After a truce was declared in the Humans vs Zombies war, hospitality was shown between the former warring parties, and Zombies opened the doors to their nightclubs for the first time; welcome to Club Z. The hippest, most happening, exclusive nightclub for Zombies is opening its doors to humans for the first time, and you’re invited. Just remember to follow the rules. Rule 1. There are no rules.
Zombie Burlesque is a show that defies categorization. Part musical comedy, part variety show, and part burlesque, Zombie delivers a lot of material, with a hilarious narrative, in just under 90 minutes. Hosted by the quick-witted Zenoch, the show relies heavily on audience interaction, and participation, so it’s never the same experience twice. Backed by a live, seven member band, the musical experience is fuller and richer. All music and singing is done live; they don’t believe in lip-syncing at Club Z, Zenoch says, while making a jab at former Planet Hollywood resident, Britney Spears.
I’ve seen the show before, so I went in knowing what to expect, but I was not expecting to be brought up on stage. During one of the first bits, Sophia LaMorte (played by former Pussycat Doll, Sophia Monica) sings the Etta James classic I Just Want to Make Love to You while strapping an audience member into a torture rack on the stage, while other zombies bounce on his head, and slap him with riding crops. I can’t say that BDSM with Zombies in front of an audience of strangers was on my list of things to do in Las Vegas, but how many people can get that experience?
After the song, and me being dubbed a “corpse porker,” the story continues, with Zenoch stopping Mikey from eating the band. A truckload of fresh meat (prisoners) is dropped off for the zombies, leaving only one bit for an apprehensive Mikey. Zenoch then gives Mikey the ever-important life lesson, “Eating penis doesn’t make you gay,” performed to the tune of Everybody Ought to Have a Maid from A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
The show continues in this fashion, with Mikey on his journey of self-discovery, Zenoch changing outfits more than some people change their underwear, and a heavy helping of song, dance, and other variety. With heavy banter from Zenoch, and plenty of audience participation, Zombie Burlesque perfectly encapsulates what it strives to be; a throwback to the variety shows of the 50’s, without being dated, or taking itself too seriously. It’s a bizarre formula that anywhere else, would likely fail. In Las Vegas, Zombie Burlesque has the perfect home. The theater is small, and is packed nightly, but the venue adds to its intimacy. If you’re wanting something different, risque, or are not easily offended, Zombie Burlesque is the perfect fit. Just don’t be surprised if people catch you humming Eating Penis Doesn’t Make You Gay after you’ve returned home.
Words and Photos by Josh Chaikin