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April 23, 2014

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STAGE PRODUCTIONS:

Don’t expect to get a peek at latest ‘Peepshow’ star

IF YOU GO

What: “Peepshow”

When: 9 p.m. Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; 8 and 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Where: Planet Hollywood

Tickets: $65 to $165; 785-5000

Peepshow @Planet Hollywood

Holly Madison begins her run as Bo Peep in Peepshow at Planet Hollywood on June 22. Launch slideshow »

Beyond the Sun

The two newest additions to “Peepshow” — former Playboy model Holly Madison and Broadway star Shoshana Bean — are sharp contrasts.

The two are part of a three-month rotation of star power at the topless revue at Planet Hollywood.

Madison, who was Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend on reality TV and Criss Angel’s girlfriend in the gossip columns, replaces Kelly Monaco, the “General Hospital” star who became a champion on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Madison demurely prances and jiggles her way through an adult fairy tale dream in her role as Bo Peep, surrounded by a troupe of 14 exquisite dancers — sometimes topless, more often not.

Bean replaces Spice Girl Mel B as hostess Peep Diva, and she fills the house with her powerful singing as she takes charge of the stage whenever she’s in the spotlight.

“I’m a singer,” Bean says. “It was always understood I would not be topless — if I had to I wouldn’t do it.

“I’m not as secure as these women are. I have nothing against it. I applaud them. It’s magnificent. They’re all so gorgeous. I’m pretty well covered up and it’s still pretty risque for me.”

The Olympia, Wash., native has solid vocal and acting credentials, including “Wicked,” “Godspell” and “Leader of the Pack.” As Shelley in the original cast of the Tony Award-winning “Hairspray,” she worked with choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who is directing “Peepshow.” For the past few years she has worked with Mitchell in his annual burlesque show “Broadway Bares,” a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “Peepshow” is based on that production.

Mitchell recruited Bean for “Peepshow,” and she is signed through Sept. 13.

“He and I formed a special relationship over the years,” Bean says. “Jerry is always loyal to the people he has worked with.”

She says her predecessor was a lot more comfortable speaking with the audience than she is for now.

“I will grow into it,” she says. “I’m not familiar with the Vegas audiences yet. I have a lot to learn and that will come from having audiences in front of me.”

Before Bean joined the show, there was some controversy over a decision to make the show truly topless. When it debuted, dancers wore pasties. Now in some scenes, some women bare their nipples.

Some cast members reportedly were upset with the decision. But Mitchell said the controversy was nothing more than a tempest in a C cup.

“As far as I’m concerned there is no change in the show,” Mitchell says. “Pasties or no pasties, I still think you’re naked. I’ve been doing burlesque for 17 years. To me a pasty is as bare as a bare nipple. It doesn’t make any difference to me. It’s not about that, it’s about the sexuality of the girls doing the dances and about the art of the tease and the strip.”

But Mitchell says a couple of women have left the show, and “one left before the show opened because she didn’t want to wear pasties.”

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