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Las Vegas slips the sin back in

May 18, 2003|Ryan Slattery | Special to The Times

Las Vegas — Las Vegas

After a surge of family-friendly attractions, Las Vegas appears ready to return to its risque roots, adding a host of new nightspots and two provocative shows. "Adults have always been the bread and butter," said Erika Brandvik, public relations manager for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. "Now there is an embracing of the nightclub scene and the younger, trendy, fun-loving crowd."

Treasure Island, a Strip resort long considered a family destination, is taking a step away from the mild side. Much of its pirate-themed interior has been replaced with decor meant to evoke a sophisticated Caribbean getaway, as are the new Mist nightclub, the Breeze Bar and Kahunaville, a tropical restaurant and bar.

The hotel also will bounce the male-dominated Battle of Buccaneer Bay show at its entrance in favor of a temptress-driven outdoor production featuring "The Sirens of TI." The show is to feature seductive swashbucklers in a battle of the sexes and is scheduled to open Oct. 26, marking the resort's 10th anniversary.

Cirque du Soleil also is aiming for the mature crowd with a show set to open Aug. 14 at New York-New York. "Zumanity" is billed as an arousing show that will blend song and exotic rhythms with intimate acrobatics. It is rated R, and viewers younger than 18 will not be admitted.

"It's erotic. But it's also very human," said Zumanity publicist Pien Bowler. "It's going to be something very, very different and much more intimate."

"Zumanity" will be a change from Cirque's all-ages shows "O," celebrating a five-year run at the Bellagio, and "Mystere," its Treasure Island production, which opened in 1993. "This is an exploration of the human body," Bowler says.

Bowler didn't reveal how much skin "Zumanity" plans to show but acknowledged there will be an "allusion to nudity."

Vegas' newest nightspots hope to lure the sleek and sexy. After the Palms Casino, which opened in November 2001 with luxe lounges and nightclubs, proved a hit with the MTV crowd, other properties followed. In February, MGM Grand opened Tabu, a sophisticated, surreal lounge with backlit liquor cabinets and image-changing tabletops. Paris Las Vegas countered in March with Risque, a parlor featuring plush couches and luxurious ottomans bathed in red hues.

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