Coco Lectric and some Bachelor Pad surprises.

•08/04/2011 • Leave a Comment

Coco Lectric in Bachleor Pad Issue 16

The last issue of Bachelor Pad Magazine featured cover star and centerfold Coco Lectric, hailing from Austin, Texas. This week the lady herself visits Olympia and Seattle, performing and workshopping at Johansen Olympia Dance Center (August 6) and Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque in Seattle (August 7). Not only is Coco the Headmistress of the Austin Academy of Burlesque, she’s also one of the founding members of award-winning troupe The Jigglewatts, and has performed in festivals and burlesque showcases across the country including Cointreau’s Dita Von Teese: Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans back in 2010.

Coco’s sizzling moves and signature bombshell looks have earned her multiple titles, including Texas Performer of the Year 2010, Troupe of the Year (Jigglewatts Burlesque, 2010 & 2011), and 3rd place at Viva Las Vegas 2011. She’s also the assistant producer of the Texas Burlesque Festival and has been a regular in multiple pinup magazines. Coco does it all, and does it with style.

Learn a few secrets of the bump n’ grind from one of the Lone Star State’s best by clicking on one of three classes available HERE. Next up Coco travels westward to San Francisco, where among other events she will perform with Satan’s Angel in Barbary Coast Burlesque.

A while back, multi-talented photographer Kaylin Idora shared this drop dead gorgeous portrait of Coco in New Orleans with Burlesque Seattle Press, and it’s so fantastic it calls for reposting:

Coco Lectric (Photo by Kaylin Idora, used w/ permission)

For more photos from the shoot, check out Kaylin’s Facebook page HERE or visit www.kaylinidora.com

Speaking of Bachelor Pad Magazine, some may have noticed in Coco’s issue several Seattle performers were also featured. Inga Ingénue, Miss Kitty Baby, and The Shanghai Pearl (photographed by POC) also livened up mailboxes coast to coast.

Guess who is featured in the current issue?

Queen of Burlesque Miss Indigo Blue on the cover of Bachelor Pad 17 (Photographed by POC)

And last but not least in news for today- our friends at NY’s Burlesque Beat have syndicated Madeline Rider’s heartfelt recent review of the hit Whedonesque Burlesque show. Look for future collaborations between Burlesque Seattle Press and Burlesque Beat, and visit Madeline’s featured posting HERE.

Sinner Saint history and getting Ready for Rapture with Evilyn Sin Claire.

•08/01/2011 • 1 Comment

Desert Wild Child: Evilyn Sin Claire (Photo credit pending)

Sinner Saint Burlesque’s Wild Child, Evilyn Sin Claire, has always been a fearless woman of enchanting talents and brassy ambitions. Back in 2006, the founding members of Seattle’s Sinner Saint- including Evilyn- were performing or working with the popular Burning Hearts Burlesque show, The Bedroom Club. The Fenix Underground announced it was to close after a year of producing very successful shows, leaving many of the cast inspired to try something new. Evilyn Sin Claire, Sydni Deveraux, Ravenna Black, Inga Ingénue, and Georgia Miles asked then host Dane Ballard and stage manager Ophelia Derrière to produce a brand new show. Dane found a perfect location at gritty downtown bar Noc Noc, and the new troupe-in-the-making added performers Phoebe Applebottom, Shanghai Pearl, Belle Cozette, Valerie Vales, Ember Divine and intern Juicy La Bella. Audrey McManus took over producing in fall 2009, and eventually hostess-with-the-mostest Nicole Lucas was added. Though the troupe’s core cast and production team have changed since the early days, Evilyn Sin Claire has stayed with the troupe due in large part to the discipline and constant challenges that a successful weekly show offers. Sinner Saint Burlesque has performed from Vancouver to London, and can be found every Thursday at Noc Noc with the current cast of Jesse Belle-Jones, Polly Wood, Lady TaTas, Doña Dei Cuori, and of course, Evilyn Sin Claire.

This week is a busy one for Evilyn. In addition to her weekly belly dance classes, Sinner Saint launches an Advanced Burlesque Clinic at Visionary Dance August 3. The unique six week clinic will spotlight development, work-shopping, and troupe dynamics for students interested in learning about being a part of a professional troupe. Get the skinny on the classes HERE.

