Strip, Strip, Hooray

Dear Constant Reader,

Yesterday The Boston Babydolls canceled Sunday rehearsal for the first time in ages. Why?


When Dita comes to town, everything stops. When planning The Wrathskellar (alas), we didn’t schedule a show on this day. There’s no reason to compete with the biggest burlesque act in her Boston debut.

When we Babydolls go out together, we like to make it clear we’re all together. We decided to all wear black and red and met at Eastern Standard for dinner in the Corio Lounge. It was a little tricky squeezing 7 of us around two tiny tables and having a few friends with the same pre-show plan drop by for a little socializing, but we like having dinner in the shadow of Her Majesty, The Queen.

Fortunately, the rain had stopped by the time we arrived at the House of Blues to stand on the *very* long line. There were many well-dressed people, but I was a little aghast at some women’s choice of foot wear, seeing as we were going to be standing all evening. Betty and I were wearing trusty and well-worn Fluevogs, both stylish and comfortable.

We managed to stake out a spot relatively down front, although very stage right. And waited for the show to start. And waited. I know it was after 8:30, but I didn’t check the exact start time. I only mention this because at this point we’d already been on our feet for more than an hour and a half. Thank goodness for comfortable and stylish shoes.

The show is hosted by Murray Hill, who I’ve seen many times before.

Dita, of course, opened the show with her Martini Glass act. I’m a sucker for men’s wear on women (as you know if you’ve seen some of my acts) and her tuxedo was exquisitely tailored.

Natasha “La Cholita” Estrada performed a high-energy flamenco in a dazzling ruffled costume. I think she provided the only tassel twirling of the evening, which she did with blinding speed. So fast, in fact, that she lost one of her pasties.

Lada Nikolska comes from The Crazy Horse in Paris and performed a sensual number from that show, rolling about on a couch shaped like lips. Near the end, she removed her panties while behind the couch and then lay on the top, screening herself with her thigh. Very hot. We were then surprised when she slithered down onto the couch, revealing herself sans even a merkin.

Selene Luna roared out on a diminutive motorcycle and rocked out. For a little person, she has a big presence.

Then Dita was back with her Rhinestone Cowgirl act. I knew about the mechanical bull and the encrusted costume, but I wasn’t prepared for the glittering pink tumbleweed or cactus. We were awfully amused that her bullriding music was Brigitte’s favorite “Tombstone Blues”.

During intermission I made a quick trek to check out the merch table which ran the range from $5 pens to $300 Olivia prints.

Dita opened the second half with her Bird of Paradise act. As a fan dancer, I was interested to see that she didn’t really tease with the fans. There was no conceal and reveal; she mostly used them for framing.

Monsieur Romeo from Paris was the first boylesque performer of the night with a teasing remove of his suit, cigarette never moving from his lips throughout. I thought the sexiest moment was when he held up his hand to show a wedding band and then slowly slid it off his finger. I found the ending a bit odd.

Then Murray Hill Challenge. My least favorite part of the show, but it’s part of his schtick. The winner was a woman who mentioned that she had just married her girlfriend. In addition to the regular prize (an autographed picture of Murray Hill), Dita invited them to meet her after the show. Nice!

I had no idea what to expect from Prince Poppycock. He burst out in 18th century finery, singing (actually singing — the previous 2 acts with vocals were pre-recorded) an aria from “The Barber of Seville”, while he stripped. Near the climax of the act, he gestured enthusiastically, knocking off his enormous powdered wig and his microphone with it. He just kept going, singing silently while he yanked off his wig cap and fluffed his real hair. The stage kitten (one of the Vonterage, as they were called) quickly tried to disentangle the microphone, but Murray Hill rushed on with a handheld first. It was a lovely example of keeping one’s cool in face of a potential on-stage disaster.

Perle Noire was a huge highlight of the show. I could see the Babydolls falling in love. Her strip was very good, very engaging, but her Josephine Baker-inspired banana dance was *amazing*. So high energy and acrobatic. Just dynamite.

The Opium Den closed out the show. It was everything I expected, except for the sightlines. We were standing to the stage right side of the stage and for the sequence when Dita is groped by red-gloved hands, she was standing in the back of her setpiece, stage right. The front column blocked much of the action for us. Fortunately, we got Betty to move forward so she could actually see her kindred spirit a little.

After a run to the merch table to get a program and a moment or two to chat with Murray Hill, it was after 11 and we departed, quite footsore, despite our sensible (yet stylish!) footwear, but thoroughly inspired.


Published in: on 7 October 2013 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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