Photoshoot 10/15

Dear Constant Reader,

The Boston BeauTease recently had a photoshoot! It had been well over a year since our last one and we needed some pictures of Devastasia, our newest member, and some promo photos for Panties Inferno (this Saturday!).

We were fortunate enough to secure the services of the very talented Chuck Jones and Altar Boy Photography. I haven’t seen them all yet, but here’s a little tease for you.


Scratch, Devastasia, Betty Blaize, and me being devilish! You can see the real thing on Saturday.

There are also some action shots of Betty with her giant dice and Devastasia and the Wall of Death. Of course there are a bunch with me and my favorite set of fans. There were even a few of Scratch.

I managed to sneak in a couple of personal shoots, which my Patrons get to see first. One features shoes once worn by Dita Von Tease and in another I’m wearing a birthday gift from Kitten Natividad (she gets to see those before anyone else).

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

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Published in: on 24 October 2017 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Throwback Thursday

Dear Constant Reader,

There’s this game on Facebook — Throwback Thursday* (aka #TBT) — where in you post an old photo of yourself. I dislike Facebook intensely (I grit my teeth and use it because it is a marketing tool, although getting less and less useful every day… but I digress.), so I’m posting my picture here.

Anyway back to TBT:

That’s me at 17, all decked out for my Junior Prom. My first strapless dress! The discovery I was a D cup! The chance to wear an heirloom necklace! Something finally good done with that unfortunate perm!

I loved that dress. It was a Jessica McClintock (of course) and you can see a Mexican whore wearing it in the movie La Bamba. The bodice is covered in lace with a modest sprinkling of sequins and the tea-length skirt is a huge explosion of tulle. I wore it in a play the next year and caught the skirt on a stray nail in the doorway of the set and ripped off a bit of the tulle. You can barely tell.

I wanted to wear it to the BurlyProm last fall (how fun would that be!), but sadly, I discovered it will no longer zip up all the way. My ribcage is larger than when I was teenager, so there’s no hope. I wore a facsimile instead:

M2
* Amongst burlesque performers there was a penchant for “Butt Thursday” for a while. I think too many pictures were being reported and removed.

Published in: on 22 May 2014 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Late on a Saturday Night

Dear Constant Reader,

I mentioned yesterday that Brigitte and I were supposed to perform before a showing of Bettie Page Reveals All but the movie was canceled because of a snow storm. I had already done my makeup when the call came, so I decided to have a little fun.

Before we get to that… Boston is a great city and I love living here, but there’s a few ways in which New York has it all beat. Two words: costuming supplies. Every time I’m in The City I head down to the 30’s and pick up fabric or trim or beads or rhinestone jewelry. You name it, someone’s got it.

I was down for Thanksgiving and I had one thing on my mind — feathers. I have some gorgeous fan staves and I needed some equally gorgeous ostrich plumes. I was going to do a little comparison shopping, but The Feather Place was closed for the holiday, so I went to Dersh Feather. Oh my goodness gracious! What beautiful feathers! What helpful people! I highly recommend them (caveat: they’re wholesale only). And the price was less than I had budgeted.

So what does this have to do with my makeup and free Saturday night?

Scratch and I had a little fun with a camera…

I have to give Albert (the Manor cat) credit. He was clearly *very* interested in all those wonderful fluffy things on the floor, but stayed on the daybed through the shoot. Although he was poised to pounce, just in case those vicious feathers tried to attack me.

M2

Published in: on 17 December 2013 at 10:44 am  Comments (2)  
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In the Kitchen with Scratch

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day!


For The Bod of Avon wrap party Scratch promised “some genuine Elizabethan delicacies, a Shakespeare-inspired cocktail (probably hot), and some genuine English beer.”

As it turned out, the beer was a challenge. Our local liquor store has a vast selection of beers from small New England breweries, which is normally a good thing. And plenty of German and Irish imports. And many varieties of hard cider. But Scratch wanted English beer. We finally found some Newcastle brown ale.

