Waxie Moon gets STIFF
Waxie Moon is remarkably serene. High-kicking in a holiday chorus line, being whipped from a dandy into a slave, performing a fan dance sans clothing in light snow, casting off funeral attire on a stony beach- it doesn’t matter. Waxie is placid to the last.
But it’s not just his facial expressions that are captivating/disconcerting to the general public. Wes Hurley’s documentary, Waxie Moon, (screened this week at STIFF) shines a light on the Seattle boylesque star and digs into the incidental gender expression that is a by-product of Waxie’s imagination. He doesn’t perform to push the male/female agenda; he just happens to be a tall, elegant, man with a mustache, and will get into any costume- whether it’s intended for a man or a woman. Lest viewers become confused and call it drag, the somewhat lengthy first half of the film defines burlesque and boylesque through a series of interview snips from big guns like Lily Verlaine and Dirty Martini. Taking a break from his impressive theater and dance background, Dirty convinced him to try burlesque when she guest-taught at Seattle’s Academy of Burlesque. Waxie loved it much more than anticipated.
The 2009 documentary is a fan’s close up look at Waxie (Marc Kenison), the microcosm of Seattle burlesque, and its strong ties to New York. The performance scenes are given a classic, almost spaghetti western treatment with a soundtrack hand-picked by Hurley featuring locals The Little Penguins and Jerry Peerson. Watch for future screenings of Waxie Moon and if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll find the Miss(ter) beach-combing in stilettos near you this summer.