Touring: Portland

Dear Constant Reader,

This past weekend we took A (Re)Movable Feast to Portland, Maine (my apologies to any West Coasters who thought we were coming their way).

The is our second time at Lucid Stage, so we had a good idea what to expect and load-in and set-up was relatively painless. There was still some scrambling, like when we discovered the theatre had no backdrop, but that sort of thing is to be expected and was handled.

Saturday, after a trip to the Goodwill to replace a missing costume item (and a few other things got bought too), we went to Duckfat for lunch. Their specialty is french fries cooked in duck fat and there’s a lot of other ducky goodness on the menu. We ended up ordering a bunch of stuff and sharing it amongst the 5 of us. Everything was fantastic. We had green garlic soup with fava beans, a roasted beet salad with duck confit, toast with duck liver and barely cooked egg (even I had this and I hate both liver and eggs), a charcuterie platter, and poutine. Scratch tried the sour cherry, marscapone, and vanilla gelatto milkshake, of which he generously allowed us all to have a sip. For dessert there were beignets and churros. I would go here again, no question.

Since it was right around the corner, we all met up at the Shipyard Brewery for a tour and tasting. This was basically wasted on me although everyone else had a great time. They were bottling Pumpkinhead Ale, which just taunted everyone since it won’t be available for months.

Then off to the International Cryptozoological Museum. It was exactly as expected — quirky, fun, educational, and occasionally stretching the point. We were amused to see this banner that Dr. Wilson had painted.

Around the corner was The Green Hand and I can never resist a bookstore. I got out lightly with just a 1956 Chinese cookbook by “The Benedictine Sisters of Peking”. Scratch picked up a number of midcentury cooking pamphlets (my favorite: “The Exciting World of Rice Dishes”) and the Trader Vic’s bartender’s guide.

The Saturday show had a fantastic audience, cheering, clapping along with the music. In fact, while we were setting up for the curtain call, they were yelling “Encore!” We’ve never had *that* happen before.

Scratch really wanted to go to J’s Oysters, having fond memories of our meal here with Angie Pontani and Kitten de Ville, but alas, it was not to be. Post-show they had stopped serving and Sunday morning, they didn’t open until noon. Instead, we had breakfast at Bintliff’s American Cafe. Everything was so good. No wonder they have been the Phoenix winner for best brunch 8 years in a row. My corned beef hash was a giant pile of shredded corned beef and chunks of potato. I took half of it home. Scratch’s bagel did not come with thin slices of lox, but a slab of house-smoked salmon.

Another good time on the summer tour.

Published in: on 13 July 2012 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dear Constant Reader,

Along with t-shirts, hair flowers, and photos, we sell pasties at our shows. I make them all by hand. All sequins and tassels are securely sewn on and the pasties are lined with comfy ultrasuede. But that’s not really my point.

In A (Re)Movable Feast there is a banana number. It’s really the whole reason we have a food & drink themed show. Backstage during Unlucky in Love someone (who will remain anonymous) said “Scratch will never let us wear banana costumes!” Boy, was she wrong!

In honor of our banana act, I made these pasties:

They’re just waiting for the right customer.

These were made out of leftover fabric from the ruffles on Betty’s Carmen Miranda-style dress:

You have 4 chances left to see the Boston Babydoll Banana Dance — July 13th and 14th in Portland, ME and July 27th and 28th in Portsmouth, NH!

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for The Boston Academy of Burlesque Education (search on our name or amongst businesses in Allston, MA).

Published in: on 26 June 2012 at 12:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Touring: Salem

Dear Constant Reader,

This past weekend we were in Salem, MA at the Griffen Theatre. Most of the time it’s “The Witch’s Cottage”, but they took down (most of) the spooky stuff for our audience. We could still see the enormous bat attached to the ceiling above the stage.

On Saturday afternoon, along with friends from The Betsi Feathers, we made an appearance at A Beautiful Corset as living mannequins in the shop windows. I wore this corset. I’m grateful it wasn’t *quite* my size or I think I would have had to buy it right then and there.

Just as Ashley (our marketing gal) said it was time to get unlaced and back to the theatre, the clouds turned black and the skies opened up! The rain was torrential and the streets were awash. How were we going to get back to the theatre without assuming the appearance of drowned rats?

Scratch to the rescue! He pulled up his hard-working SUV as close to the store as possible (it was in a pedestrian square) and the first batch of dancers ran for it. He ferried us back to the theatre and went back for the rest. We ended up only a little damp.

Every show on this tour has been different so far, since not everyone has been available for every show. Betty Blaize was a guest at a dance conference this weekend, so her two numbers were out. One of our backup dancers was also out of town, so the two numbers she appeared in also had to be cut.

We added a new group number and Evie and Stella each had a new solo. But still, after Friday night, we felt the show seemed short. That’s when Stella said “I can learn Dagny’s part in Evie’s act.” So, instead of going out for drinks after the show, Evie taught Stella the choreography. Then Evie, Stella, and Gigi rehearsed it over and over again until Scratch was satisfied that it was up to our standards. Stella Diamond is one fast learner and great sport!

Now we have 2 weeks off and then we’re of to Portland, ME. Just because we’re not on the road, it’s not that we’re not busy! This Sunday I’ll be hosting Naked Girls Reading: Memory Lane with Jena Kitten, Lady Grey, and Fonda Feeling. We’ll be reading our favorite books from our childhood and there will be an audience participation “Choose Your Own Adventure” reading! Next Saturday, Scratch is presenting Mod Carousel’s “Wham! Bam! KaBOOM!”. Come see these Seattle’s super-sexy BOYlesque superheroes in the only Boston appearance of their transatlantic tour!

And lastly The Boston Academy of Burlesque Education has applied for a small business grant, but to even be considered, we need 250 votes! I feel like I’m always asking you all to vote for us, but I’ll swallow my pride again. You can use Facebook to log in, then search for businesses in Allston, MA. There’s just 5 days left and you only have to vote once.

Published in: on 25 June 2012 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tour: Saratoga Springs

Dear Constant Reader,

This past weekend we took A (Re)Movable Feast to Saratoga Springs, NY. Why there? It’s the home of April March, The First Lady of Burlesque, and it was her birthday weekend. She graciously agreed to be our special guest star.

We arrived at the venue and found this:

It was an old church and it is just as cavernous as it looks. The stage was probably about 4 feet high and the hall could have easily sat 700 people. Our intimate show was going to be lost in the vastness. Add to that, the dressing room was on the other side of the building and down a narrow and twisty set of stairs.

Fortunately, there was a rehearsal hall downstairs, which looked like this:

When we got done with it, it looked like this:

We brought in all of that gear ourselves. Okay, not the chairs; we rented those. But the lighting and sound equipment, the pipe & drape, the tables & cloths, and, of course, our costumes, set pieces, & props. Your Kickstarter dollars at work.

And we set it all up ourselves. There are no divas (not even me) amongst the Boston Babydolls during load in and strike. We were on a tight schedule Friday afternoon. We started around lunchtime and finished with just enough time to rehearse the show. I think rehearsal ended literally minutes before the house opened. Everyone worked hard to turn that bare hall into a theatre.

We had a great time performing with our special guests BettySioux Tailor, Mimi Mischief, and of course, April March. There was also shopping, drinking, and museum going, but that’s a missive for another time. I have a lot to do before The Dollhouse tonight!

Published in: on 21 June 2012 at 9:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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