Then on Friday August 5, Evilyn can be found producing Ready For Rapture: The Second Coming of the Second Coming, a show linked to another cause dear to her heart- Burning Man. “I’m producing Rapture for the Burning Man camp and arts collective to which I’ve belonged for a number of years, K.A.O.S.,” says Evilyn. “Jenny Penny and Sydni Deveraux are also family. Originally made up of mostly fire performers, today K.A.O.S is made up of other circus arts live performers as well as metal workers, visual artists, DJs, and party catalysts. We do live shows and produce parties and are responsible for the vehicular leviathan, The Kackle- a giant drivable angler fish that was seen around Capitol Hill last winter.”

The Kackle in Black Rock City 2010 (Photo by Brian Mars)

Evilyn’s number, chosen specifically for this show, involves her personal squeamishness with the end of the Mayan calendar. “Most of the performers are burners, which is an event that encourages and requires ‘radical self-reliance’. Both this theme and the severe physical conditions of the Burning Man event make for great crossover with anything post-apocalyptic.”

Here’s the show’s press info:

Ready For Rapture: The Second Coming Comes Again!

It’s the end of times. The future is here. Aquarius has dawned, the calendar’s run out. Love it or leave it, humanity will repent! What’s next for this blasted world? K.A.O.S. Arts Collective has invited some of Seattle’s most damned and daring burlesque, circus and cabaret performers to bring warnings and wonderment of what is to come. Hosted by a wizard to tell us of the future, Ready For Rapture is a cabaret party for the end of the world as we know it.

The ground will shake and the heavens will part as ULTRA, Inga Ingenue, The Harlequin Hipsters, Evilyn Sin Claire, Randi Rascal, Polly Wood, Lady Tatas, Whisky Bliss, Jenny Penny, and for a special one night engagement, out of the ether, ULTRA, give the true believers a reason to jump ship through strip tease, dance and all kinds of weird shit! Post apocalyptic attire encouraged! End of time drink specials! Let the wizard tell your future! Circus contests! Get slapped by a K.A.O.S. hottie and like it!

Early Show: Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm, 21+
Advance tickets HERE

All proceeds for this show will go towards the repair of K.A.O.S. art car “The Kackle”, the rusty fish van you may have seen parked around Capitol Hill, as well as the building of a Grand Wizard Bar under the Eye Of Sauron at the 2011 Burning Man Festival, “Rights Of Passage”.

Ready for Rapture's web flyer

Jenny Penny (Photo by Greg Holloway)

Whisky Bliss (Photo by Earica Brown)

Inga Ingenue (Photo by Elsa Sjunneson)

ULTRA (Photo credit pending)

The Shanghai Pearl: from Bastille Day to Valkyrie’s Sideshow.

•07/27/2011 • 1 Comment

The Shanghai Pearl as a winsome mermaid. (POC Photo)

The first show from Valkyrie Productions, Sideshow Sirens, was a smorgasbord of the absurd and unseemly. Playing with the notion of human oddities and hootchie-kootchie girls, the cast of seasoned performers (Iva Handfull, Trojan Original, Minetta Lane, Violet Tendencies) explored the intriguing world of peepshow lore with less well known burlesque artists (Kylie Koyote, La Petite Morte, Seraphina, etc). Trojan Original, known for his dancer’s physique and polished movements in productions like Lily Verlaine’s L’Edition Francaise, embraced straight-up comedy as The Strong Man, unable to open a jar of tiny pickles despite his bulging biceps.

Aside from the great and terrible, women were often a primary attraction at sideshows. Ladies with both real and imagined exotic traits allowed viewers an excuse to stop and stare- momentarily suspending their disbelief in fantastical creatures. Fannie Beaverhausen was an arresting Giantess, and The Shanghai Pearl was Valkyrie’s enchanting crown jewel as The Mermaid. (Is she real, or isn’t she?)

It’s been a while since I last caught up with Shanghai, but she took some time out from her busy performing/teaching/costuming/styling schedule to tell me what she’s been doing in “real life”:

What have you been up to these days, Shanghai?

