Undressed To Kill returns July 11-12.

•07/09/2014 • Leave a Comment
A sneak peek from Stripped Screw's recent shoot with Meneldor Photography

A sneak peek from Stripped Screw’s recent shoot with Meneldor Photography

Violet Tendencies and her sisters-in-crime Stripped Screw Burlesque seem to get exponentially busier every year. At home they’ve boasted a hardcore following for quite a few years now; recently though, Stripped Screw has been growing their national presence through blood, sweat, and a whole lot of pastie glue. You might have spotted them poolside at the Burlesque Hall Of Fame Weekender looking hot and menacing (always a winning combo) at the “Screw’d Cabana”, rocking itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-shiny-matching-black-bikinis…or you might have seen Violet’s “Raven” act as she threw down with the best of the best in the prestigious “Movers, Shakers, & Innovators” show on BHOF kickoff night.

Of that performance, Violet told me recently, “The most important thing I can say is that it was such an intense honor to perform for a house full of my peers and idols. It was great fun to be able to bring an act that I am passionate about and that feels so outside of the usual competitive ilk and I was thrilled to see some amazingly innovative acts on stage in the competition (hello Aurora Galore, Lisa Fa’alafi and reigning Queen Midnite Martini!!!)”

If you didn’t go to Vegas this summer for the annual Weekender, there’s always this weekend here in Seattle to make amends. Catch the gang of bad, bad girls that is Stripped Screw Burlesque as they remount the murder mystery Undressed To Kill at the Columbia City Theater July 11 and 12.  Bravado and badassery have always ranked high among their charms- crystallized perfectly by the amusingly direct teasers they’ve posted recently concerning the upcoming show:

“Need a little sex and violence in your life? The Screws’ murder mystery is back and it’s better than ever…

or how about…

“It looks like someone has come to the end of their rope! But is Seraphina Fiero in a bind or did another Screw fall victim to the dangerous joys of jute? Find out July 11 and 12 at Columbia City Theater as we present Undressed to Kill

We couldn’t possibly have come up with a more intriguing set of teasers.

Undressed To Kill is Violet’s personal favorite among their rotating repertoire. With a storyline not as rigid as their annual monster-hit Disney After Dark, the refined set of acts making up Undressed plays to the ladies’ natural proclivities in a way you might not have seen before. Get tickets HERE. And don’t forget to check out the profile we posted on Violet pre-BHOF, over HERE.

Kutie LaBootie (Meneldor Photography)

Kutie LaBootie (Meneldor Photography)

 

Stella D'Letto (Meneldor Photography)

Stella D’Letto (Meneldor Photography)

 

Violet Tendencies (Meneldor Photography)

Violet Tendencies (Meneldor Photography)

 

Lady Drew Blood (Meneldor Photography)

Lady Drew Blood (Meneldor Photography)

 

Seraphina Fiero (Meneldor Photography)

Seraphina Fiero (Meneldor Photography)

 

 

Kitten N’ Lou: July’s City Arts cover stars.

•07/01/2014 • Leave a Comment

July 2014 City Arts

Seattle’s Pride weekend was marked by more than a few surreal occurrences: Cher emerged from a Trojan Horse over at Key Arena, Mama Tits fiercely faced off with religious protestors near the start of the parade (resulting in this awesome photoscroll down, you’ll know the one), and Kitten N’ Lou popped up on the cover of City Arts. And that’s only the beginning…photos are still rolling in online.

The City Arts piece on Kitten N’ Lou was written prior to their “Most Comedic” title win in Vegas at the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s “Tournament of Tease” and also shy of their performance at World Pride Toronto and the closing of Lou’s There Once Was A Man.  Grab a copy of City Arts over at Pretty Parlor or on most street corners downtown, or you can read online HERE. The article touches on the formation of The Atomic Bombshells, how that n’ came to be in the first place, and sheds some light on how Lou went from in-demand dance teacher to feature performer in the worldwide burlesque/boylesque community.

Catch Kitten N’ Lou and BFF BenDeLaCreme (hot off his star turn on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6, in case you haven’t heard) this week at The Triple Door – July 2 & 3 to be exact – for Freedom Fantasia. For tickets and more information click HERE.

(Psst…for photos of the BurlyCon brigade marching at Seattle Pride taken by BSP’s very own POC, click HERE!)

FFhandbillweb

A farewell to Wild Cherry.

•06/26/2014 • 1 Comment
Burlesque legend Wild Cherry

Burlesque legend Wild Cherry

Today many of us are deeply saddened by the news of the death of New Orleans burlesque legend Wild Cherry. Some of the most touching tributes we’ve seen have been firsthand accounts from performers that grew to know and love her in recent years (Trixie Little posted some beautiful memories early this morning, as have many, many others).

