Las Vegas

I’ve wanted to go to Las Vegas for a long time, not because I’m a gambler or have a burning desire to waste time in a strip club, but because I wanted to see if indeed, Las Vegas is the kitschiest place in America.

The first day there, I squealed on the street when I saw someone dressed as showgirl with a fabulous feather headdress.  I got a photo with her. It was tip-worthy. I did not feel the same about the geriatric Marilyn Monroe, Garfield with polka dots instead of stripes, fat Elvis and the most pathetic looking Sylvester Cat I’ve ever seen.  On second thought, that might have merited a tip just to show how bad the costume was.

Walking the Strip is an absolute hoot. In some ways, it was like walking in a pre-Guillani Times Square, except fewer people tried to hand me strip club fliers in Vegas.  I suspect this is either because I wore heeled sandals instead of Doc Martins or because Hubby held my hand so we didn’t get too lost in the crowd.  The distributors of these fliers all used the same “sales technique” of clicking the cards together before extending them near your hand. Tom and I noticed one individual who failed to click.  I presume he is a trainee who will not make the cut.

The Strip is a happening place day and night. I saw more people stumbling along with open containers of beer or oversized mixed drinks than anywhere else I’ve been, except perhaps Greece.  I commend the sanitation crews for getting the streets free of vomit by six a.m. local time as a convenience for those of us operating on East Coast time. On the first morning there, I enjoyed my coffee outside in a vomit free atmosphere and watched the prostitutes pour out of hotels and stumble home after a hard night of work.

This is not in any way to suggest Las Vegas is not a family friendly place.  I saw plenty of sleepy-eyed toddlers on the street around midnight. Also I thought I saw my dad. Twice. But in both cases it turned out to be some homeless dude who copied my father’s unique sartorial style.

To rest our weary feet, Tom and I took a gambling break. Not only did it prove boring, but as you can see, I suck at it.

my 12 cent payout

Yes folks, that reads twelve cents.  It only took me $10 to earn that magnificent sum.

Other forms of entertainment proved more my speed.  I laughed at The Amazing Jonathan, even though the chain saws creeped me out. I shopped. Without children. Not that trying on pants is ever a pleasant experience, but it is better when you don’t have to shovel goldfish into two open mouths to keep them from asking if their behinds will ever be that lumpy.  And now I can tell them, not if they become dancers in the Jubilee! review at Ballys.

I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed Jubilee. It was everything I wanted from Vegas, glitz, glamour and high camp.  The Bob Mackie costumes are over the top collections of crystals and feathers. The dancers, male and female, are all gorgeous and serious dancers. I was impressed by the quality of the pax-de-deuxs, particularly in the Sampson & Delilah number. The lavish production rivaled that seen in a Busby Berkeley film and the gymnasts in between dance numbers performed feats of strength that left the audience gasping.  I cannot recommend this show enough, and for those of you who aren’t sure if your partners will tolerate going to a production like this, take them to the late show.  There are boobs.

I could go on and on about how little interest I have in seeing Phantom of the Opera after hearing one song from it too many times in the elevator, or about the art galleries, or the food or about the alternate careers I could have had if I lived out there (Cigarette girl? Living statue?) but real life beckons. Or maybe, I’ll save those topics for my next trip to Vegas.