Poster for the show.

Last Wednesday I headed over to Parkside Lounge for a highly anticipated burlesque show that was all over the internet and NYC magazines.  Planned and produced by Franny Fluffer, The Pink Room; Twin Peaks Burlesque was a burlesque showed themed around the ever so popular and ever so kooky David Lynch classic, Twin Peaks. With a line up of Grace Gotham, Gemini Rising, Tansy, Amelia Bareparts, Foxy Vermouth kittening and hosted by Bastard Keith, the show looked so promising, I spent the three days leading up to the show cramming up on Twin Peaks by having my own private marathon.

One of the things I realized while viewing Twin Peaks was the doughnuts. Oh my gosh, so many doughnuts! Lucy really knows how to hook up police team!  So when Franny posted on Facebook that they would be giving out doughnuts at the show, I know I’d have to make sure I could participate in the doughnut feasting.

Special Agent Cooper loves his coffee, I think Truman is in it for the doughnuts.

In order to do this, I made a quick pit stop at Atlas Cafe before heading to the bar for the show. Atlas is a smallish little restaurant that serves both veg and non-veg food, but is known for their wide range of vegan options including crepes, ice cream and desserts from Vegan Treats! Atlas Cafe also has a smaller little store that sells most of the sandwiches and desserts of the main store which is located conveniently closer to Union Square, a subway station that connects to stations near my apartment!

vegan doughnut NOM NOM NOM!

With my doughnut in tow I headed to the show. I got there about 20 minutes before go-go was supposed to start, but they weren’t even allowing people in yet. By the time the doors were about to open, the line for the show was out the door!

It was a strange, interesting and fascinating show.  I mean, what can one expect from a David Lynch inspired burlesque show.  Bastard Keith was hilarious, as always, Franny served us both beautifully haunting and comical in her two acts, Gemini was spot on as Aubrey and her act with Tansy was quite….exciting. Grace brought out her tea cup, the same one I helped her with when we did the Bravo taping, as well as a pie she did some naughty stuff with. My favorite for the night had to be Amelia Bareparts  whose Log Lady act was the character I had been looking forward to the most, and Amelia did not disappoint at all!

(not Amelia Bareparts)

Due to the popularity of the event, I am sure that Franny will be doing another David Lynch Burlesque show, and I highly suggest you attend and get there early to secure a seat towards the front so you can take in the brilliance of the performers!


mad men

August 14, 2010

I know I am totally behind the times when I say something like, “so I got to watch the first season of Mad Men recently,” but I do have to admit it’s true.  I can be pretty stubborn sometimes, so when everyone was Mad Men crazy, I refused to see it, waiting for the hype wave to break and see if it had lasting power.  Well, apparently it does.  I was also inspired to give it a try when i found out that Bastard Keith and Madame Rosebud’s new burlesque show, The Sophisticates, was semi inspired by it and was having a screening of the new season episodes during their show (this has since stopped, but I didn’t know it when I purchased the season 1 DVDs) and realized I should probably give it a try.

Screen cap from the Pilot of Mad Men

Well, boy oh boy, how surprised was I when in the very first episode they go to a burlesque show?!! But that wasn’t even the most exciting part of that little story line…..

I don’t want to give anything away in case there are other people out there who haven’t seen the show, but yes, the show takes place in New York City and yes, they do go to a burlesque show, but where does that show happen to take place????

So if you are a fan of the show, I would totally like to brag that I performed on that very stage that is shown in the pilot since it was shot on location.  I’m basically a celebrity now, right?

a jazz age indulgence

August 2, 2010

Yesterday was a day of strolling and just enjoying the city.  Well, at least the second part of it.  My morning was a bit stressful when I messed up my subway directions and didn’t make it to the corset place before stopping at the theatre to see We The People: America Rocks, starring the one and only Bastard Keith (well, not billed by that name since it was a family friendly show) as Ben Franklin.

After the theatre, my partner wasn’t feeling too well, but we decided to quick stop at the corset place, since I missed it before the show and was feeling sort of glum.  I bought two items there (to be discussed in a different post) and then on the walk to get a taxi we passed by a hat shop.

Now, hats have become sort of new interest for me.  I think I always enjoyed the look, but never really got into them myself.  With the abundance of 1930’s era films we’ve been watching lately and a lot of jazz-age themed events popping up in NYC, I decided I should invest in a cloche hat so I’d have something to wear to events.  Walking past this hat store, I saw one in the window and decided to go try some on.

my Victor Osborne cloche

Victor Osborne‘s store is a really amazing experience.  Hat blocks (the wooden models that they fit the hats on to shape them) line the store and are placed along the back wall with hats that are finished or are currently being fitted.  Osborne himself was actually steaming one when we walked in.  I tried on a variety but knew I had come in looking for a cloche, and decided to get one.  As a warning, the hats there are a bit pricey for my taste, but the craftsmanship was amazing and he was such a great guy running his own business, it felt good buying from him.

