Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

If your elbow is going to bend during your glove remove, slide the glove down below the elbow first.

Otherwise the fabric gets trapped in the crook of your elbow and your effortless glove peel becomes, well, less so.

M2

Published in: on 18 April 2014 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Kawaii-Me Fashion Event

Dear Constant Reader,

On Saturday some of the Boston Babydolls were pleased to take part in Kawaii-Me’s fashion event. Kawaii-Me (it means “make me cute”) is a charming little boutique in Union Square, Somerville. Scratch & I stumbled upon it last spring and were delighted by their beautiful curated collection of clothing and accessories*.

The fashion event turned into a huge deal — 5 shops/designers on the runway, an art installation, hair, make-up, & henna artists, photographers, videographers, and a DJ. And Scratch emceeing the whole party.

Some of the Boston Babydolls and friends were modeling for Kawaii-Me. We had our hair & make-up done by professionals, which was a nice treat. I was fully prepared to do my own, but they wanted a more, shall we say, subtle look.

Betty and Elyse (one of the adorable back-up dancers you saw at The Burren) modeled the “Hummingbird” collection — all soft pinks, ivories, and golds. Stella and I were in the “Color Blind” collection of black & whites. I wore a black satin blouse with cap sleeves and a goodly amount of cleavage. The skirt was full, made of black lace over a nude satin lining with a wide elastic waistband that had a crisp bow of the lining fabric in the back. Also, I got to wear a nifty mask of black lace.

There should be pictures someday. There were several photographers, including Cila, one of the hard-working owners of Kawaii-Me. I promise I will share when they become available.

Lest you think we could be surrounded by all this fashion and not indulge our personal sartorial desires, we did shop a bit. Stella bought a soft pink frock with rhinestone detailing and a most fabulous hem, which one of the Hummingbird models had shown. I needed a new handbag, so I bought this one:

It may look simple, but the inside is packed with compartments and pockets. You know how much I love organization.

If you’re in Union Square, do check out Kawaii-Me. It’s a little hard to find, as it’s upstairs in an office building, but there’s a sign on the sidewalk. The collection is lovely and the prices are amazing. Tell Gaby & Cila I sent you!

M2

* I’ve since learned that we actually stumbled upon the shop before they were officially open for business and the dress I bought was their first sale.

Published in: on 17 April 2014 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip:

When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.

Resist the urge to indulge in gossiping, back-stabbing, or bad-mouthing. It may make you feel good to tear someone down, but it just makes you look bad.

M2

Published in: on 11 April 2014 at 12:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Quick Reminder

Dear Constant Reader,

Tonight is The Teaseday Club! You can see Brigitte Bisoux, Ginny Nightshade, Nonye Brown-West, Stella Diamond, Zia, and Scratch on stage! You can see me in the box office! And I would much prefer you bought your tickets in advance…

This Saturday some of the Boston Babydolls and some B.A.B.E. students will be walking the runway for Kawaii Me. I hope you’ll join us!

M2

Published in: on 8 April 2014 at 11:29 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m in sunny Florida right now, but I wouldn’t forget your tip!

Go outside.

Turn off the screens and enjoy some fresh air.

M2

Published in: on 4 April 2014 at 10:37 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Review: The G-String Murders

Dear Constant Reader,

Time for another book review. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read this particular book.

The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee (1941).

Although she’s better known for her memoir, this was Gypsy’s first literary offering. From the beginning there was controversy about whether she penned it herself or it was the work of a ghostwriter. I’m going to ignore all that and just review the story.

The tale is set backstage at a fictional burlesque show as told by one Gypsy Rose Lee, a fictional character, of course. The show is populated by squabbling strippers, ambitious chorus dancers, mysterious stagehands, and a variety of comics. Right off things get exciting when the show is raided and someone tries to strangle Gypsy as she flees the cops. Soon after, a haughty “Russian” “princess” joins the show and tensions grow even greater. Things finally come to a head at a party to dedicate the new toilet in the principal dancers’ dressing room. The new fixture is unveiled as well as the body of the much-disliked Prima Donna, strangled with a g-string. And she won’t be the last victim.

There are so many motives swirling around — missing stock certificates, cheating lovers, gangsters, blackmail — that anyone could be the murderer.

As mysteries go (and I read a *lot* of mysteries), it’s not fabulous. As a look backstage at a burlesque show, it’s amazing. The details are wonderful: the language, the daily routine, off-stage antics, beauty tips, &c. In general, it’s a fun read.

I was awfully disappointed in the ending where Gypsy’s boyfriend, Biff, sweeps in, saves her, and solves the crimes. She’s rightfully annoyed at him for using her as bait and then claiming all the credit. Then he proposes to her. And instead of showing the spunk she’s demonstrated for the entire book, she just melts into a puddle of romantic goo. That may have been wish fulfillment on the part of the actual Gypsy, but it’s out of character for the fictional Gypsy. I was kind of hoping she’d kick him in the shins.

The edition I have ends with an afterword by Rachel Shteir and selections from “Letters to My Editor”, a publicity pamphlet for The G-String Murders, containing letters between Gypsy and her editor, Lee Wright, about the progress of the novel.

Now I’m going to look for a copy of Mother Finds a Body, the sequel, which was no where near as popular. Also, I think I’ll rewatch Lady of Burlesque and see what kind of amazing liberties Hollywood took with the story.

