Behind the Scenes: ‘Opium’ Takes Nightly Trips With Captain Kunton to Uranus

Asher Treleaven is ‘Captain Kunton’ in the hit Las Vegas show

Pack your suitcases ladies and gents, you are in for a sexy, sword-swallowing good time. You have been upgraded for a nonstop flight from the Las Vegas Strip to Uranus. 

For this trip,  you can leave the vaccination card behind, all you’ll need is a raunchy open mind and a wicked sense of humor. You are about to board the Starship OPM73 where your fellow passengers include a Rob the sex robot, a balloon playing contortionist named Leeloo, and Pendelton the Third’s bubble maker (trust me, he’s mesmerizing). They, along with Rear Admiral Todd, will provide  inflight entertainment and then some.

Leelo in Opium Courtesy of Speigelworld

This is Opium. The adults-only show powered by the folks at Spiegelworld (Absinthe and Atomic Saloon) has two nightly flights (shows) from the Cosmopolitan straight to the double antranda named planet.  Ten times a week  travelers are blasted there in an atmosphere of hilarity at warp speed.  

The man who helms that pack of miscreants is Captain Kunton who is played by Asher Treleaven. He talked to Off the Strip (OTS) and gave us a behind-the-scenes look at a funky space farce and how his start in Australia found him on a one way trip to Las Vegas. 

A Circus Cuddle Puddle

“I got into the circus and performing arts and comedy just by chance,” says Asher in our interview. For the record, this is the second performer in as many months that we’ve discovered got a start in the circus. “I was at a point early on, in my kind of like, fledgling career as a cook. And I just said, ‘yeah, why not?’” So he tagged along and tried out himself. 

He got the gig.

Courtesy of Spiegelworld

“That’s the thing about it (the circus world), it is a very niche world. Where the arts and athleticism collide and kind of end up in a cuddle puddle. You know what I mean?”

Personally, I don’t know what a cuddle puddle is, but now I certainly want to. 

That was in his early twenties. Soon he would find himself in a show called “Peter and Bambi Heaven: The Magic Inside.” His performing partner (currently cast as Nurse Chardonnay in Opium) and him were on the show, which was a kind of parody on magicians.

“We were just like this bickering, couple doing terrible magic and falling all over the place,” he recalls of the play that may actually be named “Peter and Bambi Heaven: When Love Becomes Magic,” he can’t recall which.  

When in 2017 in Edinburgh, the Spiegelworld folks came looking around.  Quickly the talk led to  bringing the duo to Las Vegas. “I just thought it was absolute bulls**t.” Asher was less than welcoming as he was absolutely sure it was a joke. 

It most certainly was not.

Pandemic Pivot

Fast forward a few years and now Asher dons the captain costume as the leader of the Starship bound for Uranus two times a night. Well, that was until the pandemic forced Las Vegas to turn off its lights and go dark for 18 long months. 

For Asher, he used the time to explore his country of residence.

“I drove around the entire country and I felt a lot of gratitude. For the position that I found myself in by comparison to the experience of people from all different cultural backgrounds around America,” he says with great passion. “I wish that I had been a time when people came together more, but there was a lot going on and that just wasn’t the case and it was a time that I felt really exacerbated a lot of the cultural divisions in America and made life extremely hard and brought a lot of stuff to the surface.”

Marking One Thousand shows

Since the lights have been brought back up and Las Vegas is once again booming, Opium has added new in-flight entertainment.  Pedal & Metal perform a jaw-dropping, flip flopping risley act. A new flight attendant Brittany, who is so in need of love she needs to be restrained. And, Chromeo, who spins into orbit on a funkadelic cyr wheel. 

Since the reopening, Asher and his Captain Kunton’s character have helped usher in a big moment for Opium. The Spiegelworld production rolled over its 1,000 show.  “It’s a banana feeling for me if I’m honest. Afterwards, you kind of feel like a sorceress in retrospect, you know, like, you look back on it immediately after doing it and go, ‘Wow,’” says Asher. 

Courtesy of Erik Kabik

Much like on a normal cruise, you don’t see the Captain often in Opium. Though there is a riotous bit put on by Captain Kunton where a select member from the audience is lampooned.  To keep the integrity of the joke in store for those who have not seen Opium, let’s just say that a “connection” is made between an observer and the Captain. One in which there needs to be a moment of completion (hint, hint, wink, wink).

Anticipate Audience Action

During the performance I watched, it just so  happened that my date for the evening was selected and it got me wondering what happens if the audience member isn’t as willing to participate as mine was.  

“I can always suffer enough and work back and forth with whatever guy that I’m working with, to be able to make that thing work. I’ve had, I’ve had weird things happen outside of Vegas doing that thing, but doing opium, absolutely not. The worst that’ll happen is maybe someone will shut down and they won’t want to chat,” he continues. “They always seem to enjoy it.”

And for the record, so did my date. 

SHOW INFORMATION

WHAT: Opium

WHEN: Wednesday – Sunday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. 

WHERE: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas

TICKETS: Spiegelworld.com/Opium or by calling 702-534-3419. 


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