Luxe Life Blog
Peep Show, Part 1: Topless dancing with the stars at Planet Hollywood
So the whole world wants to know if Peep Show stars Mel B and Kelly Monaco unhook their bras and go topless in their brand new adult cabaret burlesque show! The answer is just days away, but if you keep reading, you’ll find out the spicy revelations.
The real knockout ooh-and-ah comes right from the opening moment, though, when Kelly, a former Playboy cover girl and current General Hospital star, free falls 50 feet from the ceiling in her high heels and nearly lands in the audience at the new theater in Planet Hollywood!
Yesterday, I received the first exclusive backstage tour of the theater and watched the sexy “In the Circle” number where thigh-high-booted dancers cavort on leather saddled sawhorses before ripping off their blouses to display a burst-out bra and … I’ll leave you in suspense as to what happens next! Suffice to say a bounty awaits all the while as a stunning femme-fatale blonde rides a sex-saddle swing high out over the audience. It’s far more exotic than any aerial act twirling in Cirque du Soleil fabric.
“The show is all ready to go,” says creator, director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “We’ve got it down. It feels great, and we’re polishing. Every man and woman’s fantasy -- and more -- is ready to be unveiled. ”
However, with only 72 hours to go until the first preview Monday night, there’s a bigger worry about all the electricians, carpenters, painters, cleaners and crew completing their tasks on time. When I visited yesterday, it was a jumble of cables and unpacked boxes as the stage elevators were loaded for the first time with props.
“They tell me not to worry. It will be fine,” said Jerry as he gave me the backstage tour. The entire erotically charged experience really begins the moment you walk into the new theater. This year’s Academy Awards designer David Rockwell, who arrives this weekend for the last-minute supervision, has created a masterpiece complete with a remarkable dangling sculpture at the entrance made from keyholes! Inside the nearby Peep Show store, there’s an intimacy kit of condoms, lubes and breath mints, so if you’re superheated from the show, simply check into a hotel suite!
The first look at the newly designed stage is a showstopper. Three colored fluorescent-lit stripper runways jut out from the stage into the audience, and for that extra up close and personal view along the catwalks, there’s VIP banquette seating and Parisian-styled cabaret tables and chairs for champagne bottle service. Stripper poles and mirrors mark the stage itself, so you get all sides of the action, as it were.
The all-female band of beautiful blondes and brunettes is perched on an open, second-level, smaller stage, and only the drum set is behind the Lucite. It means the audience can look right up at them for the entire show, except for one hot number when the guitar girls come down the runway to strut their own stuff -- musical and otherwise.
Backstage, it’s a beehive of activity in wardrobe as costume designers trim the almost next-to-nothing G-strings even briefer, but glue on more and more Swarovski crystals. The sparklers are everywhere -- including pasties made from them. As small as they are to cover the discreet and naughty bits, those are $600 each, but do they shine and sparkle under the stage lights! In fact, they are using so little fabric and so many crystals, they are buying them at $20,000 worth each time. One G-string alone has 1,000 crystals glued to it, and Peep Show has 17 dancers on the roster.
These are no ordinary dancing dames. They are the best, the cream of the crop, the sexiest of showstoppers from TV and videos here from Broadway and L.A. The most stunning glamour girls of Las Vegas haven’t been forgotten, either. Jennifer Quinlan, one of the T.I. Sirens, has joined the cast; 40 Deuce burlesque dancer Carolyn Pace, who was in Wayne Brady’s show at The Venetian, plays Mrs. Pumpkin Eater from the fairytale; and singer Cheaza, who is as striking and sassy as they come, was in Wayne’s show, too.
Peep Show can’t be compared with other striptease ventures on the Strip. This is a full-blown production -- with a large, highly skilled, voluptuous cast -- that costs $12 million to stage. It’s an innocent fairytale of Little Bo Peep turned into a tale of tease. Mel B, widely known as the Spice Girls’ Scary Spice, plays the Peep Diva mistress of ceremonies, and Kelly is the timid Bo Peep who is guided in her transformation from innocent child to sensual, empowered woman. In addition to the Peep Diva and Bo Peep, there’s a fairytale collection of Goldie, Mother G the DJ, Lady Cross, Wicked Wendy, Lil P and Pumpkin Eater, who has the most extraordinary, oversized, velvet-lined, seductive pumpkin to crawl into onstage.
Kelly is Dancing With the Stars’ Season 1 champion, and she’s commuting back and forth to General Hospital Southern California studios. Peep Show plays nightly except Wednesday, which is the day Kelly shoots her ABC soap opera scenes.
Check out the ever growing “world’s largest little red wagon,” aka the moving milk bath, the make-out and sex red car and the showering moment when Kelly gets wet and throws caution -- and more -- to the wind! There’s even a brick house magical switch illusion and, in a split second, backless and topless Mel is able to grab for two bricks to cover up a strategic area just as she turns to the audience and the lights black out.
