J’ADORE! A Burlesque Valentine honors love at the Triple Door.
– Written by Jessica Price (this article also appears in this week’s edition of Seattle Gay News, 2/10/12)
Love is on everyone’s mind this month, perhaps with a little added meaning now that marriage equality is becoming a reality In Washington. Kitten LaRue, producer and performer in local burlesque super-troupe the Atomic Bombshells, couldn’t be more pleased that the timing of annual Valentine’s show J’Adore! coincides with such a historic change, especially considering that roughly half of the cast are members of the LGBT community. This year’s production feels like a Valentine toast to good things to come.
The Atomic Bombshells have been embraced by a wide-ranging audience for years now, and Kitten credits Seattle’s cerebral audiences and her family of dapper hosts, drag kings, drag queens, and glamour girls for presenting gender performance in such a way that definitions are incidental. “Most of our shows are very heavily themed, with a specific through-line, but I wanted J’Adore to be our rotating variety show…a bombastic, over the top glittery spectacle would be the theme,” she says. “It’s more of a grab bag of different guests.”
Stylistically the performances range from tap and jazz dance to burlesque and drag (Ben DeLaCreme’s maniacal take on “Sugartown” is an annual highlight), and the through-line, aside from the many forms of love, is a certain brand of campy humor that the Atomic Bombshells come by naturally. Having been raised in Louisiana on a steady diet of dance, MGM musicals, and classic burlesque, when Kitten moved to Seattle and created The Atomic Bombshells, a little glamour mixed with screwball humor fit the bill. Meanwhile, Kitten found herself working at a Belltown bar with local heroine Dina Martina. Both Dina and The Bombshells were scouted by the same producer, looking for acts to book for the summer in Provincetown. In later seasons, the Bombshells shared a roster with such influential drag artists as Varla Jean Merman. “Provincetown definitely influenced the progression of the Atomic Bombshells,” she says. “It’s like bootcamp for performers. People like Margaret Cho are out there barking, hustling their shows every day.”
Kitten is coy with specifics this year, preferring to keep audiences on their toes. She will divulge that Inga Ingénue and Ben DeLaCreme will introduce acts new to J’Adore, and Cherdonna (of The Cherdonna & Lou Show) will perform a solo dance number. Ruby Mimosa debuts a new signature costume made by the fantastical J.Von Stratton Designs. As for Honey D.Luxe’s unforgettable heart contraption- “Well, she decided it just wasn’t big enough…” Kitten laughs. “It’s pretty amazing.”
J’ADORE! A Burlesque Valentine
February 11- February 13 @ The Triple Door
Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 day of show
Special Industry Night rate for Monday, February 13th: $18adv/$20dos
www.tripledoor.net or 206-838-4333