Sounds simple, but most people attempting it would give themselves a sprained coccyx and a giggle fit. Then there’s Claire Sinclair, one of the art’s better practitioners, gliding blissfully through the Stratosphere’s Pin Up, backed by a powerhouse vocalist and hard-charging dancers and musicians.
Does it matter that she seems to be the only one who wouldn’t sweat on a million-dollar bet? No—because she finally owns her show just as she seems to float serenely over it.
Recently passing its one-year anniversary, the show headlined by 2011’s Playboy Playmate of the Year hadn’t exactly aroused the box office, spurring creative tinkering. While pockets of it are fresher, with a quartet of new tunes, it remains a series of well-choreographed, ’40s-style production numbers that entertain even if they don’t quite thrill. Now, however, Sinclair—who resembles ’50s fetish queen Bettie Page, but out of bondage—amps up the sexual electricity by doing what she inexplicably didn’t for much of the first year: flaunting those twin titans, sparkly pasties maintaining the tease effect.
When Showstopper visited Pin Up a year ago, my only real complaint was the relative lack of Sinclair and her assets. How could this top-billed babe not go topless in a show marketed on her babeliciousness? Obscuring the orbs of a buxom beauty famed for exposing her fab form seemed self-defeating. That’s like luring diners to a steakhouse, then serving only the baked potato.
Equally dispiriting was the scarcity of Sinclair’s zesty presence, bare-breasted or otherwise. Naturally ebullient, she proved in fleeting audience interaction that she’s the Strip’s sunniest sexpot, a woman who seduces with her personality before you even get to her voluptuous virtues. Yet she didn’t appear until the show had burned through four numbers, flouncing in to punctuate the production, rather than being its raison d’être.
Now Pin Up is more of a Sinclair showcase. Entering as the culmination of the opening number, she’s a centerpiece in numerous segments, sensuously strip-teasing as well as chatting up the crowd.
Admittedly, the supporting cast does the heavy lifting, particularly iron-man dancer Ryan Kelsey, a spinning marvel of hunky athleticism; and iron-woman singer Lisa Marie Smith, providing a nearly constant soundtrack highlighted by a sultry “Sooner or Later,” a playful “You Gotta Have Heart” and a take on “Fever” with Peggy Lee-like heat. Among yeoman work by female dancers is the sleek skill of Nadia Albulet in a baseball-themed bit, reeling off sizzling tap-dance moves to answer the percussive riffs of drummer Ryan Rose as the duo perform dueling rhythms.
And the propulsive band, ruled by David Perrico, couldn’t be more on fire if someone torched the showroom. (Their version of swing anthem “Sing, Sing, Sing” would have Benny Goodman groovin’ in his grave.)
Ultimately, though, there’s Sinclair, unshackled to assume a larger role in her own show, easygoing persona as bewitching as her physical charms, perspiration never seeming to touch her body.
It doesn’t know what it’s missing.
Got an entertainment tip? Email Steve.Bornfeld@VegasSeven.com.