Monday, July 15, 2013 | 6:09 p.m.
While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun — and along the Amalfi Coast, as well, this year — in Italy, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with stars of “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood: Zoeth Cardenales, Coco Austin, Cheaza and Josh Strickland. The adult spectacular opened in April 2009 and ends Sept. 1.
On March 2008, I arrived in Las Vegas from Puerto Rico to pursue my dream of becoming a professional dancer. At first, things didn’t work out the way I was expecting, but, with a lot of hard work and determination, I had the chance to build a bridge that would lead to bigger and better opportunities. Although the decision was difficult, I had no regrets.
I moved to Las Vegas to join “Raw! Talent Love” at the Sahara produced by the Cuban dance company Havana Nights. Sadly, after numerous hours of rehearsals and hard work, the show unexpectedly closed after only three months. Havana Nights began a new venture titled “Fuego” at The Rio, but sadly the show closed and left 35 performers and I unemployed.
While looking for other opportunities, I was approached to audition for Season 4 of MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.” Not only did we have the chance to represent Las Vegas, but we also were lucky enough to end up as the runner-up.
After the competition, I toured with our crew Afroboriké, performing in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico and elsewhere. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had — an amazing accomplishment with my friends.
As all good things must come to an end, the crew dissolved a few months later. We decided to move on individually, pursuing our dreams in the industry. Soon after, another opportunity opened up with Show in the Sky, produced by Entertainment Plus Productions, at The Rio.
I’ve always been a true believer of the Latin saying “El que perservera, triunfa,” which means that “the key of success is in perseverance.” So, after 1 1/2 years performing in Show in the Sky, I worked up the courage to try out for “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood for the second time, a production produced by Base Entertainment and directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell.
I was excited for the opportunity, but there was a minor detail that I wasn’t aware of until the day of my audition: I would have to perform topless almost the entire show! I was surprised, but, after watching “Peepshow,” I was proud and thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing show. I never would’ve thought to perform in a show like this, but it was so tasteful and well put together that it seemed crazy to not want to be a part of it.
I have performed in “Peepshow” for two years, enjoying it to the max every night that I perform onstage. I especially enjoy playing the role of “Lemonade,” an innocent schoolgirl who sells lemonade. I identify with her, as I’m the youngest and shortest in the cast! I also have the pleasure of performing as the swing for “Mutha G” and “Wicked Wendy.”
I feel honored each and every day to be a part of this beautiful cast, and I am thankful to Jerry for giving me the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of individuals.
Aside from “Peepshow,” I’m a happily married woman and a mother of two … dogs! In my free time, I love to be creative. I worked with Boys & Girls Club of Puerto Rico for three years as a dance instructor for kids with limited resources.
Whenever they had performances, I would help make their costumes, which led me to discover my sewing and arts and crafts skills. I continued to develop these skills, making costumes for my family and myself. I have thought about improving my art and taking sewing classes and perhaps one day designing my own swimwear line.
Las Vegas is one of the most important and interesting cities in the world. There is always something different and new to explore, a new show or club opening, and places constantly changing names in the blink of an eye. Although Sin City can be an emotional roller coaster, you have to enjoy the moment and make the best of whatever you can.
Had I not taken the risk of moving here five years ago, I would’ve never accomplished all of the things I have today. I feel blessed and grateful to God for everything I am and have, especially my beautiful family, friends and my husband for their unconditional support and love.
Check out our other guest columns today from Zoeth’s “Peepshow” cast mates Coco Austin, Josh Strickland and Cheaza and on Tuesday chef Mary Sue Milliken, “First Lady of Magic” Melinda Saxe and producer Andy Walmsley.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.