Expo 2014: The Rhinestone Revue

Dear Constant Reader,

The Great Burlesque Exposition kicked things off with The Rhinestone Revue, a showcase of past Howard Award winners and special guests. It’s really quite an amazing amount of talent on one stage.

Unless otherwise noted, photos are by Kristin Chalmers Photography.

Scarlett Letter, Most Classic 2007, Best Solo 2010: Scarlett performed to “Love for Sale” in a green & black vintage-style lingerie. Fun fact: she hand-sews many of her costumes and never uses rhinestones.

Scandal from Bohemia, Most Humorous 2010: Scandal, known for her comedy, presented a more serious and poignant act about body image. It was interesting foreshadowing for something the next night.

Dot Mitzvah, Best Hybrid 2012: Dot is famed for singing while stripping. And not just singing, singing opera — yes, arias while removing her clothes. She wanted to change it up this year and presented a Creepy Doll number. Totally unlike Devora’s Creepy Doll, but just as disturbing.

BettySioux Tailor, Most Beautiful 2010: BettySioux also has been known to sing while she strips, as she did when she became a Howard Award-winner. And she makes all her own costumes (as well as creating the Costume Exhibit every year). In this case, not only did she make her own costume, the costume inspired her song. “Friendly Conversation”, written specifically for this act, was inspired by the conversation hearts on her corset.

Bobby Burlesque, Mr. Hollywood Burlesque: The Expo has a sister festival — The Hollywood Burlesque Festival — and the winners from their inaugural event got to come to Boston! Mr. Hollywood gave us a fabulous bit of film noir burlesque.

Sheila Starr Siani, Miss Hollywood Burlesque: Sheila has been coming to The Expo for a couple of years now, but never performed. Oh, was it worth the wait! Her harem-style dance was so sensual, especially her use of the chain ’round her throat.

April March, The First Lady of Burlesque: What a treat and a delight! April wasn’t at The Expo last year because she broke her ankle shortly before. Not only is it all better, she lost an enormous amount of weight in the interim year. She looks amazing! Several Expos ago she performed for the first time in over 30 years and then said “I’m never doing that again”. Well, she made a liar of herself! In a rhinestone-bedecked showgirl outfit by Grant Philipo with a robe from Alexandra the Great 48, she teased the audience by barely taking off anything and they loved every minute of it.


Angie Pontani: Scratch has been wanting Angie at The Expo for a long time, but since it was always on Easter and she’s a good Italian girl, that wasn’t going to happen. But with the change in dates… What a stunning performer! I never get tired of watching her.

Perle Noire: The only other time I’ve seen Perle perform, she did her Josephine Baker dance — high-energy with lots of splits and kicks. This number was slow and oh-so-sensual. I could practically feel the whole audience simultaneously holding their breath and drooling.

Femme Brûlée, Most Beautiful: She reprised the act that she won with last year, as a sad cloud that transforms to shimmering rain and finally dazzling sunlight.

Dangrrr Doll, Most Humorous: In a departure from last year’s polar bear act, Dangrrr Doll presented a dramatic number with one of the stunning costumes she’s become known for. With the black hair and Kabuki-style make-up, I would not have recognized her! Unfortunately, I was dragged away to go backstage before the end and I’m dying to know what happened.

Donna Denise, Most Classic: She also reprised her award-winning act. No photograph can capture the power of her pectorals, so you’ll just have to see her live.

The Boston Babydolls: True confession time — for various reasons, none of them good, we only had about a month to create and rehearse this act. Scratch knew he wanted to use “Feelin’ Good”, but none of the extant versions were just right, so he did a little editing wizardry and created exactly what he wanted for us. Betty has always choreographed our big Expo numbers. In fact, she’s choreographed every group number since, oh, I’d say 2008. In this case, she teamed up with Brigitte and they created a thing of beauty. Much of it came to Brigitte in a dream. No lie.

(Photo by John Bilotti)

Like I said, we only had a month, so we hit it hard. It was a challenge, especially the group stocking removes. Here I have to give a big thank you to Dorothy’s Boutique for staying open late for us to pick up stockings for our final dress rehearsal when the ones we’d ordered failed to arrive in time. Also, lighting was very important to this number, so thank you to Hunter for making it work.

(Photo by John Bilotti)

Brigitte’s theme was Babydolls United. Everyone entered in the order in which they joined the troupe and then we stripped one another. Together we are greater.

And too soon it was all over, but then it was time for The Bordello!


Published in: on 19 February 2014 at 10:18 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi
    I volunteered this year. I was a Stage Kitten for The Bordello show. It was my 1st time! I had fun! I also did security for the pool party to keep the riff raff out. Which I did! Next year I want to be able to attend the pool party if you’ll have me back!
    I met some beautiful ladies & Gentlemen! Hi Matt!
    Is there going to be any video posted?
    See you next year!
    Boom Boom

  2. […] To find out more about Burlesque in Boston, you can check out The Great Burlesque Exposition, or The Boston Babydolls.  Also check out Angie Pontani, Dot Mitzvah, Bobbie Burlesque, Perle Noir, Bettysioux Tailor, Sheila Starr Siani, Dangrr Doll, Donna Denise or you can read a play by play of the event on The Rhinestone Review Mis Mina Murray’s Blog post. […]

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