By Andrea Domanick
For a year -- Sunday marked their 500th show -- “Absinthe” stars the Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets have been hosting the wildly popular, unapologetically raunchy adult circus at Caesars Palace.
Onstage, Gaz performs as the show’s lascivious, excessively rich ringleader, the inept nymphomaniac Penny serving as his sidekick. But what are they like in their off-hours?
We spent a day with them to find out.
We meet up poolside at Caesars in the afternoon, where Gaz flags me down with his ever-present glass of whiskey. Penny, wearing a frilly pink frock and oversized bow, is passed out on a lounge chair — she’s been up since 5 a.m. doing Gaz’s laundry, running his errands and preparing a lavish brunch while he slept in. “I tend to screw things up. I make a big mess, so I need the time,” she says.
The duo make their rounds at all the hotel pools; Gaz particularly enjoys Caesars for its bikini contests. “I like to judge those,” he says, flashing his gold tooth. “And then we lounge around with the ladies and have a couple drinks.”
After the pool, Gaz sends Penny to do his shopping at the Forum Shops, which she relishes in spite of the fact that he makes her schlep all his stuff. “You take out that black AmEx, and people freak the f@#% out!” she says.
Gaz doesn’t want for things like clothes — “All my clothes are hand-made and imported,” he says, running his fingers through the ruffles of his shirt. He just wants to buy stuff. “I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s gold and expensive,” he says. In fact, he says he throws away most of what Penny buys, just because he can.
These days, Gaz is particularly fond of hosting themed bonfires built from his purchases, gathering with a few of his chums to toast marshmallows over smoldering piles of silk ties or designer-emblazoned accessories. “Sometimes we’ll have an Armani bonfire, and the whole night we’ll burn only stuff from Armani!” he gushes.
By the time Penny has finished hauling Gaz’s stuff up to his Caesars penthouse — from which she’s otherwise forbidden — it’s close to showtime, so they have a quick bite. Gaz orders an impractically large burger and tower of onion rings, while Penny indulges in a double banana split. “There’s nothing like 6 1/2 pounds of beef to get you ready for a show,” Gaz says.
“I like [this place] because they do phallic banana sundaes and all that stuff,” Penny says. “Sometimes I get a little wound up because of the sugar in the ice cream. I’m not supposed to eat sugar because I get real riled up, and I just keep talking and some people get annoyed and they say be quiet and I won’t.” “Like right now,” Gaz says, flicking a chunk of beef from his gold tooth. “Be quiet.”
A box of baby wipes later, the pair are off to their white tent next door. But what about after the show? “We hit up Pure and Tryst and all that,” Gaz says, depending on “which hot chick is hosting.” A few late-night spots later, and it’s back home with whoever has ended up on his lap. “For a nightcap,” he says. As for Penny, she’ll have long been asleep. She has to get up early. She’s got her work cut out for her.
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