gives you lemons, smile; say thank you; and get to making that lemonade. Look what can happen!
And as a jaded, cynical ole showgirl, I have found the audience response to my little old game show a revelation. London, Amsterdam, Sydney, Manhattan, San Francisco, Hong Kong … even Germany. All have had one thing in common. They’ve descended into a full-on riot of good times and total idiocy. Do you reckon Vegas will be different? Hope not.
If any of that sounds like fun then this is the show for you. That said, it’s your life, so do as you see fit and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I’m going to leave you with this conundrum: How do you win if there are no rules? I guess you’ll just have to come along to find out for yourself.