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October 17, 2018

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Broadway Bares’ is a different sort of midnight mass


Mona Shield Payne/Special to the Sun

Broadway Bares: Las Vegas” presents its first striptease show featuring performers from the Strip to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on Sunday, May 24, 2010, at Planet Hollywood.

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Angel Porrino in Absinthe at Caesars Palace on April 19, 2011.

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Tara Palsha and Tom Lowe perform during the opening of "Vegas! The Show" at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

Broadway Bares

Emcees Holly Madison and Josh Strickland host Broadway Bares Las Vegas, the first benefit striptease show featuring performers from the Strip, on Sunday, May 24, 2010, at Planet Hollywood. Launch slideshow »

If your post-egg hunt calendar is still open Sunday, especially late, late Sunday, we have an unlikely option:

Topless frippery.

Some of the performers in Las Vegas’ top adult shows, joined by performers whose shows play to the greater mean, are putting on “Broadway Bares: Las Vegas” at Planet Hollywood’s “Peepshow” theater (which is called by those at the hotel, but seemingly nobody else, the CHI Showroom).

To complete the “Broadway Bares” circle, “Peepshow” is produced by Tony Award-winning choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who conceived the original “Broadway Bares” in New York in the late 1980s and staged the first show in 1992. Among his earliest acts: rising stars Penn & Teller.

Quick-witted and still light afoot, Mitchell plans to be in town for the show, and to cast a critical eye on the latest version of “Peepshow,” Sunday through Wednesday.

“Broadway Bares” delivers funds to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a leading entertainment industry foundation dedicated to fighting and treating AIDS and HIV. Last year’s show drew about 500 to Planet Hollywood, a remarkable turnout considering most in the theater had heard about the show through the organizers and performers themselves. Still, the event raised $10,000 and was an often-dazzling performance filled with some of the city’s most talented stage artists.

This year should provide a similarly stirring lineup, with a robust cast of characters numbering about 130. Those scheduled to appear are members of “Peepshow,” “Le Reve,” “The Lion King,” “Sirens of T.I.,” “Viper Vixens,” “Zumanity,” “Naked Boys Singing,” “Bite,” “Jubilee!” “Matsuri,” Bazaar Entertainment, “Vegas! The Show,” “Centrifuge at MGM,” Feel the Music Entertainment, “Jersey Boys,” “Strip the Play,” the Las Vegas production of “Rent,” those late of “Folies Bergere” and various Cirque productions.

A few highlights to be expected: The co-hosts will be "Peepshow's" Holly Madison and Josh Strickland, two kids never at a loss for words (Madison has been taking singing lessons, and I will publicly offer her $20 to sing the first verse of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” during the show). "Zumanity’s" Edie (Christopher Kenney) will be Mistress of Sensuality. The opening number will feature the unlikely triumvirate of “Peepshow” guest star and “Absinthe” bikini-wearing tap dancer Angel Porrino, Travis Cloer of “Jersey Boys” and the ever-vociferous Strickland. One of the highlighted acts from last year, “Viper Vixens,” just signed a deal at O’Shea’s beginning May 5 and return this year. A hodgepodge of Cirque performers who put on semi-regular shows at Onyx Theatre under the title “The 12:30 Clown Show” will be on hand, too. So expect to be alternately amused, aroused and terrified.

Paula Caselton, the event organizer and the show’s producer, hopes to double last year’s fundraising total and surpass $20,000. An audience of 800 to 900 would be swell, too. Tickets are now available only at the door for $20 apiece or $50 for up-front VIP seating.

“Last year, we had three weeks to put it together, and we just had people drop money as they walked in,” said Caselton, the dance captain of “Peepshow.” “We’re a lot better prepared this year.

Tara Palsha, principal dancer in “Vegas! The Show” at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, is leading a 10-member dance troupe into the production.

“I choreographed this piece, a heavy dance number, fitting with the theme of the show this year, which is heat, or hot, or fire,” she said. “We took a Duke Ellington song, ‘Hit Me With a Hot Note and Watch Me Dance,’ to keep it classy and Old Vegas.”

There will be topless dancing, well-positioned pasties, heat and fun. It’s a circus, for grown-ups, at midnight. Check it out, and nap later.

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