Tag Archive: josh strickland


The third annual, one-night-only 2012 “Broadway Bares” will be at the Chi Showroom at Planet Hollywood at 11:59 p.m. on April 15, headlining under the provocative “Barelesque” subtitle and featuring “Absinthe” hosts the Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets. Josh Strickland, headliner in “Peepshow,” will also be giving a special performance.

The show has been a smashing success in recent years (click here and here for reviews of the 2010 and 2011 shows, respectively). Along with performances in New York, the “Broadway Bares” series has generated considerable cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a nonprofit organization supporting those living with the disease.

The concept began many years ago at the hands of Jerry Mitchell in New York City: Broadway artists take their clothes off onstage, with the resulting tips being donated to charity. The simple formula has been a booming success in New York City, and the serial show added a Las Vegas location two years ago.

“Broadway Bares” has generated more than $75 million since its inception in 1992. Although the Las Vegas addition is fairly new, Vegas audiences have welcomed performers from the Strip as warmly as Broadway-goers did in New York. Last year’s Vegas event, “Broadway Bares: Too Darn Hot,” doubled the revenue from the show at Planet Hollywood the year before.

Think we can do it again? You’ll have to hit up Planet Hollywood on the 15 to find out. Tickets are $20, and $50 VIP tickets include a $20 tax deduction. Stop by the Chi Showroom box office at Planet Hollywood or visit TicketMaster.com to order them in advance.

Dancers line the stage for the "tip parade" at the end of the show. Tips are donated to BC/EFA.

Entertainers from up and down the Strip performed in the Las Vegas sequel of the hit benefit concert “Broadway Bares” on April 24 at Planet Hollywood and shed their clothes for the cause. The show generated more than $20,000 and every dime went to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, an organization that supports those living with the virus.

The show was also a smokin’ testament to the depth of talent that lies in this city. The Vegas version of the New York concept was a strong contribution to the “Broadway Bares” original and proved that the arts scene here is nothing to sneeze at. Jerry Mitchell, creator of both “Broadway Bares” and “Peepshow,” took the stage at the end of the show and heartily agreed, conveying his excitement about the growth the show has seen since its humble beginnings.

Slick, sexy vocals and understated confidence provided an auspicious start for “2 Hot” with a number of the same name featuring artists from “Peepshow,” “Jersey Boys” and others. The tension was palpable and made for an exciting beginning to a highly dynamic show.

The diversity was also impressive. There was an excellent female cover of “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon with strong lyrical choreography to match. There was a guy in a banana suit (word up to 1230 Clownshow and their usual eyebrow-raising circumstances for that one). There was a classic number by Nicholas Foote to “Too Darn Hot” that had a sassy, finely honed Broadway edge to it. “Simply Barerisistible,” by Sheila Joy Burford, had girls bent, curled and spinning on barstools with commendable ease.

Edie of "Zumanity" makes her entrance in style and emceed the show alongside "Peepshow"'s Holly Madison and Josh Strickland.

And there was a drag queen descending from the sky to the Miss America theme song. Edie, a “Zumanity” performer who was the emcee for the evening, was a perfect palate-cleanser for the smattering of genres that made an appearance. Co-hosts Holly Madison and Josh Strickland of “Peepshow” made appearances as well and the three were as enjoyable as the acts they introduced.

Novelty was in no short supply; “Le Jazz Hot,” with choreography by Rommel Pacson, was headlined by a glammed-up Christopher Peterson of “Eyecons” and guys from “Naked Boys Singing” at the Onyx Theatre. It’s hard to go wrong with a New-Orleans-jazz vibe and bare-chested men in suspenders.

“13 Going on 30″ was a tongue-in-cheek parody of something akin to “Annie” and presented a cringe-worthy contrast of little-girl choreography (by Lena Groux and Jamee Hossack) and unarguably adult subject matter. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” from Dustree Productions featured a full-size bed with suggestive scenarios and spicy partnering to match.

The Viper Vixens demonstrate their power in "Looks that Kill."

