Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 | 6:58 p.m.
Undercover work never did suit Claire Sinclair.
The 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year and star of “Pin Up” at Stratosphere will be showing a lot more up top beginning Aug. 10. The show has announced that she will be stripteasing to pasties beginning that night.
“We’ve been listening to what people want, and people have questioned why there has been so little skin for a Playmate in a 10:30 show in Las Vegas,” Sinclair said today in a phone interview. “I agree. We’re going to give them a little bit more, and I’m happy for it.”
From its opening in March through its 100th show in mid-July to, well, now, “Pin Up” has been a covered production flipping through a selection of musical numbers pegged to the 12 months.
A show that is marketed as adult in tenor with a Playmate as its star, “Pin Up” has relied on Sinclair’s intermittent onstage appearances and chats with the crowd, David Perrico’s raging six-piece band, a rotating group of energetic dancers and imaginative set designs.
But ticket-holders have wondered why Sinclair has not performed the type of striptease that is more in line with burlesque dancing, of which she is an ardent fan. She appeared in pasties as a guest star in the now-closed “Crazy Horse Paris” at MGM Grand, but officials at Stratosphere, which produces the show, have been reluctant to make such a bold change.
“I think we’re listening to feedback from our guests, and the people in the show, especially Claire, and this seemed the right time to do this,” Stratosphere General Manager Paul Hobson said today, also in a phone interview. “We are always evaluating the show, tweaking it, and this is an avenue our fans want us to take.”
There are four scenes in which Sinclair will express more revealing costumes, which are to be adorned by hundreds of Swarovski crystals in “significant places,” as Sinclair describes. The plan is for each scene to show a little more of Sinclair, each act lasting a little longer than the previous one.
If you’re wondering if Sinclair will go totally topless (an understandable course of thought), the answer is no.
“My vision has always been to perform in pasties,” Sinclair said, alliteratively adding, “Pasties are perfect.”
Also, if you’re wondering, the hotel could conceivably decide to move to a fully topless production. “Bite” was such a show, for eight years, at Stratosphere before closing in October. The wardrobe upgrades/reductions are an entirely artistic decision.
Those who have been keeping an eye on Sinclair’s career know she has been a strong proponent of pasties since she took the central role in “Pin Up.” The flash point, as it were, for her artistic expression was an unrehearsed (and unauthorized) popping of the top during a show in June.
That maneuver was applauded by the audience, which was teeming with Yelp reviewers, but landed Sinclair in what is the equivalent of the principal’s office at the Strat.
When asked if that move accelerated or impeded the hotel’s decision to move to pasties, Sinclair said: “All I can say is the new show direction was a decision made by the Stratosphere.”
You couldn’t tell over the phone, but when Sinclair said that, she may have winked.
It is virtually impossible to be anywhere in Las Vegas and miss the Stratosphere. It towers 1,149 feet above Las Vegas and is the tallest observation tower in the United States. The casino itself is 55,784 square feet and contains 950 slot machines, 120 game tables and 2,427 hotel rooms.
Of the hotel's 2,427 rooms, 909 were recently remodeled into Stratosphere Select rooms.
The Stratosphere is mostly known for its rides at the top of the tower. The Big Shot, located at the 113th floor, torpedoes riders up 160 feet using compressed air. X-Scream is a teeter-totter perched at the top of the observation deck — if that wasn't scary enough, the coaster arm flings the riders out 27 feet over the edge of the tower. Guests looking for something more sedate can just hang around the 107th floor and simply look at the scenery.