This showgirl classic had become a bit of a relic, with silly 1970s-era variety show songs and choreography, goofy revue acts, and big set pieces involving the legend of Samson and Delilah and the sinking of the Titanic told with pretty girls and the occasional bare breast. In an attempt to reinvent the show for modern audiences, it has gotten a makeover that has turned it into an even sillier, schizophrenic experience that tries to blend new and old but just comes off as weird. Some of the parades of topless beauties and the variety acts have been jettisoned in favor of a truly bizarre “storyline” involving a showgirl named Catherine Jubilee who has to go on a journey through time and space, guided by silver aliens with giant glowing light sticks, to find, well, something. Love, maybe? Edification? Her top? There are some new numbers, mostly involving more modern and edgy choreography that are an undeniable improvement on the walk-and-pose showgirl action of yore, but it is all staged with sparse backdrops and what is attempting to be moody lighting that comes off as gloomy instead and sucks all the energy right out of the proceedings. The new character is randomly inserted into some of the bigger, iconic numbers (Samson and the Titanic are still there) before the whole storyline (and the aliens) mysteriously vanish about two-thirds of the way through and everyone starts dancing to random disco and '80s songs. This was the last showgirl extravaganza in Vegas, and although it was long-in-the-tooth, it had a certain unique Sin City charm. Too bad then that this revamp has effectively killed the genre. Much more entertaining and historically enlightening is the backstage walking tour Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 11am (tickets are $20, with $5 off if you buy a ticket to see the show). Shows are held Saturday through Thursday at 7 and 10pm.
- Rick Garman