Reality star turns up the heat in Peepshow’s starring role
By Kiko Miyasato
Photography by Christopher DeVargas
Hair and Makeup by Sarah Barker
There are many words and phrases that can be used when talking about Nicole “Coco” Austin—words and phrases that conjure images of men’s delight and women’s envy. To narrow it down, Coco is simply sexually charged, bodacious and luscious. She isn’t afraid to flaunt what she’s got (those include measurements that defy the standard). And when one thinks of the Ice Loves Coco reality star there are two words that definitely don’t apply to the star: demure nature. This is what makes her new starring role in Planet Hollywood’s Peepshow all the more intriguing.
Coco steps into the heels of the adults-only revue’s main character, Bo Peep. Bo Peep—previously played by bombshells Holly Madison, Angel Porrino, Aubrey O’Day and Kelly Monaco—is a character who is shy, timid and sexually inept, a woman who travels through the world of Peepshow, and along with some uninhibited characters, discovers her own sexuality and passion. For the first time ever, we see Coco in a role that is the complete opposite of Coco in reality.
“(This is where) the acting ability comes in. I have to act shy. I don’t have a man; I’m trying to find my true love … That’s what the whole story is about, me trying to find myself and becoming comfortable with myself. It’s taking a character and making it my own, and I become Bo Peep. I want you to watch the show and go, ‘That’s Coco really playing a character.’ It’s not me playing myself onstage. If it were me I’d be coming out immediately like ‘Ba-bam!’, in a thong the whole two hours,” Coco explained.
We follow this new Coco-as-Bo Peep through a series of sexy vignettes thinly disguised as familiar nursery rhymes. Remember characters like Little Red Riding Hood, Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater and the Three Little Pigs? Well, in this show’s version of the tales, we run across topless, seductive, pole-dancing, booty-shaking characters, all set to some of the hottest top 40 songs. Guiding Bo Peep through this world of wild wonder are two other standout stars: Cheaza, who plays Peep Diva, and reality star Josh Strickland, the lead male vocalist.
But, it just wouldn’t be right if we didn’t get to see the Coco we all know and love—the Coco who has graced the pages of Playboy and has appeared on adults-only websites. By the end of Peepshow, Bo Peep has found her man and her sexual power. “When the song ‘Burlesque’ comes on, that’s my favorite part. That’s when my shyness leaves me and I become the woman I am, and can just bust my moves out. … During the show I don’t just come busting out all naked; it takes some time … but when ‘Burlesque’ comes on, that’s when it all happens,” Coco said. This is where we find the Coco we crave—topless, dancing and tempting our desires.
“This is a chance for my fans to come see me in the flesh,” she said. Well, yes, it is. But we also see Coco filling a role that couldn’t be further from reality, and she pulls it off with aplomb—and by doing the splits.
Planet Hollywood Resort 9:30 p.m. Sun.-Tues., Thurs. & Fri., 8 & 10:30 p.m. Sat., $66-$101, $126 VIP package, plus tax and fee, 18+. 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster