“Crazy Girls” brings the “art of burlesque” concept into the modern era, making for some very high-concept striptease acts.
Caesars Entertainment

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“Crazy” means “Sexy but Predictable” as the line of groped butts approaches its 4th decade

It’s hard to screw up a topless show, right? Add pretty women, subtract clothes, shake vigorously. What could possibly go wrong?

Nothing goes wrong on your average night of “Crazy Girls” at Planet Hollywood Hotel … the same as it hasn’t gone wrong since 1988, when the show opened for its long run at the Riviera, moving to Planet Hollywood when the Riviera closed its doors. Nothing goes wrong … and that’s kind of the problem. Incidentally, 1988 was the year after Mötley Crüe released “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Do yourself a favor and Google-search pictures of late-80s strippers. They were … something.

Make no mistake – at your average “Crazy Girls” show you will feast your eyes on beautiful women (at least, by a porno-mag definition of “beauty”) in various states of undress. They are talented dancers, and they really put on a show, with displays of synchronized pole- and table-dancing, alluring outfits made of fake fox-tails, soft suspension and acrobatics, and burlesque routines set to modern music.

Part of the concept of “Crazy Girls” is to bring the “art of burlesque” concept into the modern era. This makes for some very high-concept striptease acts. No one dances to old-timey va-va-voom music at “Crazy Girls”; it’s all rock, electronica, and hip-hop. Some of the dancers’ wardrobes call back to the bustiers, bloomers, and pasties of the burlesque era, but updated to look like a retro Versace collection. In between acts, you’ll see magic displays and comedians who are decidedly hit-or-miss, adding to the flavor of vaudeville-variety shows of yore.

Overall it is very well-executed, but what niche does a show like this fill? Bare skin on stages is a big part of the Vegas experience. By some standards, your Vegas vacation isn’t complete without it. But do we drop $100 on a ticket for a show whose angle is “titillation” and not much more? For titillation, burlesque revue has been replaced in contemporary culture by the strip club; many civilians don’t see the difference. (Heathens.)

One could easily drop $100 or much more at a gentleman’s club, and Vegas has plenty of them. Like a show that has had 29 years to get its schtick down pat, there is a certain predictability to a strip club. Why else do they all look alike? The stripper is selling a particular fantasy, and the mechanics of the environment deliver the fantasy like clockwork. The hands-on interactivity of a strip club means anything can happen – or at least, there’s the illusion that anything can happen. After all, the half-naked woman is sitting in your lap, not standing on a stage thirty feet away.

So at Planet Hollywood you’re paying $100 to … what? See what a pair of breasts looks like? You don’t have to spend $100 for that.

The most obvious audience for “Crazy Girls” is couples. Not every couple, mind you. A wife who gets jealous or insecure when her husband looks at a younger or thinner woman should probably not treat him to “Crazy Girls” for his birthday. However, a wife or girlfriend who doesn’t like the sketchy vibe of a strip club could treat her Birthday Boy to this show, and they would come home with an above-average “We were naughty in Vegas!” story for their peers – all at minimal risk to the relationship. As for the lucky giftee, his “cool-girlfriend” bragging rights may be a more valuable gift than the sight of the naked women themselves.

Verdict: Although long on sex appeal and talent, “Crazy Girls” at Planet Hollywood is a little short on danger. However, for couples that like their “danger” in slick, predictable packages that they can laugh about afterward, “Crazy Girls” is a solid choice to add some sugar and spice to a Vegas retreat.