A Little Peek into the Rehearsal Process

Dear Constant Reader,

We’re currently rehearsing for our New Year’s Eve Spectacular and I’ve been sporadically documenting things with crummy cellphone photos that I post to FaceBook. Hopefully the photos will become more numerous, somewhat better, and more interesting in the coming weeks.

Here’s a teaser: What could possibly be inside that oyster, guarded by such charming nymphs in tailcoats by Vixens Ahoy?

If you’d like to see more, check out my FB album here.

And if you’d like to see the finished product in action, we have two shows on New Year’s Eve!

M2

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Published in: on 11 December 2014 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Warming Up Again

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls once a day every day! We only have a few days left!


Last night, at rehearsal Evie was raring to lead a calisthenic warm up. I begged her for no squats; my knee was bugging me. While we all stretched the conversation turned to kickboxing workouts. Someone thought we each probably knew enough moves to have a warm up, but no one person knew enough to lead.

And so we ended up playing Minsky’s with some violence. Evie started with those knee raises where you’re slamming your enemy’s head. I picked cross punches. D.D. went with some crazy jumping jack variation. Stella did traveling jabs. Betty drew upon Kalari for ducking and striking with a heel kick. Brigitte was feeling silly and had us all dance Gangnam style. And there was more. It was exhausting, but we sure were warm!

M2

Published in: on 11 March 2013 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Expo-sing Ourselves

Dear Constant Reader,


Please vote for The Boston Babydolls every day! We’re down to the last days! Rally the troops! Tell your friends! Victory party if we win!


Every year The Boston Babydolls perform at The Great Burlesque Exposition. Sometimes we present a group number that we’ve done in our most recent show. Occasionally we create a brand new act just for The Expo, like last year. And like this year.

Scratch came up with the concept and the music, then Betty created a choreography. We’ve been learning it while we were performing in The Bod of Avon (usually we suspend rehearsals during a show). Last night Betty finished teaching it. Now we have 3 weeks to beat the hell out of it.

Our costumer is busily working away. Everything is being made brand-new for this act — nothing from our extensive closet. Rhinestones are on their way and I’m just itching to start making pasties. We’re all very excited!

If you want to see this thing of beauty, come to The Rhinestone Revue on Friday, March 29th. And that’s all I’m going to tell you about it.

And because voting is almost over, here’s a last little treat from our 2011 Victory Party. (Photo by Time Out Boston) That’s me, at the climax of my performance. The band held that final note for about as long as they could get away with…

M2

Published in: on 7 March 2013 at 10:12 am  Comments (1)  
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Rehearsing

Dear Constant Reader,

First, I just thought I’d mention that it’s time for nominations for The Boston Phoenix Readers’ Poll. We’d love to be Best Burlesque in Boston again and the first step is for you to nominate us. You can vote once per day per email/IP address. Thank you!

We are about to open our new show The Bod of Avon, so, as you might expect, have been rehearsing that heavily. However, the other night, we took a little time to work on some other upcoming events.

We’re reviving our July Project numbers. First we’ll be performing them at The Mardi Gras Ball (20th anniversary! 2 nights!) and then at a private event. Not only did we need to warm them up, but we had to talk about what changes we’ll make for each event. At the Mardi Gras Ball the stage (not very large to start with) is crammed with musicians, so we have to be fairly compact in our movements. The other event requested “bralesque” (i.e. not going down to pasties), so most of us need to revise our endings a bit to comply.

After running through everything for those shows, we were all a bit draggy and looking longingly at the clock. After all, we’d had a preview show on Sunday, a “Bod” rehearsal on Monday, and now another rehearsal on Tuesday. And Scratch had said we’d go out for drinks after. Then Brigitte said “Come on, bitches! Let’s do it!” (or something like that). And we nodded and all got into our costumes for the finale of The Bod of Avon.

It’s a 6-person number with some precision group moves. Lots of moving parts. It looks good now, but we know we can do better, so we ran it. Several times. Drilled it. Checked on small things, like positions of hands and feet. Made sure we were all closing our parasols in sync. Etcetera, etcetera.

You’ve voted us the Best Burlesque in Boston for several years now, and we work like heck to earn it. Even when we’d rather be having cocktails.

M2

Published in: on 24 January 2013 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rehearsing

Dear Constant Reader,

Primus, the book I was reading the other day was Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales by Stephen King. I’m a big King fan and think his short stories are some of his best work. (I’m also one of the Constant Readers of the Dark Tower saga, but that’s epic. How fortunate for me that this collection has a Dark Tower story.)

Secundus, we had one long, but hugely productive rehearsal last night. We started off with one of Evie’s evil, sweat-drenching, calisthenic warm-ups, to classic Bruce Springsteen tunes.

Then Evie and Devora went to work with our special guest, Richard Gilbert, a violence designer from Chicago, to create some fight choreography for their Danse Apache. And then he worked with Betty, Evie, and Stella for The Innocent’s initiation into the world of The Wrathskellar at the hands of The Countess and The Martinet. If you thought what was done in years past was disturbing, just wait…

The rest of us were not idle. Meredith, our costume designer, had brought sketches and showed them to us all. Everyone was measured and any existing pieces were pulled from stock. I can’t wait for the new pieces to start arriving!

Tertius, Brigitte and I warmed up “Mistress & Maid” from The Wrathskellar last year, which we will be performing at The 3rd Annual Salute to Bettie Page next Saturday. We’ll be modeling too!

We ran more than an hour longer than usual, but it was worth it. We have so much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it.

Published in: on 16 August 2012 at 3:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Warming Up Again

Dear Constant Reader,


Vote for the Boston Babydolls!


About a month ago I wrote about an exercise we use for warm ups. Usually Betty runs warm ups for us but we all decided to give her a little break and the Babydolls have been taking turns leading warm ups.

So, far we’ve had burlesque/ballet combinations from Devora Darling, calisthenics and balance exercises from Evie Sphinx, and last night, an introductory tap lesson from Brigitte Bisoux. It’s been so much fun trying different things! Not to mention hurting different body parts. Betty usually kills us with shimmies, but Evie tortured us with squats.

Eventually it’s going to be my turn, so I had best figure out what I’m going to do.

Published in: on 5 March 2012 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Warming Up

Dear Constant Reader,


Please click and nominate the Boston Babydolls for “Best Burlesque” and Naked Girls Reading for “Best Literary Gang”. Thank you!


At the start of most of our rehearsals Betty runs warmups. Usually, she runs us through our vocabulary of moves in combinations to at least three songs, increasing in tempo until we end with psycho surf — and a lot of shimmying. Sometimes we call this “Death By Shimmy”, sometimes “Gettin’ Sweaty with Betty”.

Occasionally we play a game instead. I think it was originally called “I went to summer camp and I learned…” but we call it “I went to Minsky’s…” or just “Minsky’s”. Here’s how it works:

The dancers stand in a circle. The first one demonstrates a move. Everyone does it with her. Then the second one does a different move. Then everyone does the first move and then the second move. Then the third dancer shows a move, then everyone does the first, second, and third. Et cetera, et cetera.

We generally do this for 3 songs of differening tempo, keeping the chain going the whole time. We repeat each move 4 times (or 8, depending), switching sides as necessary.

Not only it is fun and a nice change of pace, it’s challenging too — trying to keep all the moves straight and not completely exhaust yourself. (I’ll give you a hint, don’t pick a spin early on in the cycle…) Also, doing the same dance move to different music is a useful exercise. Things change and evolve when we switch songs. We learn a lot from one another as we search our different dance backgrounds for interesting moves.

Give it a try! You might be inspired!

Published in: on 2 February 2012 at 2:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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