Wednesday, January 11, 2023


Let’s talk about Rouge at the Strat. (And it’s Rouge as in “blush,” not Rogue as in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”)

So when Rouge was announced earlier this year, I was definitely interested. It’s probably no secret at this point that I’m a horn dog, and like my Vegas shows to be titillating. I also believe that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and out of a sense of fairness I once took my wife to a male review; something I probably won’t ever do again. It’s not so much watching the men dance that I have a problem with, it was all the screaming. Why do women feel the need to shriek like banshees during these shows? He’s not going to fuck the loudest one in the room! So for the sake of preserving what’s left of my already terrible hearing, I’m opting out of male reviews for the future.  That being said, I’m willing to bet that a decent looking dude could park himself at the bar outside the Thunder From Down Under Theater around 11:30 at night, and it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. This is just a theory, but if it happens to work out for a listener, you’re welcome. Just don’t be creepy.

Anyway, I digress. Rouge bills itself as a male and female topless show, and ‘The Sexiest Show in Vegas.’ We recently decided to check it out and see for ourselves. First, Rouge is at the Strat. This is not a place we’ve ever spent much time, because it’s the Strat. You kind of need a specific reason to go there.  Now that we had a reason, we ventured over to see it.

The Mad Max reboot is really weird.
Some words about the showroom.  It’s on the 2nd level, almost directly above where you line up to take the elevator up to the skypod. When we entered, an usher did the typical “let’s see your tickets so we can walk you to your seats” thing, but it was kind of weird because they had performers spread all through the audience; including right next to these ushers. The performers were dressed in these really extravagant costumes - probably the best costumes of the whole show - and they were kind of leering at us in a way that was probably meant to be sexy?  Honestly it kind of threw me off, because I’m trying to show the usher my ticketing information on my phone, but I’m also looking at this person in a leather corset who’s next to me licking their lips. I mean, normally that’s not a bad thing, but I felt like my attention was kind of pulled two different ways.

We found their showroom to be a decent space, with a big variety in seating, including the booth tables that seem to be a disappearing part of Vegas entertainment. I had a “preferred seating” table, which consisted of four chairs around a small half circle table. I was hoping that we would have the table to ourselves, because “Stranger Danger” but a couple that I’m pretty sure were a hooker and her John were seated next to us shortly after. She got paid for her time and treated to a show. Lucky gal…  (Side note: they did end up leaving before the show was over.  When that meter’s running, I guess you can’t waste too much time on passive entertainment when more active forms await.)

This fuckin' guy...
Let’s talk about the show itself.  There’s an emcee, who struck me as kind of a poor-man’s Gazillionaire (from Absinthe).  He seemed like he was trying to come across as this vaudeville showman but his jokes, phony French accent, and porn-stache made a lot of the humor land in more of a sleazy way rather than a naughty way. It’s a fine line, I know.

The show has several vignettes or sections. There’s a running bit they go back to a few times throughout the show with this married couple who are unsatisfied because they’re bored with their bedroom life and apparently aren’t communicating about it. So I guess the show can be viewed as a journey through their exploration of kinks, because by the end, everyone’s fucking and happy and fucking happy.

My biggest issue with the show is that for me, some of these vignettes work, and some of them don’t.  There’s a whole French Aristocracy section, where the women wear these big Marie Antionette style dresses with corset tops, and it’s funny because they turn around and the backs are open so you can see their asses. The men are wearing pantaloons from the same time period, and there’s cut-outs in the back so that each ass-cheek sticks out of its own cheek hole. I get that it’s trying to be balanced (Here’s woman-ass. Now here’s man-ass) but it ends up looking ridiculous. Maybe that’s my straight male privilege talking, but my wife thinks it looked pretty dumb too.

You've been on my mind for a while now
The other wierd-as-fuck bit was a whole horse vignette, where performers had on bridles and shoes that looked like hooves. I am not making this up. I was too busy WTF-ing through this whole portion to be the slightest bit aroused.

That’s not to say that it’s all bad.  There’s some sections that work really well, like a bondage section and a striptease portion in which performers in business suits watch while another performer pole dances.

Perhaps there’s some realism here, if we want to get serious for a minute. A couple exploring their sexuality together is probably going to find some things along the way that don’t work for either or both of them. Maybe the show’s recurring married couple tried French aristocracy horse porn, and it didn’t work for them, but found something else that did? I think that Rouge - by featuring a cast of both men and women, and by having all these different types of content - is trying to say, “hey, there’s something for everyone. Find your something.” And while that’s certainly true, and I’m never going to judge what consenting adults choose to enjoy together, I don’t necessarily want to be presented with every other kink as part of my entertainment. No offense, horse-people. You do you.
I am both frightened and aroused.

No discussion of an adult review show in Vegas is complete without talking about the eye-candy. I know
 there’s more discussion these days about what is and what isn’t acceptable in these types of discussions, but I think that when you’re paying to see a show in which you know people will be removing their clothes with intent to arouse, then objectification is an inescapable part of that transaction. (How’s that for a sentence!?)  So I’m going to objectify. I found all of the women pleasant to look at. There’s a variety of race and body types. Remember that all of these people are young professional dancers, so if you like them super-thicc, you won’t be finding any of that here.  Which brings me to another issue.  I asked the wife if she enjoyed the male eye-candy, and she was fairly indifferent. In fact, she says she found the women more attractive, and she doesn’t swing that way. Rouge also has professional dancer-types for the male roles who tend to be shorter and leaner. These men are not the same types that you would see in Thunder From Down Under or Magic Mike Live. Those tend to be bigger dudes.  Now again, not everyone likes the same thing, but in my opinion, Rouge might appeal to more women if the men were less dancer-type and more bodybuilder-type. Hell, even consider staying with the theme of the show and mix it up a little with some of both. I also recognize that I’m completely out of my element here and this is pure speculation.

Okay, on to the Audience Fuckery Factor, or A.F.F.  As a member of the audience how much do you have to worry about being fucked with by the performers?  Some people don’t mind a little audience participation, some people are mortified if a microphone is pointed in their general direction. Here's the Audience Fuckery Factor for Rouge in a nutshell: if you sit in the front half of the theater, there is a good chance you may be singled out. At one point, Emcee Sleazeball walked through the audience and asked audience members what their favorite position was. There was a guy in a cowboy hat in the front row who was repeatedly picked on throughout the show. Also, if you wear a cowboy hat and sit in the front row, you're kind of asking for it. He seemed like a good sport.

I was trying to best summarize how I felt about Rouge.  I think they’ve set an audacious goal by attempting an adult review show for just about everyone, even if they don’t quite succeed.  What it ultimately came down to for me was, would I see it again? I’d see Fantasy, X-Burlesque, and X-Country again. I don’t think I’d see Rouge again.  This isn’t because it had dudes in it, it’s because so much of it didn’t really land with me or my wife at all. There’s a lot of great entertainment in Las Vegas, so why waste time with entertainment that doesn’t do it for you?  Which I guess, in a way, is what Rouge is about.

If you decide to check it out, Rouge is dark on Mondays. Showtimes vary and some nights have 2 shows. Tickets start at $4 and we always appreciate it when you click the referral link here or on the website. 

      You can find Josh on twitter @vegasjaydubs

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