I’ve a feeling we’re not in New York any more



Bette_showgirlThis Show Girl Must Go On
Bette Midler at the Colosseum
at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas


THE AUDIENCE of aging Boomers arrives at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace night after night to catch the Divine Miss M in her new Las Vegas act. Through the blare of the casino floor with its electronic cascade of beeps and bell sounds and its human menagerie of lost souls tugging on the levers, we make an odd crowd, foregoing the lure of gambling for the allure of “culchah.”

After three days in Vegas, this is our last night. We failed to visit the Fruit Loop, that small, well-trodden circuit off the Strip of gay clubs and bars on Paradise Avenue. Vegas is still a conservative town, we are told, and somewhat homophobic. Female impersonators abound and drag is accepted, so long as they conform to the circus-like spectacle of the city. But the large lesbian at the Information Center nevertheless smiled and chuckled and called me “family” when I asked her timidly where the gay clubs could be found.

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