Viva Las Vegas 2012.
-Written and photographed by Paul O’Connell of POC Photo (Contributor, Seattle)
Viva Las Vegas, now in its 15th year, is “the Biggest Rockabilly Party in The World” with rockabilly fashion, hundreds of souped-up vintage cars, scores of bands, and more neck tattoos than I have ever seen. And of course, burlesque.
The main event for burlesque at VLV was the Saturday night competition at the showroom at The Orleans Hotel, where eight ladies competed for the title Miss VLV 2012. This show was hosted by Dizzy Von Damn, Miss VLV 2008. This year’s honors went to Jeez Loueez of Chicago. Tears came down her face as last year’s Miss VLV, Seattle’s own Inga Ingénue, placed the crown upon her head. Jeez is part of Vaudeville Productions in Chicago, and producer of Jeezy’s Juke Joint: A Black Burly-Q Revue. 1st Runner up was Lydia DeCarllo from Vancouver, Canada and 2nd runner-up was Jolie Goodnight from Austin, Texas. The judges for this competition were the audience; using the special “applause-o-meter”, clearly Jeez Loueez was the winner. After all, she gave an incredible, show-stopping performance.
On Friday, Rick Delaup brought his Bustout Burlesque review from New Orleans for three consecutive shows. These events were hosted by Seattle’s own Vincent Drambuie and featured performances by some of the regular Bustout Burlesque cast- all shaking it to a live jazz band- including Perle Noire, Ginger Valentine, Lola Van Ella and Athena. Throughout Viva, there were also many Burlesque Bingo shows. Audrey DeLuxe brought Bingo to VLV from Los Angeles, with featured performances by some top burlesque beauties such as Inga Ingénue, Coco Lectric, and Kitten de Ville. The concept is simple: as the ladies remove their clothes and fall onto the bingo-numbered floor, players mark off each number. (As that glove hits N44, you mark it off). The ladies strip till “bingo” is called, and then fabulous prizes are given. Seattle’s Miss Kitty Baby attended Viva once again with her Pin-Up Angels, helping to raise money for care packages for deployed servicemen and women.
Once again, what I like about this festival is seeing burlesquers from around the country… and eating at Vegas buffets. Special shout-outs to Miss Kitty Baby and Boom Boom L’Roux for allowing me to share their room, and to fellow photographer Derek Jackson and 1st runner up and all around cool Canadian, Lydia DeCarllo. Look for sexy photos of Lydia from our midnight shoot at The Orleans Hotel coming soon. Next up, I’ll be on the road to the Texas Burlesque Festival in Austin, April 12-14.