Sizzle that fizzles
Passion Xtreme at Caesars Tahoe is not as racy as it claims
Ever since my friend decided to weather a transitional time in her life in the spare room of our basement, my husband, Sam, has taken every conceivable opportunity to point out his joy at having two wives. When the time came to take bigamy on the road to an “exotic adult revue,” his delight can only be imagined.
Upon arriving at Caesar’s Tahoe to see Passion Xtreme, we merrily advanced to the “Invited Guests” line and were escorted to our seats in the grandiose, but unfortunately named, Circus Maximus showroom. The Thursday night crowd filled the room to perhaps one-eighth of its capacity, and we made another distressing observation. We three have a combined age of 74, which was right on par with many individuals in the audience. Thankfully, the lights soon dimmed, and I could ignore the fact that I might as well be watching a topless show with my grandparents.
The advertisements for Passion Xtreme are laden with superlatives, and the word “hottest” gets bandied about frequently. When I first saw the female dancers, I was confident that the room temperature would stay at a comfortable 72 degrees.
I consider the female body aesthetically pleasing in and of itself, and there are certain embellishments that can enhance one’s beauty—makeup and flattering clothing, for example. But who decided 3-foot-tall rainbow fright wigs and nylon body stockings make a woman more attractive? These over-the-top costumes gave the women in the show a cartoonish feel that bordered on self-parody.
All was forgiven once the men came onstage. Sadly, there were only two of them, but they had toned bodies, hot dance moves and no scary wigs. Their costumes were occasionally hokey, but scanty, so my female friend and I bore no ill will to costume designers.
The dance numbers ranged from common kick lines to the surprisingly creative. One particularly memorable number was “Mirror,” in which women used foam rollers to paint each others’ bodies fluorescent colors, set to the sounds of Christina Aguilera. It may sound bizarre, but somehow it worked.
I was impressed with the choreography of “Fans,” a gorgeous dance involving lots of feathers. Other notable props throughout the show included scaffolding, ladders and a metal spider web. The dancers were quite skillful, although their moves were more, “How does she do that?” than “Oh, baby!” The steamiest number was “The Bull,” in which one male and one female dancer got very friendly in the company of a mechanical bull. I doubt I’ll ever look at rodeos the same way again.
For some reason, the Riders of the Thunderdome appeared toward the end of the show, riding motorcycles around the inside of a metal mesh ball. Their performance was thoroughly entertaining, if a slight non sequitur. They were, after all, fully clothed.
Including the motorcycle number and several stand-up comedy breaks, Passion Xtreme clocked in at a slim 70 minutes. During that time, there were only a few moments I would describe as “heart-pounding excitement.” However, I should say that I’m probably desensitized. This is the age of “Sex and the City,” Christina Aguilera videos and the Internet.
Racy entertainment is easy to find, and although the Caesar’s show may have passion, it’s hardly "Xtreme."