ATLANTIC CITY - Revel's owners have been teasing everyone with hints of entertainment like no other casino in town. Now they have a burlesque-style nightclub to prove it.
Ivan Kane's Royal Jelly Burlesque Nightclub will open in the new Revel casino this spring, promising to bring some scintillating, highly choreographed performances from troupes of dancers while a live band provides the pulsating soundtrack.
The nightspot is inspired by Kane's renowned, but now closed, Forty Deuce strip clubs in Los Angeles and the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The Bravo cable TV network once featured Forty Deuce in a late-night show.
Kane said in a press release Thursday announcing Royal Jelly's opening that the burlesque shows are based on the principle of "nightlife as art." His Los Angeles and Las Vegas clubs combined classic burlesque striptease acts with rock ‘n' roll entertainment. Dancers would flaunt their bodies in erotic performances, but remained partially covered at all times.
"We don't try to take ourselves too seriously, which doesn't mean we don't want our production values to be huge," Kane said in an interview with The Press of Atlantic City. "But we've never crossed that line. There is no contact. The girls go down to very little but there is no nudity and there is certainly nothing that relates to what a strip club does."
Burlesque-style striptease will be a first for an Atlantic City casino. However, it would create some interesting R-rated competition with another strip club that was approved by New Jersey gaming regulators in December for Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. Called Scores, the club at the Taj Mahal will feature dancers stripping down to G-strings and pasties when it opens this summer.
Scores and Royal Jelly are the latest examples of how Atlantic City is trying to sex up its image as it pursues younger and wealthier customers who want more to do than just gamble.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement said it was long anticipated that the "Las Vegas-style revue" would eventually make its way to the Atlantic City entertainment scene. However, nudity is not allowed in Atlantic City's casinos. The Scores dancers, for instance, will be prohibited from getting naked or touching customers in a provocative way, the division ruled when it gave regulatory approval for the club.
Revel's partnership with Kane for Royal Jelly continues a promise by the casino's owners to have cutting-edge entertainment at the $2.4 billion gaming resort. Revel Entertainment Group LLC has been billing the place as more of a "lifestyle resort" than a traditional casino hotel. The company said in the press release that Royal Jelly will feature "a unique nightclub experience and provide an exciting addition to a range of entertainment choices at Revel."
Opening April 2, Revel will have more than a dozen restaurants, two nightclubs, theaters, upscale retail shops and other nongaming attractions to complement the casino action.
Dancing will begin at Royal Jelly at 10 p.m., with burlesque shows continuing through the night. At 2 a.m., "the intensity rises" as the tempo shifts to afterhours rock ‘n' roll burlesque, Revel said.
Revel plans to bring the secrets of burlesque exclusively to its guests by having the Royal Jelly dancers give private lessons on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The casino said burlesque has undergone a revival in recent years because of Kane's strip clubs.
In addition to being a nightclub impresario, Kane, a native New Yorker, is an actor, singer and dancer. His movie credits include "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July" and he has also appeared on numerous TV shows. The professional and personal lives of Kane, his wife and their burlesque dancers were chronicled in "Forty Deuce," a four-part docu-series produced by Kane for the Bravo network in 2005.