Back in 2013, Coco Lectric did a tribute act to Wild Cherry at the Texas Burlesque Festival and POC was in attendance.  In looking back, we wanted to share an excerpt from that story, in which Coco sums up what the experience of working with her was like and how intense and physical she was.  (We also encourage you to read THIS excellent biographical piece on Wild Cherry by Rick Delaup, which many of us have read and re-read many times over the years, as information on her was so hard to find).

As Coco recounted to POC in April 2013…

“I don’t really know where to begin when it comes to my Wild Cherry tribute performance. When Cherry and I spoke about it this past September, I immediately became thrilled and nervous! Hailing from New Orleans, Wild Cherry worked the touring circuit from the late 1950s through the 70s. There are no videos of her during her touring years, but her incredible performance style and before-her-time abilities made me want to share her career with audiences and fellow performers. She was such a physical performer, using tumbling techniques, balance and exotic floor work. The first day we met for her to train me she had abdominal isolations and foot work ready to go. The gracefulness of her arms was the first thing I noticed about her when I saw her perform for the first time, and there she was teaching me to do it! She was very sure to include her signature moves from her signature piece, a number in which she spun, gyrated, isolated her movements and traveled across the stage in the splits in a teal costume.

I met with Wild Cherry a few times, but each time was packed with so much knowledge that I had to take notes and run home to practice. Through the year I learned to invest in a good set of knee pads, a thicker yoga mat and some really good gel to keep my own signature Bettie bangs slicked back so I could wear Cherry’s signature ponytail.

In my attempt to truly do justice to Cherry’s tribute, I did my best to maintain her style and personality. She didn’t smile often, she would zone out at times during this piece and really get into the music; she was tiny and tough…”

Legend Wild Cherry, and Coco's brilliant recreation of that famous photo with the help of photographer Steve DeMent.

Legend Wild Cherry, and Coco’s tribute to that famous photo with the help of photographer Steve DeMent.

Closing time Picks of the Glitter: Get ‘em before they’re gone…

•06/24/2014 • Leave a Comment
Tory Tiara in Wake the Night: this late night series closes June 28

Tory Tiara in Wake the Night: this late night series closes June 28

Yeah, we know…you’ve been outside basking in Solstice celebration sun, oogling the naked bike riders and planning what to wear (or what not to wear at all) to Pride.

Here’s our picks for Thursday through Saturday night shows- all last calls before their final curtain:

Wake The Night @ Teatro ZinZanni, closes Saturday June 28 10:30pm.

Tory Peil, who some may know as Tory Tiara (Spectrum Dance Theatre, Whim W’Him, Lily Verlaine & Jasper McCann Presents), and Eric Esteb (Let’s Hear It For The Boys at Teatro ZinZanni, Spamalot at 5th Avenue) have been performing in Teatro ZinZanni’s late night series Wake the Night throughout May and June.  The interactive dance party mixing burlesque, cirque, and general late night hedonism closes this Saturday June 28.  Tory explained a little about her background and how burlesque and clubbing bump up against each other in Wake The Night:

“I’m a classically trained ballerina so the world of contemporary dance and burlesque seemed entirely out of the realm of possibility just five years ago. I previously danced with Spectrum Dance Theater and now am a full time company member of Whim W’him, Olivier Wever’s company. I was lucky to be taken under the wing of some of the great performers in this town like Lily Verlaine and Jonny Boy of the Can Can. [They] saw my love of acting and vamping, and encouraged me to mix it with my heavily technical background. The mix has been an incredible joy — dancing in a not so serious way while making an audience laugh is really rewarding. I’m drawn to the incredible amount of creativity the burlesque and nightclub scene bring to the stage. There are no rules in that world, which is really exhilarating. I’m really inspired by being pushed physically and creatively.”

Wake the Night is the perfect meld of Seattle’s incredible theatre scene and a night at a dance club. Being surrounded by performers who are just enjoying the music along side you and ready to throw down a surprise at any moment is something Seattle doesn’t offer anywhere else. It’s a sexy, exciting night for someone of any adult age…You’ll find us throwing down on go-go platforms, giving you some Bollywood parades and even having a bull fight pas de deux. It’s a crazy mix of anything and everything throughout the night.”

For information and tickets to Wake the Night, click HERE.

Eric Esteb (Let's Hear It For The Boys at Teatro ZinZanni, Spamalot at 5th Avenue) in Wake The Night

Eric Esteb (Let’s Hear It For The Boys at Teatro ZinZanni, Spamalot at 5th Avenue) in Wake The Night

 

The Heavenly Spies in The Kitty Cat Club @ Can Can, closes Friday June 27 9:30pm.

