Bruce visits Las Vegas

Las Vegas—a city that takes a billfold full of 20s and reduces it to a pocketful of crumpled fives and singles about as quickly as any town on Earth. Las Vegas—the city that most of us here in the north love to fart in the general direction of (how do I not end that sentence with a preposition?). Las Vegas—it’s glitzy, gauche, gaudy, and garish. But then again, so am I. If you’ve ever seen the “art” at my place, you know I’m about as subtle and sophisticated as a rainbow mohawk.

So I may as well just come right out and say it—I love Las Vegas! (With apologies to all you hyper-drive Wolf Pack boosters who get all joobled up at the sight of the color red.)

I recently journeyed to the Sodom of the South and had, as usual, a freakin’ ball. My 42-hour run began on Friday night, when I got to the hotel (the Tuscany, just off the Strip—thoroughly adequate), fired up the air conditioning (Vegas—where the a.c. never sleeps), and commenced to strategizing for the night. I decided upon the 7:30 show of Zumanity at New York New York.

You familiar with this one, known as Cirque de Soleil’s “adult” show? As with most Cirque shows, there are moments of breathtaking coolness and beauty, and moments when it’s a fine time to take a leak. In this one, the former outnumber the latter by a good margin. And the bodies on display—oh, the Zumanity! The tall, willowy ultra-babes (a dazzling celebration of the B cup, for a change) and the buffed up lads with their effing 10-packs (funny how easy it is to assume that they are all quite gay) did not give offense to the ogling eye. Ever. And as in any good erotic revue, Zumanity has some moments that will make you squirm in your seat a tad. Like the segment featuring the statuesque lass who did her four-rope bondage-oriented gyro-dance suspended 40 feet above the crowd, and it was a very nice touch that she was miked, so you could hear all her little moans and squeaks and—OK, Bruce, change subject … change subject … change subject.

After Zumanity, your correspondent was famished, yet desiring more than the chicken fingers and chocolated breads that were all over Las Vegas Boulevard. Once again, I found that if you stumble along The Strip long enough, you’ll get not just what you need, but what you want. In my case, late on a Friday night, “it” was found at the traditionalist steak house, Smith and Wollensky. I dared to ask the doorman, “You guys still serving?” “Until 1 a.m., sir.” Now that’s what I want out of this town! Full tilt steak dinner at midnight. One genuine Caesar salad, two glasses of zin and one $46 rib eye later—At that price, it better be perfect. And it was—your reporter decides right then and there that it’s time to columnistically kiss Vegas’ ass.

And yeah, the Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood concert the next night at the MGM Grand Garden was fairly decent (understatement intended).