When you’re named 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year at age 20, what do you do for an encore? Head to Vegas, of course. The curvalicious Claire Sinclair is dropping jaws in by headlining the burlesque revue, Pin Up, at the Stratosphere. At $55 a ticket, the show may be cheap by overpriced strip standards — and is what you could part with in 10 minutes getting drinks at a club, losing your ass at the blackjack table or getting a dance at a strip joint — but still not exactly chump change.
Based on the World War II-era, Bettie Page-style coquetry that used to get grandpa to slip off his wedding ring before finger-whistling, the show is all about the tantalizing tease. Girls, including Claire, start off in period costumes and strip down seductively to their pasties, going for laughs and gasps.
Here are five reasons it’s worth springing to see Pin Up, which plays at 10:30 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays.
#1: Well, duh — Claire.
Packing a Marilyn Monroe-style figure and a Liz Taylor smile, Sinclair is no somber beanpole supermodel fashion shows foist on you. Ever on the verge of giggling, Sinclair comes off like a sorority girl giddy to invite you to her pillow fight. Boisterous and bubbly, she owns the stage with a commanding star quality that simul-seduces every one of the intimately-seated onlookers. The show is divided up into months, themed like a sexy retro calendar, and Sinclair slinks, shimmies and saunters on stage and into the crowd. It’s easy to appreciate the girl next door when she’s pirouetting at the next table.
#2: Lisa Marie Smith’s pipes.
Channeling Sinclair’s bygone-era sultriness into vocal form, Smith is a Vegas local who owns the room with her Scarlett Johansson-husky crooning. A triple threat, she draws laughs with uncanny timing and belts out beautiful music as she executes acrobatic dance moves. She’s so good that you’d swear she was lip-syncing, which you’re sure she’s not only because it’s tough to take your eyes off those seductive lips.
#3: The lucky dude you should hate but is too good to despise.
It would be easy to hate Ryan Kelsey. He’s shirtless, surrounded by gorgeous, slinking women and rocking a frat boy douche appearance. But the guy won me over with his demeanor. As the token boy toy prop, he conveys wide-eyed gratefulness rather than cocky aloofness. He works as your surrogate because he acts as bewildered and lucky as you would feel if you had two girls in bikinis or less rubbing their pristine bodies all over you.
#4: The music and choreography.
Sure, those sound like boring, artsy-fartsy reasons, but let me explain. The big band era grooves are perfectly synced with the dance moves for maximum slutty/funny effect. The mix of swing and lounge tunes from the 40s, 50s and 60s meldes with modern, high-end stripper techniques to create some fantastically sexy theater. Everything is so classy and reserved that you never feel like you’re in the champagne room, yet nor do you feel like you’re not getting the goods you came to see.
#5: The chance to hang with the girls afterward.
Lacking the pretense of Cirque du Soleil or self-important magicians of Vegas, the girls of Pin Up hang out in the lobby for chatter and pictures. It’s a nice, personal touch that allows you to appreciate the performers as people rather than props, and inclines you to want to come back and see it again. You know they don’t really like you, but it’s nice that they’re good enough actresses to at least pretend.