Charleston’s Burlesque Revival has been gestating since winter, and by my calculations should be crowning sometime late next month.
Who do we have to blame for this delicious descent into hedonism? It might seem like Pepper and I are guilty as sin, but I think we can trace it to Chase Henderson, local Dr. Sketchy’s mad professor. Sketchy’s, for the uninitiated, is a burlesque figure drawing class, and Chase has been hinting from the beginning that he wouldn’t mind some real live burlesquing at our monthly art class.
Chase saw the amazing Coney Island Rock’n'Roll Road Show when they visited the Empty Glass (the Wayward Girls missed that one,malheurusement). When Pretty Things Peep Show packed the Sound Factory, Elle and I went with Chase and Leo Tuxedo, and Chase again dropped some very subtle hints that our art friends would enjoy a little song and dance. He also mentioned it might get us some more tips, so when Dangerous Curves Ahead: Burlesque on the Go-Go came to Kanawha Players Theatre right before New Year, yours truly and local rockstar Pepper Fandango joined the roster in what was perhaps the most nerve wracking yet intensely enjoyable experience of my life. The DCA gals were tickled when they learned we were busting our cherry with them, and had nothing but encouragement for us before we went on, and praise when we walked off. They’re like burlesque fairy godmothers, and it seems we caught the bug.
Pretty Things returned to an even more crowded Sound Factory not long after, and Pepper and I performed ‘Makeout Bandit’ again. We also met wonderful local performance artists, Pixie and Davi Della Fiamma, who shared the local talent bill with us. Anita Cookie, Clams Casino, Minnie Tonka and Darlinda, Just Darlina brought Dangerous Curves Ahead back to Charleston for the first day of their spring tour, this time drawing the largest crowd ever on a Tuesday night at the Empty Glass. Here’s a promo video my awesome friend Mark Totten put together from footage he took at the Kanwha Players show. Pepper and I performed a – dare i say? – fantastic new act that we will reprieve tomorrow at Dr. Sketchy Charleston’s April edition, Beach Blanket Bloodbath. It looked like Chase had his trusty camera, so cross your fingers that one day we’ll put up a youtube link.
If you missed all these fantastic shows and can’t make it to Sketchy’s, don’t pout, ’cause it looks like Charleston, WV, will have an official burlesque scene next month. The Della Fiamma’s have organized Viva la Vaudevlle!, a two-day festival of sideshow, vaudeville and burlesque scheduled for May 25th and 26th at Kanawha Players. Pepper and I (we really need to get a name for our burlesque, don’t we?) will perform our new act for the third time. The following night, we will be joined by Elle Xohmbeah, Rea Gunne, and other girls from the Porkchop franchise cast and crew to perform a very special burlesque for all you horror fans. Other burlesquers are coming out of the woodwork as well. If ticket sales can be trusted, Charleston is more than ready for us to deliver this glittery shameless scene!