Sometimes a good Las Vegas show is even better with a little more skin. We've always been fans of stripping down in this city, from topless burlesque shows to swimsuit-optional pools -- however, we're seen some changes when it comes to topless shows in recent months. Jubilee was the longest running show of any kind on the Strip until it closed early this year, and Cherry Boom Boom barely lasted a month before recently shutting down at the Tropicana. But don't worry, there are still plenty of topless shows here in Vegas -- and many, many beautiful ladies to see. You just need to know where to look.
X Burlesque has been around for 15 years, and first opened at the old Aladdin casino -- where it was given a last-minute opportunity when plans for a similar show with Carmen Electra fell through. X Burlesque has been going strong ever since and can now be found at the Flamingo. Started by a former dancer who spent 10 years with Crazy Girls, the high-energy production features a wide variety of music, and a revolving series of acts that change every year. However, three staples have been there since the beginning... including a sexy airplane scene in which an audience member is pulled onstage to receive the "mile high" treatment from girls in vintage flight attendant outfits.
From the team behind X Burlesque, X Rocks is similar in style and format, but is the only topless show that's strictly all rock, all the time. All eras are covered from the Beatles through Awolnation -- with a bit of an edge. An electric chair, spider web, and flaming guitar are among the props used throughout the night. But these rockers also have a sweet side -- like a performance on a bed of roses to Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." X Rocks is clearly doing something right... we hear Nicolas Cage showed up in the audience two weeks in a row recently.
When the Riviera was recently demolished, Las Vegas not only lost a piece of history, but also the casino Crazy Girls called home for 27 years. The show can now be found at Planet Hollywood, where it continues as the longest-running burlesque show in the United States. Crazy Girls mixes vintage elegance with contemporary attitude, and a playlist that runs from Eartha Kitt to Jennifer Lopez. The show is also famous for its iconic statue of seven showgirls showing off their backsides. It's now in the casino lobby -- where there isn't a shortage of tourists and gamblers eager to rub a bum for good luck. As for the real life girls on stage, none are allowed to wear fishnets... so you know each one is guaranteed to be in great shape.
We have X Burlesque and X Rocks -- so why not X Country? The newest production of the three focuses on all eras of country music, from Loretta Lynn to bro-country chart toppers like Sam Hunt. The show also gets funny -- telling hokey jokes as the girls pop up out of barrels "Hee Haw" style. Other set pieces include a Ford pickup truck with working lights, and a vertical bed in which the audience is given a view "from above" at some gymnastic maneuvers from a performer hanging from a headboard. Yes, you'll see girls in super-skimpy Daisy Duke jean shorts, but the show makes sure to mix things up a bit with the costumes.
In its 17th year, Fantasy is the longest-running topless show in Vegas to remain in one location. It was originally known as Midnight Fantasy, due to its 12am start time. The name changed after the show was moved to 10:30pm, and shares the same theater that features Carrot Top (at 8pm, if you're keeping track). Fantasy is also one of the rare shows -- of any kind -- that performs a full seven nights a week all year long, thanks to a rotating lineup of performers. It stands out with a live singer who hosts the show, and top-notch dancing by "So You Think You Can Dance" choreographer Mandy Moore. Recent updates include a production upgrade and a new finale set to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling." Don't forget to buy a new calendar for 2017 featuring the girls on the way out.
Starring cute and curvy Claire Sinclair (who was a Playmate of the Year from when Playboy was still into the nudity thing), Pin Up celebrates the calendar girls of the '40s, '50s, and '60s with performances that take the audience through an entire year, month by month. The dance numbers are supported up by an impressive lineup of musicians -- with no backing tracks used -- and a few illusions mixed into the set designs here and there. The Stratosphere approached Sinclair for the lead role -- saying she seemed to be a natural fit when in Vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday.
New York-New York
The only show from Cirque du Soleil that features nudity first opened in 2003 -- and definitely caught a lot of people off guard, partially due to its themes of love, sensuality, and diversity. The show has evolved over the years -- becoming edgier, switching up acts, and experimenting with gender roles -- while preserving a certain degree of humor, with a raunchy drag queen as your host for the evening. You get a good idea of what this show is about from the moment you step inside the theater (Did you notice the peepholes on the walls of the lobby?), which is far more intimate than usual; performers get close to the crowd, and loveseats are mixed in with the regular audience area. Except for one naughty group number at the end, the main performances are mostly duo or solo acts. They rotate in and out of the show, mixing up what you could see on stage from night to night... and giving ticket holders just one more reason to make a return visit.
Miracle Mile Shops
Got a fetish for hot zombies? Although the show avoids full nudity with a few well-placed pasties, Zombie Burlesque offers plenty of raunch with not only its skimpy outfits, but also its humor and story -- set in the atomic era of Las Vegas, and inspired by retro pin-up models as well as classic horror films. The show is wild, zany, and a fun way to spend a night -- with a host who's worth the price of admission alone. The music is all live and performed by an on-stage big band.
This hot show is fast approaching its two year anniversary -- but was initially created on the fly. Dancer Jennifer Romas, who was performing in the Purple Rain Prince tribute show, was asked by the Westgate to put together a "girly show" for the Consumer Electronics Show. She agreed, but wanted something that would last longer than four days. She was given the go-ahead for what would come to be Sexxy... although she only had three weeks over the holidays to make it happen. Not only did Romas pull it off, however, but created an engaging show that pushes the envelope... without going over the top. (Think unique pole acts, a well-placed pony, and the famous bathtub scene). Sexxy has continued to evolve -- rotating in new cast members while taking advantage of recent tech upgrades to its theater.
Paris Las Vegas
Consider this show a bonus entry on our list. It doesn't have any explicit nudity, but uses strategically placed props, sets, and clothing (if you count strips of tape as a shirt) to create an atmosphere of risqué, adult-oriented fun -- all based around sex, which is what the title of show would be if you were going to look at it on a digital display. (Anyone have a beeper lying around?) Billed as a co-ed cabaret, the cast features both men and women offering suggestive dance performances. It's all designed to create a spicy date night, without anyone in the audience feeling awkward or uncomfortable. Highlights include a steamy shower scene and an upbeat Dirty Dancing finale. The show takes place inside a converted area of Chateau nightclub with complimentary admission to the rest of the venue included with the price of the ticket.
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