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September 23, 2014

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Claire Sinclair’s ‘Pin Up’ premiere at Stratosphere marred by dispute before curtain up

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Steve Marcus

Dancer Ryan Kelsey holds Claire Sinclair, Playboy’s 2011 Playmate of the Year, during a media preview of “Pin Up,” a new show at the Stratosphere, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. The show is scheduled to open March 2.

Rehearsal for 'Pin Up' Starring Claire Sinclair at Stratosphere

Rehearsal for Launch slideshow »

'Pin Up' Sneak Peek

Claire Sinclair, Playboy's 2011 Playmate of the Year, performs in an October-themed sequence during a media preview of Launch slideshow »
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Rehearsal for "Pin Up" starring Claire Sinclair at Stratosphere on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.

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Rob Marnell, Travis Cloer, Tony Moreno, Jeff Leibow, Ricky Moreno, Deven May and Frankie Moreno at "Jersey Boys" in Paris Las Vegas on Sunday, March 3, 2013.

Confusion surrounds the last-minute dispute that broke out moments before the Saturday night premiere of 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year beauty Claire Sinclair’s new show “Pin Up” at Stratosphere.

Singer and musician Frankie Moreno, who is credited with developing the show for Claire, promoted it heavily in his own show there throughout his performance with shout-outs. But at the last-minute, he wasn’t permitted back into the showroom to watch Claire’s debut.

“Dancing With the Stars” professional Lacey Schwimmer, who created some of the choreography for the production, also wasn’t permitted to enter the showroom. She fired off an angry set of tweets saying how disappointed she was about the decisions.

Claire said that she had talked with them right up to show time. “I thought he was coming in,” she told me in an email response. “He gave us lots of shout-outs during his own show about ‘Pin Up,’ including that his song ‘Tangerine Honey’ is in both productions.

“I welcome Lacey and Frankie to the show any time. I’m really grateful to him for giving me this opportunity. We met on my birthday last year, and the idea for ‘Pin Up’ blossomed from there.”

Holly Madison, Claire’s BFF, attended Sunday night’s show, as she had missed the premiere while attending the official opening of “CeeLo Green Is Loberace” in her former “Peepshow” theater at Planet Hollywood.

She said: “I loved Claire in ‘Pin Up.’ The cast is so cute and talented, too.” Holly and boyfriend Pasquale Rotella had a romantic dinner in the revolving Top of the World restaurant at Stratosphere before the show -- and before she enters a maternity hospital today for the delivery of her baby daughter. We posted an exclusive story of Holly’s baby timetable on Sunday.

Roving Editor at Large John Katsilometes revealed the rift Sunday in The Kats Report. He reported that Frankie received a mass email from the hotel producers that no seats would be held for him. The hotel said his request for a table for six was refused because the show was sold out, even though it was acknowledged that he is one of its producers!

John also reported that Lacey’s tweet included one that was later deleted: “Really wish I was invited to something I worked on.” One that remained up: “I do not approve of the show. I am happy with the few numbers I did, and I am pleased with the dancers as a whole. Other than that, this was not a fun experience. But I wish them the best. ” She told John that she was hurt by what had happened.

The mystery came about because Stratosphere Entertainment VP Matt Mascali said he had no explanation for Lacey’s tweets and that Frankie and she are considered part of the Stratosphere family and are always invited to any show.

There’s further confusion because “Pin Up” director Drew DiCostanza told the first-night audience the show had been presented by him, although Frankie has for months taken credit for the idea and has been credited by others, including Claire. John reports that the hotel now says both men coincidentally created the concept separately but simultaneously.

Stratosphere General Manager Paul Hobson said in a statement today: “We were very pleased to have Stratosphere Theater full of friends, family and fans to support the opening of ‘Pin Up’ and Claire Sinclair's debut on the Las Vegas Strip.

“We did not issue invitations for the show, and nobody was excluded from attending. We value the relationships forged with all of our creative partners and are fully behind both of our original shows at Stratosphere.”

Claire summed up: “It’s always been a dream of mine to be part of a show based on the iconic pin-up girl. Opening night was unbelievable, and the crowd loved it! I am humbled by the tremendous talent onstage and behind the scenes.

“My focus right now is on preparing for every show and bringing the classic pin-up-girl calendar to life. I’m grateful to Frankie and Lacey, as well as the entire cast and crew, for their efforts in making this show a reality.”

Meantime, Frankie didn’t attend “Pin Up” on Sunday night, either, instead watching “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas with brothers Tony and Ricky. The trio posed for a photograph with stars Rob Marnell, Travis Cloer, Jeff Leibow and Deven May.

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.

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  1. Someone must certainly want to take the credit for all this (including the controversy). This seems like a case of shameless self-promotion of (someone's) career on the ladder of this "Pin Up" production. Sad to see it fought out in the press in public. REALLY, people?!

    Good Luck to ALL, and take a bow!
    Blessings and Peace,
    Star