Say goodbye to the shoulders shaking into a seductive frenzy, to the tassels, the live band and that fabulous wall of pearl beads that miraculously took the place of a stripper pole every night. Five years after nightlife vanguard Ivan Kane brought his burlesque club to a dark corner of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the intimate speak easy will close this Sunday with a final shedding of clothes and round of cocktails.
Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce first launched in L.A. in 2002 after Kane was inspired by his wife, burlesque dancer Champagne Suzy, to revive the art of the 1940s strip tease and give it a nightclub home. The brick-walled venue was such a success that two years later Kane was four hours down Interstate 15 in Las Vegas building another burlesque saloon.
Inside the cozy club, DJs share air time with a live band that takes the stage to serenade the dancers as they flirt their way through high-energy numbers, teasing off retro ensembles piece by fringed piece. Instead of writhing around a pole, Kane’s long-legged dancers seduce using a beaded curtain to suspend themselves above the crowd. They strut on top of a long sunken bar in fishnets and heels, harking back to a time of more understated sexiness before anyone had heard of the bump and grind.
Effective March 30, the dark, smoky space will shed its vintage vibe and return to 2009. This summer a new bar and lounge is slated to fill the Forty Deuce’s dimly lit confines, but for tonight and tomorrow you can still enjoy the show. So, grab your fedora and something pinstriped and head to Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce for a tantalizing trip back in time before reality comes knocking Monday morning. I’m guessing she won’t be wearing tassels.