Carol Lane Patterson



September 2006
Stage Review of:

"Shag with a Twist"




Shows Sunday and Monday at 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Midnight, dark Friday and Saturday.
Harmon Theatre inside Krave Nightclub on Harmon, just east of the Strip
Tickets: $45, with a $55 VIP seating
Show HOTLINE: (888) 515-SHAG (7424)
Email: [email protected]
Web site:
Until the end of September, "Shag With A Twist" offers an open bar with the purchase of any $55 VIP ticket.

"The show that serves up an evocative cocktail of music, color and dance, now serves up unlimited cocktails and a shagedelic party atmosphere as the Las Vegas Strip's only show with an open bar. While casino showrooms may relish their $9 cocktails, the fiercely independent production of "Shag With A Twist" harkens back to the carefree spirit of a retro era of big hair, Tupperware parties and ubiquitous birdbath drinks. A good party host believes that every cocktail should be bottomless."

To mark their two-year anniversary, KRAVE will host
a weekend celebration of entertainment and activities on
Friday, September 29th and Saturday, September 30th.

SHAG WITH A TWIST is currently playing off-strip on Harmon, at the edge of the Aladdin's Desert Passage shopping complex. In fact, access is on Harmon, and parking is a bit tricky, if you don't use their valet. You could park across the street in the Harley-Davidson Restaurant parking areas, or, for a real navigational challenge, walk through the Desert Passage from the Aladdin and find the hallway out to Harmon. Once out on the sidewalk in front of Krave, you will encounter helpful guides. The theatre, the newly christened Harmon Theatre, is just inside to the left. It is a small, intimate lounge reminiscent of the east coast clubs, say in the Jersey of yester-year. The stage is small, seating at tables, on kitschy booths or at high tables, the service excellent, the lighting bright, the music era-specific, the dancers talented, and the costumes vivid polyesters, topped off with brilliantly hued foam 'wigs.' Shag is, in this case, a popular bit of British slang, and is not the dance known as the Carolina Shag of the east coast swing era.

The context and content of this creation comes to life at the fantasy intersection of Doris Day and Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra and Frankie Avalon, between 1957 and 1963. In that time frame, most everyone was transitioning from swing rock and roll dancing to Chubby Checker's Twist, the Swim, the Pony, the Monkey, the Mashed Potato (Monster Mash), the Watusi and, of course, the Jerk. Music was dissonant, electric and louder, widely admired alcoholic consumption was at its zenith and technology dominated lifestyles, from the ultra-mechanized bachelor pad to Tupperware for the ladies' kitchens. Decor was space age modernistic. Cocktail party ambiance ruled—Mary Quant (designer of the geometric, colorful mini-skirt smocks) called her boutique a "kind of permanently running cocktail party."

Shag with a Twist is a musical dance production, in high camp, with lively performers, martini bar, Tiki-chic sets and a story about a home cocktail party. The dancing is all era-specific, but the young women who play Shimmy and Shake, Siamese twins joined at their fabulous hair, upstage everyone else…their choreographed movements are unique and well-executed. Ostensibly, to host a Tupperware demonstration, Eldon and Othal's cocktail party takes a dark turn as the evening progresses—it becomes a baffling crime scene. One of Eldon's guests has murdered another guest, a voluptuous vamp named Slinky, dressed in a pink lamé gown, with a hairdo big enough to house a parakeet. For those who haven't, for decades, given a thought to baby-doll nighties, pet monkeys or shag carpet, this show offers nostalgia or repugnance, depending on your personal take on those times.

The music, art and styles reflected innovative technologies, increasing permissiveness and coalescing audio-visual media styles. Epitomized by the Rat Pack, Television's "Man From Uncle" and the legendary "James Bond," the romanticized bachelor-at-large, complete with bevies of beautiful, clinging babes clustered about, was a goal for any male of this Golden Era. Apparently, females desired to be one of those clingy kittens, sexy, and interested in little else but men and modern things like Tupperware. The female head helmet—what became known as 'big hair'—'ratted' high and held rigidly in place with another modern invention, hairspray, was offset by Brylcreem-smooth hair on men.

