Fashionistas the Show Reviews

Backstage.com [Website]

Fashionistas is a unique show coming to the Aladdin next month. It's based on a four-hour adult video but don't expect a topless show or any simulated sex. The concept, the use of music and dance to tell the story, is so cool it promises to be hot.

Unlike edgy Zumanity, Fashionistas is not a collection of specialty acts. Unlike La Femme, a collection of body art vignettes that is noted for the tiniest costumes on the Strip, this show is "a dance review with a story, kind of like Mamma Mia!" says the producer, John Stagliano.

The producer does have one element of that show in his production. He hired one of the adagio dancers from the eyebrow-raising 'male kiss' scene in Zumanity. "But his part is very different in this show," he says.

The story revolves around a young career woman in the fashion industry who becomes involved in a love triangle with her female boss and a famous male clothing designer. It's fetish fashion. There's very little dialogue.

"I use the power of the dance to express the emotional impact of the story," says Stagliano. "The words of the music move the story forward."

The soundtrack contains songs from Evanescence, Lords of Acid and Tool.

The staging, with extensive use of a large-screen video, will create something akin to a rock concert atmosphere. "There'll be close-ups of the dancers as they perform too," the producer says. "And no, the video is not the one rented in videos stores. The only scene from the Fashionistas' video is a newscaster. About 98-percent of the videos in the show were newly created."

This is the kind of stage production Stagliano has wanted to do for over 20 years. It all started when he wanted to be a Las Vegas dancer but, back in 1977, when he auditioned for Lido de Paris, he didn't make the cut. Two years later, he was among the first of the Chippendales male strippers in Los Angeles. He produced his first adult video in 1983.

In 2003, Fashionistas, the adult video he wrote, produced, directed and edited won no less than ten awards at that yearŐs AVN (Adult Video News) awards held in Las Vegas. This year, the same video won two more AVN awards: best rental video and best DVD.

Now Stagliano is bringing his video to Las Vegas as a musical review. "It may be a lot for this stage," he acknowledges, but we'll try it."

All but two dancers, from Los Angeles, are Las Vegas locals. "The vocabulary of dancers in Las Vegas has become more sensual in the last ten years," Stagliano says. "In the past there was a bigger difference in the terms 'showgirl' and 'dancer,' but in recent years that gap has narrowed significantly."

Adding to the sensual nature of the show, there will be aerial performers using yards of silk, and leather straps as they fly gracefully above the audience. "These are not stand-along acts," says Stagliano. "They are well-integrated into the dance scenes."

While there's nothing overtly sexual about the show, Stagliano promises, "There is lots of teasing."