Have you noticed that neon lights are disappearing from our cities? Those giant flashing lights you see in places like Times Square are produced nowadays by LED, not the sliced and twisted gas-filled tubes of years ago.
For years, the old, disused neon lights of Las Vegas lay abandoned in an old YESCO production lot, known as the “Neon Boneyard. The Neon Museum of Las Vegas is restoring those signs and, last year, opened up its headquarters in the lobby of La Concha Hotel to offer hour-long tours of its collection.
The Stardust sign’s font is “Atomic.” Embracing the spirit of the age, it was meant to resemble the mushroom cloud of atomic tests.
The Moulin Rouge was the first Las Vegas casino to integrate, and the “Moulin Rouge Accord” ended segregation in Las Vagas.
The Horsehoe was the last to integrate.
Ironically, the Neon Museum’s sign contains no neon; it is all LED.
When you get a call at 5am from the hotel lobby requesting that you collect your drunk friend because she is causing trouble, you know it’s time to get out of Vegas.
Only the Burlesque Hall of Fame can keep me in Vegas for four nights, and it was worth it. Hard to choose the best, but my favourites were Michelle L’Amour, Renea La Roux, who did a “Rock Me Amadeus” number, Kitten De Ville (above,) Amber Ray, Immodesty Blaze and the unstoppable Tigger, who bounded through the audience to Cheap Trick’s Surrender.
There was, inevitably, an undercurrent of the snottiness that I have come to expect at burlesque shows — and inevitably it came from performers I had never heard of. As for the legends, the real stars and the people we were all here to see: sweethearts! Compare my friend stepping across a nobody’s path and getting a cuss and a snarl to her stepping on Satan’s Angel‘s dress and getting a giggle and told not to worry about it.
It’s too bad that there is this snottiness in burlesque but I think it has a lot to do with its mainstreaming: when we were all outcasts we stuck together.