M2

Published in: on 2 April 2014 at 11:36 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Recent Busyness

Dear Constant Reader,

We’ve had a couple of shows in the last couple of days. If all had gone according to plan it would have been 3 shows in 4 days. A quick recap:

Saturday we performed for folks at a retirement community. Yes, they contacted us. The management requested the Boston version of our acts, which we did. But we knew the audience wouldn’t have been shocked. Some of them admitted to seeing burlesque at the Old Howard. At least one had seen Sally Rand. Lily, our stage kitten, was amazing. You would be so lucky to have her work your show.

Last night was “Burlesque through the Back Door” at the back room of The Burren. It’s right next door to our usual haunt at the Davis Square Theatre. We had a lot of fun and the audience seemed to as well. There were several photographers there, so I’ll share when the pictures come in. Two B.A.B.E. students, Elyse and Olivia, made their debuts as back-up dancers!

Just as we were starting to pack up, Scratch got an apologetic call from The Davis Square Theatre about The Teaseday Club. Seems they had double-booked the space. So, the Teaseday Club is postponed 1 week. Do not go to The Teaseday Club tonight! Come next Tuesday, the 8th. I’ll be at my usual perch in the box office.

M2

Published in: on 1 April 2014 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip:

Read a book!

Any book. It doesn’t have to be about burlesque. Read a paper book. Read an e-book. Just read. It’s good for you.

And if you are interested in a burlesque book, there are plenty out there and many can be found in The Boston Babydolls’ Library.

M2

Published in: on 28 March 2014 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Review: Gallows Hill

Dear Constant Reader,

I have a new book for you! It has absolutely nothing to do with burlesque other than the author and I have played on a couple of the same bills. You may know him as Rory Raven, mentalist and author of several books on unusual aspects of Rhode Island history (like Haunted Providence: Strange Tales from the Smallest State and Wicked Conduct: The Minister, the Mill Girl and the Murder that Captivated Old Rhode Island). This is his debut novel under his nom de plume for fiction.

Gallows Hill by Rory O’Brien (2014).

I am passionately fond of detective novels, so I was planning to read this at some point. Then a copy turned up at Stately Babydoll Manor, courtesy of the author, so I dove in.

On his first day back on the job Salem police detective Andrew Lennox did not expect to find a hanged man on Gallows Hill, on which the accused witches supposedly met their fate*. Add to this a very cold case and he’s got his hands full. Not to mention that his personal life is kind of a mess right now. As he and his partner, Sargent Michelle Ouellette, discover closely guarded secrets, the reasons behind the murders begin to emerge. And murderers aren’t the only ones keeping secrets. Obviously I don’t want to get much deeper into the plot.

It’s less of a whodunit and more of a “how-do-we-prove-they-dunit”, as the perpetrators become apparent, but the evidence does not. Unlike a lot of crime fiction I’ve read, the reasons for and details of the murders are actually believable. The two murders being investigated have nice parallels despite being completely unrelated cases.

I enjoyed the rich details of the setting. The author knows Salem very well and is clearly delighted in the mix of several centuries of history and tourist kitsch. You’ll learn quite a bit about the local history, but the facts are important to the story and never too pedantic.

I’m looking forward to further adventures of Detective Lennox and his Quebecois-cursing, cufflink-wearing partner. There are plenty of hooks for further character development, so it seems likely that we will see them again.

For more of Rory O’Brien’s work, you can read the serial Summerland. It’s not finished yet, but there are about 20 chapters to enjoy.

M2
*It was most likely elsewhere, but you’ll discover that when you read the book.

Published in: on 26 March 2014 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Latest News

Dear Constant Reader,

I bet you’re wondering what’s going on in the wonderful world of your humble correspondent. Or not, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

On Saturday afternoon, the Boston Babydolls have a private show down in Rhode Island. Depending on how tired I am after that, I might attend a gender-swapped staged reading of The Taming of the Shrew.

Monday night, March 31st, is Burlesque Through the Backdoor at The Burren in Davis Square. Door are at 7:30PM and tickets are $15 for general admission and $25 for reserved front row seats. We’ll be presenting a number of our favorite acts, with striptease, singing, tapdance and more. And you’ll see the debut of our backup dancers, Elyse and Olivia!

The very next day, April 1st (no fooling!) is The Teaseday Club! You’ll see burlesque from the hard-working Ginny Nightshade, Victoria Van Layer from The Beat City Beauties, and Cookie Queen Brigitte Bisoux. Also bellydance from Zia, comedy from Mike Lemme, and I’m sure Scratch will do something impossible again. Tickets have gone up to $15, but you can still buy them in advance (which makes things much easier on the box office gal) and support your favorite performer. [EDIT: Whoops! Ginny Nightshade will be performing in May. Stella Diamond will be appearing in April.]

Yes, that’s 3 shows in 4 days.

And B.A.B.E. continues to be busy! We have a brand-new website! It’s a work in progress, but what isn’t…

In April BABEfit is on Mondays at 6:00PM. Your lovely instructors will be Mandy, Brigitte Bisoux or Devora Darling, depending on which week it is. Registration is only $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

Introduction to Burlesque with Mandy follows at 7:00PM. The Early Bird Pricing is still in effect until next Monday — all 4 classes are only $85! Sign up now and save.

I’m sorry to say that “Putting It All Together” with Brigitte Bisoux is completely sold out. The lucky few who signed up are going to have an amazing time!

There’s a rumor that the next Beyond Basic Burlesque series is going to be on chair dance. I’ll keep you posted…

And that’s the news!

M2

Published in: on 25 March 2014 at 10:12 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.