Jerry Mitchell's Peepshow

4.22.2009

By Shana Naomi Krochmal

So how do you think about replacing her down the line when her contract is up?
Part of the challenge with this show was that the Bo Peep and Peep Diva would be changed out every three months to keep the show fresh. I don't really have a second choice yet. If she's having a good time and they love it, maybe we extend it or they can come back.

There's definitely a gay sensibility to how the men in the show are styled and presented as sex objects.
Part of it is because of my sensibility. That's how I am. I knew I wasn't going to be able to have a lot of guys in a Vegas show, so I wanted everything they did to be extremely hot. There's no one who can hold a candle to Josh Strickland and the way he sings -- it's so sensual and androgynous in a way. And I had found this amazing picture, a fashion layout of a guy standing in a field in his jeans and t-shirt, holding a hose, and he was completely wet. And I thought, that. I auditioned aerialist guys with the thought that there would be a garden hose hanging over the tub, with water dripping and they would do all these magical things on the hose. But Stoyan Metchkarov was this guy who would do a trick, but not with that circus presentation at the end -- like 'ta-da!' He just came in wearing jeans and a t-shirt. And I said, 'Can you climb up that rope and take your shirt off?' And he said, 'Sure,' and did it. He didn't even ask me why. He didn't crack a smile. He just did whatever I asked. I thought, Wow, this guy is so sexy and he doesn't even know it.

You have a busy year, bouncing between Vegas and London and New York. Are you balancing a boyfriend, too?
I have a new boyfriend, Matthew Trent, who was a principal dancer with the Australian Ballet Company. We met through some dancers in New York City. He got here three weeks ago and is hanging out with me while I go with this crazy opening process. Then he's going to come with me to London. We're just getting to know each other. It's a brand new relationship.

That's very Chorus Line, the director and the dancer.
I haven't dated dancers before, strangely enough. I've never had a long-term relationship with someone who's a performer. I've always thought, Don't do that, it will never work out. But now with a little bit of age I'm thinking, Why not? Don't limit yourself. I'm here doing this show, in the theater 24/7. Anyone who wasn't in the business would be freaking out.

You've done award-winning Broadway shows and also reality TV dance competitions. How does being on stage would prepare someone like Adam Lambert for American Idol?
Discipline. Definitely discipline. People think, oh I can go and become a star overnight. The people who win those shows, they've been singing since they were 5 years old. Nobody becomes a star because you can sing. You become a star because there's nothing more important to you in the world, and you work your ass off at it. It's not just getting up and singing eight songs in eight weeks and suddenly you're a superstar.

Do you think America is ready for an out gay Idol?
Why not? Didn't they have one in London 10 years ago? I was there then. There's no difference. Talent wins out.

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