The cocktail was inspired by the gossip’s bowl, mentioned in both Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, a hot beverage of ale & cider with roasted apples floating in it. Scratch’s version was soft cider, Shipyard Applehead beer, Jack Daniels (it was supposed to be bourbon, but the Maker’s Mark was mysteriously absent from the liquor cabinet), lemon juice, honey, grated fresh ginger, grated fresh nutmeg, all warmed together. The drink was garnished with dried apple rings (homemade).

The food was a fun project. It had to be Elizabethan, not weird (my offer of pickled herring & fruit pie was struck down), easy to make for a group, and basically finger food. Also, mostly savory because we knew guests were going to bring stuff and a lot of it was going to be dessert.

The first item was hedgehogs. No, not actual hedgehogs, but small meatballs that look like prickly little beasts. The original recipe is in Middle English and involves a pig’s stomach and spit roasting. This is Scratch’s very loose interpretation. As he tends to cook in a loose interpretive style, I don’t have a formal recipe for you.

He started with about 2 pounds total of ground beef, pork, and veal (heavy on the pork) and seasoned it with the Elizabethan quartet of spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove), emphasis on the ginger, plus black pepper and salt. Then the meat was formed into little footballs and garnished with 2 currants for eyes and slivered almonds for prickles. Then baked until they were done (about half an hour at 350°F).

Ta da!

Aren’t they cute! And tasty too.

The second dish was Puffes, On the English Fashion, from A New Booke of Cookerie by John Murrell (published 1615).
Take new Milke curds, presse out the Whay cleane, take the yolkes of three Egges, and the white of one, fine Wheat floure, and mingle amongst your Curdes. Season it with Nutmeg, Sugar, and Rosewater, mingle all together. Butter a fayre white paper, lay a spooneful at once upon it, set them into a warme Oven, not over hot, when you see them rise as high as a halfe peny loafe, then take Rosewater, and Butter, and indale them over: scrape on Sugar, and set them in the Oven again, until they be dryed at the tops like yce. Then take them out, and serve them upon a Plate, either at Dinner or supper.

2 pounds “country style” cottage cheese, allowed to drain for several hours
2 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1 cup flour

These were all beaten together. Scratch wanted a savory dish, so instead of nutmeg, sugar, and rosewater, he seasoned them with chives, dry mustard, salt, pepper. They were dropped by spoonfuls on greased foil on a baking sheet and baked for about 15 minutes at 350°F. Because they were savory, he didn’t bother with the sweet glaze in the original.


They really puffed as soon as they came out of the oven, but by the time I snapped this, they had fallen.

Besides the historic treats we also provided crudites & dip, goat’s milk cheddar & crackers, hummus, salt & vinegar crisps (okay, really potato chips). I know guests brought stuff but I only remember Alissa’s corset cookies, Evie’s pigs in blankets, Red’s quince goo deluxe (another story for another time), and Devora’s enormous avocado.

M2

Published in: on 4 March 2013 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Little Tired

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day!


My last couple of missives were rather time consuming to put together, so today you get a short one.

I’ve heard a rumor that voting is only open for another week or so, so go vote, vote, vote (The Phoenix wants you to vote *every day*!). You know we’re the best, so let everyone know it. And then we’ll have a big Victory Party!

And if that approach didn’t work, allow me to play on your sympathies: I got some bad news about one of our projects yesterday and I’m coming down with a cold. You vote would cheer me up immensely.

Lastly, I’ll try bribery. Here’s a photo of me fan dancing at the 2012 Victory Party to “Jezebel”, sung by Miss Imani with Stella & Alissa backing her up. Photo by John L. Bilotti.

M2

Published in: on 28 February 2013 at 9:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Bod of Avon

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day!


Once upon a time, in a different medium, I used to write up show reports. It was much easier when we did simple revues and not full length shows, often with plots. Still, it was a good habit and I’m going to get back into it. Here, Gentle Reader, without Much Ado, is the set list and a little commentary about The Bod of Avon.

