Las Vegas Sun

May 21, 2019

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Retooled ‘X Burlesque’ sizzles in intimate setting

Choreographer revamps topless show, puts dancers in audience

X Burlesque

Courtesy

X Burlesque” performers slither, slink, dance the Charleston and do ballet during the show at the Flamingo. There’s even a comedian.

If You Go

  • What: “X Burlesque”
  • When: 10 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; midnight Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Where: Flamingo
  • Tickets: $44.95 to $55.95; 733-3333

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Think erotic.

Think really erotic.

Then think “X Burlesque.”

This topless show, produced by the husband-and-wife team of Angela and Matt Stabile, has come a long way since debuting at the Flamingo a year ago.

Thank Enrique Lugo.

The choreographer has elevated a nice enough girlie show, filled with sexy women who are trained dancers, to a higher level of art. Topless art, but art nonetheless, art that pushes the envelope.

The 90-minute show moves swiftly from scene to scene, hardly pausing long enough for the dancers — or the audience — to catch their breath. Though most of the show is original, a few things have been borrowed from other productions, such as the “You Gotta Have Boobs” number from “Crazy Girls” and “If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It,” which came from “The Producers.”

There’s enough energy in the production to light up half of Las Vegas — women in bathtubs, women on mattresses, women in chairs, women on poles, women dancing the Charleston, jazz dancing, doing ballet, high-kicking, slithering, slinking. It even has a comedian, James Bean, who strips down to patriotic jockstrap underwear.

“X” has been around for about five years in various incarnations and at various locations, premiering at the old Aladdin in 2002 as “X: An Erotic Adventure.”

Three years ago, when the show was still at the V Theatre, the producers recruited Lugo to jazz things up, and he created five new numbers. He was brought in to work his magic again for the latest version, and now the production is about 80 percent new.

Lugo comes with good credentials. Born and raised in Mexico, he studied Russian-technique classical ballet before moving to Japan as a performer, assistant choreographer, teacher and director. He moved to Las Vegas in 1999 to perform in “Imagine” at the Luxor. Then he choreographed and starred in “Fashionistas,” John Stagliano’s over-the-top musical based on Stagliano’s hit porn movie of the same name, at Krave.

Lugo lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches dance and works as a choreographer.

He says when “X” moved to the Flamingo most of the show was intact, but it needed to be changed. The showroom dictates the direction the show will take. In the larger V showroom, there was more action on the stage. In the Flamingo room, which is about half the size, a lot of action takes place off the stage.

“We wanted to make it more dynamic,” he said. “It was working, but some of the stuff was in the past. When I first created for the show it was for the V Theater. There is a lot of differences from room to room. Some routines won’t work in both places.”

The Flamingo show is more intimate, with the girls spending more time in the audience and in front of the stage. Lugo worked closely with the dancers, creating moves that fit their individual tastes and personalities.

But, he says, it all begins with the music.

“I let the music tell me what can be done,” he says. “It tells you how to create the story, something appealing to the eye.”

Lugo says each show has its own peculiar stamp.

“This one, the girls are more close to the audience,” he says. “I looked at a lot of different shows but not one gave me a 100 percent feeling of being involved in the show. That was what I was thinking all the time I was creating.”

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