by Todd Todd
I try and walk into every Vegas production with an open mind and without expectations. Knowing that Vegas has a reputation for sexy topless revues, and with a name like Peepshow, this was nearly an impossible thing for me to do. I knew the most well known of the stars to host the show was Holly Madison and her fame was brought about by her affiliation with Hugh Hefner and Playboy magazine – this only added to my mind swirling about a sexy show with an abundance of beautiful topless women.
I entered the venue, which is located inside Planet Hollywood, and was impressed with the theater. Most of the smaller venues that host shows at the major hotels along the Strip do not come close to the size or quality of this theater. The show opens and out comes Coco Austin. Coco first acquired fame as the wife of longtime rapper and actor, Ice T, and increased her fame with the television reality show, Ice loves Coco on E! Channel. I realized that Peepshow was looking for a national blip, and publicity and coverage on Ice loves Coco, but still, I had reservations on whether this was the right move for the show, and those reservations were quickly proven to be right on-the-money.
With all of the beautiful and talented out of work well-known actresses out there, maybe there was something I didn’t know about Coco. Was she a trained and amazing dancer? No, that proved not to be the answer. Was she a diva that had the singing voice of an angel? Nope, she never sang a word the entire show. Maybe, she just had a magnetic personality, with a wit about her that sucked the audience in and kept them wanting more. The only thing she made the audience want, was for the show to end.
As I stated earlier, the theater was beautiful, and when I saw the props in the show, which included a very nice hot rod that would have smoke erupting from the engine compartment; stripper poles that lowered from the ceiling to the stage; a huge sign illuminated by hundreds of single light bulbs, including the biggest mirror I have ever seen that was suspended from it and lowered from the ceiling; a big, elaborate half-pumpkin that had a stripper pole in it; and all of this was elaborately lit by a new state-of-the-art lighting system – it was obvious, the astronomical amount of money that had to be spent – and in my opinion, wasted on this production, must have been triple that of every other show here in Las Vegas – of course, excluding any show that has Cirque in the title. The show itself had absolutely no storyline to follow and just didn’t flow smoothly. There was reference to the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. Okay, let’s stop and talk about the not-so-big, not-so-bad wolf. The wolf was played by a guy who wore a fury vest (that was his wolf costume, I suppose). It seemed every time the show might be getting sexy or there was a hot girl doing something to gain my attention, here would come the wolf and annoyingly block my view. I kept waiting and hoping for the wolf to do something to prove he belonged in the show.
I recently attended Fantasy at the Luxor, and at first, was annoyed when Sean E. Cooper, a male comedian, came out of nowhere in the middle of the show. However, when Fantasy was over, I not only thought he belonged in the show, I was his newest fan. This was not the case for the not-so-big, not-so-bad wolf, whose bare ass I saw more of than I ever needed to. I guess the producers thought it was funny to have, either the wolf himself, or one of the dancers, “pants” him.
There was a point in the show that started out funny, when one of the dancers accompanied Coco onto the stage and did a bit of dialogue that led up to the announcement that they were going to pull three male audience members, one of which would be chosen to be Coco’s new man. The skit dragged on and on, and on, until the last guy picked was being interviewed for the position by the dancer. The guy was a very shy personal trainer, who was a bit embarrassed, because he came to the show with, of all people, his mom. There were a few more laughs, and the poor guy was super reluctant as he was led onto the stage, and he even seemed to be scared of women. The dancers tied him down to a bed and each one had a little something to embarrass him with. Finally Coco came out with a bucket of pink paint and seductively painted the poor guy’s chest. This was one of the best parts of the show, until the later disappointment came, when it was revealed the shy guy wasn’t so shy and wasn’t an audience member at all, but a cast member that was now climbing ropes and doing a wet routine with a bathtub.
WAIT!!! Did you hear what I just said?! This is a sexy showgirl revue, and the only ass I have seen is the wolf’s, and the only one in a bathtub all wet is the fake audience guy.
You may have noticed, there hasn’t been much mentioned about Coco Austin in this writeup, nor practically any mention of the hot topless women. I know that everyone’s taste is not the same, and that what I may think is a poor attempt at entertainment, everyone else might love. So no matter what I think, I always write my reviews based not only on my personal taste, but also by the applause, excitement, and overall energy of the audience. With that disclaimer out of the way, I think I will hit the nail on the head with this review, because when the show was over and one of the onstage performers said: “Okay, how about some applause for the cast of Peepshow,” there was a smattering of claps. No one whistled or screamed, like I usually hear. “How about some applause for Josh Strickland.” The applause became stronger and louder, and then quickly died back down when the audience was asked to applaud for Coco. I left the venue thinking: ‘This is Vegas —where things should be over-the-top and amazing! How has this show lasted? And I wonder if it will soon come to an end?’ I hadn’t had time to put pen to paper when the announcement was released: Peepshow is done —with its last performance Sept 1, 2013.