Weapons made a couple of debuts as well (and I commend both choreographers for not choosing Rihanna’s “S&M” track–too easy.) The Viper Vixens performed “Looks that Kill,” with choreography by Ottavio Gesmundo, holding objects that looked ominously like ice picks. The forthright sexuality in the number would have been dangerous enough: the Vixens weren’t playin’, and they made that clear.

J.J. Villar’s “Weird Science” was, well, weird, but intriguingly so. The bizarre situations, involving the likes of bodies outlined in neon lights, duct-taped girls a la Lady Gaga and buckets and water guns created a raucous, jarring, postmodern experience. And the water guns were pretty cool.

Straight-up sexiness was well represented. “Where Have All the Nice Men Gone,” by Jonnis, erred in a captivatingly contemporary direction and the edgy “Nice N’ Slow” by Saleemah Knight featured stellar vocals by “Lion King”‘s Jelani Remy. “Hit Me with a Hot Note” by Tara Palsha and Ryan Kelsey and featuring performers from “Vegas! The Show,” was at once charming and sensual with corsets thrown in for fun.

“Bringing the Heat” shook up the Disney image and showcased the fiery choreography of Erin Barnett. The introduction of the number, performed by the cast of “Lion King Las Vegas,” brought an anticipatory roar from the audience. The sinewy movement was executed impeccably and the brevity of the number left the audience yearning for more.

This could be said for the show itself. As Edie put it, “I hate that I have to wait 364 days to be here, but I’m here!” “Broadway Bares” is rapidly becoming a Vegas tradition, and fortunately so: There are few shows that would fit in with Strip life as well as this one.

Jerry Mitchell congratulates the cast after speaking of the unassuming beginnings of "Broadway Bares."

“Broadway Bares” began in New York in 1992 and has raised $75 million since then. BC/EFA has raised $195 million to provide services for those living with HIV/AIDS.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Through the keyhole and away we go … Vegas’ anytime website What’s On chatted with Peepshow’s Holly Madison, Josh Strickland and vocalist Cheaza (pronounced “chay-za.”)

For an inside look at the show and cast members, check out the article here. And if that’s not enough Bo Peep for your fairy-tale appetite, check out the Las Vegas Sun’s story on Peepshow 2.0.

Hey Peepshow fans–

Ok, so I’m still getting over the word “Twitpic,” but the new programs for Miss Madison’s headliner are rockin’.

Thanks for the heads-up, @joshoajstrick.

It’s a familiar Las Vegas scene: dancers wearing little fill a stage and preen for tips from an audience brandishing sweet-talk and singles.

For this show, though, those tips don’t pad the dancers’ paychecks. They are tax-deductable donations to a charity that has raised more than $6.5 million to help provide services for those living with HIV and AIDS.

Broadway Cares figures that it’s much more appealing to give a donation to a girl in high-heels and a G-string than to, say, a guy dressed up as Santa Claus who is assaulting auditory senses with a bell.

For the first time, the hit striptease show “Broadway Bares” came to Las Vegas after being established in New York City for nearly 20 years. Created in 1992 by Jerry Mitchell, the show incorporates performers from Broadway.

Now the Strip is included as well and has raised $6.5 million since its inception for the organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA.)

“Broadway Bares” originated from the idea that audiences would flock to a performance featuring familiar Broadway performers in a context outside of their show. A striptease revue was born, drawing standing-room-only audiences and eventually spawning the Las Vegas hit “Peepshow,” featuring Holly Madison, as a side project.

The Las Vegas premier of the show, performed at the Chi Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on May 23, proved that Vegas audiences support the strip-for-substance idea as much as their counterparts in the Big Apple.

The showroom was packed with tourists and locals alike, some enticed solely by the emcees Holly Madison and Josh Strickland. Many of those in attendance were cast in shows themselves; talk of rehearsals and recent performances could be easily overheard as professionals came to support their fellow cast members.