Traveling, performing, and teaching! I recently returned home from shows in New York and Paris with plans to head back to New York for the New York Burlesque Festival in the fall.

Can you tell me about your mermaid costume and idea, and the work that went into it? You used an incarnation of this act for Seattle Erotic Arts Festival a few years back, with Twisted Monk…

I have always been more than a little bit obsessed with mermaids and the worlds they inhabit. The current incarnation of that particular mermaid costume started when I was booked to perform New Years Eve at the Aquarium with a seventeen piece jazz orchestra. I wanted to build a grander mermaid costume.

The Seattle Erotic Arts Festival triptych started when I read the call for proposals and the Cabinet Du Curiosities theme. I wanted to tell a story of a mummified mermaid, what happened to her before she was caught and put on display. Needless to say, the act morphed into something different.

“Sideshow Afterhours” (the version you saw Friday) was developed post-SEAF. The piece for Seattle Erotic Arts Festival was rather intense and dark for me, so I wanted make a lighter, happier story to balance it out.

What was it like working with Twisted Monk? Didn’t he tie and “manhandle” you a bit, all in a mutually permissive way of course?

Working with Twisted Monk was a great experience; it was such a departure from what I had done in the past. The collaboration and direction with Roger Benington and Monk was a new and great challenge. I love collaborating and I love challenges so I naturally had a great time. He did tie and throw me around quite a bit- I was leopard spotted in bruises in the months leading up to and throughout that weekend.

When can we see you perform next, both here in Seattle or out of town?

I will be at the NARAL benefit August 19th at Theatre Off Jackson, in Portland August 21st, and Monk and I will be bringing ‘Bondage Mermaid’ back September 18th for Dr. Sketchy’s. And then in September I will be performing in San Francisco and New York.

I am super excited about The Blue Velvet Burlesque Revue, which is something I have been working on with Highway 99 [Seattle], Inga Ingénue, Fuschia FoXXX, and Andrew Cloutier. It’s a burlesque show with one of the best bands I have ever worked with. The next show is October 14th at Highway 99 Blues Club.

Shanghai also recently performed at Café Campagne during the annual Bastille Day festivities in Post Alley. Photographer Christopher Bachmann, who has been amassing an enviably diverse body of work in the last few years, captured some dynamic shots of Shanghai working the room, as well as a few mysterious Atomic Bombshells performing as Les Filles Tournoires (“The Twirly Girls”). Check out Christopher’s full site HERE.

Shanghai brought her megawatt beauty to Cafe Campagne on Bastille Day. (Photo by Christopher Bachmann)

Tending the garden with Shanghai on Bastille Day. (Photo by Christopher Bachmann)

Besides instructing students in the art of the tease at the Academy of Burlesque, Shanghai also glamorizes the wild at heart on a regular basis with Paul O’Connell of POC Photo on modern pin-up shoots. Shanghai does styling and makeup, Paul minds the photos and lighting design. The shoots produce some gorgeous results- see for yourself HERE, and email info@pocphoto.com for more information.

Don't be shy. POC and The Shanghai Pearl will take good, good care of you.

Jo Jo Stiletto and Theatre Off Jackson Bring the Whedonverse to Seattle.

•07/20/2011 • 6 Comments

Polly Wood and Heidi Von Haught in Whedonesque Burlesque (Photo Jules Doyle)

- Written by Madeline Rider (Contributor, Seattle)

When most girls were covering their walls with pictures of their favorite male pop stars pulled from the latest Bop magazine, the bare white plaster of my childhood room was buried beneath meticulously Scotch-taped photos of Buffy Summers. Unlike my peers, it wasn’t a dream boy I admired, but a dream girl, a strong and independent young woman who persevered through the trials and tribulations of young adulthood as well a regular onslaught of demonic activity. Throughout my early adolescence, I lived with my father and younger brother and had very few examples of female adulthood available to me. As the series progressed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer proved to be much more than a cable television sensation, as writer and creator Joss Whedon artfully illustrated the intricacies of not only the female experience, but the universal human experience as well. Whedon’s characters were beautiful and imperfect and gave me hope that I could be, too.

