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January 20, 2018

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Jerry Mitchell celebrates ‘Peepshow’ anniversary, Broadway Bares


publicity photo by TOM DONOGHUE

Kelly Monaco, left, and Mel B, aka Scary Spice, right, will be the first celebrity stars of “Peepshow,” created, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, center.

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Peepshow @Planet Hollywood

Holly Madison begins her run as Bo Peep in Peepshow at Planet Hollywood on June 22. Launch slideshow »

Peepshow's FIrst Anniversary

Holly Madison celebrates the first anniversary of Peepshow at the Chi Theater inside Planet Hollywood on April 18, 2010. Launch slideshow »

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 »
Click to enlarge photo

Peepshow headliners Kelly Monaco and Mel B flank Jerry Mitchell, the show's creator, director and choreographer.

As Peepshow creator, director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell joins Holly Madison this weekend to celebrate the hit Planet Hollywood show’s second anniversary, he says: “It’s in great shape and shows no sign of slowing down. There are no plans of stopping it.”

Jerry gives a lot of the credit to Holly herself: “She is a perfect match for the town because she delivers visually everything that Vegas likes to get excited about. More importantly, she is probably one of the nicest celebrities and stars I’ve ever worked with. She comes to town, she does the show, not only is she everything the show needed as an anchor, but she’s done that for the whole town.

“Everybody wants Holly, and she’s become The First Lady of the Strip. She never says no, she’s willing to do anything, and that’s what a great ambassador has to be willing to do.”

Jerry confirmed what originally reported that Holly has signed contracts to continue starring in Peepshow until at least year’s end: “We don’t know if she wants to stay on past that, or if we’ll get someone new. We haven’t gotten to that point yet.”

He said that while here this weekend, he will make “a few little changes” to the production: “One of the great things about doing the show in Vegas is you can always go back and make it better. I am very happy with it because it’s in such great shape. But I’m going to make a few little changes.

“The girls are spectacular. It’s almost a whole new cast because some of the girls were only contracted for the 6 to 9 months, even though some of them stayed for the whole year. I think now we only have four originals. I’m really proud of the cast.”

Jerry has returned to stage his 2nd Annual Broadway Bares Equity Fights AIDS striptease spectacular benefit with at least 15 near-naked performers from Strip shows, including Peepshow, The Lion King, Le Reve, Zumanity and Love. Jerry says the midnight show Sunday is set for 2 hours, but if more cast members want to sing, dance, perform and strip down, it can go on to 4 a.m. or even daybreak!

“We started this fundraiser back East on The Great White Way in 1992, so with two shows the first year, it’s been an extraordinary success now since 1992. The theater community of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights has raised more than $195 million. This is now our second year in Vegas. It sparked everyone’s imagination with the debut last year, so this year it’s going to be bigger, and there is even more anticipation.

“For the kids, it offers them a chance to do something that they’re not doing in any of their other shows. We allow each show to come and do their own take on whatever they’re going to do on their production number. As the show advances, it will grow, and they’ll figure out ways to incorporate themes and ideas that everyone sort of sticks to.”

Jerry is juggling shows on both sides of the Atlantic. His Legally Blonde won three Olivier Awards in London -- Best Musical, Best Actress and Best Featured Actress -- and he returns to England next month to start the British tour, plus an Australian version. In addition to Peepshow here and Catch Me on Broadway, he’s working with the writers on Tyne Daley’s show and on the musical Kinky Boots with Harvey Fierstein and Cindy Lauper.

“I’d love to bring another show to Vegas. We have already had talks about that. I designed the tango that’s on the Cosmopolitan towers that David Rockwell designed. He and I would love to do an out-of-the-box spectacular for Vegas. We’re talking about doing just that,” Jerry told me.

Jerry will be at the Broadway Bares after-party at Koi at Planet Hollywood early Monday morning and then Monday night celebrates the second anniversary with Holly and the Peepshow cast. A one-of-a-kind Peepshow cake will be wheeled in for the onstage party, and we’ll have coverage of both.

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.

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