Sunday, September 21, 2:55 p.m.
Maybe it was stolen, like Deanna’s purse at Seamless afterhours. Or maybe I “gave it up” like one does one’s virginity … and forgot about it. Or maybe I’ve just misplaced it over time, over too many meandering relationships. Regardless of where it went, or when, the assumption made at Madame Meg’s Find Your Sexy show at the Harmon Theater (aka Krave Nightclub) is that I’ve lost or—egads!—never even had my “sexy.”
In a classic bit of nightclub repurposing, Krave offers a slew of small-time off-off-Strip theater offerings, the newest being Meg’s self-help/dance class/happy hour/variety show. I must admit, I was intrigued. And anything that sexes up a roomful of cougars and cubs and turns them loose on a tipsy Vegas night … well, shots all around if you can guess what happened next.
We’re not more than a second on the Krave Lounge lobby sofas before we’re escorted into the club—er, theater, where banquet chairs have been arranged in rows on the dance floor—er, main floor. We shoo the server away on her first attempt to ply us with beverages. I don’t know, do ladies drink at 3 p.m.? I scan the crowd to see whether this will be a drinking event. Then a perky, ponytailed singer in an evening gown materializes to sing Natasha Bedingfield’s girl-powery “Unwritten” while we overhead-clap in time. Oh yes, let the drinking begin.
“Beer here, Heineken. Make it two. And a dirty martini.” Only Melissa boldly orders an espresso martini. “What’s in that?” asks the cocktailer. “Uh, never mind. Dirty martini.”
Shit. I thought sexy was a birthright. But no, says Meg, appearing hesitantly before us, dressed for a business meeting, I’ve lost it. And she’s going to help me find it. I’m giving her about five minutes.
“I’m not a showgirl. I’m a lawyer,” proclaims Madame Meg, a pale, buttoned-up, soft-spoken everywoman compared to the saucy “Showgirl Police” lady who arrives to give strip-tease lessons. Aha! I get it—she’s us, thinking we can’t be sexy, can’t misbehave. Clearly she hasn’t met my girlfriends. Meg, now only in her skivvies, admonishes us, “Your thoughts are a powerful tool in creating what you want.” It’s like Tony Robbins in a negligee.
We sacrifice Melissa and Shelly to the next act, a hypnotist dressed like Stevie Nicks. “I just don’t want to have to take my clothes off, because I’m not wearing any underwear,” Melissa says, matter-of-factly, heading to the bare stage. Emily, Teresa and I watch in delicious horror. “Deeper, relax now,” says Stevie Nicks, demanding silence during the “hypnotic induction,” touching her victims lightly to get their obedience. Obliging Shelly is made to exclaim, “I have found my sexy!” with every mention of the hypnotist’s name. Really they should just rename the show Blackmail. In the end, the inevitable moral comes with Nicks giving us the Gift of Empowerment, a 60-second meditation on hopes and dreams. Talk about a buzz-kill.
“What takes us beyond the power of positive thinking is the power of positive feeling,” says Meg from a balcony, wrapped in feather boas. How that translates to the female magician’s act is a mystery, but away we go. Magician Joan is the most confident and self-possessed of the cast. Meg, disappointingly, never breaks out of her businesswoman shell, and the rest of the cast also remains tentative, as if the show could get shut down at any second.
With the arrival of the mime, I become a Greek chorus of apologies to my girlfriends.
“So are you all trying to find your sexy, or are you trying to find sex?” Meg’s dutiful singsong delivery has the appeal of a birds ’n bees speech from a parent.
It’s after the show, during the dance lesson, that we finally get something to take home with us. “Butt swooshes,” and “sexy fingers” and the Ouija board method of pawing ourselves while we strip quickly have us discarding layers and tossing them into the crowd. “I think I’m gonna start wearing my belly-button ring again,” exclaims Emily, tucking into her compensatory Shiraz at a wine bar after the show. Why Em, did you just find your sexy?!