Last weekend, co-producers Jo Jo Stiletto and Theatre Off Jackson brought Joss Whedon’s clever characters and tricky twists to the stage for a two night run of Whedonesque Burlesque. With his talent for writing from the female perspective and his gift for artfully displaying emotional truths through camp and satire, the Whedonverse naturally lends itself to the burlesque genre. The sentiment emanating its manifestation was clearly printed within the evening’s program as personal statements from both Edward Ward, owner of Paper Windows Booksellers, and Miss Stiletto herself. In the chilly basement theater off Seventh and Jackson in Seattle’s International District, I sat reading of Mr. Ward’s own experience of growth and the role Joss Whedon had in facilitating his own healing. It became clear to me that the production value of Whedonesque Burlesque exceeded quantitative measure.

My fellow patrons conversed around me, the less learned asking each other “Who are those three blue women with fans and why did they hand me a yogurt bar?”, others confessing, or perhaps touting, the depraved levels of fandom they had sunken to, “I hadn’t realized how long I had been watching Buffy until I realized my body was starting to hurt from sitting.” In his opening number, boylesque performer Billy Corazon pays tribute to the tempestuous and sometimes obsessive relationships fans have with Whedon’s television creations, something everyone in the audience appeared to relate to. The high energy number immediately electrified the room and set a positive note on which the rest of the evening resonated. In a discussion I had recently with performer Wiggy Stardust, I asked her why she felt that fandom of burlesque and science fiction tended to overlap.

“Burlesque is just as much about the creation of fantasy, the willful suspension of disbelief, and approximating the dream state. There is an eeriness and uncanniness in science fiction and fantasy that a short live performance mirrors.”

Burlesque and science fiction generally provide escapism in the same fashion. We dive into a gritty novel, television show, or movie; we climb the stairs of Oddfellows to West Hall. We leave this world, with its limits, boundaries, and constraints- and we enter another, where our fantasies, either sexual or supernatural, are just as real.

With over twenty performers throughout the evening, the skill level varied from newbie to seasoned veteran. Polly Wood and Heidi Von Haught, who gallantly showed off a pair of pipes, brought a terrific number straight from the infamous musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “Once More With Feeling.” Other standout displays of showmanship came from Rachel Jackson and Paul Velasquez of Puppet This, whose peek into the life of Joss Whedon under the tyranny of the Fox network executives, proved to be one of the more intelligent and humorous numbers of the evening. Despite a few performances where inexperience was clearly evident, the production as a whole was exceptionally successful in providing the audience with the opportunity to marry three actualities into a fabulous evening of entertainment: the Whedonverse, the world of Burlesque, and the reality in which we live in.

To help benefit more genius collaborations at Theatre Off Jackson, keep your ears open for details on Puu Puu: A TOJ Party and Fundraiser slated to happen October 26th. And most excitingly, further your female geekdom at GeekGirlCon on October 8th and 9th in the Seattle Center Northwest Rooms and the EMP Museum.

“GeekGirlCon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of and celebrating the contribution and involvement of women in all aspects of the sciences, science fiction, comics, gaming and related Geek culture through conventions and events that emphasize both the historic and ongoing contribution and influence of women in this culture.”

Passes are on sale now at www.geekgirlcon.com.

Whedonesque Burlesque (Photo Jules Doyle)

Billy Corazon (Photo Jules Doyle)

Puppet This (Photo Jules Doyle)

The bewitching Anna Fur Laxis and her magic strip.

•07/18/2011 • Leave a Comment

Ever since video started surfacing from this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame Tournament of Tease,  I’ve been obsessing on this bewitching and humorous performance by Anna Fur Laxis (Yorkshire, UK), a self-proclaimed showgirl, knife-thrower, and magician.  Anna was First Runner-Up for Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2011, right up there with our very own Lily Verlaine and Miss Indigo Blue.