The Heavenly Spies have been one of BSP’s favorites since the days of our itsy-bitsy column in The Stranger. These ladies have been twirling and twerking in various high-kicking combinations for over 10 years and we hope they’ll never, ever, EVER stop. Don’t miss the final show of their latest masterpiece evocative of a Parisian nightclub, The Kitty Cat Club. Seating begins at 9pm; show starts 9:30. Get tickets HERE.

Kitty Cat Club

Kitty Cat Club closes June 27

 

Sinner Saint Burlesque in Very Special Feelings @ Rebar, one night only Thursday June 26 7pm.

From the desk of Sinner Saint Burlesque…

“What if your angsty youth could have its own private dancer? The Very Special Feelings Show is BACK! Sinner Saint’s signature fundraiser is styled after the Salon Of Shame, in which we invite our BurlyQ besties to come read their old stories, diaries, and journal entries – but we add a cabaret twist. Each poignant, embarrassing, hilarious, and very revealing reader is accompanied by an improvised burlesque routine – they don’t know what will be read until they hit the stage. It’s experimental strip tease art full of strange and very personal moments.”

Featuring Sinner Saint Burlesque and special guests Adra Boo, Billy Scream, EmpeROAR Fabulous, Heidi Van Haught, Paul Phillion, Randi Rascal, Sailor St. Claire, and Trojan Original.

“This year’s Very Special Feelings Show is the kick-off for a fundraising and marketing campaign to support, “Inheritance: Maiden, Mother, Crone: Maiden, Mother, Crone”, a theatrical work coming October 2014, produced in association with Theatre Off Jackson. The show’s aim is to examine the archetypes, roles, stereotypes, passions, joys, and successes of the cycles of women’s lives.”

Get tickets HERE.

One night only! Thursday June 26

One night only! Thursday June 26

 

 

Whedonesque Burlesque returns August 15-23.

•06/16/2014 • Leave a Comment
Sailor St. Claire in Whedonesque Burlesque (Photo by Jules Doyle)

Sailor St. Claire in Whedonesque Burlesque (Photo by Jules Doyle)

Jo Jo Stiletto’s flagship nerdlesque production – or rather, the one that cemented her reputation for presenting kick-ass explorations of striptease and geek culture to a wider audience – is without a doubt Whedonesque Burlesque: Burlesque Inspired by the Works of Joss Whedon.

The cast (including Sailor St. Claire, Jake Groshong, Jesus la Pinga, La Petite Mort, Lady Drew Blood, Tootsie Spangles, Scarlett O’Hairdye, and more) draws inspiration and a mere starting point from cult classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers, Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, Serenity, and Angel.  From science fiction and fantasy to comics and TV, the array of bit players, heroes, and villains populating “The Whedonverse” is endless – as are the possibilities when fan fiction and live theater meet.

The show is known to sell out fast and months in advance; tickets just went on sale for two weekends of performances in August at Theatre Off Jackson. Get tickets now before they’re gone.

SHOW DATES: Aug 15, 16, 21, 22, & 23 2014

Whedonesque Burlesque features:

Al Lykya
Ariel Echo
Hattie HellKat
Jake Groshong
Jesus la Pinga
La Petite Mort
Lady Drew Blood
Maggie McMuffin
Maxie Milieu
Owlbear
Rebecca M Davis
Sailor St. Claire
Scarlett O’Hairdye
Sin de la Rosa
Tootsie Spangles
Verity Germaine
Vox Fabuli Puppets
With Matt Langston and Vanadium Silver

A word on the producer:  Jo Jo Stiletto is a burlesque producer, performer, and historian known as “The Professor of Nerdlesque” – the leading authority on all things nerdy in burlesque. She has been interviewed on the intersection of fandom and performance for several publications including The Wall Street Journal, Geekwire, and Penthouse. Her past productions include The Burl-X-Files: The Truth is Down There, Bechdel Test Burlesque and Nerdiversary. Jo Jo Stiletto has spoken on the subject of feminism, geek culture and burlesque for events like GeekGirlCon, the National Women’s Studies Conference, VikingCon, and more.

Buffy! (Photo by Inti St Clair)

Buffy! (Photo by Inti St. Clair)

Captain Hammer (Photo by Inti St. Clair)

Captain Hammer (Photo by Inti St. Clair)

BHoF 2014 winners!