For the purposes of this musical mystery, everyone of that day was imbued with or hoped to pass off the impression of the new Mondo-lounge cool. The men, more slavish to the Rat Pack suits were beginning to try out the Frankie Avalon and Fabian styles. Women's fashions were evolving from revealing beatnik styles to revealing synthetics, ultra-bright primary color smocks and tights, metallic lamé and go-go boots, fishnet stockings, and metal spangles, reflecting new fabrics and technology. Mini-skirts had arrived. The whole new 'look' represented a departure from the conservative post WWII values, and definitely was for those 'into' a new lifestyle for 'hep' cats. Andy Warhol personified the art-culture rebellion from abstract to pop-art. This era, distinctive in so many ways, fascinates even today.

Shag with a Twist had its beginnings in the Los Angeles Art Community, where it was originally brought to the stage there in March 2005. Choreographer, Cynthia (Cindy) Bradley, who originally approached Shag, envisioned the stage show as an homage to, and loosely based on, the paintings of an artist popular today in Los Angeles, Josh "Shag" Agle, who has created a niche for himself as one proud to be stuck in the early '60s lifestyle, values and styles—part of the Low Brow art movement. She said, "Our goal was to bring his artwork to life and to capture, in a live performance, that essence of fun and kitsch that resonates in his paintings." "Shag," characterized his art, "My paintings are based on stylized commercial advertising…back then [it] had a sort of cubist-cartoonish look…I almost always try to paint a story…something that is happening, often sinister, and usually a bit mysterious."

The show's invitation is to "join the party as the work of famed visual artist Josh "Shag" Agle is brought to life, immersing audiences in a cartoon come to life, with a zany plot, outlandish characters and vividly-colored costumes and sets, all set to catchy music and dance."

This artsy goal explains why I was reminded of the big-hair ponytail cartoon Jeannie, in the credits of the hugely popular TV show of my youth, "I Dream Of Jeannie." That show had mystique, coquettish-ness and fluffy haired women with teeny-tiny waists. Products of Kennedy's physical education programs, athletic girls like me could only wish for a waist like that. I was of the ensuing era, of the 'flower children' with long, straight 'Cher hair,' a gauzy, cotton blouse, button up, 501 cotton Jeans and leather sandals, where technology was becoming suspect, houseplants were cultivated, world peace was a goal, not a cliché, music had taken a decidedly folksy, acoustic turn and no one any longer said Fab, Mod or Delish—Groovy and 'Sock it to me' speaking to the era-bridging feelings. To me, "Laugh-In," the elegant, stylish 1968 Television show was the last hurrah of "Shag's" beloved Golden Era—you can bet your sweet bippy.

For those who use 'celeb,' 'next-gen' and 'hi-def' and you know what shag means, you'll feel right at home with this show. If you were there for 'romp,' 'zany,' Fab' and 'marvy'—you may have a yen for the shagalicious '60s—and this show has some of your Tupperware you sold in your yard sale in the '70s—go retrieve some of it, and enjoy a reverent, albeit anachronistic, glance back in time.

About the creators:

Josh "Shag" Agle is one of the most prolific and notable visual artists on the cutting-edge art scene today. Solo-exhibitions of his work have been displayed in famed galleries all across the United States, as well as Europe, Japan and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Renowned for creating artwork that is iconic, extremely hip and capturing the essence of the "shagadelic" era of the 1960s, Shag has been commissioned to do exclusive work for Disneyland merchandise, Coca-Cola ad campaigns, Paul Frank apparel, Fender guitars, Showtime Television on-air animation, MGM's recent motion picture "The Pink Panther" and the swimming pool and table felts for the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Ten books of his artwork have been published.

Cynthia Bradley began her dance studies at the Atlanta Ballet Company, before continuing her studies with the New York City Ballet's School of American Ballet. She has danced professionally with various ballet companies throughout the country and worked with world-class dance directors such as Oleg Tupine, Richard Munro and Victor Moreno. In addition to directing and choreographing many original works, she has staged The Nutcracker, Coppelia and Swan Lake. Ms. Bradley formerly served on the Board of Directors of The Getty House Foundation. She is co-founder of the San Pedro City Ballet.

"Shag with a Twist" is presented by Jetsetter Productions. Its executive producer is John H. Good. The show was originally performed at the Los Angeles Theatre Center with support from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.

