“Lady Like” Quasi-Topless Revue Slays at Virgin

Sex appeal and female empowerment collide with impressive results at Virgin Las Vegas with the recently-opened “Lady Like” revue that cleverly meets, exceeds and defies expectations.

Oh, and there are boobs. Lots of boobs. No, really, there’s literally a song called, “Boobs.”

“Lady Like” also has brains, so there’s something for everyone. Let’s take a respectful, consensual look.

We don’t actually use the word “slays” in conversation, but it’s important to sound relevant for our fellow youths.

The title of the show, “Lady Like,” already provides a clue to the hook at this revue boasting seven talented dancers who take on 24 different numbers and corresponding costume changes, which has to be a record for a burlesque-style show.

It’s important to distinguish between “burlesque” (sort of boring and slow) and “burlesque-style” (not boring and actually hot). This production falls firmly into the category of burlesque-style.

“Lady Like” refers to outmoded social norms, harkening back to a time when women were expected to be “ladylike,” or well-bred, graceful, polite and “proper.” Not too long ago, advertising and popular culture portrayed women as dumb, submissive and subservient—their roles limited to cooking, cleaning, birthing and raising children. And we aren’t talking about the medieval period. We’re talking about a few short decades ago, and “Lady Like” uses real, old-timey advertising to illustrate the cringeworthy propaganda churned out during the “Mad Men” era.

Yes, sexism still exists in pop culture, but not like this. Now, sexism is sneakier. Back then, it was overt and unapologetic.

In between each dance segment, “Lady Like” projects vintage ads guaranteed to make your jaw drop. This isn’t satire, it’s real, and it’s physically painful.

In contrast to these deeply offensive messages created by men for men, the women in “Lady Like” make it clear things have changed dramatically. Women run the show now, including understanding their value, sexual and otherwise.

The patriarchy is being dismantled, hard.

In the show, a “Headmistress” (pun intended, we trust) takes the audience through several charm school lessons. We don’t remember any of the lessons because: 1) we don’t take notes, 2) did we mention all the boobs?

Back in the day, charm schools (also called finishing schools) were places women went to learn social graces, manners and how to give themselves orgasms because men weren’t really all that interested in providing them. Now, you know why they were called “finishing schools.” You’re welcome.

The “Headmistress” is a very talented singer, Elaine Hayhurst. When we attended, Hayhurst was filling in for the show’s usual Headmistress, Maren Wade. Wade is currently performing her one-woman show on Broadway, which we consider a reasonable excuse if one has to miss a few performances.

The show also has two enjoyable variety acts, one is a “hand act” featuring a couple, another is a woman who works a pole topped with a tractor tire.

Seems like a cross-promotional opportunity with Pinkbox Doughnuts, but what do we know?

If you include the hostess and variety performers, that’s 10 women in the cast, and “Lady Like” appears to be 80% natural, in case you’re keeping track at home.

No, that is not sexist! We are trumpeting female empowerment and the fact women can augment or not, it’s their choice. You’re allowed to objectify women if they objectify themselves first, from what we can tell. It’s all a little confusing when scantily clad women dancing around provocatively are making a point about not being viewed as sex objects, but some things are better seen than understood. This is Vegas! It’s not about understanding, it’s about not thinking about your crappy life for 75 minutes. Mission accomplished.

To help with that mission, there are specialty cocktails.

Bonus points for the Googie stars.

This is the Bright Idea cocktail.

Flip it over when people ask about the Sphere.

The show does a wonderful job of comparing and contrasting the past and present of sisters, in the words of the Eurythmics, doing it for themselves.

Here, we’re going to let A.I. say it: “In this groundbreaking and intellectually stimulating production, we embark upon a riveting exploration of women’s empowerment that transcends societal norms, dismantles antiquated paradigms and heralds the cessation of ‘slut shaming’ with an audacious fervor. This avant-garde spectacle delves into the profound journey of women discovering and asserting their intrinsic worth, heralding the next epoch in the evolution of women’s liberation. Within this tapestry of enlightenment, we witness the unabashed celebration of feminine agency, as women boldly and proudly embrace the nuanced facets of their sexuality, unabashedly reclaiming their autonomy. The narrative unfolds as a powerful odyssey, challenging preconceived notions, and offering a visceral experience that transcends the conventional boundaries of entertainment, leaving audiences captivated by the resplendent tapestry of emancipation.”

