Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 | 8 p.m.
It’s been a whirlwind 29 days for stunning dancer Jennifer Romas, who premieres her burlesque cabaret “Sexxy” tonight in Shimmer Theater at Westgate Las Vegas. Most of the days have been 20 hours working right through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
“I had to hire my cast, choreograph the routines, organize rehearsals, build props, sew costumes and deal with a thousand and one other things that goes into opening a new show,” Jennifer told me at dress rehearsals Saturday. “It was a very tough assignment in terms of time, but we will open on time Sunday.
“It would have been a lot easier if we hadn’t had those holidays with everybody away.”
More incredible is that in addition to hiring rock singer Gabriella Versace, Jennifer, a striking brunette, also is the main star dancer. She continued for most of December as the solo dancer in Jason Tenner’s “Purple Reign” Prince tribute show at the same theater.
That’s where Westgate owner David Siegel first saw her and was so impressed with her cutting-edge choreography that he asked her to create a sexy topless show to add to his entertainment lineup.
“It was a dream come true,” Jennifer continued. “But an almost impossible task to achieve in less than a month. Many people, everybody from my mom to Las Vegas producer Blair Farrington, came to my help. It would have been impossible to bring this to fruition without them. This is no one-woman undertaking.”
It also is a homecoming for Jennifer. She danced at Westgate when it was Las Vegas Hilton in “Monster Circus” and with Shimmer Lounge band Kristine and The Sting. Jennifer has danced as a featured entertainer in numerous Las Vegas shows, including “Xposed,” “Striptease” and “ICandy,” where she sustained serious knee and leg injuries after being dropped by a dancer during an act.
“I need a third surgery, but that’s on hold for now because I must see this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity be a total success. I’m a perfectionist, so I won’t rest until it’s perfect. We’ve got to shake it down after the soft opening Sunday and then change it, shine it and add to it for the first month,” she said.
In Saturday’s dress (or should I say undress?) run-through for this exclusive preview, she amazed with the 16 high-energy dance numbers and routines packed into the 65-minute production. Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo gallery you won’t see anywhere else.
Jennifer proves her upside-down skills on a silver stripper pole in the audience — and remarkably used a bath with water for an acrobatic dance sliding-and-splashing number that would keep you in the tub forever.
“I named the show ‘Sexxy’ because every number is about that,” she laughed. “It’s hot, sizzling hot. It’s just gorgeous girls, leggy girls, sexy girls dancing and singing. Even Gabriella goes topless for the first time.”
“It’s just enough nudity,” laughed the voluptuous and vivacious Versace long linked to illusionist Lance Burton. She previously starred in the Greg Thompson show “Erocktica” at the Rio. A former Miss Pennsylvania in the Miss America Pageant, Gabriella is the lead singer of the Las Vegas band Nitro and stars in Mistinguett’s “Showgirl Follies.”
In her lacy black negligee, stockings and thigh-high boots, Gabriella wades into the audience to find a volunteer to join the onstage dancers — every man in the room will want to leave his seat for that experience. In other numbers, the entire cast moves through the audience sending temperatures rising.
“It simply doesn’t get sexier than this,” smiled Jennifer, who I interviewed for a story posted Dec. 29. “We will be different from anything else on the Strip. It’s a journey of sensuality and sexual adventure with fun and enticing vignettes featuring music from all eras appealing to men and women of all ages. Just leave any inhibitions at the door.”
On Saturday after their photo shoot and rehearsal run-through for Vegas DeLuxe, there was still more work to finalize before midnight, plus mobile sun-tanning sessions by Kamela Brewer of Bold Body Bronzing and hair guru Michael Boychuck’s Color salon experts from Caesars Palace.
“We wanted to be open to welcome Consumer Electronic Show delegates so that we’ll have time to rest and relax after their five days in Las Vegas,” said Jennifer, who most recently choreographed two Britney Spears Strip celebrations (her arrival at Axis at Planet Hollywood and the Key to the Strip ceremony at the Linq Promenade) and Kevin Hart and Meagan Good’s movie sequel “Think Like a Man, Too.”
“The convention may be all about amazing electronics and technology of the future, but I know we have the sexiest attractions in town. I’m just trying to figure out how to use a drone or a giant 4D TV set in the show. I’m hoping to find a developer for an iPhone app finished in time so the user can help undress our ‘Sexxy’ dancers onstage from their seats!”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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