|Last week I got an email from the Stratosphere Hotel pitching their all new Halloween show, Bite.|
Their website describes the show thusly:
BITE is an erotic and sensual topless review based on deliciously evil vampires with a simple story line of sin, sex and seduction. The show centers around the Lord Vampire and his search for the perfect female specimen that he will seduce and make the queen of the night. Aiding the Lord is his coven of sultry and nimble dancers, the Erotic Angels of Rock. Their story will be told through the classic rock songs of the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's. Throughout the show, audience members will be chosen to become part of the erotic adventure.
Vampires? Classic rock? Topless? To paraphrase Dr. Alan Grant, no force on Earth or in Heaven could keep me from seeing this show. By Monday afternoon I was in Las Vegas with a mai-tai in one hand and a Bite ticket in the other.
After seeing Bite, I think there's only one way that it can possibly be described:
If you were to watch every single live performance that has been staged in any venue throughout history, from the Greek amphitheaters all the way up to today's Broadway, you would not see a single show better than Bite.
Judging by the show's online synopsis, I had expected it to be a thinly scripted cheeseball melodrama wherein the "Lord Vampire" searches for a bride amongst the "innocent" young virgins of the village below, but is ultimately thwarted by the daylight and a stacked blond in little more than a Van Helsing style trench coat. My prediction couldn't have been more inaccurate. The show was nowhere near as narrative as all that. I've seen Whitesnake videos with deeper plotlines than Bite.
Essentially the entire show is one continuous, hour long, tightly choreographed topless dance punctuated with trapeze acrobatics, pyrotechnic stage effects, and crappy magic tricks. To put it another way, it's Spiderman Rocks if you took out the Green Goblin and replaced him with undead girl on girl simulated sex acts. Or to put it another way, it was the most awesome thing I've ever seen, ever.
The show begins with a voice over from the Lord Vampire himself, admonishing against photography, smoking, and the like. He mentions that during the show, his vampire women may touch you, but you may not touch them, and if you do, the penalty is death. By about halfway through the show, this seemed to me like a pretty even trade.
With the formalities out of the way, the lights go down, the theatrical smoke flows in from all sides, and six scantily clad vampire vixens explode onto the stage to the deafening strains of "Welcome to the Jungle." The show has no ramp-up time whatsoever. It feels like somebody tapping you on the shoulder, and then when you turn around, they throw a tall cold bucket of totally awesome in your face.
In fact, Bite needs to be commended for the sheer density of awesome that it packs onto one stage. I can only imagine this show being conceptualized as a battle of oneupmanship between myself and my alternate dimension identical twin.
"At my casino I'm going to have eight hot sexy dancers."
"Well at my casino I'm going to have eight hot sexy topless dancers."
"Yeah? I'm going to have eight hot sexy topless vampire dancers."
"Well I'm going to have eight hot sexy topless vampire dancers wearing florescent paint and wigs under blacklight."
"Well... well I'm going to have eight hot sexy topless vampire dancers wearing florescent paint and wigs under blacklight, and it's all going to be choreographed to a thunderous soundtrack of late-'80s Def Leppard songs!"
As promised in the marketing blurb, the vampire harem did indeed pluck members of the audience to come on stage and potentially become the queen of the night. I thought it was strange that the befanged beauties picked both women and men out of the crowd. I guess the Lord Vampire swings both ways.
After having my senses completely saturated with ass-kickery, I suddenly found myself bracing for the part of the show where the Lord Vampire drops his mysterious Anne Rice persona and does "You're from New Jersey? What exit?" shtick. Again, my expectations were shattered. They didn't talk to the audience volunteers. They didn't even so much as put a break in the music. The Lord Vampire just came out, looked each one of them up and down, rejecting them in turn until he got to the last choice. This shy, buxom brunette was to become the vampire queen, the rest were relegated to fang-fodder for the most erotic mass slaughter in history.
I guess this would be a good place to mention that this show had more plants in the audience per capita than a "Poison Ivy for President" rally. Every single "audience member" that got pulled on the stage, upon being bitten, gained some kind of incredible vampire power. Some of the most impressive were the tourists turned trapeze artists, but of course my favorite was the sports dude who was dogpiled by six topless vampires and suddenly became a reasonable facsimile of Rick Springfield belting out Styx's "Come Sail Away." I've said it before, but I'll say it again, it would have required an altering of the fundamental laws of physics for this show to have been any more awesome in such a narrow window of time.
Still, I think the shill would have been less obvious if his picture wasn't on the web site.
Speaking of narrow windows of time, as a Halloween themed show, Bite can't last forever. When I talked to the vampire coven after the performance, I asked them how long the show was scheduled to run. Completely simultaneously, three different girls answered "indefinitely," "two months," and with a cross of her fingers, "for a long time... I hope!"
So there you have it. If you like anything that I've ever liked as much as I do, I implore you to get your skinny butt to Las Vegas within that rigidly defined time frame and take a bite out of Bite.