Michael Coldwell, Managing Director, Brain Trust Marketing & Communications, supplied the following interesting information about this venue.

"KRAVE has emerged as the most popular gay and lesbian destination in Las Vegas, but our showroom has evolved to now offer four shows that have wide mass appeal," said Bill Huggins, club director. "It was important to differentiate the venues, but still provide our patrons world-class entertainment in an atmosphere that fosters diversity and inclusion…To prepare for the re-branding, The Harmon Theater recently augmented the state-of-the-art sound system, increased lighting grids and renovated the video projection system. The multi-use facility features a full-service kitchen and several bars, and can be configured to offer theater-style, cabaret or banquet seating and is available for corporate parties and group bookings. The Harmon Theater will be perfectly positioned to be a prominent entertainment venue at the most exciting corner of the Las Vegas Strip."

KRAVE Nightclub Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

With seven hundred and fifty thousand fun-filled cocktails, a quarter of a million patrons, seven hundred and thirty days, four great stage shows, and one unified voice for diversity, Krave Entertainment LLC., is proud to celebrate the second anniversary of its flagship venue KRAVE Nightclub in Las Vegas on Friday, September 29.

In its sophomore year as the first and only alternative nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip, KRAVE Las Vegas has established itself to be more than just a nightclub. A versatile facility offering world-class entertainment in an atmosphere committed to inclusion and diversity, KRAVE has emerged as a destination attraction for both locals and out-of-market GLBT tourists, as well as demonstrating that it is a proactive member of the Las Vegas community.

"Our goal at KRAVE is to deliver a great entertainment experience for our guests, while being an active and responsible member of the community," said Bill Huggins, Club Director. "As we celebrate this anniversary it proves that our formula has been successful, and we look forward to continued growth as part of the vibrant Las Vegas nightlife scene."

Entertainment Highlights:
KRAVE is a 17,000 square foot entertainment venue that is home to the KRAVE Lounge, the popular KRAVE Nightclub and the adjacent Harmon Theater. Its signature KRAVE Nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights routinely draw thousands of party-goers. Since opening, KRAVE has hosted countless special events including appearances by the cast of Cirque du Soleil's "Zumanity," dancers from Celine Dion's "A New Day," famed entertainer Charo and the artists of "Le Rêve." In addition, KRAVE regularly features world-class club DJs such as Brett Hendrichsen, Junior Vasquez, Escape and the upcoming Peter Presta.

Exciting nightlife, superior service and a positive, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere have earned KRAVE Nightclub many awards, including the "Just Circuit Award—Best Nightclub in the West," Q-Vegas Magazine's "Qrific Award—Best Nightclub/Bar," Las Vegas Review Journal "Best Gay Nightclub/Bar" and "Best DJ" and a recipient for AOL City Guide's "City's Best 2006—Best Gay Bars."

KRAVE Kares Highlights:
Since opening, KRAVE has demonstrated its commitment to the community by raising almost $100,000 in cash and in-kind contributions for local charities under its KRAVE Kares philanthropic banner. The December 2005 KRAVE Kares Benefit for Child Haven attracted community members such as Chris SaldaƱa from KLAS-TV and Father Joseph O'Brien of the St. Therese Center, who both served on the host committee for the event. In January of 2006, KRAVE was presented with a Proclamation from the Clark County Commissioners in recognition of its "generosity, leadership and dedication to the children of Child Haven."

KRAVE is also a major donor/sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign first annual Las Vegas Gala Dinner, a black-tie event that attracts influential community leaders committed to equal rights for the GLBT community. On National Coming Out Day 2005, KRAVE garnered national media attention when it proudly raised the Rainbow Flag over the Las Vegas Strip, signifying its place as an inclusive destination for gay and lesbian travelers. In January 2006, KRAVE partnered with the renowned production show "Le Rêve" to host a benefit for the St. Therese Center, an HIV/AIDS outreach organization that welcomes and serves people of all faiths.

"KRAVE recognizes that the gay community is part of the greater Las Vegas community," said KRAVE owner Sia Amiri. "Our community and philanthropic endeavors have never been based on gender orientation, but rather on our goal to be part of positive initiatives that benefit the community as a whole."  

For more info:

All trademarks, images, and photos pertaining to Shag with a Twist are © Jetsetter Productions, LLC.


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