I quickly realized that as a Las Vegas resident, I really don't know where the trendy hot spots are these days. The last few times I've gone out with LVGurl, we went to expensive restaurants and fancy clubs, which is fine and all, but not everyone is prepared to plop down $200 for a meal. It's fun to do on occasion, but mostly I find myself frustrated that we don't have a mellow, artsy, down-to-earth restaurant or bar scene here.
So I found myself in a bit of a quandary as to where to take them. I hope they will forgive me for our night on the town. There were no ifs, ands or butts about the obscure places I took them and should they decide to ever return, I am making it my mission to scout out some better locales for their next Vegas vacation.
To begin our evening out, we ate dinner at Casa Don Juan downtown. It was rated as one of the top authentic Mexican restaurants in the LVRJ, so I figured we'd give it a try. The service was attentive and the food was fine, but I've yet to find a mexican in Las Vegas that I just love. That said, at least it put us in the general neighborhood for our next stop, Crazy Girls at the Riviera. We chose this show because it was reviewed as "It's so bad it's good" and they couldn't have been any more on the money with that description. It was wonderfully terrible. Furthermore, it was excluded from my post, "The Best of the Worst Las Vegas Acts" from a few months ago. I'm thinking it would be number one!
We honestly thought we were going to see a bunch of kicking showgirls, replete with feathers and nipple tassels. But no! It was in an intimate, cabaret showroom and turned out to be a low-budget, nude, burlesque revue (read as: god awful strip show.)
There was a lot of lip syncing to the strangest canned music you've ever heard. The quality of the music was almost as hilarious as the song choices that ranged from a 1940's cabaret ditty to a ridiculous country tune to a hip-hop number to Led Zeppelin! Jessica estimated that the girls were all Russian imports. And shockingly, the vast majority had real breasts (amen!) smaller than yours truly, while the others had such hack jobs that their breasts resided on the sides of their rib cages. HOT! One thing I can say for sure is: these are NOT Las Vegas' sexiest girls, as their advertisements claim.
The chintzy, wigged ladies either danced in groups, on a pole or solo with a prop (tables, a rotating platform, a leopard print shoe chair, or a birdcage.) But by far the most shocking accoutrement was the big and dirty, pink penis chair that shot out strips of shredded paper directly into Jessica's face. The surprise, and not exactly "happy ending" will surely be a frightening and unforgettable memory for all of us. ACK!
To complete the night, I took them to the final classy establishment that I could think of: the venerable velvet-wallpapered, dive bar, Champagne's Cafe.
Now in all fairness, it used to be cool when I frequented it 5 years ago. All of the art school students would go there and I have very fond memories of karaoke with Bobby Shawn and my friend Sarah, who would rock the house with her version of "Sareoke." We were in luck, because Bobby Shawn was still there. Unfortunately, the artists were not. In their place were a bunch of crack heads (ok, maybe they were just really, really drunk.) We tried to fit in by drinking as much Grey Goose and soda as possible, but the vibe was just not what it used to be- at least not on this particular night.
Thankfully, we convinced Peter to steal the mike from the drunken man-woman at the front and sing us a proper song. He stole the show with his rendition of "Hound Dog." All the crack heads clapped enthusiastically and you could tell that Bobby Shawn was proud to have someone on the stage that could keep a tune and entertain an audience. Even those grossly engaged in the arm wrestling channel stopped to cheer! Thanks for indulging me, Peter.
Speaking of Peter, you should really check him (and his alter ego, Danny Nutter) out here or here. He's an incredibly talented and clever "hobo from the future" (aka film maker, writer, actor.) And stop freaking out because I keep mentioning alter egos! Everyone should have one.
Here's a promo reel in case you are feeling lazy:
Photo credit: Crazy Girls from Access Vegas