All of the acts in this show were inspired by a work by William Shakespeare. Note I say “inspired”, or as Scratch said “interpreted through a burlesque-shaped lens” (insert appropriate hand gesture here). We weren’t recreating scenes from Shakespeare.

As I’ve mentioned before, we had to keep a minimal set for this show because of the requirements of the venue, so each act had a video projected on the back wall in lieu of scenery. Some of them were quite clever.

All of the photos were taken by Hans Wendland at our second preview at Oberon.

The Bod of Avon

Scratch, Ginny Nightshade, Lara Pollack: Introduction
In the darkness, they recited opening lines from Shakespeare plays, some famous, some more obscure.

Evie Sphinx, Stella Diamond, Ginny Nightshade, Lara Pollack: Henry V (“Drink Up Me Hearties” from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End)
King Evie fights battles, receives her crown, and knights her loyal followers, all while shedding clothing and armor. Black-clad Stella, Lara & Ginny play the opposing army, Evie’s subjects, and scenery.
Video: The St. Crispin’s Day speech, in a Star Wars-style crawl

Mina Murray: The Tempest (“Green Sleeves” by The Musicians of Swanne Alley)
This act was several years in the works and I’m so glad to finally have presented it. I originally thought of myself as being Queen Titania, but we already had a Midsummer act, so I became Ariel. It was a toss up between that and Queen Mab from Romeo and Juliet. There’s no shortage of faeries in Shakespeare. I’m really happy with this costume, which came out pretty much as I wanted. I have to thank Jeff McBride for the magic coaching and suggestions that formed the core of this act.
Video: Butterflies

Stella Diamond: The Taming of the Shrew (“I Hate Men” from Kiss Me Kate)
We certainly weren’t the first to re-interpret Shakespeare. We had to pay tribute to the great Kiss Me Kate. (Seriously, songs by Cole Porter? We’d have been fools to ignore that opportunity.) Stella’s got a great Broadway voice and excellent comic timing. She lounged against the bar, insulting male patrons as she sang. None of them seemed to mind.
Video: none (the stage was dark as the crew quickly cleaned up my mess.)

Betty Blaize: Antony and Cleopatra (“Melancholy Serenade” by Tommy Dorsey)
Betty’s tribute to the Queen of the Nile, longing for her Antony. There’s no striptease, but who cares — Betty dances with a sword. She routinely stunned the audience when she balanced it on her head and then slid into a low lunge and down onto one knee (while wearing high heels, no less). I love Betty’s costume for this, which I suspect was made from one of the many saris she brought back from India. Scratch introduced her as a performer with “great pyramids and a killer asp”.
Video: The pyramids at Giza

Brigitte Bisoux, Lara Pollack, Scratch: Sonnets (Sonnet 29/”Summertime” by Scarlett Johansson/Sonnet 18)
We couldn’t present a tribute to Shakespeare without acknowledging his work as a poet. Brigitte wanted to present a modern dance to a spoken word piece, so everything worked out nicely. Lara recited the first sonnet (“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”, then there was a little musical interlude, and Scratch read the second sonnet (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”). Poetry in motion, Scratch called Brigitte.
Video: A beach scene

Devora Darling, Ginny Nightshade, Mina Murray: Macbeth (“Pantaloons” by Tape Five)
We were the Three Weird Sisters, only cuter. Devora had a magic wand that forced us to take off our clothes. When we joined together against her, the wand wouldn’t work against its owner and we had to rip off her clothes the old-fashioned way. Many thanks to Scratch for building us a wand that would come apart into 3 sections on cue.
Viedo: A montage of witches from the Middle Ages to the present day

