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My First Burlesque Show

posted at 1:07 pm
on May. 14, 2009

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Last Sunday, Mandy and I managed to make it to the very last event of the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. The show, called “Kitty Nights West”, is on every Sunday, and we had so much fun, I totally plan to go again.

The master of ceremonies was an odd, funny and heavily accepted character called The Purrrfessor, who kept the show moving smoothly with corny puns and a fantastic sense of timing.

There were about 10 acts, some of which were artistic, and others of which were entirely camp.  For examples…

* A too-skinny, too-pale woman whom came out dressed as a moss- and vine-covered tree, who disrobed silently to heart-breaking Enya-like music.

* A pair of women who came out and re-enacted a geisha-girl vs. ninja battle that ended when the geisha managed to enact a “double-helicopter” boob attack on her adversary.

* A ballerina bumblebee, who started out looking like a costumed kid in an elementary school play, only to end buzzing around the stage in a G-string and pasties, accompanied by a cool ‘40s jazz singer soundtrack.

* My personal favorite: Shibooby Booberella, who came onstage in a gold one-piece and had the help of a back-up angel/guy wearing a fake muscle six-pack overshirt.  By the end of it, she was exploring the universe pretty much naked, shaking her assets while the crowd cheered and laughed and generally enjoyed itself.

Some observations about burlesque:

1. Some of the women were amazingly hot, some were below average.  Some had significant dance skills, or so it seemed, and others did not.  But none, at least to my eye, had the tanned toned fake plastic bodies of the stripper / model world.  These were, to over-use a phrase, “real women.”

2. The audience was dressed up.  Not a single guy was wearing jeans, and the women were all sorts of snazzy.  Which is not to say that everyone was dressed the same—there was a little renaissance faire, a little goth, a little bachelorette party, a little flapper style, and a touch of gangsta, too.  Which was all the more impressive considering this was in the basement of a Howard Johnston motel.

3. The crowd was at least 66% women.  In fact, I’m inclined to say it was 75 or 80% women, but that could be overstating it. I do know that, after the show was over, the DJ threw on some ‘80s tunes and the dance floor turned into a wedding-style party, and I was one of 2 or 3 guys dancing with 20 or 30 women.  I would have expected the opposite ratio.

I’d love to go again, and I know that Mandy had a great time, too.  The cost: $5.  The experience: priceless.



Previous entry:
Sentimental Value

Next entry:
The Mono, She Got Me!


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