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BEACHER'S MADHOUSE

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MGM Grand

3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-891-3577

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Dance

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A return to Vegas for the outrageous (and some say offensive) vaudeville burlesque variety show that used to play at The Hard Rock.

Where is it?

At MGM Grand on the South Strip.

What kind of crowd does it draw?

Mainly young and ready to party.

What are the prices like?

Very expensive, from the door charge to the drinks, but you get a lot for your dough.

When is the best time to go?

This is primarily a weekend club scene.

Why should I go here?

It's Miley Cyrus' world; we just twerk in it.

What else do I need to know?

Pretty much everything that happens here is in questionable taste. Prudes and the easily offended should not apply.

What's the bottom line?

A freakshow but an oddly compelling one.

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FULL REVIEW

As I stood there watching people dressed up like Winnie the Pooh and Barney the Dinosaur dancing on go-go platforms, a "flying" midget (their word, not mine) delivering bottle service to VIP tables, and a woman with 22 implants breaking boards with her breasts I thought to myself "It's Miley Cyrus' world, we just twerk in it."

If you are at all familiar with the former Hannah Montana's antics of late you'll be well-versed in the vaguely obscene, odd, and oddly compelling freakshow that is Beacher's Madhouse. She was the master of ceremonies when they opened this new version of the nightclub at the MGM Grand in 2013 and at least some of her over-the-top staging is inspired by, and downright cribbed from, this place.

What you have is basically a swank ultra-lounge populated by a cast of characters that entertains both in between and during the pounding dance music that keeps the crowd grooving. Celebrity impersonators greet you at the door (Johnny Depp and Pee Wee Herman were especially convincing) and a fantastic sleight of hand magician wanders from group to group. Sit a bottle service booth and spend enough money and you'll get the bottle delivered by a little person in a bumble bee costume "flown" across the room on a pulley system and lowered to the table to the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey" or "Happy Days" depending on the moment.

The real peculiarity starts around midnight as the carny acts take the stage for brief interludes during the night. I saw midget wrestling (again, their term) with Mini-Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas and Mini-Psy (the "Gangham Style" guy") against Mini-Milli-Vanilli; a guy that balances on things; women covered with balloons dancing and popping them down to their skimpy under things; and the aforementioned large chested woman breaking stuff with her breasts. Acts will change often and are not on any set schedule but you can expect stuff like this and more, from transvestite strippers to guys dressed like Oompa Loompas to contortionists and beyond.

I wasn't kidding when I said freakshow and yet I also wasn't kidding when I said oddly compelling. Much like Miley's latest career incarnation, it's all wrong in so many different ways but is unexpectedly successful. You don't want to look at the woman breaking stuff with her breasts but you really kind of have to and then you will want to applaud.

I think the primary reason I enjoyed it - other than the stiff drinks the bartender was pouring me - was the fact that it was at least different. Most nightclubs in this town are exhaustingly similar, with a "Don't mess with me" staff, a "I'm better than you" clientele, and a "This is it?" search for something more interesting to do than jump up and down to the latest Tiesto mix. You can do that here if you want but in between jumping up and down you can watch Mini-Britney Spears lip-sync to "Oops I Did It Again."

Getting in is not cheap - $75 to stand and $125 to sit down plus typically expensive drinks - but those are the kinds of prices you're going to pay for the big name DJs at the mega-clubs and they don't have flying midgets.

The crowd is young, hot, and way too cool for you but also surprisingly laid back. I was the oldest person in the room by a solid 15 years and I had several people strike up conversations. Maybe they thought I was their dad. Whatever. What's the deal with the woman breaking things with her breasts now?

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