Fantasy still a smart skin show moving into its teen years

lorena-sean-e-cooper.jpgEntertainment excitement married to skin-show X-citement—a smart philosophy for an erotic revue that Luxor’s Fantasy follows to a T&A.

Amid new implants in Vegas’ topless entertainment scene—openings of Shades of Temptations and iCandy Burlesque, a refreshed Crazy Girls and Coco Austin about to co-star with her über-jugs in Peepshow—we drop in on this Strip staple celebrating its 13th birthday while still trading on its natural charms.

Fantasy’s greatest asset is not relying solely on its obvious assets. Sure you ogle some of the best breasts in the West, but it’s also a genuine variety show, a round-robin of singing, comedy and hotness with a vaudevillian vibe.

Puuuurdy gals and merry mammary-shaking are the central lure, and it’s everything you’d expect and nothing you wouldn’t, tricked out with smoke effects, strobe lights and Excedrin-worthy music blare. Pole-writhing? Check. Country cuties in a yee-haw! number? Check. Frolicking on a bed with sapphic suggestiveness to “Nasty Girl”? Check. Sensuous strip-tease to “Why Don’t You Do Right”?  Check and (double-D) check.

Bursting with wit? Hardly, but it gets the job—i.e., flashing the flesh—done.

Credit hostess/dynamo Lorena Peril and her comic cohort Sean E. Cooper for quickening the pulse of Fantasy, which without them would be a routine string of wriggle-and-jiggle exertions.

Blending an exuberant personality with power pipes that could strip the varnish off a foot locker, Peril plays the sassy Latina to the hilt, pulling patrons into the spirit of the sex—um, show. “You’re gonna get laid tonight!” she tells a woman, who breaks into a blush. “Hey, don’t act like you just came out of church.” Yes it’s standard sex-show shtick, but Peril sells it well thanks to pitch-perfect audience interaction. Striding through the crowd, she winks, giggles, wheedles and cajoles, rubbing her butt on a bald head over here, coaxing hands to “spank my ass” over there, making herself right at home in your libido.

When she growls, shouts and barrels through “It’s a Man’s World,” it’s like being in church of a different sort.

Rotating through also is Cooper, a comic live wire. With sexually charged riffs and impersonations of James Brown and Michael Jackson—the latter not only hilarious but more Jax-accurate than some others on the Strip—he actually diverts us from the fact that the breasts are on a break.

Fantasy wisely spreads the show equally between the gals, Peril, Cooper—the host and comic appearing multiple times—rather than weighting it toward the skin parade, as most others do, creating as much of a variety show as this genre can muster.

X-actly the way to go.

STRIP POSTSCRIPT: Christmas in Vegas? That explains what Santa, wearing his (fat) Elvis jumpsuit, driving a neon-lit sled and sipping a frozen strawberry margarita, has for us in his goodie bag as the holiday season descends: Shania Twain opens at Caesars Palace on Dec. 1; Faith Hill and Tim McGraw open their semi-residency at the Venetian on Dec. 7; Rock of Ages blasts into the Venetian on Dec. 18; and as a holiday I.O.U., there’s Million Dollar Quartet, set to be unwrapped Feb. 4 at Harrah’s.

Remember to thank St. Nick if you see him trying to shimmy down a casino chimney.

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