Now, for the vegans in the house, here is another interesting fact for you all.  Victor Osborne makes his hats out of two main mediums – straw (vegan) and felt (not vegan).  I asked about the felt, figuring it would be made from wool, like felted bags I’ve seen people knit.  I was actually surprised to find out most of the felt he uses is composed of rabbit fur.  Vegans, before you squirm, know that he is fine  making any style hat in straw if it is structurally possible. Personally, I was in love with so many of his hats that were already created in straw, I am eagerly awaiting my chance to make my next purchase!

On Monday, I had the chance to see a show I had been looking forward to for quite awhile.  In honor of PRIDE Week,  Precious Little and Bastard Keith put together a show (this was the second annual one) in order to raise funds for Empire State Pride Agenda and marriage equality.  I was excited about this show because 1) it was a benefit I can get behind and 2) the roster of performers was amazing.  The show also had a great slew of raffle prizes, but we’ll get to that later.

The show was hosted by  Bastard Keith, who is always a pleasure to be entertained by and in addition to his traditional singing and jokes, he read a tribute to David Bowie’s song, 5 years, which was really quite touching.  The show’s performers were Nasty Canasta, Madame Rosebud and Marlo Marquise (hot girl on girl tango that was beautiful to watch) , Gal Friday, Legs Malone, Tigger!, Bea B Heart, Cybil Libertease, The Schlep Sisters (Darlinda Just Darlinda and Minnie Tonka) and Jezebel Express. I was really excited to finally see Tigger! (who I had heard so much about) as well as Jezebel who I had taken so many classes with, but was yet to see actually perform burlesque.

Now, raffle prizes at the show included gift certificates for a yoga class, a krav maga class, crystal jewelry, original comic book art by artist Robert Walker, bull whip lesson from trick roper Chris McDaniel, a 2 hour photo shoot with Beau Allulli, a goodie bag from Toys in Babeland and pasties made by Nasty Canasta.  So many great options to choose from, I ended up putting in the the toys, the photo shoot, the pasties and the bull whip lesson.  I ended up winning…drum roll please….the 2 hour photo shoot!  So now, in addition to the Dale Rio photos and a shoot I did with Chris Zedano, I’ll have some nice headshots to add into the mix!

Even without the prize, the night was still all I could have hoped for and ended with a gay prom party on stage in solidarity for Constance McMillen, who was in town for PRIDE week.  At one point Tigger! and Gal Friday switched dresses and danced and hugged before going to take a (prom) picture.  It was a truly a magical moment during one magical night.

Earlier in the week I got an email from Doc Wasabassco asking if I could help out at their show on Saturday.  This time would not be stage kittening, but rather behind the scenes work to make sure things ran smoothly.  Of course I agreed to help and looked forward to the chance to meet and get advice/ hints from more performers backstage, plus see some more great acts!

Doc had told me I wouldn’t have to be dressed up for the show since I wouldn’t be seen, which made the night a little less stressful. I got to the City Winery around 10:30, found the really hidden dressing room in the basement, and started to help out.  Compared to other shows I’ve been to, the number of performers at this one was astounding!  I went around and introduced myself to the performers I had no met yet, and then started to do my backstage job – trying the CDs to make sure they worked, check the stage, learn how to work the curtain and make sure the performers were on deck when needed.  Ends up the band before the burlesque show was The Crash Test Dummies (yes, that band with the guy with the super low sexy voice) so I also cleaned up left over bottles and swept up guitar pics that were left on the stage.

The stage kitten for the night, Hazel Honeysuckle, was very sweet and nice and we struck up a great conversation about transitioning from burlesque student to burlesque performer, showcasing and how to get cheap promotional  pictures taken. It also felt good to know some of the performers I had met before remembered me, and Nasty Canasta even complimented my stage name!

One of the fun additions to the striptease ladies was Chris McDaniel, a trick roper who was charasmatic, charming, and put on quite an entertaining act! As for the burlesquers, I could write so much about each performance, but for time’s sake (and to prevent eye strain for you) I’d just talk about Madame Rosebud.  In college I studied fine art and fell in love with performance art.  I was chosen with three other classmates to perform at the Brick theatre which inspired us to start an underground performance art troupe on campus.  Watching Madame Rosebud’s act made me nostalgic for my performance art past.  Her act was intense, dark, cryptic, and so different from any other burlesque I’ve seen in person.  She threw herself on the stage, she gyrated in the air and did all kinds of dance moves ranging from sexy to jerky and robotic.  She began the act completely covered and wore a mask for most of the act.  By the time she finally took off the mask and peeled off the tight black ski mask like covering to reveal her blue and turquoise mohawk, my mind was blown (even though I knew the mohawk was there, it was still shocking to see the reveal).  Mixing in themes of bondage and kink,  her performance left you startled and excited, but also in shock of what you had just experienced.  If you ever have the chance to see her perform, I can not recommend it more!

The night seemed to go by so fast and soon it was time to say goodnight.  I thanked all the performers and Doc, who said I should do my Wasabassco debut with them soon, and made my way home.  I was giddy and my head was spinning from excitement.  The experience was fantastic, but I had a busy day on Sunday and needed to get home and sleep!