Friday, January 29, 2010

Midwest Burlesk 2010

I went to the Best of the Midwest Burlesk Festival 2010 at the Ritz tonight. Last year I went with Kyle, but this year I screwed it up and managed to purchase a ticket for the 7:00 p.m. show while Kyle and his brother went to the 10:00 p.m. show. I think I finally figured out what I did, and it involved the use of a bookmark and backspace key. All very stupid. But I'm almost glad I missed dinner at the Polish restaurant. I had breakfast at Junior's with Ming and lunch at Ghengis with the guys from work. I'm still not hungry (although I am drinking a 2010 Bigfoot Ale while I write and, as we all know, food is beer).

Midwest Burlesk was once again great, even by myself (Ming...I know they were sold out, but I think you could have scored a ticket at the door. There was an open seat next to me, although perhaps the only one in the house). It's just an incredible variety of bulesk (burlesque), and you're never bored.

Some of my favorite moments were:

  • The opening act, Minne Tonka. She did a Mary Tyler Moore strip tease.
  • The Stage Door Johnnies from Chicago. One of them did a strip tease involving washing himself and multiple layers of towels, like a Matryoshka doll. A favorite of the many women in the audience.
  • Nadine DuBois singing "Coax Me" while being undressed by AJ the Bodyguard. She's hilarious in addition to being sexy. That was a serious green dress, by the way.
  • Trigger (Ferguson). Oh my god. I expected this to be something I hated. It was less burlesk at first and more loud cross dressing act. But it went somewhere incredibly amusing after the opening monologue. The audience was roaring. And he's seriously athletic.
  • Fanny Tastic. She did a bit as a flight attendant last year. This year she did an act with a bowler (hat). Great dancing. When she sort of grabbed at her bottom and legs with her fingers and pulled, you could hear a reaction from the audience. Incredibly sexy.
  • Sweetpea dancing to "Dance Machine". She started out in a boots and a robot costume and took it off to reveal heels and skin. She started with a robot dance and moved into several other dance in what was so energetic it looked like serious work.
  • Lola van Ella from St. Louis doing a 50s housewife schtick involving an apron, some frosting, and a spatula while singing "Bake me a cake". Nadine warned that she was renowned for her bottom, and her site calls her "the derriere beyond compare". The advertising was well deserved. The frosting ended up on her body, and the spatula ended up replacing her merkin. Very funny. Her website says I can book her for parties...hmm...Kyle, don't you turn 40(ish) this year?
  • Michelle L'amour did the finale with a sort of Spanish dance. Not as exciting a finale as last year with all the hands popping out of the sofa, but a great dance. She does a lot with minimal props.
  • And there were others - it didn't end there. Burgundy Brixx from Vancouver. The Chicago Starlets (from Michelle L'amour's school in Chicago). Kami Oh (I think). Ned the Magnificent. Ophelia Flame. Ray Gunn. Summer Clearance (I think it was her doing the fan dance). Switch the Boi. Vica the naughty ballerina. And more.
Pooteewheet is going with Cookie Queen and Lissy Jo tomorrow. I know she'll have fun.

My only complaint is that the beer selection wasn't as good as it was last year when there were Flat Earth beers to be had. Fortunately, Surdyk's was right down the road and between the Ritz and I-35.


Kyle said...

We didn't get to see Fanny or Lola at the later showing, which (based on your assessment) was unfortunate. No Ned the Magnificent either. It's interesting how all the shows seem to be so different, but it makes sense based on the number of performers participating in the shows.

After seeing the photo/bio of Tigger in the program, I had no idea of what to expect, but that routine was one of the most amusing things I've seen in quite a while. I'm curious though, did his act in the first show also involve apple smashing?

Scooter said...

No Lola? Oh...that is seriously unfortunate. I'll be looking at cakes with a longing for quite some time. Smashing apples, eh? No...but I could see that as a possibility. It was more, oh....picture the guy running backwards toward you in Monty Python. Now imagine that's a guy in a pouch with his ass pointed at you in a push up position. Flying through the air. It was freaking surreal. i think most of the audience was shocked and trying to cheer over the part of their brain that was like, WTF is happening?!

Kyle said...

I saw a video of Lola's cake routine on her web site, and a photo of Fanny's bowler routine on hers, which made me all the more regretful I'd missed them. I guess there's always next year...

As for Tigger, he was doing something I can only characterize as a combination push up/splits while facing towards the back of the stage, only he was propelling himself high into the air every time he pushed up. The crowd had pretty much the same reaction you describe - unable to fully process what they were witnessing, but amazed nonetheless. The guy has some very serious athletic ability eh.

But, to cap it all off, he took the two large apples he had used to stuff his bra and repeatedly smashed them together high above his head at the end of the routine. We were in the last row of the front section and Matthew still almost got hit by flying apple debris. It was like Gallagher (only actually funny) combined with a strip act. Nadine appeared to be genuinely and amusingly at a loss for words after he finished his act.