Las Vegas has always known a thing or two about the striptease—it’s practically an indigenous art form at this point. So why did it take so long to harness its power to do good?
After all, Broadway Bares in New York City has collected millions of dollars over 20 years at its annual striptease extravaganza—all of it funding Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Peepshow director Jerry Mitchell started the sizzling stripshow in 1992 in a club in New York, and it has grown into one the most hotly anticipated tickets of the year there. So when Mitchell developed Peepshow here, he also brought the tradition west—even if last year’s Broadway Bares: Las Vegas production was a little hasty.
“We literally put Broadway Bares: Las Vegas together in three weeks,” says Paula Caselton, the dance captain on Peepshow and one of the organizers of the event. “Everything was word of mouth, but we still raised more than $10,000.” Their sights are set a little higher this year, and the show Broadway Bares: Las Vegas 2 Hot, is set to be exactly that—even hotter, with performers from Peepshow, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Cirque du Soleil and more taking it off for a good cause.
“One act after another,” says Caselton, “displaying their … talents to put on a show for charity.”
The cast of Peepshow will kick the show off with a “super hot and sexy” number, says Caselton, but she ends her description there, despite a reporter’s desperate pleas for elaboration. “I don’t want to give too much away,” she says, but the point is to get the audience to do that gladly. Admission to the April 24 event is $20 (VIP tickets available for $50)—so most of the money raised comes from the “tip parade” finale, when cast members—clad only in what they ended their number with—dance along the edge of the stage and runways. “People can come, and shove singles, five dollar bills, hundreds into our shoes, our little pants, whatever.”
The more people who attend, the more money raised—and with that in mind, Caselton is determined to get the word out and attract a huge crowd. “Everyone should come, and their friends and their family—well, maybe just friends. It is a striptease.”