Jennifer Romas has risen through setbacks and injury to bring Sexxy at the Westgate, striptease revue back to the stage.

Red Mercury Entertainment LLC

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If you want an uplifting narrative of overcoming tragedy and adversity to go along with your topless show, Sexxy at the Westgate has got you covered. It’s not exactly Rudy, but better than you get at most striptease revues.

As for the show itself, these women are all smoldering personality. The sexiness is as much in the eyes as it is the legs and chests. Many in the small, tight ensemble are at an age where they are expected to cover up, making this skin show an act of stiletto-feminist protest in its own right. This won’t be “boy’s night out” – expect there to be more women in the crowd than men. The show folds singing and comedy into the mix as well, for an effective and wellrounded variety show. Don’t expect these asides to be a “man’s work” either – Sexxy is the ladies’ time to shine, not just T&A but also in wit and musical talent.

Veteran showgirl/dancer Jennifer Romas has not only reached a new career zenith by producing an A-list revue in the genre she came up in – she’s one of the dancers as well. She defies the notion that showgirls have a mandatory retirement age (usually before they are eligible for cheap car insurance) with acrobatic talent and sex appeal to spare.

In a way, Romas’ whole topless career has been an act of defiance. Amazonian, aggressive, and athletic, she doesn’t fit into most Vegas revues and struggled through rejection after rejection. Her mesmerizing craft and unconventional looks paid off, though – since her 1997 debut, she has become one of the most recognizable and consistently watchable showgirls on the Strip. “I was never cast as an ensemble performer,” Romas has remarked, and you can see why – this performer was not made to blend in.

When you have a highly physical career that spans decades, however, the law of large numbers kicks in and disaster comes calling. In 2012, Romas was dropped onstage by a castmate and suffered catastrophic injuries in both knees, requiring a long rehabilitation and physical therapy. The future of her dancing career was understandably cast into doubt.

Well, Romas put the down time to good use, leveraging her goodwill on the Strip and her outsider’s vision to make Sexxy into the topless revue of her dreams. The tropes are familiar – pole-dancing, clawfoot tubs, nipple pasties, etc. What sets this show apart is the feeling and commitment of the performers, especially Romas herself.

Can you really stick it to the patriarchy by taking off your clothes and shaking your booty for the purpose of titillating the men that make up (some of) your audience? That’s a question for a better social justice critic than me. People have been coming to Las Vegas to see scantily clad showgirls since the dawn of time. If a for-the-girls burlesque show even has a chance of moving the needle, though, maybe it’s worth $54 for a ticket (reasonable for a Vegas girlie show). There’s not a bad seat in the house.

Verdict: Like a bosomy phoenix from the ashes, Jennifer Romas has risen through setbacks and injury to bring a singular vision to the stage with Sexxy at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. It doesn’t break new ground in the T&A genre … but it does it way better, with a decidedly empowering touch.