Tag Archive: penny pibbets


Courtesy of CaesarsPalace.com

The rollicking, rambunctious show lives up to its spirited namesake: “Absinthe” is an intimate, Cirque-esque affair in a tent outside Caesars Palace that is likely to give pause to even the most seasoned spirit drinker. The production is equal parts lowbrow humor and high-flying acro, mixed well and poured over a sugar cube of incredible talent. The Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets emcee the show and contribute a kick of bitterness with crass and spectacularly foul-mouthed dialogue that is unlike almost anything else in Las Vegas.

The beauty of “Absinthe” is that it isn’t just a show. Walking into the Spiegeltent is like being transported to a time when circuses weren’t polished, politically correct productions with sophisticated sensibilities. The inside of the smallish tent is just plastered with all manner of paraphernalia and packed with people. The stage itself is only 9 feet in diameter, which creates more of a side-show atmosphere than a million-dollar proscenium theater ever could.

And the performers themselves are dumbfounding. Four Russian guys throwing themselves and each other around? Check. A chick in roller skates spinning quite fast around a dude in roller skates spinning quite fast, perhaps by just an ankle or two hooked behind his neck? Check. An acrobat doing a headstand on top of a beer keg on top of a chair on top of a bar held by two guys on a tightrope? Check, check and check.

The Atlantis acrobatic group helps “Absinthe” stun audiences from the start.

A sultry Green Fairy makes an appearance, as does a spellbinding trapeze duo and a straps act that is truly amazing. The skill of the multifarious artists is continually juxtaposed by generous doses of raunchiness from Penny and the Gazillionaire, though, which keeps things from getting too familiar to Cirque du Soleil connoisseurs. By the time the first 15 minutes of the show have transpired, Gaz (as his friends call him) has picked on Republicans, Mexicans, Republicans, blacks, Republicans, women, Republicans, fanny packs, and Republicans. In a performing world that seems terrified of offending anyone at all, “Absinthe” is a refreshing (if shocking, at times) breath of air.

Like the heady green drink after which it is named, “Absinthe” might be hard to stomach at times, and it might leave you feeling a bit woozy after. If you’re looking for a different kind of show in this performance-saturated city of ours, though, it might be just what the doctor ordered.

Find more information about “Absinthe” and Spiegelworld here and here, respectively. The latter link also includes more about “Empire,” another Spiegelworld show debuting soon in New York. Paul Carr also saw and reviewed “Absinthe” for the Huffington Post, and his take is available here. And, finally, KNPR’s “State of Nevada” recently featured some of the big brains of Spiegelworld. Check out the story here for more about “Absinthe,” “Empire,” and what makes the (Spiegel)world go ’round.

“Absinthe” is performed at 8 p.m. in the Spiegeltent outside Caesars Palace Tuesday through Sunday, with multiple shows on some nights. Click here for more about tickets and showtimes.

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The third annual, one-night-only 2012 “Broadway Bares” will be at the Chi Showroom at Planet Hollywood at 11:59 p.m. on April 15, headlining under the provocative “Barelesque” subtitle and featuring “Absinthe” hosts the Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets. Josh Strickland, headliner in “Peepshow,” will also be giving a special performance.

The show has been a smashing success in recent years (click here and here for reviews of the 2010 and 2011 shows, respectively). Along with performances in New York, the “Broadway Bares” series has generated considerable cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a nonprofit organization supporting those living with the disease.

The concept began many years ago at the hands of Jerry Mitchell in New York City: Broadway artists take their clothes off onstage, with the resulting tips being donated to charity. The simple formula has been a booming success in New York City, and the serial show added a Las Vegas location two years ago.

“Broadway Bares” has generated more than $75 million since its inception in 1992. Although the Las Vegas addition is fairly new, Vegas audiences have welcomed performers from the Strip as warmly as Broadway-goers did in New York. Last year’s Vegas event, “Broadway Bares: Too Darn Hot,” doubled the revenue from the show at Planet Hollywood the year before.

Think we can do it again? You’ll have to hit up Planet Hollywood on the 15 to find out. Tickets are $20, and $50 VIP tickets include a $20 tax deduction. Stop by the Chi Showroom box office at Planet Hollywood or visit TicketMaster.com to order them in advance.