Show producer Norbert Aleman has been riding a wave in Southern Nevada since 1979. In a business that sees shows come and go on a continual basis, the 74 year-old native of Morocco, has led the cycle of entertainment since Sept. 25, 1987 when “Crazy Girls” first appeared at the Riviera Hotel & Casino.
Not one to sit on his hands, Aleman is still going strong in a career that produced good times along with an assortment of challenges along the way.
To call Aleman a survivor might even be an understatement. His old stomping grounds at the Riviera were recently demolished while his show continues, this time at Planet Hollywood, also on the Las Vegas Strip. A resident or Las Vegas since 1985, Aleman struck gold in a city known for people taking chances.
The colorful Aleman is used to the ups and downs of life, and seems to thrive on his next step. He became a full contact karate champion in 1959, and joined the French Foreign Legion as a mercenary before going on to manage and produce shows for French singing sensations.
It’s been a whirlwind career for a man who admits he has had the good life along with a few bumps in the road at the same time. Crazy Girls is now in its 29th year, and Aleman said the show’s dancers are the perfect testament to a dedicated teamwork effort.
“Creation is a good test,” explained, Aleman, who has also worked as a stunt man in a Charles Bronson movie. “As a producer, we must take care of our performers. The girls stay young so that we’re able to present a show that is done correctly and has good quality.”
With huge competition on the Las Vegas Strip, Aleman continues to draw well as he continues his career.
“Show biz keeps me young,” said Aleman, who formerly danced in the Lido de Parise in Paris. “I live a clean life and have been rewarded for that.
In a stunning comparison, many of the younger generations of entertainment have fallen due to drugs or other related setbacks.
“We’re the longest-running burlesque show in the country,” Aleman says in a matter-of-fact analogy. “You cannot give up in this business.”
When the Riviera was closed, Aleman knew the challenges to find a new home were going to be challenging, but he didn’t have an idea that a related setback literally put the skids on the show for a brief time.
“When we moved from the Riviera, our truck (and trailer) was stolen,” said Aleman while adding yet another element to the definition of another uphill climb. “We lost all of our costumes and props when that happened last March. The truck was found, but the content wasn’t found.”
The theft also resulted in the loss of other important content including wigs and shoes. In total, Aleman said the theft resulted in a loss of about $225,000, all of which had to be replaced quickly if the show as to continue its long-running history.
Aleman said the move to Planet Hollywood was delayed by only a week although the new show had to be redone totally.
“We closed the Riviera and started at Planet Hollywood May 21,” said Aleman, whose setbacks also included a tragic house fire in the hills of Los Angeles in 1977.
“We lost everything,” Aleman recalls of the fire. “We had memories from France in the house.”
Meanwhile, the history of Crazy Girls has an impressive list of viewers including Prince Albert, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Magic Johnson, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Tom Jones, among others.
For a man who has been an actor, a stuntman, record producer and producer and promoter for concerts, the result has been a long and storied career in a very tough business.
The move to Planet Hollywood has been a good one, too.
“The Sin City Theatre had a major overhaul for Crazy Girls to perform there,” Aleman said “Planet Hollywood is the perfect combination of classic Vegas and modern edgy Las Vegas that truly represents Crazy Girls past, present and future.”
Aleman’s Crazy Girl show has been highlighted in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Australia, Monte Carlo and France.
Meanwhile, Aleman also has other plans that will take him out of the country to a new venture in Mexico.
“I’m going to retire when Crazy Girls turns 30 years of age,” Aleman said. “My wife, Jennifer, will still run the show, but I’m going to build a casino with a partner in Cabo San Lucas.” +