Hanging on the Wall

Dear Constant Reader,

Back in February photographer Chris McIntosh came to Unlucky in Love. He took some photos of us on stage and off.

Friday night most of the Babydolls attended his gallery show and the first thing you saw when you walked in was this:

I was so sick during most of Unlucky in Love, but trying gamely to pose in lovely and creative ways. I was just setting up a pose when Chris said something I didn’t quite hear. I turned, raised eyebrows to say “yes?” and he snapped the shutter. I assumed it would be one of the dud shots, but it was one of the best. Someone thought it looked rather Gypsy Rose Lee, but I’m not sure I would go that far.

Chris is really good at capturing split-second moments like my inquiring gaze. There’s one picture of *something* that happened at the Expo. I don’t know what, but there’s clearly a good story there. That’s not to say he doesn’t take good portraits. There’s one of Serendipity Galore that makes her look like a Renaissance burlesque saint.

And this portrait:
EvieThis was the true center piece of the gallery show: Evie Sphinx as Columbine from the act “A Harlequin Romance”.

There is also a nice one of Evie and Devora together from that act, looking a bit like superheroes, but it wasn’t in this show.

By the way, Chris was working with actual film for the portrait shoots with us, so I got to see genuine contact sheets as a preview. Does my old fashioned soul good.

Published in: on 7 May 2012 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dear Constant Reader,

Please vote for the Boston Babydolls!

The talented Chris McIntosh photographed Unlucky in Love last Friday and despite the challenges of taking pictures during a show, they came out great! Take a look here. He also took some portraits and perhaps I’ll share those too.

Published in: on 18 February 2012 at 9:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Unlucky in Love: Introduction

Dear Constant Reader,

Please vote for the Boston Babydolls!

Unlucky in Love is the story of The Writer (Scratch) who is trying to write a guide to romance. Unfortunately what he doesn’t know about women could fill a book. Everytime he comes up with a good idea, a dancer or singer illustrates it and frequently proves him wrong!

This show was challenging for us in several ways. First and foremost, we were working with live music. Having a band and singers was an amazing experience, but logistically interesting.

The theatre is a little quirky. The stage is small and, even with extensions that Scratch built, was mostly taken up by musicians, singers, and The Writer, so the dancers were predomintly on the floor, performing in three-quarter round. Trying to make sure everyone in the audience got a good view was not easy.

Another thing about the theatre is that there is almost no backstage. We kept the set pieces to a minimum, but we still needed a chaise, a desk, a table and chair moving on and off. The backstage ballet of shifting them around while hitting cues and not blocking the entrances was nothing short of amazing. Our stage crew, especially our Stage Manager, really went above and beyond to keep everything running smoothly.

Perhaps tomorrow I’ll start writing about the acts in specific.

Published in: on 16 February 2012 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Goodbye to Unlucky in Love

Dear Constant Reader,

Please vote for the Boston Babydolls!

Unlucky in Love closed last night with a sold-out show. It was our most ambitious and challenging show to date and in many ways our most successful. I think we were all sorry to see it end.

I might write a bit about the different acts in the days to come and give you a bit of a back-stage look.

But there’s no rest for us yet. Today the theatre has to be struck and all the costumes, props, set pieces, and lights stored away (and some new items built on site, like Evie’s super-spy desk, need to find a home). Saturday you can find us at the Mardi Gras Ball, doing a little striptease to some fabulous jazz.

Published in: on 15 February 2012 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  


Dear Constant Reader,

Please vote for the Boston Babydolls!

It’s not easy to become a Boston Babydoll. We’ve very picky about who becomes a troupe member (as opposed to being cast in a show). Last night we made an offer to a performer in Unlucky in Love and she accepted.

I’m so please to welcome Elise (stage name coming soon) into the troupe. If you saw her as The Innocent in The Wrathskeller or performing as a singer and dancer in Unlucky in Love, you’ll you know why we’re so happy to have this multi-talented lady aboard.

And if you haven’t seen her, you’ve got just a few more chances. Tickets for tonight’s show are practically sold out, but there are still some available for Sunday, Monday, and Valentine’s Day…if you hurry.

