AN EROTIC JOLT FOR YOUR SENSES
REVIEW BY BRITTANY SANTOS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GUILANO BEKOR AND PHILLIP DIXON
Zumanity has long been advertised in our city as “The Sexier Side of Cirque Du Soleil,” though after a recent visit to this erotic experience, I’d venture to say that it is the sexiest side of Cirque in Vegas. In true Cirque fashion, the showroom itself is perfectly executed, right down to the T-shirts they make all of their bartenders, ushers and hosts wear. Each employee at the show wears these black T-shirts that look as if we all have Superman powers of x-ray vision to see them, right down to their skivvies. You know it’s an illusion, yet it is a naughty illusion, so you can’t help but avert your eyes – yet you look again, and again, and again, (which is, I’m sure, the point). But Zumanity is all about making you feel a little frisky, so what are you going to do? The best way to enjoy this show? First venture over to visit the two very cheerful bartenders wearing their sexy “see-through” shirts and get one of Zumanity’s signature cocktails. “Blue Balls” was a pretty funny choice. But either way, go for a bit of alcoholic indulgence before witnessing this show. Trust us.
As you make your way into your seats, once again, we at STRIPLV recommend that you take in the beauty and design that is always done so well by the crew at Cirque Du Soleil. The atmosphere of the theater is cabaret style. And while I didn’t spot Liza Minnelli, the host of the show is Edie, and she really reminded me of Auntie Mame. There are cushioned walls, and sexy little couches for two that beg for a little making out while enjoying this seductive show. The architecture of the room itself lends itself to creating the air of eroticism, while the dim haze that fills the room is welcome, giving you a chance to enjoy the erotic theatrics, without having to really look at the couples you are sitting next to. It is quite the departure from the New York, New York Casino. All at once, you are transported from downtown New York City, into an opera house straight out of Western Europe. Our party was treated to the orchestra seats, and it was amazing. They may charge a bit extra for this incredible seating, but we highly recommend you find the big-spender inside of you to pay for it. From the orchestra seating, there was not one element of the show that we missed.
If you haven’t figured it out already, this is not a show for kids, grandparents, or anyone that you bring to Vegas looking for a wholesome experience. It is a sexy no-holds-barred exploration of SEX. It always surprises us how uncomfortable people can be with that one little word. Yet, we would rather glorify violence and make fights a family experience, instead of just being honest and open about sex. So when heading to see this show – be ready to be open – about everything. This is about dropping all stereotypes: straight, gay, transgender, fat, skinny, all that you can think of – and be ready to just enjoy the experience. You are going to be taken on a journey with Edie. Just trust her and enjoy the ride.
The biggest difference between this Cirque show and others that you have to choose from in Las Vegas, is well, the boobs. You get to see a lot of boobs. And we here at STRIPLV like to see boobs. I know, shocker, right? The other thing that struck us about this show, other than what we just mentioned, was the sheer athletic prowess of all the performers. And the one beast guy with the contacts kind of scared me, personally, but at the same time, made me want to go to the gym and work on my abs.
The show begins when the Botero sisters visit the crowd with their friend and begin to tease the audience with sexual hilarity. These ladies have just a few extra pounds on them and they use this added heft to create some hysterical comic bits with the audience members. From dildo jokes to awkward and embarrassing walks around the showroom, these redheaded sisters had all of us in stitches. It was the perfect warm-up to the acts we were about to witness.
As with all of the Cirque shows that I have seen, the performers display the sexy feel of Zumanity through amazing and breathtaking feats of strength and jaw-dropping acrobatics. There were two men fighting over a girl in an aggressive tango dance that just made you want to dive in and try a ménage-à-trois. It is a passionate love triangle played out right before your eyes.
One of our favorite parts of the show is when the Botero sisters visit the crowd again, but this time they take center stage and use pom poms and not much else to cover up their private places, in a hilarious act that caused us to laugh even harder than when we had seen these two siblings previously.
In “Hand to Hand”, we were treated to a seductive balancing act that took place in a small tub of water, which thankfully was see-through, and we could take advantage of this to, of course, see some more beautiful boobies. It doesn’t matter the size, people – enjoy them – of all sizes and shapes. It was just dazzling to watch these two women, and how they gracefully navigated by one another, moving seamlessly together in such a small space of water.
The girls in the audience, and I’m sure, the gay men enjoyed this as well: A big-time full-on striptease by Willie Bronco, whose chiseled features definitely wowed the crowd. There was little noise or talking during his performance. You could just tell from the breathless anticipation, that this group of tourists in our city were definitely getting aroused.
The tissue act in which Polina flies above the crowd in all her gorgeous glory was simply breathtaking. Reminiscent of the one memorable performance by Pink, (and we love you, Pink), but Polina was just insane on the tissues. The sheer strength this girl had, to make it seem so easy, was something Pink should work on in the next show, for sure.
For me personally, speaking as a kid that could never get my ‘Hula Hooping,’ not even once – I really enjoyed the act with all of the silver Hula Hoops. She was just incredible. I have no idea how many Hula Hoops were on her body as she hula’d and hula’d. But it was absolutely over-the-top cool. She even continued to keep them all on her body as she was lifted up to the sky. Silvery and shimmering, these dazzling Hula Hoops created a very cool visual. The beast guy that kind of had me a bit scared after he kept running down the aisle was her assistant with handling the hoops.
True to its cabaret feel, there isn’t much narrative with all of these beautiful performances. The un-related acts do have a common theme though. They all are meant to arouse and entice, and also test the limits of the audience. The costumes are outstanding, and several times throughout the show, the performers come in close contact with the audience, giving you a chance to really see them and study their amazing details. The costumes are so realistic in this zoo, that by the end of the show, you are sure that they aren’t costumes at all.
The other standout part of the show was when the performers did mingle with the crowd. Both our host, Edie, and the rest of the performers, invite unsuspecting audience members to become a part of the show. Edie reveals a little secret to some of the less intelligent members of the audience, who maybe didn’t know that Edie was actually a boy, which was a pretty funny moment. She said something like: “The gay boys know my secret, but maybe not these boys in front of me from Kentucky.” I am a bit jaded, since I have seen so many shows here in Vegas, and my first thought when this innocent school teacher from Oregon got up on stage and just went crazy joining a final onstage orgy with happy abandonment, was this: “PLANT!!! She must be a plant, there is no way.” But my crackerjack reporter skills found out the truth (I just asked her after the show). Nope, not a plant. And after I compared notes with some good friends that saw the show right after we did, I learned their audience member that joined the orgy in the finale went even crazier than our innocent little school teacher did. So I was wrong. It happens.
I think, that after all the hysterics and the crazy audience participation, the part I enjoyed most about this show is one simple thing: acceptance and openness. There are so many people that judge people based on sexual preference, but when you boil it down, we are all people with desires and all just looking for love. After all, it took one agency in town one full year to figure out that the reason people come to Vegas is for escapism. They want an escape from their everyday. They want to come here for an experience unlike any other. They want to get a little naughty. Get a little dirty. Drink too much. Eat too much. Win money. Maybe lose money. And when they do that, they get to go home and let it stay here.
For you, our loyal readers, we are going to let you in on our little secret. What happens here stays here, for you. But for us “Locals”, we can go out and do it again and again and again. Oh, and one of my favorite things to do: watch all you first-timers experience our city for the very first time. I think our town has, hands down, the very best people-watching in our country, maybe even the world. See those margaritas by the yard? Jealous yet?
If you do get a chance to come back out and experience Vegas again sometime soon, we really recommend that you join Edie and the entire cast on this journey through the exotic and somewhat kinky journey that is Zumanity.