ATLANTIC CITY — The new, audience-interactive show at the Tropicana called The Accused: Nightlife on Trial may resemble some of the revue shows and variety acts that have visited Atlantic City in the past, but it’s completely unique in how it draws audience members into the plot and ties the individual acts together in an amusing way. I checked out the show last Saturday night, Oct. 15.
The show is happening every Saturday at the Trop’s Providence nightclub in The Quarter, and features a rotating case of some of the most talented dancers, contortionists, acrobats and aerialists anywhere. It’s all presented in a lighthearted, adults-only format in which each of the individual artists is introduced by the judge, Miss Ann Thrope, accused of comical crimes by prosecutor Eric Walton, and defended by defense attorney Bradford Scobie. There are four “bailiffs” — dancing girls clad in sexy, skimpy outfits — that participate in many of the skits. Ultimately the audience reacts, by applause, as to the guilt or innocence of the accused (on a recent Saturday night, nearly all the performers received booming applause for their innocence).
The show’s first act was new-wave dancer Kenichi Ebina (right), the only two-time Grand Champion of New York City’s famed Apollo Theater. Ebina was accused of 38 counts of “using excessive dance force” and 41 counts of “unlicensed getting jaggy with it.”
I was personally recruited to assist with the second act, in which Melissa Marie, meagerly donned in a sort of dominatrix outfit and touted as “one of the only female whip artists in the world,” whipped the pedals of a rose out of my mouth while leaving the stem intact. She was acquitted by the crowd of “68 counts of assault with a deadly weapon,” “49 counts of conspiracy to pump up the bass” and “350 counts of kissing a girl and liking it.”
The Oct. 15 show also featured former jujitsu champion Aaron the Aerialist performing death-defying feats from a long tapestry suspended from the Providence ceiling, curling the cloth around himself as he ascended to the ceiling and then free falling, like a yo-yo, to the floor for his grand finale.
Other acts throughout the hour-and-a-half show included pole-dancing acrobat Colleen Piquette, former national gymnast Rebecca Starr (left) contorting herself in and out of a glass box suspended from the ceiling (and later a bathtub being carried around the dance floor); popular Las Vegas tap dancer Jimmy Tapz; and a young woman whose specialty was twirling multiple hula hoops around her body simultaneously.
The Accused: Nightlife On Trial
Where: Providence Nightclub in The Quarter at Tropicana
When: Every Saturday starting 8:45pm. Doors and bar open at 8pm. Providence’s regular hours are 10pm-4am Thursday and Friday, and 8pm-4am Saturday.
Tickets: $30 and $50. Patrons must be at least age 21.
Phone: (609) 345.7800; On the Web: theaccusedshow.com
“The first hour or so of a nightclub is people standing around looking at an empty dance floor. People are trying to get the [courage] to be the first ones on the floor.”
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