How she dragged this ridiculously huge prop to the US is as much of a mystery as her mastery of the sexy quick-change strip.  I admire the way she really takes her time with this number, luxuriously playing into the music- and I’m deeply in awe of the “magic hands”.  Check it out:

Anna’s website features some beautiful vintage-inspired pinup shots, as well as this quote from Dirty Martini which neatly summarizes Anna’s charms:

Anna Fur Laxis has the absolute best take on the current Bettie Page mania. In a time where every rock-a-billy chick is sporting the Bettie pinup look, Anna takes it to a new level with a witty twist and a totally charming and accomplished stage persona. And she’s so pretty!

BHOF 2011 titleholders Stage Door Johnnies, Lily Verlaine, Anna Fur Laxis, Miss Indigo Blue, and LouLou D'Vil

Dita gets her Southern on. Valkyrie channels their inner Coney Island.

•07/14/2011 • Leave a Comment

It kills me that this bill isn't scheduled for Seattle. So far...?

BSP hot tipper Paul and I have been bemoaning the fact that Dita Von Teese has nothing scheduled at this time for the Pacific Northwest, but she’s bringing a round of incredible acts to New Orleans, Dallas, and Houston this month- including her Opium Den number  and…a PINK MECHANICAL BULL. Yes, it’s true.  And to make those of us way up North even more jealous, last night Dita announced even more special guests for her Strip Strip Hooray! variety show: MC Murray Hill, Dirty Martini, Selene Luna (!!!), Monsieur Romeo (Host of L’Effleur Des Sens), Lada (from the World Famous Crazy Horse Paris), and Medianoche.

Here’s more info from the lady herself:

Dita is bringing her variety show “Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray!” to the House Of Blues in New Orleans, Dallas and Houston this summer.

New Orleans – July 26th
Dallas – July 28th
Houston – July 30th

The show features MC Murray Hill and some of burlesque’s brightest stars:

MC Murray Hill
Comedian and renowned entertainer Murray Hill, “the hardest working middle-aged man in show business,” is a relentless retro shtick slinger, buster of audience chops and freewheeling ad-libber. Murray’s razor sharp wit and frenetic showman antics led the New York Times to anoint him “Downtown’s New ‘It’ Boy.” Murray has also had a string of recent cameos in HBO’s Bored to Death, STARZ’s Gravity, and BRAVO’s Real Housewives of New York.

Dirty Martini
New York Magazine calls Dirty Martini “the sexpot sophisticate,” and the New York Times declared her “one of the best in burlesque.” Featured in the film “Tournee” which premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Dirty Martini is one of the leading figures in the American Burlesque revival.

Selene Luna
At 3’10″, Selene Luna is a small package with a very big presence. The New York Times calls her “a polished spitfire,” and the Washington Square News says, “She’s a huge presence and owns the stage during her 5-minute romp.” Luna was an original member of Velvet Hammer Burlesque and is well-known as Margaret Cho’s sidekick on “The Cho Show.”

Lada of the Crazy Horse Paris
One of the stars of the Crazy Horse Paris, Lada was hand-picked by Dita to appear in “Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray!” after they met during Dita’s guest star appearances at the famous cabaret in 2010. As Crazy Horse Paris Creative Director Ali Mahdavi notes, Lada is “the ultimate expression of a Crazy Horse dancer. She epitomizes the essential blend of strength, femininity, and a sense of humor.”

Monsieur Romeo of L’effleur des Sens
Representing boylesque in the show, Monsieur Romeo was born in France and raised all over Europe where he worked as a model for Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier, before moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Well-known as the host of the LA-based Parisian Cabaret L’effleur des Sens, “Monsieur Roméo exudes disreputable savoir-faire, seeking women in the audience to help him strip during his solo, and behaving as if anyone who even looks at him is hopelessly corrupt.” (LA Times).

Medianoche
Medianoche was born and raised in southern Spain and is formally trained in flamenco and tango dance. She brings a distinctly European je ne sais quoi to venues such as Duane Park, Highline Ballroom, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Hotel Empire. Although always at her best when emerging from Isis wings, rhinestoned flower petals, or her signature red pheasant feathers, Medianoche also dances Argentine tango professionally in theatres and ballrooms throughout the United States.

For more information, please visit www.dita.net.

