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Five Things: ‘The Miss Behave Gameshow’ in the Anthony Cools Experience Showroom at Paris Las Vegas (December 11-13)

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The glamorous Harriet and Miss Behave, doin’ the do.
Photo: Geoff Carter

1. The Miss Behave Gameshow is, fittingly, the domain of impresario Miss Behave, played by British-born comedian, sword-swallower and all-around variety powerhouse Amy Saunders. She is assisted by a bearded and extremely limber acolyte named Harriet, whose show duties include answering audience texts, delivering impromptu lap dances to the unsuspecting and twerking fiercely in pleather booty shorts. Miss Behave, who herself dresses pretty flash—a sequined gold jumpsuit and turban, with heels tall enough to induce nosebleeds—talks fast, thinks faster and has her contestants pretty much in thrall from the moment she takes the stage.

2. It’s a game show largely in name only. The “contestants” are the members of the audience. Miss Behave names one half the room the “iPhones,” and the other half, er, the “Others,” and pits them against each other in a series of challenges that involve your cell phone in some way: She asks us to Shazam song fragments, take photos of the stage and send texts to Harriet and her. Other challenges: “Be the last person in the room to sit down” and “Who in this room doesn’t have health insurance?”

If this doesn’t make sense to you now, trust me, it barely makes sense while you’re watching it live. But everything in The Miss Behave Gameshow happens so quickly, and is so completely and utterly hilarious, that you give in to the lunacy without complaint. This is audience participation weaponized. No one escapes it, and no one minds.

3. Though this is the first time The Miss Behave Gameshow has come to town—following successful runs in London, New York City and San Francisco—this small comic miracle might not exist if not for Las Vegas. Miss Behave explained in a post-show interview: “I had a brilliant gig in Vegas lined up, hosting a late-night variety show on the Strip, and then it fell through and I let all my work go. I ended up in a festival in Australia, working in a little sideshow tent that held 50 people. 15-minute-show, $5. So I put this together, and it grew from there.” That explains the show’s cardboard-and-Sharpie set pieces, and its reliance on mobile phones—the one thing every festivalgoer was sure to have with them.

4. There was a brief variety interlude by the beautiful, regal Marawa the Amazing, who does extraordinary things with hula-hoops and high-heeled roller skates. I can’t begin to describe her grace and skill here, so just Google up some videos. Come back here when you’re done.

5. Though this was a quick visit by The Miss Behave Gameshow—one made possible, partly, through the efforts of members of the cast and crew of Absinthe—there’s talk of bringing the show to Las Vegas for an extended engagement. “I think what we need to do is find me a permanent room and a couple of backers,” Miss Behave said. C’mon, all you iPhones and Others, let’s work together. Let's make Vegas Behave again.

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