•06/08/2014 • Leave a Comment

And the winners of the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender’s 24th Annual Tournament of Tease are…

BEST DEBUT
Bonnie Fox (London, United Kingdom)

BEST GROUP
Land of the Sweets (Seattle, Washington)

BEST TROUPE
The Ruby Revue (Dallas, Texas)

BEST BOYLESQUE
Mr. Gorgeous (NYC, New York)

MISS EXOTIC WORLD 2014, THE REIGNING QUEEN OF BURLESQUE
Midnite Martini (Denver, Colorado)

FIRST RUNNER UP: Medianoche (New York, New York)

SECOND RUNNER UP: Ginger Valentine (Dallas, Texas)

Additional titles were given to:

MOST DAZZLING DANCER  Bonnie Fox (London, United Kingdom)

MOST CLASSIC  Missy Lisa (Dallas, Texas)

MOST COMEDIC Kitten n’ Lou (Seattle, Washington/New York, New York)

MOST INNOVATIVE Aurora Galore (London, United Kingdom)

Who’s the Fiercest of Them All? Iva Handfull Competes for Queen.

•06/03/2014 • 1 Comment
The undeniably amazing Iva Handfull (Photo by Drumroll Studios)

The undeniably amazing Iva Handfull (Photo by Drumroll Studios)

~ by Crystal Tassels, BSP Contributing Writer

Iva Handfull, Seattle’s paragon of fierceness, will be strutting her buxom stuff all over the Burlesque Hall of Fame stage for the fourth time this year (previously, Iva appeared in 2011′s “Best Debut Category”, as well as in “Movers, Shakers, & Innovators” 2012 and 2013). Experienced though she is, 2014 marks her first time in the running for the grand prize: the title of “Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque”. Earlier this spring, I was lucky enough to spend some time catching up with the “albino Grace Jones” herself.

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Iva has no background in traditional dance or theater. Instead, she developed her unique vocabulary of movement by frequently cutting a rug on the murky dance floors of goth and industrial clubs. There she witnessed what she calls “dancing osmosis – where you pick up what other people are doing and you can’t stop.” (If you’ve never witnessed this phenomenon, I suggest a people-watching excursion to the Mercury Lounge to see it in action.) In order to maintain her own unique style and presentation, Iva pays close attention to her performance idols (to name a few: Prince, David Bowie, and Trent Reznor) but keeps her head down – in true goth-kid style – when she’s out on the dance floor.

Her first taste of burlesque was at Tamara the Trapeze Lady’s Columbia City Cabaret. “I could not stay in my seat,” she recounted. “You could see that those performers were doing what they wanted to do on stage…You could tell [their performances] were all them.” The self-direction and distinctive personalities of the performers inspired Iva to enroll in Burlesque 101 at the Academy of Burlesque.

Fast forward several years and it’s plain to see that her dedication and fearless independence have served her well. Over the past year, Iva has shifted from having to apply to festivals, which is what most performers do, to being invited to perform and even headline them. She was even crowned “Queen of the 2013 Kansas City Burlesque Festival”. Also on her list of recent accolades is her inclusion on 21st Century Burlesque Magazine’s Top 50 list earlier this year, which polls professional burlesquers to identify leaders and innovators in the field. “To have peers vote for you is a different thing than to have your audience vote for you,” Iva explained. “Peers are both the harshest and the best critics.”

Iva with Elsa Von Schmaltz at BHoF 2012 (POC Photo)

Iva with Elsa Von Schmaltz at BHoF 2012 (POC Photo)

With Iva’s many appearances in various corners of the country (including headlining performances in New York City, Kansas City, Knoxville, Chicago, and Seattle so far this year), it’s clear that she’s on the radar of many a pro burlesquer. Iva believes in the importance of maintaining relevancy as a performer and entrepreneur and keeps herself as involved in the community as she can. When she isn’t performing, she can often be found bejeweling ties for Haute Under the Collar, a purveyor of glitzy neckties (“So you, too, may be well hung!” declares the shop’s tagline). As co-owner, Iva creates, models, and hawks their bedizened cravats at festivals and burlesque events from coast to coast. On top of all of this, Iva is incredibly supportive of the glitter community in general, performing at fundraising events and sponsoring BurlyCon.

Her acceptance into the “Queen of Burlesque” category at BHoF is a pretty dazzling milestone. Iva is a dedicated neo-burlesque performer who, in remaining true to her own aesthetic, completely rocks out on stage without heavy allusion to classic burlesque. “Initially, I am a bit scared,” she says. “I’m scared that if I do a move, or set of moves, that is too classic, people may think I’m bending my own performance style to win. I’m scared that people will sit there wondering how I got into the Queen category anyway. But this feeling should fade away…I know that I will be 100% myself on that stage and I’ve worked hard to create acts I absolutely adore and want to perform for decades.”

Amid the excitement and stress of preparing for her performance, Iva keeps herself grounded by bearing in mind that the weekend is a fundraiser for the BHoF Museum. What a gal!

******

Visit Iva at:

http://www.ivahandfull.com/

Haute Under the Collar

http://www.hauteunderthecollar.com/

 

Iva Handfull (Photo by Ann K. Brown)

Iva Handfull (Photo by Ann K. Brown)

 

 
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