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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.

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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.

The flash mob, that is. For those not in the know, it’s not as inappropriate as it sounds.

Flash mobs appear to be spontaneous happenings, stealthily organized underground. Actions can range from a large group abruptly crowding a retail store to an overwhelming number of people each dropping a pencil, at the same time, in a train station.

Resisting the urge to go subliminal, the original flash mobs avoid overtly political statements and are staged purely for the artistic appeal or fun factor.

The beauty of flash mobs comes from the location. In the beginning, city parks and shopping malls played host. As the trend has taken hold and evolved, venues have also changed.

Take a step back for a second. Remember the Aflac duck, mascot for the insurance company, who always seems to know what’s coming? Despite the never-ending forethought on the part of the feathered icon, a convention put on by the company was mobbed on Aug. 6.

There was nothing that duck could do about it.

The mob, organized and choreographed by somewhat-aficionado Kris Mohfanz, was of the progressive variety. Flyers were distributed to dance studios in the city and the ever-ready Craigslist served as a recruitment tool as well.

Mohfanz gettin' down with the mob

The turn-out might have been small according to mob standards, but the enthusiasm level was respectable. Mohfanz also seemed to have the routine down pat, having choreographed similar mobs at Planet Hollywood in Nov. 2009 and July 2010.

Mohfanz’s signature song, appropriate to location, is “Phamous” by MIDI Mafia (“When you up in Vegas/Can’t nobody blame us for acting phamous….”).

Fist-pump like you mean it!

Enough with logistics. The point: flash mobs, since inception, have proven that they are intrinsically exciting. Also, they are moving into a more organized, more public and more purposeful sphere.

Mohfanz is greatly facilitating this. Think of it as mob syndication: utilizing much of the same choreography, the skeleton of a flash mob becomes mobile  with only minimal assembly required. Add participants accrued from ads on Craigslist and posted flyers and the production is good to go.

The Aflac convention was perfectly receptive to the event, with conventioneers clapping along and droppin’ low with the dancers. However, it’s not the individual event that should be studied. It’s the trend as a whole. Keep an eye on this one. It’s going to get bigger with time.

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