Photography by Greg Autry during Live Performance of Absinthe.
All Images ©Greg Autry ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photo Assistant Sandra Autry
I have a dear friend, Janet Boyd, who was a Lead Showgirl in Las Vegas back in the days when Sinatra, and then Elvis, ruled the town. When she talks about Burlesque shows such as Bal du Moulin Rouge at The International, or `Les Folies Bergere' at the Tropicana, she describes the real Ermine furs, exquisite lace lingerie and long flowing robes, custom silk hats and bejeweled headpieces. What Janet Boyd describes is the exquisite quality and the attention to detail that was never spared back then.
This painting by Julian Ritter, is The Portrait of Janet, and debuted on Stage at The Silver Slipper Casino. Note the gorgeous hat and full length lace robe made for her exclusively for her show. Detail and Quality were imperative in a time long long ago.
Out in front of Caesars Palace, I walked into the Tent for Absinthe, I was immediately taken with the exquisite attention to detail the Producers have taken with the Stage, the Tent, and the whole Environment. When the doors are closed to the outside, the guest are taken back into a time of old Burlesque, of Vaudeville, and a time when Performers truly connected with a real live audience.
There's a little round stage in the Middle of this Big ole Tent. It's Theatre in the Round and there's not a bad seat in the house. And having seen the show more than once I can also tell you that there is something new and curious to see every time you see it.
The Characters are amazing. I really wanted to talk with and Interview the two lead Cast members, but unfortunately was not able to coordinate schedules. The shows feels like a Cabaret, or a Speakeeasy with our crazy insane unfathomable hosts The Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets, delivering a non-stop blasphemous tirade and stereotypically offensive monolog, from beginning to end.
With her Red Hair and bright Green Dress, Penny Pibbets continually injects her observation and comments in sexual not-so innuendo. The Gazillionaire Acts as MC, introducing acts in his Top Hat and Tails, and forever creating fodder for Penny. I confess , their repartee reminded me a Burns and Allen (ok, a very naughty Burns and Allen). And that's Comic Genius.
The Blonde, Busty, Beautiful Weather Girl in the big balloon is Angel Porrino. She is a Vision I shall not forget. Melody Sweets is the Green Fairy in a big Cocktail Glass, who undulates her way through her Burlesque act and manages to get deliciously wet all over, by the end of her act.
Absinthe is so offensive that it's almost as funny to watch people in the audience and they gasp in dismay, and are chagrined as a punch line hits them where it counts. I've seen it before and I was still offended again and again, to the point I couldn't stop laughing. And other times I found myself laughing and listening, and looking at everything going on, and forgetting to photograph the acts I was there to report on. And by-the-way, Absinthe encourage the audience to take pictures during the show (without flash of course).
Others I must mention are the Frat Pack on the High Wire, and the Gazillionaire's Bodyguards, Duo Vector, who's display of strength along with balance, agility, and grace, still I find defies anything I thought possible of the human body.
Oh, and a guy at the beginning stacking chairs. Yes, stacking chairs, and climbing up on top of them. His name is Maxim Popazov. There was the romantic duo of Sven and Roma, on Roller Skates, that were truly close enough to the front row of people, to cause bodily harm.
Another cool thing is that there are a multiple of acts. What you see it one time, is not necessarily what you see the next. Just enough change to add something new and Fun.
You can read all kinds of reviews, including this one, and they will tell you it's the "Best Show", "Outlandish", "Offensive", "Over The Top", and on, and on , and on. They're all true. And what makes the show so perfect, all the way through, is that these guys and gals, are PROS. The timing in every act, of every word and line, or every entrance and exit, is perfect. The Talent and level of skill of all the performers in just beyond belief. You will be mesmerized from beginning to end.
The Cabaret feel comes from the nooks and crannies around the venue. There are regular theatre seats, sofas, chairs. You feel like you're just hanging out with everyone.
When the show was over, I didn't want it to be and I did not want to leave. I relished my little sofa. I wanted to stay and hang out with the gang. We were like one big eccentric dysfunctional family. There are two shows per night, and the show runs Wednesdays through Sunday. But double check with the box office for ticket prices, and which days are Dark.
This show has a feel of old Las Vegas, and I wonder, with all the themes of all the Big Hotels and Casinos, why has no-one has built a Hotel and Casino, with the theme of Old Las Vegas. Just think of the amazing possibilities. One of which would be to have Spiegelworld produce some more amazing Shows like Absinthe. And bring back the Showgirls, live musicians, lounge shows, Black Tie attire in the Casinos, and lots of Glitz and Glamour.
For an added treat, Spiegelworld, the Producers of Absinthe, also have a show at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Vegas Nocturne at Rose Rabit.Lie. And also a show in Times Square in New York, as well as a show touring Australia, called Empire. Lastly I'll offer my congratulations. The `Gaz', and `Penny', have now done over 1,500 shows, and just marked their three-year anniversary at Caesars Palace. I hope they make it many more years.
Portrait Painting, of Janet Boyd, by Julian Ritter. The Artist Estate retains and reserves all rights.