In the heart of West Hollywood, at Bar Lubitsch, a back room is blocked off by a simple red curtain with a sign informing the audience that photos/videos are prohibited during the show. This is to preserve the mood of Olivia Bellafontaine's unique show, but it has left the show shrouded in mystery, turning it into nightlife folklore.
As the opening routine came to a close on a recent night, it was clear that all sense of this being a mere burlesque show was shed along with the dancers' clothes. There are burlesque elements, no doubt, but the show twists into a euphoric experience, teasing the audience with eroticism and taunting them with disturbing images.
Despite an early prop hiccup that caused a short delay, the breezy 75-minute show swept up the audience members and rarely let them breathe until the very end. All performers played to their strengths: contortion, fetish, floorwork, etc., allowing the show to constantly switch gears but retain its sinister tone throughout. Each performer was entertaining but serving a calculated purpose in the overall arc of the show. This was the second in a three-show series for House of Red Velvet — and this is the fan favorite.
For those feeling a little burned out from the oversaturated burlesque scene, I'd highly recommend looking here for salvation. Best to have a strong stomach, though.
All photos by Daniel J. Sliwa
Tucked away in downtown Long Beach, in Harvelle's Underground, Seduction: Classic Burlesque Stripshow offered a voyeuristic eye into the mad genius that is Tim Burton. Equally twisted and titillating, this unique show manages the difficult task of balancing sinister performances with a dash of dark humor for good measure. Batman, Beetlejuice, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Big Eyes and Nightmare Before Christmas come to life before the audience, with quality costume and set creations, accompanied by trivial musings from creator Bobbie Burlesque, a boylesque performer himself. Burton would be proud.
Tim Burton Burlesque is part of the regular Seduction: Classic Burlesque Stripshow, held every third Saturday at Harvelle's in Long Beach. All photos by Daniel J. Sliwa
On Sunday, Oct. 30, at El Cid, the Sultry Sweet Burlesque & Variety Show presented Asylum, a twisted look into the insane, dark, perverted and demented medical staff and patients of a sexy mental hospital. The show featured performances by Leggy Lass Greenleaf, Erica Snap, Sin Twisted, Galaxy Jax, Cherish Bliss, Mercury Troy, Veronica Voss, Audrey Deluxe, Angie Cakes, Maya Papaya, Dolly Danger, Teena Pugliese, Robin Switch, Hazel LeRue and the Kittens (Miss Spent Youth and Battyna Sin). The whole thing was hosted by Enoch Augustus Scott.
The evening was filled with songs and screams, as there was an onstage lobotomy and patients were chased and dragged across the stage, underwent electric shock therapy and tormented the crowd, and nails were hammered into noses. Sin Twisted took the stage for a contortion act that was sure to make anyone cringe.
Horror and striptease. What more could you ask for on a Halloween weekend?
All photos by Ernie Manrique
Dressed as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Brad, Janet and the rest of the gang, members of the burlesque troupe The Hollywood Jane Revue, well, undressed as they sent up the 1975 cult-classic musical comedy The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Beneath the spotlights at Rockwell Table and Stage, the troupe's members performed to classics like "Sweet Transvestite" and "Time Warp," taking the already titillating subject matter and amping up the sex appeal.
The spot-on costumes and enthusiastic performances made for a spectacle that was equal parts grandiose and grotesque, kind of like the original. And the audience played its part, too, shouting every requisite "fuck you."
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a bunch of talented, powerful, sassy women sang, danced and stripped for the audience — and everyone lived happily ever after.
On Thursday night, the Three Clubs in Hollywood was transformed into a fairytale land for the Disney themed A Whole Newd World. The caburlesque group, Cherry Poppins, took the audience on an NSFW adventure with a loose plot that follows the virgin, Little RoHo, into the Knock Shop, where she learns lessons of love, life and sex from her Cherry Godmother, TinkerTwat, and the rest of the crew.
Winter is coming ... but Dirty Little Secrets will warm you up with a sendup of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones. It was equal parts parody and thematic burlesque stylings in the basement of Harvelle's Bar in Long Beach. Quality costuming, props and set pieces accompanied the performance.