Published on January 18th, 2013 | by Greg

Absinthe: A Las Vegas Tour De Weird

Last week, we visited Las Vegas for the annual gadgetfest otherwise known as CES. And while most of the trip consisted of business meetings and the usual Vegas hotel-and-casino fun, we found time to make this convention visit a bit less, well, conventional. One evening, we stopped by Caesar’s Palace, and entered the large tent that currently a large area right next to the Strip. Billed as an adult variety act, we were anxious to see one of the newer shows in Sin City and see how it stacked up against some of the others that we’ve seen, like those at the Wynn and the long-running Phantom show formerly at The Venetian.

The name of the show is Absinthe, and it’s aptly titled. The immediate impression as you step into the tent is something close to a steampunk one-ring circus- every seat has a great view, and the cast performs directly in front (and occasionally right above) the audience. A packed house on our night led to some fun exchanges, thanks to the very lewd and crude comedy that managed to hilariously offend everyone from the “token minorities” to the older gentleman with his younger wife.

It starts off with a bang, with the first act being perhaps the most memorable of the evening. Running about an hour and a half, there’s barely a moment wasted, with little time spared even for transitions. And lest you compare this to the now-it’s-everywhere Cirque, the performers here do a good job of skewering their Canadian competition while offering a lot more ribaldry (if a little less imagination and a lot less whimsy). We’ve seen multiple Cirque shows in the past, and this one is certainly different, closer perhaps to Teatro ZinZanni but with far more explicit and raunchy humor and with a few solid burlesque performances that certainly aren’t for kids.

The cast is overall solid, though the acrobats do tend to blend together, and we have seen a roller-skating-pair-in-a-tight-circle before. But the stunts still impress even a jaded Vegas crowd, and we certainly had never seen anyone insert themselves and then jump around inside of a translucent bubbly balloon. We doubt you’ll want to buy the soundtrack, or bring your mother- but you’ll almost certainly want to bring your friends. The Gazillionaire and Penny are perfect, and you can’t help but duck your head as you’re mere feet from the action. Get up close, and very personal!

Absinthe runs Wednesday through Sunday nights at 7:30 and 9:30, and tickets are available online.


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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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