There is no such thing as true compromise
Playboy Playmate Holly Madison is the star of “Peepshow,” the long-running burlesque show at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas. Madison plays Bo Peep, a rich, gorgeous, buxom blonde who like all rich, gorgeous, buxom blondes just can’t seem to find a man.
I journeyed into “Peepshow’s” storybook dreamland with my fiancée. “It has dancing and singing and it’s amazing,” she said, trying to convince me to go. “There are also a lot of breasts.” This sounded like my kind of compromise, so I agreed to go.
We sat in row Z, the last row. From our vantage point the actresses’ breasts were visible, but just barely. Unfortunately for me, the director made the ill-conceived decision to cast only women with anatomically-believable chests.
For the first time in my life I needed those theater binoculars that old men who wear monocles and fancy ladies who say “Oh, dear!” have. When I squinted, I could make out breast-like shapes. It was not unlike watching scrambled cable channels as a teenager, except as a teenager I never paid $84 to sort-of see some hooters from 200 feet away.
In the story Peep falls asleep while reading a fairytale. The stage show is her dream and in it she encounters a series of sexualized characters from the book. In one very believable and necessary scene Peep is seduced by lesbian spiders.
In the middle of the show, the Peep Diva—whose role as MC is to keep the plot from veering into coherency—sends her sub-divas into the audience to find a man for Peep. The man they find at our show, whose name is Timber, is clearly a plant.
Peep flirts with Timber by dumping a bucket of neon pink paint on his head and clothes. It’s when Timber does not respond with loud obscenities that you know he’s a plant.
Timber disappears for a few scenes and reemerges dripping wet from a random bathtub. He performs a series of rope stunts while suspended above the tub; the impressive aerial feats win Peep’s heart. All Peep needed this whole time, it turns out, was a possibly hypothermic gymnast to emerge from a common bathroom fixture.
Peep and Timber consummate their love with a dramatic pose.
The show culminates with a song-and-dance number in which Madison, who has never shown her breasts before in public, except in the world’s most popular men’s magazine and onstage nightly in Las Vegas, gives her precious gift to the audience. It is quite a finale, a wonderful chance to see something I have seen before, only from much farther away and at great expense.