Warning: Those sitting in the first two rows may receive kicks to the face, licks of the chest, lap dances from smarmy lounge lizards, and/or biting criticism.
No one is safe from the Gazillionaire's acerbic wit, not even the cast. He points to a jacked-like-Schwarzenegger bodybuilder in the second row and says, “His breasts are bigger than yours, Penny” turning to his goofy, petite partner in raunchy comedy. Then he prods the muscle-bound spectator to lift up his shirt so he can give his man-boob a little lick.
Spiegelworld's Absinthe is a circus for sure, in that there are acrobats, jugglers on pogo-sticks, the Gazillionaire as Ring Master, Penny as sidekick, contortionists, aerialists, and jesters. But these tricks aren't for kids.
Officially dubbed an acro-burlesque variety show, under the circus tent in the sands of Collins Park, blow job jokes, nude performers, and sexual tension drift through the show like the milky clouds created when the bartender adds ice water to absinthe.
While using the rock candy stirrer to swirl my jade-colored cocktail – it tastes like Jager but packs a punch like Chuck Liddell – a very bendy and comically provocative woman, Julie Atlas Muz, folds herself into a giant balloon while stripping.
The Duo Scarlette, aerialists Marieve Hemond and Annie-Kim Dery, twist their bodies around each other while swinging upside down from a chain square as a sultry Portishead track plays.
The bits of startling flexibility and athleticism, like former Cirque du Soleil acrobat Olaf Triebel gracefully contorting himself into unfathomable positions while balancing on skinny wooden rods, are mixed with burlesque show comedy. The Gazillionaire, with Weird Al Yankovich hair, and Penny come out dressed in hideous leotards to perform a mock acrobatic performance that evolves into a hilarious and raunchy piece of performance art.
Some acts combine the two elements. A spindly jester begins his routine wearing a tuxedo on roller skates he can't seem to control and ends it wearing a dress and juggling knives while hopping on a pogo-stick.
The whole things makes for a perfect cocktail, a powerful libation of tawdry jokes, breath-taking feats of acrobatics, good music and a little T&A... what more could you ask for?
As I walked out of the Spiegeltent onto the SoBe sand the Gazillionaire and Penny were already waiting, handing out condoms emblazoned with Gazillionaire stickers. “You look like you need two,” Penny said.
Absinthe and the Spiegeltent are on South Beach at Collins Park (21st Street and Collins Avenue) until February 17.
-- Tovin Lapan