The Mardi Gras Ball

Dear Constant Reader,

Last Saturday The Boston Babydolls were honored to be a part of the 21st(!) annual Mardi Gras Ball. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we look forward to this event all year. It’s a great event for a great cause and we get to dance to our favorite songs with an amazing band. What’s not to love?

The stage at T.T.’s is a special place. For one thing, it’s crammed with musicians (that’s a good thing), for another it’s filthy (that’s not). To make everyone’s life easier, we take turns catching for one another — one of us stands front & center and the dancer tosses her the costume pieces. Somehow this also involves buying each other shots.

Stella worked out “The Boston Babydoll Shot Chain” which worked like this: you catch for the person who performs before you and you buy a shot for the person who performs after you (who was the person who caught for you). We have varied tastes: Stella & Devora both preferred whisky, Betty wanted coconut rum (much to the bartender’s disgust), and I had a Coke (shots are so not for me).

For the record, we performed:

  • Devora, Blue Prelude, a glove & gown strip with a boa
  • Mina, Harlem Nocturne, a fan dance
  • Betty, Tombstone Blues, a classic strip in Mardi Gras colors
  • Stella, Moonglow, a little vignette in which she is molested by jacket
  • A few amusing notes…
    Alissa Coates (she comes every year with her sweetheart — the event is their anniversary) told me that there were some girls who screamed every time I flashed a hint of rear, as though they’d never seen a bum before.

    Betty got a little enthusiastic with tossing one of her gloves to Stella and it went wild. Stella started hunting and immediately, Hunter was shining his flashlight on the stray glove.

    One of the guest singers this year was Hayley Jane of Hayley Jane and The Primates. But once upon a time, she was Baby Jane, one of the original Boston Babydolls. We had a lovely reunion backstage. Maybe we won’t wait so many years next time.

    I have to give a special thank you to Paul Ahlstrand, who was playing sax with an injured arm that night. “Harlem Nocturne” needs its brass and I adore those guys.

    I saw a photographer in the audience, so maybe there will even be some pictures.


    Published in: on 10 March 2014 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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    Busy Saturday

    Dear Constant Reader,

    It certainly was a whirlwind of a Saturday night for me.

    It started off with Green and Bare It, the last Naked Girls Reading salon. You can find out what we read by going to the Naked Girls Reading Boston blog.

    After bidding my fellow Naked Girls adieu with promises to get together soon, Scratch, Vikki Likkerish, and I headed off toward the Mardi Gras Ball. It was still early, so we popped into the Green Street Grill for some fortification. They make fantastic mussels. I know there was fennel, probably white wine, I’m pretty sure I tasted lemon, and maybe a touch of cream. So good.

    Upon reaching T.T. the Bear’s, Scratch & I were enthusiastically greeted by half a dozen young ladies outside smoking. They were so excited to see us and couldn’t wait for the performances. It was like being a rock star.

    We caught up with the other Babydolls and friends and I was informed of the plan for the evening. You see, the stage at T.T.’s is small to start with, crammed with musicians, and, let’s face it, kind of nasty. It’s a bad idea to drop your costume pieces on the stage, so we always use catchers — someone who stands right up front to whom you can toss your stuff. So, the plan was, catch for whoever went before you and buy a shot for whoever went after. Got it.

    We were all performing tonight. In the past it’s been one to three of us, but this was the 20th anniversary show and the audience was getting all 6. We used the acts we developed in The July Project, so the band learned 6 new songs, just for us, one of which required a singer.

    Just because I know you’re curious, the dancers and songs (in order) were:
    Devora, Blue Prelude
    Brigitte, Tombstone Blues
    Betty, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (this was the one with the singer)
    Evie, Black & Tan Fantasy
    Mina, The Mooche
    Stella, Moonglow

    When I was getting ready to go on, the band was a little confused as to whether the next song was “The Mooche” or “Moonglow”. Scratch figured I could improvise to “Moonglow”, if it came to that, but then realized Stella, who had a strong storyline, would be screwed if she had to try to do her act to “The Mooche”. He made sure things got back on track.

    Working with a live band is amazing! There’s so much more energy on stage and in the crowd. We were all very, very focused while dancing because we didn’t rehearse with the band and the song is never *exactly* like the CD. Sometimes they riff a little, change up the tempo a bit, or hold some notes a tad longer. It’s fun and keeps us on our toes.

    I saw some cameras in the crowd, so maybe some photos will eventually emerge.


    Published in: on 18 March 2013 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Happy Mardi Gras

    Dear Constant Reader,

    Vote for the Boston Babydolls!

    It’s Mardi Gras, or Carnival, or Shrove Tuesday, as you like. Enjoy the last day before those 40 days of penitence and abstenance until… The Great Burlesque Expo! (or Easter, if you’re like that)

    You may be wondering how the Boston Babydolls celebrate Mardi Gras. Or not, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

    On Saturday, we performed at the 19th Annual Mardi Gras Ball, hosted by Shaun Wolf Wortis. We love this event. It’s such a treat getting to perform to live jazz & blues in front of hundreds of screaming revelers.

    Evie starting things off with a smokin’ striptease to “Purple Wail”. On stage Evie is often sweet, goofy, adorable, or mysterious, but that night she was sexy as all get out.

    She was followed by Betty Blaize showing off her bellydance skills to “Caravan”. As sometimes happens with a live band, things got a little interesting, but Betty is a great improvisation dancer and I don’t think the audience had any idea things had not gone completely according to plan.

    Brigitte reprised her tap dance from Unlucky in Love to “Let’s Misbehave”, as sung by Alissa Coates. I’m afraid the people in the back of the club were unable to see her fancy footwork, but someone put a microphone down on the stage, so the tapping could be heard.

    I closed out the set with a fan dance to “Harlem Nocturne”, one of my favorites. As always, the drummer is the happiest guy in the band, since he sees what is concealed from the rest of you.

    The next morning (not too early) we had a cast party for Unlucky in Love, continuing the Mardi Gras theme. Scratch made big batches of jambalaya and red beans & rice and Devora brought homemade pralines. I made beignet dough (I will admit, it was Cafe du Monde mix, but only because I’ve been sick lately & tire easily and Scratch wouldn’t hear of me putting in the extra work to make them from, well, scratch). Then Bobby the Fry Guy cooked up the beignets to crispy perfection with the Fry Gal on powdered sugar duty. And of course a soundtrack of jazz to accompany it all.

    Because I am a traditionalist, I believe there will be pancakes tonight.

    And how do you celebrate the day?

    Published in: on 21 February 2012 at 10:50 am  Leave a Comment