So that was a helluva thing.
A low-key gathering to unveil the poster for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ newest show, Opium, turned into a full-blown spectacle when a performance-art troupe in white linen capes and tinfoil hoodies took over the hotel’s entrance, spewing confetti from their headpieces, beating tribal drums and gyrating to a saxophonist who wandered—seemingly from nowhere—onto the scene.
“Bizarre. I sort of knew something like this would happen, I didn’t know this would be it, but it’s happening,” proclaimed Harry M. Howie, the Australian “performer, numerologist and freelance newspaper columnist” who had gathered the media inside the resort.
It wasn’t supposed to go this way, according to Howie. His plan had been to butter up the assembled media gaggle with free food—Jell-O Snack Packs and cheese balls—before showing off the Opium poster.
“You make the poster and everything else pretty much falls into place,” he explained.
Yet as he pulled back the curtain, revealing the poster to a smattering of applause, Howie was interrupted by a young woman in a white dress carrying a Hula-Hoop and silver-wrapped cardboard box.
Howie urged media and casino rubberneckers to follow her, setting the scene for the outlandish, 15-minute synchronized dance performance, which at times took on qualities of both “Too Many Cooks” and a hippie drum circle.
Photos by Krystal Ramirez
Bizarre? Most definitely. But Howie claimed he’d anticipated this moment, and declared to reporters that this group—odd as it might be—would be the perfect cast for his Opium.
“They have been picking up the same cosmic messages I have been following,” he posited.
Opium, set to debut March 13 at The Cosmopolitan’s Rose. Rabbit. Lie., is produced by Absinthe hitmaker Spiegelworld, and while they share the same lineage, it’s unknown if Opium will repeat the vaudevillian variety show beats of its predecessor.
We can expect a fair amount of comedy, music and fantastic visuals. On hand for Thursday’s announcement: New York City–based costume designer Machine Dazzle, who descended from a nearby elevator decked out in a dress made of silverware.
“I think like an artist but I act like a costume designer,” Dazzle said when asked about his role. “My costumes are unusual; they’re outside the box because I was never in one.”
With the cast assembled, Howie will now go to work whipping them into “Las Vegas’ most Las Veg-iest show.”
What he’ll come up with remains to be seen.