The delicious dancers definitely go topless! But do the two stars bare all? Do they doff their tops? Do they bare their bootylicious bounty? Read on, and let them all tell you for themselves: Ladies first!
Robin Leach: The first time we see you onstage, I hear you fall 50 feet from the ceiling and land upright in your high heels?
Kelly Monaco: Yes. I am a danger junkie, so I do all my own stunts at work. To me that is the most fun … doing the extreme … always being out of the ordinary. I am a little girl from the city, and I am flying from a ceiling in Las Vegas. It is incredible. I have to pinch myself. I wish I was the hot piece of ass flying out over the audience on the swinging saddle.
In a way, this was like the first season of Dancing With the Stars. They’d never done that show, so we were flying by the seat of their pants. Here I’m flying with hardly the seat of my panties! But it’s the same in the sense that we’re having a fun time building something that’s never been done before. I think people will come in to see us. They are certainly going to leave talking about us, and then next week you will have twice as many people coming and talking, and then the next time it is going to be sold out. This is the same kind of project as Dancing With the Stars, and it reminds me of almost every step.
I love every part of Peep Show, and most importantly I love everyone involved with the show -- onstage and behind the scenes, you could not have asked for a better family. I am having the best of time in Vegas. I’ve become a regular at Koi and Prive here in Planet Hollywood, so I’ve kissed the city. It’s loved me back, but I haven’t even made a dent yet in what I want to do here.
RL: It’s a shame the shoot with Holly Madison didn’t work out last weekend. That would have been fun.
KM: We weren’t ready. There was no way. This stage was a f*cking mess. At least they vacuumed, but it was chaos. I don’t think it would have been a good look for the show. But she says she is coming back to do it.
RL: So the curtain goes up in four days -- Monday. How are you feeling now that you’re down to the wire?
KM: I am scared to death, but I am excited. I feel like if I am not scared, then I am not doing the right thing. It is a good feeling.
RL: How do you feel about the milk bath scene in Peep Show?
KM: I am not in the milk bath. I am in a different bath; three other girls are in the milk bath. It is incredibly sexy. It is sensual and erotic and sexy, but still innocent.
RL: You and Mel are getting along famously. You’re working out in the gym every day for two hours before starting rehearsals? I’ve heard about how she grabs a couple of bricks to cover up when she goes topless. That could be added to her new line of Ultimo bras.
KM: Yeah, and Mel is awesome. You saw the photos of Mel in her Ultimo bras, the ones that were very burlesque themed. (Click HERE for that story and stunning photo gallery!) She looked absolutely beautiful. We have recruited some of the girls from the show, and they have to be there sharp. Today we did an extra mile. We did seven miles and then did an extra hour just working on glutes. Mel and I want our girls to look as good as possible for every show.
I didn’t get in from General Hospital in Los Angeles last night until 10.30 p.m., and I’d flown out in the morning. So I needed to work out and get the energy back up. During this run in Vegas, I won’t get one free day off at all because every Wednesday, I fly on Southwest to Burbank, do all my scenes for the week and fly back the same day. I’m a Southwest commuter. There were only five people on my flight the past three weeks at 6:30 a.m. I love all of the veterans there at General Hospital. Those are the people I learn from every day. We have the same incredible camaraderie here.
I am loving Vegas. I am loving everybody here. I haven’t been around this many New Yorkers in so long. I am an East Coast girl. I feel like I stepped into another family. Coming from daytime, that is the vibe we have there, too. Everyone is in it together; it takes a team of people to make it work. I am enjoying the technical process because you get to meet all the people responsible for your safety. I am a lucky girl.
RL: What do you think is the sexiest number that you do in Peep Show?
KM: I think the sexiest is the bath number. It is so simple, and I really don’t do anything -- that is the beauty of it. You feel this passion coming from my dance partner Stoyan who does all the work. Mel has two bricks to cover up with, but I don’t get anything! It’s the real thing. We have three versions of a bedazzled little blue outfit, and when that comes off, there’s just little old me! I just have crystals left to cover my special place! Only the best! Every number is sexy, though, and with the stripper poles and catwalks so close to the table seating up front, it’s hot. That’s where I want you sitting, Robin. There is something here for everyone.
Kelly has only one regret to date: “I’ve got to get out. I put my room key in the ice machine last night when I got in late from Los Angeles, so I knew then I’ve been working too hard and haven’t seen daylight outside Planet Hollywood once since moving here -- except for the commute in the dark back and forth between Burbank and Vegas.”
And Mel, who was involved in a massive hair project in her dressing room, added: “Everything here in Vegas is great, and the show is going so well. I’m loving this process of creating everything from scratch. It’s exciting to expand the character. I am loving every moment of the experience.”
Click back to Vegas DeLuxe tomorrow morning for Part 2 of this story, an interview with Jerry Mitchell, Peep Show’s award-winning creator, director and choreographer.
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.