Thursday, May 14, 2009

Peepshow Tussle: What Counts As Topless?

Mike Weatherford beat me to the punch today in reporting that "Peepshow" at Planet Hollywood has dispensed of the pasties for full-breasted toplessness. He just didn't have the story behind the story.

This comes from several sources involved with the show: The deal between the "Peepshow" folks and Planet Hollywood is that P-Ho buys 10 percent of every show's seats. After the opening, though, despite impressive reviews, P-Ho management felt they hadn't received a true topless show. No matter that the dancing and singing are great, that the set pieces are fun, that the show hardly slows down, that it's a refreshing take on a stale concept. None of that mattered in the face of covered nipples, dammit.

Negotiations ensued. Some of the dancers went into the deal expecting to be covered by the pasties, so the producers agreed to pay them a little more. At least one woman quit. But when a show costs $400,000 a week -- yes, that's an accurate and never-before-published figure -- to produce and you're relying on the hotel to guarantee a certain piece of that, you tend to comply.

I've tried to get an official response to this version of events. A P-Ho publicist responded once, to indicate she was ill and would get back to me soon. That was six days ago. In this case, silence speaks volumes; if this were flatly untrue, the response would've been a faster and easier, "Are you nuts?"

The real question, of course, is what defines topless. Is a thingie on the nip so intrusive? Really? I mean, look at the male stripper shows. When those guys are done shaking it, you've seen nothing you couldn't have observed at a Michael Phelps swim meet. They still call them strippers and they show nary an inch of genitalia skin. But gosh, the guys gotta see their titties or it's a fraud!

Weatherford referred to the use of pasties as "false modesty." Maybe it's because I'm gay, as is creator/director Jerry Mitchell, but I found them a minor and classy instance of restraint that helped keep the show from feeling sleazy. "Peepshow" still has plenty to elevate it from sleaze and I still think it can succeed, but I'm just baffled as to how this could be an issue. I'd be surprised if P-Ho got loads of complaints from straight guys who sat through a fun and entertaining 90 minutes and felt cheated because they didn't get to see nipples. Could they really be so juvenile?

12 comments:

thomas said...

Yes Steve. They really can.

Troy in Las Vegas said...

That number was never published? Pretty sure I had read it somewhere before. Oh "published" means written down and printed? 'Cause I just now remembered I had heard it on a podcast several weeks ago. Anyway, that is what gave me so much concern that so many shows have been cancelled. Maybe not so many, but each time we have tried to go to it is has been cancelled. Any idea why shows can be cancelled like that at the last minute?

THE STRIP PODCAST said...

Troy - I hadn't heard that a number of shows had been canceled. Gimme the dates. That's strange.

Jinx said...

While I like to think I'd care less if I went to the show and it was pasties vs topless. I do agree with the first comment, yes many men would consider this not topless. Unfortunate but true.

Anonymous said...

If they use clear body paint with some sparkles, or pink paint, how can anyone possibly get close enough to tell? This wouldn't be an issue anywhere except Las Vegas, but, this is Sin City, and pasties are not sinful enough. I can state for a fact, however, that a body painted nipple feels the same as a "natural" nipple slapping across your face.

Jeff in OKC

GregoryZephyr said...

I feel it's the opposite. Pasties to me are old fashioned and laughable. You're telling me that covering a nipple with a 2 inch circle of gold cloth or something is classier than none? As if somehow Father Flanagan would find that "acceptable" but an actual nipple is somehow not acceptable. Unless it is a male nipple which is of course acceptable everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I think maybe Troy in Las Vegas is referring to the cancellations when peepshow first opened in preview mode? The first two or three preview shows were cancelled at the last minute.

Troy in Las Vegas said...

April 13th for one. I don't think that was 'preview' period. I don't have the other dates on my calender.

Mark said...

It's not a huge deal, Steve, but speaking as a hetero dude, if I'm going to something called "Peepshow", I'd prefer to see some nip. Just being honest.

THE STRIP PODCAST said...

thanks for the input, mark and the rest of y'all. i guess women and gay men are just more accustomed to not getting gratified as much as straight guys are.

sundancevegas said...

I work for Westgate and we push the show relentlessly - however there isn't much to push as we get people requesting it ALL THE TIME.

It has never had a cancellation as far as I can tell

Troy in Las Vegas said...

Whether the show was in "preview mode" or not, the reality is the April 13th show was cancelled.

Reminds me of "It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is."

For the person that said- "The first two or three preview shows were cancelled at the last minute." Like I said I remember the date of April 13th as I wrote that down on my calender and the other show my wife tried to go to was over a week before April 13th so not mearly days apart.