The show began with a parody of a lost New Yorker looking for the A train who, directed by Strickland, got on the N train (“the naughty train”) instead. Jeans, a back-pack and about everything else were shucked throughout some serious hip-hop choreography, ending with a strategically placed map and a howling crowd.

The variety and intensity exploded from the beginning, illustrating the talent, technique and sex appeal of performers and choreographers alike. Pacing was effective and surprising, starting with the signature production number from “Peepshow,” which lent a sense of cohesion to an otherwise wide-ranging show.

Straight-ahead sexiness was well represented, pulsing through numbers like “X-Rated,” performed by The Ladies of Vixxens; “Gonna B Ur Bad Girls,” featuring dancers from Sin City Bad Girls; “Touch Me,” with performers from “La Reve;” and the raging “Burn it to the Ground.”

“Feedback” was sexy, sexy, sexy, and Giselle Rarinca in “Not Myself Tonight” demonstrated that strutting solo can have as much power as being part of a posse.

“Why?,” with performers from “Viva Elvis,” displayed strong technique through clean turns and tight first positions (among other things.)

On the sweet side, members of the cast of “The Lion King” purred with feline sexiness in “Free Kittens,” a short and syrupy number at the top of the show. Even the men tried “feminine” on for size in “If I Were a Girl,” which ended with guys in garters by the end of the piece.

For the audience participation obligatory to a strip show, “Reverse Strip” featured a handsy Chippendale in a towel. The challenge? Get him dressed!

A Midwestern-looking audience member was charged with the task, proving that putting pants on can be as risqué as taking them off. (The Midwestern good-sport mentality will, apparently,  remain steadfast through travails of all types.)

Tighty whiteys can be sexy, it turns out.

So can role-playing, although you might already know that. The allure of bars, red cars and gangsters was demonstrated in “Fantasy,” one of the more theatrical numbers in the show.

Choreographed by Saleemah E. Knight, the piece was performed by Knight, William Credell, Joe Rivera and Andrew Arrington. A threesome dominated the story, accented by a fierce funk choreography and an affronted bartender that eventually joined the party.

The audience was periodically reminded of the uniqueness of the show with numbers like “Fantasy,” and “I Gotcha,” with performers from “Zumanity.”

It was obvious that these performers were experienced in more than burlesque and the melding of extreme sensuality with their own strengths was the differentiating factor between “Broadway Bares” and other headliners.

“Vessel,” one of the first numbers in the show, brought a velvety ambiance signature to “La Reve” and was chill-inducing for the audience. Hand-balancing acts illustrated the functionality of chiseled physiques and it was a credit to the women onstage that the audience was paying attention to them as well.

More subtle sensuality meandered through several pieces, with Sin City Comedy’s Dorimar Bonilla displaying classic burlesque at its quintessential best. Draped over an upright bass laid on its side, Bonilla languished in a red special and a black fedora and brought an interlude of depth and smoky class.

Novelty was also in no short supply, but it didn’t come in a meter-high glass or on a key-chain with the iconic Vegas sign. “Good Mornin’” began with three couples under three respective sheets, taking the teasing to the floor and making the audience wonder what, exactly, is going on beneath the covers.

“Mr. & Mrs. G Crossbow Striptease,” featuring performers from the Viper Vixens, topped the list of gasp-inducers. A sashaying dancer was adorned in giant white balloons, playing the target for her male counterpart and his crossbow and making strategic balloon placement necessary.

The number ended with a role reversal, with the de-ballooned Vixen bearing the crossbow and taking aim at the one long balloon of her partner.

Atmospherically, the show was interesting. Perhaps because of the one-night-only appearance, “Broadway Bares” surged with a sense of freedom, accentuated by a crowd largely made up of those who know what it’s like to be onstage.

Tipping at the end of the show was a generous affair, likely because every cent made during the production is donated to BC/EFA.

It also might have had something to do with the fact that sliding money into dancers’ costumes strip-club style counted as tipping.

Bottom line: Take beautiful bodies. Combine with flaming choreography, expert skill and a good cause and mix well. A genuinely incredible show will result.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers