Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Tattooed platinum-blond bombshell Sabina Kelley is hoping that the success of her weeklong guest-starring run in “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere returns her to a new career onstage.
The statuesque one-time “Jubilee!” at Bally’s dance beauty is convinced that she can combine a new Strip production with her reality-TV work in “Best Ink” on Oxygen.
After Sabina exited stage left as the curtain came down on her final — for now — performance standing in for Claire Sinclair at “Pin Up,” she told me: “Man, I loved this. I feel so good, it’s been so fun; the cast has been amazing.
“They totally treated me like family, and they have been so much fun to work with. It’s been 15 years since I last danced topless in pasties and a G-string. I don’t want this to be my last night! I want more!
“This is now no longer my last night of doing this. I don’t really know what I’m going to do from here or where I go from here, but this isn’t the end anymore. Honestly, I really want my own show on the Strip; I really do. I want to do some sort of dancing again. I love it. I realize now that this is what I was missing in my life for a long time.”
The shapely 36-year-old, 5-foot-10 knockout who measures in at 38D-26-36 stood in for Claire from July 24-31 while the 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year was at Comic-Con in San Diego promoting her comic books “Wondrous Adventures.”
Sabina is a single mom of three children ages 12, 10 and 5 and became the first heavily tattooed dancer to take on a starring burlesque role. She also owns and operates the Bombshell Tattoo Removal laser business in Carey Hart’s tattoo shop Hart & Huntington at the Hard Rock Hotel.
“The showbiz bug totally bit me all over again,” she confessed. “I’m hooked and wanting to keep it rolling onward.
“The easiest part was learning all of the dances and getting along with everybody. The hardest part was getting over my nerves at the first show — just getting back in front of live audiences again. The response from everybody was really good, and I feel very lucky that it all went so well for me and for them.”
The show is now a total blast. What started off more than a year ago as a confused Strip entry has become a tight, highly energetic, slick choreographed production packed with fabulous sexy dancers and spicy routines.
Dave Perrico’s scorching-hot live band belts out great music with sassy power singer Lisa Marie to propel the fun and nonstop action. Ryan Kelsey still gets kudos for his effervescent and enthusiastic acrobatic agility. Claire has returned to the starring role of the action-packed burlesque with performances Thursday through Monday, dark Tuesdays and Wednesdays. “Pin Up” is perfect late-night Las Vegas cabaret entertainment.
I told Sabina that it was impossible not to notice all the tattoo fans at the nightly sold-out shows. She said: “Yeah, all my friends and my fans! That’s what everyone’s been saying; there are so many tattooed people. We also found time to do a Pin Ups for Pitbulls charity event, so that was really cool, too, to raise money for a great cause.
“But I’m going to be kind of sad waking up tomorrow and not having to come to work.”
I’ve learned that Stratosphere entertainment execs are in discussions to invite Sabina to return whenever Claire is away from “Pin Up.” I asked her when she’d start work on making the next part of her dream career return happen.
“Oh, man, hopefully right away. I have to see what’s going on, see if I’m going to do more here or if I’m going to jump somewhere else,” she told me.
“It’s pretty much exactly what I thought or hoped would happen. I knew that I could do it, but I just wanted to be able to prove to myself that I could do it again. There were a few little stumbles here and there, a few small things during some shows, but … I can’t complain. I’ve been super lucky and blessed to be able to do this.”
Was she comfortable shedding her clothes?
“Yeah, the only thing I wasn’t too stoked on was doing the tassel-turning routine, but I was comfortable with everything else. My favorite act was the witch casting spells for Halloween. It was actually the hardest one for me to learn because you’re not dancing to number counts.
“It wasn’t something that they could teach you. I just had to learn it; I don’t know how to explain it. Claire would just do it. The dance captain had to teach me by counts, and that’s how I learned it. Claire just learned immediately and naturally.
“My body is in great shape — it comes from chasing my kids around! I tried to eat healthy. I go to the gym to train and lift weights. That’s pretty much it and the dancing. I think that it’s really seriously chasing my kids around!”
Sabina awaits final news next week of the start dates for another season of “Best Ink”: “Our fourth season will probably film before the end of the year in Los Angeles. It’ll take six weeks of filming, so for a while dreams of another stage run in Las Vegas would be on hold during that time. It would be impossible six days a week to shoot by day and jet back here round trip nightly and be back on the set early the next morning.
“The most important thing that came out of this experience was that everybody said great things. It was good to know that after all these years, I’ve still got it.”
“What I really want to do now is dance more. … The real goal now will be to get my own show up-and-running. Some said that I could never do this guest run. I proved that I could, and now I want to prove that I can do my own show.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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It is virtually impossible to be anywhere in Las Vegas and miss the Stratosphere. It towers 1,149 feet above Las Vegas and is the tallest observation tower in the United States. The casino itself is 55,784 square feet and contains 950 slot machines, 120 game tables and 2,427 hotel rooms.
Of the hotel's 2,427 rooms, 909 were recently remodeled into Stratosphere Select rooms.
The Stratosphere is mostly known for its rides at the top of the tower. The Big Shot, located at the 113th floor, torpedoes riders up 160 feet using compressed air. X-Scream is a teeter-totter perched at the top of the observation deck — if that wasn't scary enough, the coaster arm flings the riders out 27 feet over the edge of the tower. Guests looking for something more sedate can just hang around the 107th floor and simply look at the scenery.