Searching for acting in Peepshow is like looking for a Monet at a paintball match.
That said, adding Coco Austin and those twin planets between her neck and navel lend this sex-tease-on-steroids the sense there’s a person inside Bo Peep’s corset, not just marquee mammaries.
Replacing pregnant Holly Madison in a role that’s an elongated pose, the Ice Loves Coco star at least struts with purpose—as opposed to Madison, who, while adorable, wandered the stage like an out-of-state driver lost on Interstate 15—while deploying several facial expressions and fleetingly dancing with gusto.
She’s not just there; she’s, you know, there.
Despite a few tweaks, Peepshow is the same carnal cacophony, turning on a barely there story of Bo Peep and her journey of sexual awakening through a land of nursery-rhyme nymphos and horndogs.
Still expect: a pastiche of steamy, high-gloss production numbers; shirtless dudes and topless gals (with and without pasties) in negligees and thongs; singer Josh Strickland exercising his power pipes; a “big bad wolf” baring his ass and cupping his privates; and a male audience plant masquerading as a shy showgoer who later swings suggestively on a rope/phallic symbol before rub-a-dub-dubbing in a tub with Bo.
Best acting honors go to that guy. However, Coco acquits herself professionally, pumping effort into the silliness. Granted, she exudes a sexual rapaciousness from the get-go that doesn’t work as well as Madison’s baby-doll kisser in establishing an initial innocence in the opening film of a lonely Bo. (We’re supposed to sorta-kinda believe all this.)
Yet right from her entrance sliding down from the rafters on unfurling silk, she’s a presence onstage, even above the neck. Coco smiles. Coco laughs. Coco reacts, looking offended (mildly) when dry-humped by the wolf. Coco, unlike Madison, acts interested when Peep Diva (Cheaza Figueroa) engages Bo in let’s-find-her-a-lover shtick with the crowd (enter the plant).
Spotlighted in a lightning-flash of glory, she hoofs with sexually charged energy in one number designed to teach Bo to shake her stuff, her luscious curves moving with electrifying sensuality.
Regardless of who gets top(less) billing, the show’s unsung heroine remains Figueroa as the brassy Diva. Peepshow’s roaring engine, she’s a sex bomb with a borscht belt streak, and the stage crackles when she’s on.
Finally: Like Madison, Austin twice doffs her top, revealing those 39DD feats of anatomical engineering. We can only paraphrase Seinfeld: They’re fake and they’re spectacular.
STRIP POSTSCRIPT: Two ex-tenants of Imperial Palace-turned-The Quad have found new lodging: Vocal foursome Human Nature will begin warbling at the Venetian on Jan. 19, while the enduring Legends in Concert slides into the Flamingo in early February.
On a related note, Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas at IP/Quad is adding Shania Twain to its cast of faux-divas, portrayed by Andrew Ryan. Meanwhile the real deal is settling into her new gig at Caesars Palace.
We’ll say it: Wouldn’t it be fun if ever the Twains should meet?