Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blackheart Burlesque

This should be a somewhat unique post.  It's about a burlesque show, but there won't be any photos.  If you need to see pictures, just go to Flickr or YouTube and you'll find what seems to be an infinite number.  It's been about 12 hours, so you should even be able to find some from the local show.  There were so many phones being held overhead that they were in the way.  The somewhat smelly short guy in front of me - almost a full header shorter - was actually in my way because he was holding a phone at full arms' length overhead.  I moved to get a better viewing angle multiple times, but the drunk woman in front of him kept spilling beer in his space and backing into him to dirty dance thinking he was her boyfriend (who was to her left).  That seems to be a common theme for me at standing-room-only events, because Erik and I were around for a guy getting booted at First Ave for doing something similar to another guy.  The only picture I wish I could have taken was when I was standing toward the back with Kyle and two cameras were being held aloft directly in front of a dancer's (taped) breasts.  That seemed to capture some of the problem with the venue (or at least the crowd).

Ming, Jet-Lag Leonard, Kyle, and I went to Nami (sushi, not the National Alliance on Mental Illness, although Ming and Green-Tea Leonard avoided the raw fish) for dinner first  Nice place and a good crowd after about 7:00 p.m.  It's been there for ten years, and I've never eaten there before.  I think I like Origami better, but with Kyle's Groupon, it was difficult to go wrong.  I'm disappointed I didn't try a roll instead as they had quite the selection, even if you don't count rolls with pineapple in them as an option (I like pineapple, I like pineapple on pizza, but pineapple in a sushi roll sounds dubious).

The show was at The Varsity, just two miles away.  Fortunately, we didn't make it in time for doors opening because the check-in process was slow and the line was pretty chilly.  I don't think we were really in the door until close to 8:40, forty minutes after opening.  I like the Varsity, but it wasn't a good venue for the show.  Per above, lots of hands in the way, standing room only, and the stage wasn't high enough, so dancers would literally disappear now and then.  One of the dancers, Nina, did a set where from where Kyle and I were standing it looked like she was just disappearing and then popping up now and then.  It sort of reminded me of Duck Hunt on the NES.  Squirrel Nut Zippers was good there, but they left room open in the middle for dancing.  And Josh Blue, which I saw on Netflix, not in person, had tables and looked comfortable.  Standing room only is one of the few things that can make my left hip ache.

Kyle observed that in those venues (Varsity, Mill City) we're often right next to the open space where people move forward and backward and left to right.  I don't think it's a coincidence.  We're just not willing to push to the front or stand crotch to butt with the person in front of us.  We end up with less beer on us that way as well.  Not that spilled beer would have been the most dire spill that evening.  I was wearing a bit of soy sauce on my white shirt from Nami.  And a guy on the Blue Line was waving around a can of V-8 that splashed all over the plastic divider between me and him near the door.  I gave an actual sigh of relief when I didn't end up with red droplets all over me.

The show was less like the Midwest Burlesk shows, which I really like, and more of a straight up dance show (yes, yes...more like going to a strip club).  The set up was significantly less involved and the clothes came off very quickly in favor of energetic, gyrating, dancing to heavy thumping movie.  There was a science fiction theme to it all which was enjoyable: Planet of the Apes, Doctor Who (Tom Baker scarf, but not really used to effect, and Doctor Who music made dance-able), Portal (gun and cake - Ming almost got hit), Star Wars (storm troopers), Fifth Element (at least Kyle and I both thought that's what they were going for), and others.  But I would have liked more of a focus on the science fiction set up than the energized bouncing.  Then again, I'm getting old.  The rest of the audience seemed to be having fun with the alcohol flying around the front of the stage off one dancer, the amateur dancing, and the rap music about bisexuality.  The rap was peculiar, although it was at least more in line with traditional burlesque where there are musical acts and comedy interspersed with the burlesque.

So I wouldn't do it again - but it was enjoyable from a "try something without knowing anything about it" perspective, which I go for once or twice a year.  I'm hoping for better things from the local funding of Busta Nutcracker.

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