When the red curtain swishes back and the unmistakable scent of Thierry Mugler’s “Angel” fills the air, you know you’re in libidinous company. The slinky (and delightfully fragrant) Madisun Avenue wriggled around The Jewelbox in a spot-on tribute to Jessica Rabbit during Wednesday’s monthly revue by Tempting Tarts Burlesque. “Tinseltown Tarts”, a cheeky love letter to Hollywood, featured a coterie of characters from TV’s past and present. Morgan La May – Olive Oyl- yanked off her bejeweled bloomers to reveal a barely-there anchor bodice and spinach pasties. (Anyone that recognizes the unhinged, off-key beauty of Shelley Duvall’s “He Needs Me” from 1980 Altman flop/cult classic Popeye deserves an award for innovation alone). There was spy-style boylesque with Disgrace Jones peddling a two for one, um, porking, a bit of belly dance, and finally, the embodiment of every Star Trek fetishist’s dreams- “Trouble with Tribbles”. Curvaceous redhead Sailor St. Claire’s cheeky take on what exactly one does with those small, purring bundles of fur with no discernible features was eye-popping and hilarious.
Tempting Tarts, now produced by Morgan La May, originally formed in 2007 under the direction of Ms. Trixie Lane (co-founder of Kindergarten of Burlesque and Old School Pinups with husband and photographer Lance Wagner). These days, the 14-16 core members, all graduates of the school, take turns playing with whatever monthly theme they dream up. The performances aren’t implicitly built around narratives, but draw on pinup appeal and classic striptease posturing. Core member Roxy Ruby credits Trixie with aiding and abetting the neo or classic character development. “It’s a puzzle,” Roxy said, “and in the end it all fits together for one hell of a show.”
*Tempting Tarts Burlesque’s next show guest stars Tamara The Trapeze Lady, June 24 @ The Jewelbox, Seattle.