Friday, April 10, 2009 | 11:04 a.m.
*Check out this story with all its accompanying photos and a photo gallery at VegasDeLuxe.com.*
There’s no question about it! There’s no doubt at all! Peepshow, the new adult burlesque show set to premiere April 18 at Planet Hollywood, is one beautiful, big, brash and ballsy show. The full-blown Broadway-styled song and dance striptease production has “giant hit” written all over it.
Las Vegas needs a show like this that it’s never seen before. Scary Spice girl Mel B is a total joy and the ultimate hoot as the mistress of ceremonies. Her singing is sensational. Her humor and comedic timing is right on target. And then there’s her body. At 33, she will be the hottest siren on the Strip. The mother of two is an unleashed temptress as she cracks the whip over her stunning sexy singers and topless dancers! Her corsets and costumes will send chills to tingle every erogenous zone of your body. Mel brings provocative passion to her uncaged cougar antics.
General Hospital actress Kelly Monaco is a delightful and darling innocent who transforms into a daring and decadent hot-blooded woman. If you think the pink-paint scene is her pathway forward, just wait till the beauty almost bares all and dives into the real hot water of a bath routine that will go on record books as one of the “sexiest and steamiest seductions” ever. The Dancing With the Stars Season 1 champion and former Playboy cover girl is a dream woman at the finale wearing Swarovski pasties and panties that leave nothing to the wild imagination. Let lust live!
The choreography is sensational. The costumes are a miracle of craftsmanship that somehow defy wardrobe malfunction by a centimeter.
There are two numbers that will have people talking for months: the blindfolded topless dancer who writhes with pleasure on a sex saddle that swings out over the audience and the trio of tigresses lined up in a huge tank of milky water who miraculously and marvelously perform an in-sync dance number with breasts and bums pressed against the glass.
I’ve traveled the world and have never seen that one before. Totally original. Totally unique, and no wonder it had the preview audience of men and women cheering and applauding with over-the-top enthusiasm!
Creator, director, choreographer and acclaimed Broadway hero Jerry Mitchell has inserted every fantasy known to man and woman. It’s why his revue is so different from any other on the Strip. There’s a strong hint of what Vegas shows used to be way back then -- with boas and Swarovski crystals used for the barest of minimum pasties and G-string coverage allowed under the law!
Yes it’s unbelievably sexy, complete with fishnets, firing garter belts, thigh-high boots, ripped blouses and unhooked bras, but all done in great taste so even women will want to see the action. Tom Jones had better move over because the ladies are going to want to take home Peepshow’s hunky singers and dancers who thrill with both their soaring voices and boundless body movements.
I talked with Peepshow producer Scott Zeiger about the unique production. He told me: “It’s a little daunting when you launch a brand new show and concept that’s never been done before. I think if we’d done this on Broadway, there would have been a theatrical community around us to endorse a completely new work with anticipation and interest, but we don’t have that in Las Vegas. I’ve produced Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys and Stomp here, and they were already branded productions.
“This show, though, is an only in Vegas experience. Maybe you could have seen something near this in Paris because this is a genuine spectacular. Normally, we talk about a category killer, but Peepshow is a category creator unto itself. It’s impossible to explain it or convey it because we’ve created an experience for people to embrace. It’s a fantastic production, but I have to admit I’m nervous because it’s a new genre of entertainment, and there’s been nothing like it before in Vegas.
“It will blow people away. Right through the preview period, we have the laser and scalpel out to fine-tune it. In today’s world, every nuance has to be polished as if you are attacking the very craft itself. The cast and crew are all so motivated because it’s like a Big Broadway spectacular with production numbers that will make jaws drop.
“Mel B is an extraordinary woman -- a true entertainer, way more than a pop star. Kelly is just gorgeous and much more as she goes on the journey of transformation into woman powered by fulfillment. Of all the shows I’ve been involved with, none have been as challenging or as satisfying as this because it’s simply the first time something has been done like it. You could call it a hybrid show -- but it’s cool and provocative at the same time as being a topless adult show, but not in any way raunchy. It’s also a great excuse for grand production numbers. In many ways, it’s back to the days of old Vegas but totally updated. This is the new version of what Jubilee! began with floor shows all those years ago -- except we have no comedian, no juggler to break the flow of the gorgeous girls dancing.”
Scott revealed that the $500,000-a-week production is lavish because he sent $12 million to stage it even before Planet Hollywood converted the real estate of the old Stomp theater into a modern cabaret clubroom. “This is way more expensive than lighting up a movie theater. But the adrenaline keeps pumping nightly her with its excitement live.”
He summed up: “Our diva guide Mel B is one killer singer, and she has no competition in any other Strip show. Josh Strickland, who came out of American Idol to play Tarzan on Broadway, is a sensation with the ladies in the audience. We don’t have them singing or performing to track. The beautiful band of ladies is live, and our singers are live. That gives the show a real sound instead of cheap canned recordings.”
We’ll be back on the red carpet gala opening night next weekend and will have the full review of the show. There are so many more things to tell you about, including the full details of the human spinning disco ball, the pink-paint erotica, the seductive showstoppers, the sexy schoolgirls and the seven stripper poles! Most of all, we’ll rave about Mel and Kelly.
I can tell you already that Caesars Palace headliner Bette Midler popped in to watch it and loved it. She raved to the cast afterward. I can tell you that Dancing With the Stars winner Brooke Burke also popped in and cheered on the cast with a standing ovation! I can tell you that -- and you heard it here first -- Brooke and Holly Madison may well wind up in that brazen bathtub boiler down the road as conversations, with a rotating celebrity cast every three months, continue. I can tell you that Mel B and her family have moved here because I think they know they’re going to be here for quite an extended stay!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.