Oh for the bygone days when sexuality was wholesome and fun. These days, when people try to catch your attention using sex it's always gritty, often angry, and is designed to shock more than titillate. Va Va Vegas works a special magic wherein they take you back to a 1950's era of sexuality full of fan dancers and hula hoops. To heck with this grim, serious modern attitude towards sex. This show makes a wink and a nudge into something fun.
I know I'm supposed to gush about the costumes (which I will), the wholesome sexiness (which I will) and the script (which I won't), but I have to pause first and say the single most impressive thing about Va Va Vegas is the sheer athleticism. There's a woman on a hanging hoop. There's a woman on a trapeze. There are multiple people performing death defying acts with silks hanging from the ceiling. Add on the contortionists, the belly dancer, and the Va Va Vixens in their dance routine and I felt like I was building muscle and burning calories just watching the show. If you're the kind of person who tunes into the gymnastics portion of the Olympics, you need to see these people work it in person. Extra bonus - these athletes are in lingerie.
The loose premise of the show is you're experiencing a wholesome young couple's first trip to Sin City. Scantily clad girls pass out condoms from cigar trays when you walk in the door. While you're waiting for the show to start, Darshwood the Conjurer roams the tables performing slight of hand. Once the show starts, you're transported to a bygone era of cheesecake and camp. Red clad fan dancers grin as they tease the audience. A stripper impressively takes a heck of a lot off while spinning her hula hoop nonstop. Elvis has risen from the ashes like the golden clad phoenix dancers who were on stage before him.
Even the amazingly athletic pole dancers, the drag queen, and the lady contortionists painted up like lions still come across as sexy, campy, and fun. It honestly made me feel like we've lost a little something in this era of hardcore internet popup ads. There's a lot to be said for implying something rather than baring it all.
Come on out this weekend and let the ladies give you a wink and a smile. Oh, and for the women in the audience - I don't want to spoil it so just trust me when I say stay until the very end. You won't regret it.
Tickets are $18. A portion of the proceeds benefits Art Sanctuary.
The Alley Theater
1250 E. Washington St.