Thirteen years later, it’s still sweet dreams for the cast of Fantasy
By Jack Houston
Photos by Tom Donoghue
In the never-ending debate of T vs. A, there are no losers, only winners. At Fantasy, those winning ways have propelled the Luxor’s topless revue to the forefront of the genre—and allowed it to become one of the longest-running shows on the Las Vegas Strip, with 13 years and counting. Producer Anita Mann promises a big celebration for the show’s 15th anniversary, and it hardly seems presumptuous to think they won’t reach that milestone.
Where other shows lean toward the grittier, darker side of sexuality, Fantasy is glossy fun delivered with a knowing wink and a smile; you’re never threatened by any of the vignettes, even if you are turned on. Singer Lorena Peril (pictured) is fast on her feet as the vixen emcee, joking with the crowd in between barnstorming send-ups of “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” and her own single, the club-ready “Dance on Me.”
Peril keeps her top on throughout the performance, but there are eight other dancers (15 total, including alternates) ready to give you a peek. One of the early highlights is a bedroom scene where a solo romp in the sheets evolves into a ménage a trois of sorts with the three ladies diving under the covers just as the stage goes dark. Another vignette showcases a Cuban dancer’s heritage with a percussive Latin-inspired routine, while still another dancer completes a workout on and around a stripper pole with aplomb.
Hard-working comedian Sean E. Cooper might seem an odd fit for a show like Fantasy, but given the pulse-quickening nature of the performances, his interludes give the dancers a necessary break from the action. His impressions of James Brown (owing no small debt to Eddie Murphy’s mid-’80s Saturday Night Live sketch “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party”) and Michael Jackson are spot-on and a new bit, a mock striptease a la Magic Mike to Ginuwine’s “Pony,” is ridiculous fun.
Peril and Cooper join forces for a good-natured “Hips Don’t Lie,” with Peril mimicking Shakira’s voice and belly dancing and Cooper taking on the role of Wyclef Jean. Then, it’s back to the ladies. Cheerleaders and cowgirls hit the stage, and one dancer ascends a long, crimson sheet, performing aerial acrobatics high above the crowd. There are the expected gasps when, after tying the sheet myriad ways around her body, she unravels it until she is hanging just feet above the floor. Somehow, miraculously, she manages to stay aloft.
It’s cliché by now to say that a show like Fantasy features something for everyone—as in, body types and traits representing the range of female sexiness—but it’s true. Still, despite their differences, all of those bodies are in phenomenal shape. (You couldn’t perform a show this physically demanding seven nights a week and not be.)
By the time Peril brings the entire cast out onstage to take their final bows, it’s not just the dancers that have been left breathless. Somewhere out there, whether in the first row or the back, someone was just now coming up for air. And he was loving it.
10:30 p.m. daily, $39-$59 plus tax and fee, 18+. 702.262.4400