We are so out of work. That is exactly what we were going to say if we “cared” or “weren’t intellectually lazy” or if we wanted to “exert any effort whatsoever.” If “Lady Like” includes any of that A.I. verbiage in their advertising, we’re pretty sure they should still say it’s a quote from us because we typed the prompt into ChatGPT.

Who wouldn’t to see a show Vital Vegas (and technology sure to destroy the human race) describes as “A resplendent tapestry of emancipation”? It doesn’t get much sexier than that.

We liked this show and we cannot lie.

One of our biggest qualms about revues in Las Vegas is they aren’t always sexy, per se, despite being good shows. It’s hard to describe the distinction.

It’s sort of the difference between what people (mostly heterosexual men) want to see in a sexy show, and what people in shows think people want to see. Like in a strip club, when a dancer puts on an elaborate costume and chooses some obnoxious song she loves to dance to. None of the customers care, take it off. If you’re a housewife or girlfriend, nobody cares about your lingerie. If it makes you feel sexy, go for it, but we men want more skin, not plots and character arcs.

Yes, we presume to speak for all men. Do you know this blog at all?

“Lady Like” (which we’re bound to mistakenly call “Lady Luck” at some point) finds a perfect balance of sensuality and all the other stuff men pretend to care about. Dancing overall isn’t really sexy, it’s playful and flirtatious, but it doesn’t really get you going.

The other trap some revues fall into is including too many guys in a show intended mostly for men. “Rouge” at Strat is guilty of this, and it’s a buzzkill. Ditto “Belle de Nuit” at Venetian’s Voltaire venue. We haven’t seen it, but it’s supposed to be “gender-bending,” so that’s a hard no. Just personally. We aren’t attending a Las Vegas revue to see anyone’s gender get bent, all due respect.

Seeing lots of dudes in better shape than we are in a show with T&A is like having intercourse with a vodka ice luge. “Lady Like” keeps the dudes to an absolute minimum.

There was a time when people actually said, “A good girl’s knees are always neighbors.” Those people were idiots.

“Lady Like” is genuinely sexy (along with being funny and simply entertaining), but manages to appeal to other customer demographics, beyond just straight men.

The dancing and choreography are outstanding, and the costumes can be appreciated on their own merit. The show uses pasties, so there were lots of couples in attendance (many women decline to attend topless shows with their significant others) and a fair number of our gays. Yes, they’re ours.

When we attended, audience members were having a blast and the dancers appeared to be doing the same.

A phallic stage extension thrusts right into the audience, making the show interactive and immersive, one of the few shows that actually sort of lives up to those terms. We even got some rhinestones in our hair. We will cherish them always.

Confidence, check. Beauty, check. Seriously over chauvinism, check.

How do dancers keep their skin so flawless? It might be youth, but to the show’s credit, a couple of the dancers are older, you know, in their late 20s.

If you think we’re being sexist, you don’t understand irony, and you should stay off the Internet.

“Lady Like” originally played at the Mosaic Theater on The Strip before the venue was closed and demolished to make way for the new BLVD mall, which replaced the Hawaiian Marketplace and Cable Center Shops, known informally as the Fifth Circle of Hell.

“Lady Like” is a great fit for Virgin as it seeks to draw more, or any, guests. Kidding, it’s doing O.K., but it’s taking some time to ramp up following a recent switch in resort presidents. Cliff Atkinson, who parted ways with Fontainebleau before it opened (bullet, meet dodged), is digging into some of the problems at Virgin and there’s a chance the off-Strip casino will find its mojo, especially if the debt can be addressed, along with Virgin’s disjointed business model. Basically, each part of the resort is operated as its own entity. There’s a reason integrated resorts are integrated.

Anyway, “Lady Like” could be a solid draw to Virgin, and should meet the requirements of convention planners for a show that’s a good, clean night out—sans nippular exposure—thus sidestepping any H.R. minefields.

“Lady Like” runs 75 minutes, and it flies by. The show happens Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. in the 24 Oxford theater (we’re looking forward to a rebrand of that terrible name, Virgin) at Virgin Las Vegas. Guests must be 18 or older, tickets run from $59-$99.

See more at the show’s official Web site, and thanks to Virgin for comping us a ticket to take in “Lady Like.” You can get tickets at VirginHotelsLV.com. Yes, there’s just the one Virgin Las Vegas hotel, but they use the plural. Don’t get us started.

We look forward to catching “Lady Like” again soon, and we will be pitching the idea of interviewing each female cast member individually for our podcast to get their personal, candid take on what it’s like to dance for 75 minutes straight without having a cardiac arrest. The sacrifices we make for you.