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Viper Vixens (CLOSED)
By Chuck Rounds
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"The Viper Vixens" are playing inside the small showroom at O'Shea's. This is a topless dance
show that features women with weapons...it's a great concept brought forth by Ottavio Gesmundo
and company. For the most part this show works. The "Kill Bill" style of introduction along
with the talents of this company makes for a fun evening. This show is still in its infancy
and needs a lot more stage time to become a seasoned and viable competitor in the Las Vegas
market. Most of the problems with pacing and dynamics will work themselves out with time. The
crucial elements of concept and talent have been accomplished.
The show seems to have a little bit of everything: dancing, singing, excitement, and fun. Each
of the performers have taken the name of a different type of snake...hence, the "viper" part of
the vixens; each has been given specific attributes of the different type of snake and then do
their best to embody these things in their performance.
Each of the performers work with a variety of weapons (some more adeptly then others) and
oftentimes, the weapons are used just as a transitional means to get to a skill or style in
which they truly excel.
As much as I like the women with weapons concept, there were times when the ensemble was
performing what looked like a martial arts form...forms are great for practice and discipline,
but they are not so exciting to watch.
One of the highlights of the evening was seeing the crossbow act by Mr. & Mrs. G...the act is
dynamic, fun, and dangerous. It also has a lot of humorous elements, which truly helped round
out the evening.
The showroom at O'Shea's is a bit primitive...old seats, small stage, basic lighting. It is
hopefully a transitional space for this production because this show would do so much better in
a space that offered good lighting and a better stage to showcase the talents of these
people...but I understand the problems with finding a decent space in this town---cost and
availability are tough things to negotiate, and casinos just don't buy and support
entertainment like they used to.
This show suffers from the same problems that almost all of the new small shows suffer
from...one person trying to do everything. Ottavio is a great person and a suitable
centerpiece for this show. He is also producer, writer, director, etc...and that's the
problem. I continue to preach this in so many of the reviews I write...when one person becomes
the "jack of all trades," then they are the master of none. The show needs that outside
perspective to oversee the pacing, dynamics, and overall structure of the piece. All of the
basic elements and concepts are in place, and yet, the show is missing something.
I enjoyed the show...it is hard not to like---topless dancing women with weapons. There has to
be a market for this. The show will continue to get better as it progresses. I wish them