A&E

Opium’ celebrates one-year on the Strip in typically raucous fashion

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Producer Howie M. Howie (left) and Spiegelworld founder Ross Mollison celebrate Opium‘s one-year anniversary March 12 at the Cosmopolitan.
Courtesy/ AL POWERS / POWERSIMAGERY LLC

Opium has taken audiences on more than 350 extraterrestrial rides to Uranus since it first blasted off last year inside the Cosmopolitan. And on March 12, the OPM 73 crew celebrated with a special in-flight party to commemorate the Spiegelworld production’s one-year anniversary.

OPIUM Celebrates Its First Anniversary

To give you a hint of just how weird things got: Spiegelworld founder Ross Mollison was dressed like David Bowie from the “Life on Mars?” video—powder-blue suit, eye shadow, wig and all; producer Howie M. Howie was in a VIP room before the show taking a bath, sudsing himself with a loofah before a room full of Vegas socialites; and metallic capes were handed out to attendees as they entered the alien-themed afterparty, which found cast members comically reading bad Yelp reviews of the show. Take that, haters.

It was wacky, raunchy and flamboyant—everything we've come to expect from Spiegelworld (especially if those who've seen Opium's older sister, Absinthe). And it’s something we could use more of in 2019.

When it first opened, Opium received mixed reviews—apparently not everyone feels comfortable with in-your-face gender bending, hairy-breasted women and lumpy dad-bod robots making crude sex jokes. But the show has evolved greatly since its initial launch, working out some unintended kinks while doubling down on the intentional ones. The crass comedy is still there in spades, but Opium doesn’t rely solely on toilet humor and boob jokes to get you on board. The band is one of the best on the Strip—a funky, soulful and fully electric ensemble led by bassist David Ostrem (alien name: Evad).

Opium could’ve taken a serious hit after two lead actors—Tyler Scott Watson (who played Chip) and Max Baumgarten (the sex robot)—left the show recently, but the chemistry between the updated crew still feels seamless, with standouts like Scottish hula-hoop artist Craig Reid, Captain Amadeus Kunton (Asher Treleaven) and Lucia Carbines never failing to mesmerize and entertain.

It’s been a wild trip venturing to Uranus and back for the past year. Here’s looking forward to many more successful sendoffs.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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