Intermission

Betty Blaize, Devora Darling, Ginny Nightshade, Mina Murray: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (“Yes Sir! That’s My Baby” by The Firehouse Five Plus Two)
We had 2 couples running away into the woods, but sadly, both the guys wanted Hermia (Ginny) leaving poor Helena (Me), sad and unwanted. But I upstaged everyone in the end! Most amusing part of this act was Betty & Devora in white suits, kind of like the one Scratch was wearing to host.
Video: A forest (just outside of Athens)

Scratch: King Lear
Scratch tells the story of King Lear using 3 cups (to represent the 3 daughters), one of which is concealing the serpent’s tooth (a very sharp, 6-inch long metal spike). Cordelia (an audience member) mixes up the cups and then Scratch, demonstrating Lear’s willful blindness to his daughters’ treachery, smashes his hand down on one of the cups. One of the empty ones. Then to represent Gloucester’s actual blindness, he dons a blindfold and with Cordelia as his guide, chooses between the remaining cups. He says that the difference between a comedy and a tragedy is often one character making a decision — the wrong one and it’s a tragedy. The right one? *SMASH* All’s Well The Ends Well. This is a very tense piece with the actual possibility of injury and I find it hard to watch.
Video: none

Brigitte Bisoux, Butch: Twelfth Night (“The Object of My Affection” by The Stolen Sweets/ “Roller Coaster Blues” by Diana Dors)
Brigitte & Butch dance adorably together until Brigitte goes in for a kiss and comes away with Butch’s mustache. Butch is slowly revealed to be Stella! Everyone’s favorite moment is when Brigitte reaches into Stella’s jeans and pulls out a couple of long socks knotted together. From backstage we would hear this huge swell of laughter and know they had just revealed The Dick Sock. Everyone loved The Dick Sock.
Video: Illyria High School

Devora Darling, Evie Sphinx: Danse Apache (“The Disillusioned Guitarist” by Zum)
I’ll be honest with you. This act wasn’t actually inspired by Shakespeare. Evie & Devora created it for The Wrathskellar, but Devora wasn’t able to be a part of the show, because of several broken bones. They planned to perform it at the Marathon, but a week before, Evie broke her foot. (From now on everyone gets bubble wrap suits.) It was just too good to allow to go fallow, so Scratch put it in this show. He thought about making it our tribute to Richard III (“Was ever woman in this humour wooed? Was ever woman in this humour won?”), but decided to use it to show the power of the sort of simple stage devices Shakespeare would have used and how the audience was willing, nay, wanted, to believe. Special thanks to Richard Gilbert of R&D Choreography for the violence.
Video: Red velvet curtains

Ginny Nightshade, Scratch: The Merchant of Venice
Scratch says that during the research for this show, he found a reference in Pepys’ diary to a scene in The Merchant of Venice which did not appear in the First Folio. He and Ginny recreate that missing scene. It’s actually an old burlesque comedy routine, known as “Post Office”. Yes, it’s old and corny, but still fun.
Video: none

John J. King, guest singer: Hamlet (“Ophelia” by John J. King)
From Denmark With Love, a James Bond/Hamlet mash-up opens in May and we thought it would be appropriate to give our audience a sneak preview. Creator John J King and a roster of lovely singers presented “Ophelia” (to the tune of “Goldfinger”). The picture shows Emily Hecht, but we were also graced by frequent Babydoll songbird Alissa Coates and a couple of others whose names I can’t remember right now.
Video: “From Denmark with Love” image

Betty Blaize, Brigitte Bisoux, Devora Darling, Evie Sphinx, Mina Murray, Stella Diamond: Finale (“Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” by Joe Jackson)
As the show began, so did it end, with disembodied voices quoting Shakespeare. This time they were asking questions (“Is this a dagger I see before me?”) occasionally peppered with the title of this song. I will confess, this act didn’t have much to do with Shakespeare. It’s been the finale to our last couple of Valentine’s shows and we like it a lot. Sometimes Scratch sings it for us, but he got a break this show. And we got new parasols! I do like the mix of colors; it makes us look even more like a flower garden.
Video: Flowers

And that, Constant Reader, was The Bod of Avon and we hope it was done As You Like It.

