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July 22, 2014

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A quick peek at the grown-up fun in ‘Peepshow’

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publicity photo by TOM DONOGHUE

Kelly Monaco, left, and Mel B, aka Scary Spice, right, will be the first celebrity stars of “Peepshow,” created, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, center.

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Peepshow at Planet Hollywood.

Quick thoughts about "Peepshow," which has opened for previews at Planet Hollywood. I caught one such performance last night:

The adult-themed show uses the tease to great effect -- most of the dance numbers use a now-you-see ’em, now-you-don’t approach to up-top nudity. The naughty parts are alternately concealed by hands, pompoms and paint, and flashed ever so briefly. The staging is ambitious -- expect a giant pumpkin, a huge plastic case filled with what seems to be milk and what is certainly a trio of dancers pressing their bodies against the sides. Kelly Monaco and a male dancer (the show gives as much attention to heterosexual women and gay men as to straight males) cavort in, around and atop a bathtub, with the male dipping high above while wrapped in a long cord. Late in the show, one dancer performs in a giant metal sphere above the stage; you have to look closely to know there is actually a person inside that prop. The theater, formerly home to "Stomp Out Loud," has been fairly stripped bare of that show's artifacts, which made the venue seem like a very large garage sale (they should call this one "Hump Out Loud.") Three audience members are invited onstage to help poor Kelly find a suitable suitor; the lucky fella, whom we might call Peter Plant, winds up stripped to his boxers (at least, I expect they are his) and strapped to a bed as Monaco spills pink paint over his body (later, Monaco exposes her upper half, to show pink-painted handprints across her chest). Monaco and Mel “Scary Spice” Brown are both sizzling, Monaco usually clad in a light-blue negligee number and Brown in a black-and-red bustier. Brown is really digging this gig, you can tell. The music is live, and the humor sharp. At the end, Mel B demands, “Good night, everybody, thanks for coming, now go home and get laid!” Even after the show, Mel B is running the show. Fun stuff.

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