16 April 2008

No ifs, ands or butts...

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing my good friend, Jessica, not once but twice in one month. Amazing! She and her boyfriend, Peter, decided to have a weekend getaway to Las Vegas shortly after we saw them in LA. It was really great to see them and I hope we didn't under/overwhelm them too much, since staying at "The Ivy" comes complete with Max's personal wake-up services, a made-to-order menu, nightly entertainment provided by "The Ding Dong's," and pretty lousy hosting services à la moi.

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


LVGurl said... [Reply to comment]

You really must have been nursing the world's longest hangover, because you failed to tell me about the penis chair. That entire paragraph caused me to almost spit cereal all over my laptop. Thank you!

Well, now that Coach is no longer trying to kill me during Saturday trainings, I might actually have enough energy to go out with you guys next time Jessica is in town. I'm feeling a bit down that I didn't get strips of paper shot at my face.

punchlinewalking said... [Reply to comment]

I have to say...that sounds like an AMAZING night out. I mean seriously, a penis chair??? How awesome.

Sizzle said... [Reply to comment]

Arm wrestling channel? There is such a thing!? :)

minijonb said... [Reply to comment]

karaoke is a blast wherever it is... but karaoke in Vegas should be knock-down, drag-out, neon-lights fun! try it again soon and see what happens.

Mrs. K said... [Reply to comment]

oh my that sounds like an amazing adventure! you can be my tour guide anytime girl! if you came here, you'd get the lamest tour: beach, shopping, sitting outdoors and sipping margaritas. or mojitos. that's my lame life.

Guilty Secret said... [Reply to comment]

Ha! Absolutely brilliant! I am jealous... I love a bit of 'so bad it's good'!

little miss mel said... [Reply to comment]

Awe, sounds like a blast, even though you ventured off the beaten path. That's what I love about Vegas. I know more about Vegas than just the strip and I'm glad I do! Much richer experience...:D

gorillabuns said... [Reply to comment]

Your friends are too cute! i love the picture - it reminds me of American Gothic for some strange reason.

So, this club? is this were the showgirl rejects get shipped off o to? i can only imagine the sound system being that of a record player with static grating over the speakers. i would truly love to see the "best/worst strip show in town!"

and karaoke with bobby and crackheads? i've GOT to go there! i'm not sure you know about my love and obssession with this phenomena of making a fool of yourself in front of others. well, if you don't, you do now.

I loved the clip from you friend. He IS quite creative - I love it. Now, I'm going to check the others out.

Las Vegas Synthetic turf said... [Reply to comment]

That sounds like an amazing adventure!

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