M2

Published in: on 25 February 2013 at 3:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Closing Night

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day!


Tonight is the last performance of The Bod of Avon. As usual, that’s bittersweet. We’re excited for the show tonight and sorry it’s the last one.

This show had a lot of challenges and I think we’re all glad that we’re done with that. The venue cancelled some of our dates. The snow storm cancelled more. We had to set up the theatre and dressing room every night and break it down, which meant we had to have *very* simple staging (hence the video backdrops). Our last show was The Wrathskellar, with set dressing in 2 rooms plus the theatre and a revolving stage. Quite a change.

After this, we focus on our new act for The Expo, plus our performances at the rescheduled Mardi Gras Ball!

Just for fun (and to reward you for voting), here’s Betty getting naughty with a glove at the 2011 Victory Party. Photo from Time Out Boston.

M2

Published in: on 23 February 2013 at 11:57 am  Comments (1)  
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Not the Original Plan

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day!


No sooner had I written yesterday’s missive about our show, the client called to reschedule it due to the snow. Now I had an unexpectedly free Sunday. What to do?

Into the sewing room I went and this was the result. Pray forgive the terrible photos, my camera is just not very good and it’s so hard to shoot oneself in a mirror and look stunning doing it. To make up for it, you can see Albert, the Manor cat, snoozing on the day bed.

The bra and skirt are from an old circus-themed fan dance. I thought the outfit needed a little top hat. Usually I make hats from buckram & millinery wire, but I wanted something quick & dirty. This is made with a paper cup, some cardboard, and hot glue. Tutorial may be forthcoming.





If you saw The Wrathskellar this year, you might recognize this as the “Blue Angel” costume. That version has skirts made from silk veils. I wanted a panel skirt with less volume and had this great embroidered fabric. Sewing hand-rolled hems takes a long time, but it’s worth it.





I didn’t plan to work on *two* blue costumes; it just worked out that way.

M2

Published in: on 18 February 2013 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Snippets on a Sunday

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day!


Busy day today. We’re off to a corporate gig in Rhode Island shortly where we’ll be staging two performances of a classic revue, mostly featuring The July Project. Then back to Babydoll HQ for rehearsal.

Next Saturday is the last performance of The Bod of Avon. Last chance to see a show that’s been called “gorgeous”, “beautiful”, “brilliant”, “sexy and hilarious”.

Today is Stella’s birthday! Wish her a happy one! (stella@bostonbabydolls.com) Diamonds, long-stemmed roses, and Italian lingerie would also be happily accepted. Or you could just vote for us. That would make her happy too.

And here’s your reward for voting:


Devora Darling performing at the 2012 Victory Party to The Unluckiest Band with Alissa Coates singing. Photo by John L. Bilotti.

M2

Published in: on 17 February 2013 at 8:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Victory Could Be Yours

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day!


You may be asking yourself, O Constant Reader, “What’s in it for me? Sure, it’s true that the Boston Babydolls are far & away the best burlesque troupe in Boston, but why should I have to click my mouse a couple of times every day for them? What do I get out of it?”

Not only do you get the warm & fuzzy satisfaction of doing the right thing, you get the gratitude of several scantily-clad women. AND you get invited to an awesome victory party.

That’s right, if we win, we’ll throw another fabulous party, free to our supporters. In years past we’ve had free food, great music, prizes, performances by special guests, and of course, The Boston Babydolls, accompanied by a live band.

You can read about our 2011 Victory Party as experienced by Dig columnist Bar Havoc.

And, just to get you coming back here and voting, I’ll be occasionally posting pictures from our parties. Here, for example, is Evie Sphinx, when she was just a baby Babydoll, dancing to “Purple Wail” as performed by The Bone Masters. (Photo from Time Out Boston)

M2

Published in: on 16 February 2013 at 9:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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