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Published Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 | 5:08 p.m.
Updated Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 | 6:34 p.m.
Unwittingly, Planet Hollywood and BASE Entertainment might be on to something with this Aubrey O’Day person. What a pistol she’s turned out to be. At this writing, she has performed just twice as the bedeviling Peep Diva character in “Peepshow," already called in sick once, created a national stir with a daffy YouTube video, tossed out some ill-advised F-bombs from the stage and blown off her own opening night party.
I think I’m in love.
Seriously, O’Day’s act is such an exercise in sock puppetry that you almost don’t notice that “Peepshow” producers (BASE, mentioned above) have dumped the show’s entire live band. There is now a wide expanse on the riser above the stage where guitarists, keyboardists and percussionists once blazed with live music. It’s all piped in now, Prive-like. This leads to some unfortunate moments, like the off-cue drum roll/rim shot that accompanies Holly Madison’s suspenseful flashing to reveal a pair of pink-painted hand prints on her chest (male lead Josh Strickland is now mooning the audience in that scene, like Angus Young, to show his own pink hand prints). There have been quite a number of changes in the show, actually. Some are subtle, like Nick Kenkel’s Big Bad Wolf character filling in for Holly’s sidekick character that was formerly her dog. And some are overt, like Strickland-as-Angus.
I surmise that pulling all the live musicians from the production was a way to cut costs to afford wonderful stars like O’Day. If so, man, was that money put to good use. She’s a one-woman marketing machine. She opened Monday night to great applause, slipping out of her top in the childlike (and thus, slightly creepy) bare/bear rug scene. During that moment of newsworthy undress, a member of the audience fired off a few photos, then pitched them across the Internet (and I have an alibi, as I was watching the Colts/Dolphins game at Roadrunner on Buffalo). Evidently, O’Day has this thing about being seen topless when it’s not on her terms -- she was the March Playboy cover girl and centerfold, after all -- because she went tea-over-tea kettle after learning of the double exposure on the Web and backed out of Tuesday’s show (and a few interview commitments, I’ve heard). She also recorded a video clip explaining how she was appalled at the photos being made public and had contacted all of these attorneys in an attempt to have the images taken down. She said she has struggled with her weight and is sensitive about her body. She wore no makeup, having just awakened, and pulled her top off to reveal a pink bra and show what her body really looks like (she is quite attractive).
During her eagerly anticipated return Thursday, O’Day performed some verbal off-road driving, tossing out terms that show creator and director Jerry Mitchell warns his stars not to use: The F-bomb. The abbreviated term for “Richard.” When she strung together a couple of the effers during the point in the show where two audience members and Timber the Magnificent are invited onstage, I looked over at Planet Hollywood President Tom McCartney, who was wincing or maybe laughing, and definitely shaking his head. I’m going to go ahead and guess that O’Day will be instructed by Mitchell to ix-nay the earing-sway.
Afterward, O’Day posed for some photos on the red carpet but did not attend the VIP post-party at Strip House that customarily follows a new star’s gala premiere. O’Day said she wasn’t feeling well and took a pass, which drew some mocking tweetage between Strickland and celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton. As accomplished Twitter practitioner Strickland chided to Hilton, “Let’s just say someone didn’t show to their own party because they weren’t ‘feeling well’ lol!’"
When your own co-lead is knocking you around to Perez Hilton, maybe it’s time to rethink your approach to your work. Or not, given all the attention being given “Peepshow.” Whatever, for those who even a month ago didn’t know Aubrey O’Day from Morris Day, consider yourselves educated. This should be a fun run.
Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.