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What can we do to console ourselves until Dita turns her attention back to Seattle and beyond? I’d suggest some homegrown burlesque, including the debut show from Valkyrie Productions (aka Minetta Lane and Violet Tendencies). Trojan Original as The Strongman, The Shanghai Pearl as The Mermaid, Fannie Beaverhausen as The Giantess…? Yes, yes, and yes. Dita Von Teese can cool her bejeweled heels in Texas for another weekend or two while Sideshow Sirens: A Valkyrie Peepshow mixes things up, Coney Island style.

Sideshow Sirens July 15 and 22 in Seattle

I asked Minetta Lane how this show came about:

Sideshow Sirens: A Valkyrie Peepshow is a look at the dark side of the
circus . We are bringing together Seattle’s burlesque stars along with
some of the brightest new talent for this sinister and sensual peek
behind the big top.

Violet and I have always wanted to do our part to foster the ideal of
community in Seattle burlesque. This is the first in our run of shows
designed to entertain audiences by bringing them the newest and
hottest talent along side Seattle’s much loved queens of the stage.
This idea for Valkyrie Productions- and this show in particular- started
during one of Violet’s and my crazy email exchanges while we should
have been working our day jobs. We can get rather ridiculous and over
the top with our ideas, but something fun always comes out of it.

We picked the talent for our first show based on performers we love to
see; the list got a bit long so some of those invites will have to
wait for our next show. We are also open to suggestions if fans know
of a hidden gem or someone they just have to see more of, we would
love to hear about it.

Contact Valkyrie at: thevalkyrieproductions@gmail.com, and get tickets HERE.

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And though both nights have completely sold out, it’s most definitely worth a mention that July 15 and 16 the fabulous Jo Jo Stiletto and her fellow producers bring Whedonesque Burlesque: Seattle Edition to the Theatre Off Jackson.  The show’s theme is to die for:

Seattle’s finest geeky burlesque performers are daring to take inspiration from their favorite Joss Whedon shows and characters: Buffy, Firefly, Dr Horrible, Angel, Dollhouse and more. This will be a nerd spectacle of epic proportions. Expect sexiness, silliness, sadness, strange creatures and more. We aim to misbehave!

Hosted by Rebecca M. Davis
Performances by:
Heidi Von Haught
Polly Wood
Mercury Troy
Miss Elaine Yes
Lexi Luthor
Sister Piston
Mae Kim Beg
Electric Fanny
Rip Curl
Whisper De Corvo
Legs Montana
The Norse Goddess
Rachel Jackson of Puppet This
The Fighting Women of Performers’ Forge
Miss Little Piza Paradise
Billy Corazon
EmpeROAR Fabulous (Sat. Only)…AND MORE!

Sister Piston (Photo Geoff Carter)

Freedom Fantasia in pictures. Atomic Bombshells hit the Moore.

•07/11/2011 • Leave a Comment

The Atomic Bombshells have just announced that they’ll be appearing at the historic Moore Theatre in August. This warrants a little research to see when the last burlesque show hit the hallowed Moore stage. I’m guessing it has been quite a while, but it’s very much Artistic Director Kitten LaRue’s style to have a few surprises- big surprises- up her sleeve.

Built in 1907, the Moore is the oldest remaining operational theatre in Seattle. The Columbia City Theatre, the oldest vaudeville theater in the state of Washington, was built in 1917; the historic Mann building that houses The Triple Door was originally home to the Embassy Theatre, a vaudeville house that opened in 1926. The Moore was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. These days the Moore is a little shabby, but still elegant- and they’re about to join the other two theatres in hosting a little shimmy and shake. Seeing the Bombshells- plus the troupe debut of newest member Inga Ingénue- is going to be one of the best classic burlesque revues this summer. Get tickets HERE.

In case you missed Freedom Fantasia, the Fourth of July extravaganza presented by Kitten LaRue and Co-Producer Ben DeLaCreme, here’s a few pics by POC Photo:

Kitten LaRue shows her patriotism, flexi-style. (POC Photo)

Ben DeLaCreme with um, the national bird. (POC Photo)

Life could be a dream.

Lucky Penny- reveals on skates!

The fantastic Jinx Monsoon. (POC Photo)

Cherdonna and Lou (POC Photo)

 
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