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[The Strip]

Harmon variety show brings together the oddest of assortments

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Jungle Josh (kneeling) and his assembled Monday night talent
Photo: Bill Hughes

The skilled and the odd, the established and the emerging, the formal and the semi-nude—they all come to the Harmon Theater on Monday nights to perform in After the Show With Jungle Josh. “Jungle” Josh Weinstein got his nickname from his original discipline, animal training. He used to live with a lion, a tiger, a chimp, a baboon, two miniature horses, a miniature donkey, a possum and a cockatoo. Now he handles snakes, juggles and hosts a variety show.

Stephanie Castellone

Stephanie Castellone

Calendar

After the Show with Jungle Josh
Mondays, 9:30 p.m., free ($5 drinks)
Harmon Theater, 836-0830

I attended two After the Show performances last month, and I’m still trying to comprehend everything I witnessed. I saw a stilt-walking strip-teaser accompanied by a pirate accordionist; I saw a Bill Clinton impersonator make Lewinsky jokes older than the Bellagio; and I saw an X-rated balloon artist create a balloon priest clubbing a balloon seal. I also saw a “Professional Badass” perform a five-minute musical shaggy dog joke with a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator, and the youngest razorblade-eating act in Las Vegas.

“We put no limits on material,” Jungle Josh says. “The Harmon Theater is a tenant of the Miracle Mile, not Planet Hollywood, so we don’t have to answer to the Gaming Commission. That means we don’t have any decency standards, and that means we can show a lot of acts that have been banned from other places.”

What kind of acts have been banned? “We’ve had suspension artists—people who hang by hooks piercing their backs—and we’ve had a woman who shot darts from her vajayjay.”

In other words, if you’re looking for family-friendly fun on a Monday night, run away from the Harmon Theater as fast as you can. But if you’re sick of benign ’80s comics, predictable European clowns and overhyped California DJs, be at the Harmon Theater by 9:30. And prepared to be offended. “Every week, 10 percent of our audience gets offended and walks out,” Jungle Josh says. “It’s not our mission, it’s just a pleasant byproduct.”

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