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September 21, 2014

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A call to the ‘Parker’ carpet: Coco singing? Carla moving? Carrot Top building?

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Denise Truscello/WireImage/DeniseTruscello.net

Josh Strickland and Holly Madison arrive at the premiere of the film “Parker” at Planet Hollywood on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013.

'Parker' Red Carpet With J.Lo, Statham

Casper Smart and  Jennifer Lopez arrive at the premiere of her film Launch slideshow »
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Nicole "Coco" Austin arrives at the 2013 Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.

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Chef Carla Pellegrino and 2011 Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair attend the grand opening of "Rock of Ages" at the Venetian on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.

We lead this note parade with a float called “The Parker Movie Red Carpet,” a stream of celebs that preceded the Las Vegas premiere of the film of not coincidentally titled “Parker” at Planet Hollywood.

The event was Thursday night at “Peepshow” theater, which also is called the CHI Showroom, which is a name nobody outside Caesars Entertainment uses for that venue.

Regardless, we fire off a few bullets — just how Parker would want it:

• Coco Austin, “Coco” for shorthand, seems in great shape, having lost by her own calculations 14 pounds since opening “Peepshow” in December. As she sheds weight, she gains confidence in the Bo Peep role. She loves being in the show and is a good fit artistically and every which way with that production’s cast. If Coco does not sign a contract extension past mid-March, BASE Entertainment will need to find yet another famous woman willing to perform topless in a Las Vegas revue who also has some tangible stage skills to star in the show. That’s a short list; the topless requirement is particularly limiting to the field of worthy candidates.

But Coco says she will agree to return to the show if she can shave two days a week from her schedule. She appears six days a week now and is asking to cut that schedule to four days a week so she can spend more time in New York with Ice-T, who happens to be her husband and, as such, likely misses Coco a lot when she’s shakin’ it up in “Peepshow.”

“I just want them to give me more time off to go to New York, and I’ll stay longer. That’s basically it,” said Coco, who has previously said that producers were originally pushing for her to sign a one-year contract to take over the role for Holly Madison. “If I can narrow the time to have a home life and married life in New York and still do the show, then I’ll do it. Right now I don’t have that life.”

Coco said director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell is returning to Las Vegas over the next few days to work on another dance solo for the show’s new Burlesque number, where Bo Peep finally sheds her … inhibitions. She said Mitchell has sought to move her into the Teddy segment, in which the performer sings through the number. That’s where Madison sang after taking voice lessons.

Coco is not interested in the Teddy number, exactly, preferring an act tailored specifically for her. But would she sing anywhere in the show?

“I would sing, I really would — if I practiced,” she said. “You can’t just throw it on me and say, ‘Here, do it.’ I’m actually not a bad singer. I can sing in key.”

A sing-along with Coco. Let’s make that happen.

• Meatball Spot and Bratalian chef Carla Pellegrino, a vision in a crimson pantsuit, said she is really happy about all the attention given to her meatball emporium at Town Square. But what of Bratalian, which is a great little eatery located on South Eastern Avenue, a fair hike for most valley residents?

“I will tell you … I am kind of looking for a move for Bratalian,” Pellegrino said. “I would like to move Bratalian to Boca Park because the restaurant has such a big reputation, but it is too far away. It’s hard to get at. I know Elizabeth (Blau, with chef Kim Canteenwalla) just opened Honey Salt there, and I need to check it out this weekend.”

But wait — there is a second possible location for Bratalian.

“Or, I might go downtown,” Pellegrino continued. “Boca Park, or downtown. I am caught between both. But within a year, we will just move the location. I don’t want to lose Bratalian. I just want to move it.”

• Luxor flamethrower Carrot Top is planning a new prop that pays tribute, or maybe taps into, to the odyssey of Manti Te’o and his cyber girlfriend hoax/melodrama/media maelstrom.

“I’m making one right now,” he said. “It’s a Notre Dame helmet with a laptop computer on it so we can see his girlfriend.” This show changes with the day’s headlines, one reason we are so fond of it.

• Taylor Hicks is settling into his new venue at Paris Las Vegas, which was once known as Napoleon’s Piano Bar, but now we’re just going with Napoleon’s. His Soul Patrol band and he returned to Vegas and fired up the new venue on Monday. The venue seats 50 more guests than did Indigo, where Hicks had played after opening at Bally’s last summer. For fans of dueling pianos, that act will still go on when Hicks is not performing.

Something caught under the bright lights of the red carpet: Hicks has what looks like a boxer’s scar over his right eye. I asked what happened — if the jagged blemish was caused by a left hook or maybe a beer bottle.

“I have played some clubs where there is chicken wire set up, so I’ve been lucky in that regard — the bottle breaks before it hits you,” he said. “This scar, I think, was when I fell off a bar stool when I was a kid. Luckily, I haven’t fallen off a bar still when I wasn’t a kid. But I was 8 or 9. It put a halt on vacation time at the beach for my family for three or four hours.”

• Why does Madison say she is “relieved?” Her boyfriend Pasquale Rotella and she got the keys to their new house in Rancho Circle this week. Escrow closed Wednesday after about a four-month wait. Madison has narrowed the couple’s wedding date to, likely, late summer, as reported by People Magazine writer and potential hair-product model Mark Gray.

• “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere star Claire Sinclair is rehearsing in earnest for the show’s scheduled premiere Feb. 25. “Each act is coming together, and I’ll be in amazing shape next month,” said a smiling Sinclair, working with “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer and choreographer Lacey Schwimmer in the show scheduled to follow Frankie Moreno at the Strat. “Don’t I look a little slimmer, even though we started just a couple days ago? I like to think I’m slimmer.” The show is blending Moreno’s originals with some cover songs played by a live, six-piece band. “We’re doing a Katy Perry song, which is awesome. It’s a good mix of originals and covers that people know and can sing along to. This show is going to be a lot of fun.”

We’ll be there, with our dancin’ shoes on.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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