Published in: on 11 February 2012 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Snippets from the Weekend

Dear Constant Reader,

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

A few impressions from Unlucky in Love this weekend:

* Devora eating her dinner while in a full split

* turning people away from a sold-out house

* Evie’s bum-shaking victory dance when the Giants won the Super Bowl (sorry, local folks, she’s from Jersey)

* the vintage-clad ladies of Artifaktori classing up the audience

* Brigitte’s sorority sisters screaming whenever she came on stage

* Scratch gently disentangling himself from a tipsy fan professing her undying love for him

* long-time fans congratulating Betty on her svelte figure

* so much glitter on the floor

* hobo stew, homemade fudge, boiled peanuts

We’re dark until Friday and then we only have 5 more performances. Sold-out houses are likely, so get your tickets sooner rather than later.

Published in: on 6 February 2012 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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Dear Constant Reader,

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

We’ve completed out first weekend of Unlucky in Love with near sell-out crowds on Friday and Saturday. If you’re thinking of coming, get your tickets now. Even the off nights (Thursday, Sunday, and Monday) are filling up.

When you come to the show, consider going to Foundry (above us) or Saloon (next door). They’ve been really great to us and the food & drinks are just right for pre-show/post-show.

Published in: on 30 January 2012 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It begins…

Dear Constant Reader,

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

Tonight we have our final rehearsal for Unlucky in Love. As usual, we’ve opened it to the press and some select guests. After the show we have a Q & A session with the audience, which is always fun.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I’m always nervous when a show opens. I might be a tiny bit more nervous this time. I might have mentioned that the theatre has been under renovation. Because they’ve still been working on it, there are certain things that have to wait until the last minute. Last night after we left, they were going to paint the floor. So the lighting isn’t completely finished yet, because the cables can’t be taped down until the floor is done. Similarly the positioning of the set pieces can’t be marked (spiked) yet. Fortunately we have a good crew who are going to show up early to scramble around and finish these last bits of stuff.

Look at the time! Why am I writing to you? I have a tablecloth to hem and rhinestones to set and a party dress to pack… and.. and…

As Brigitte would say “Bu-bye!” (come to the show and you’ll see.)

Published in: on 26 January 2012 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Load in

Dear Constant Reader,

Want to hear about the really glamourous part of being a burlesque performer? Of course you do. That’s why you read this.

But first…

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

Load in. That’s when we enter and empty theatre and fill it full of magic to bring you an amazing show. I’d love to say I sprinkle some fairy dust and hoards of adorable minions do all the work while the Babydolls relax in the luxurious dressing room and eat chocolate truffles.

In reality load in is several (if we’re lucky) very long, exhausting, and dirty days. If we’re not lucky, it’s just one. One much more frantic, even longer day.

The Davis Square Theatre is so new that it’s still being renovated, so we’re working around their work, which makes things extra challenging.

Our first priority is always lighting. Lighting is one of those thing that if it’s good, no one notices, but if it’s bad… Fortunately we have a terrific tech director and a lot of our own lighting equipment. Which is good, because the theatre doesn’t. I won’t bore you with things like stage pin vs edison or u-strut vs bars, but suffice it to say that things are pretty quirky in there and we had to be flexible and creative. And I’m not ever mentioning the hours spent rewiring two R40s (strip lights with a dozen lights each). Thank goodness Betty knows enough about electrical engineering to take charge of one of them.

Then there was the stage. It’s small and we have half a dozen dancers, plus 3 singers and a 4 piece band. Scratch’s small band of carpenters from The Wrathskellar built some additional platforms to give us some extra room. Which then had to be painted. And set pieces had to be built.

There were the many trips to the Home Depot for more supplies. Schlepping in the costumes, lumber, tools, etc. All Babydolls pitched in at some point over the weekend. No one is too much of a diva to get her hands dirty — even me. I can still see some traces of black paint on my nails today.

And today it continues… With luck, the renovations on the dressing rooms will be done, so we can get the costumes and props organized.

Come see the results at Unlucky in Love, opening this weekend. Unlike the rest of the audience, you’ll have a little idea of the labor behind the magic.

Published in: on 23 January 2012 at 10:02 am  Leave a Comment