Last Night

The Toledo Show - Harvelle's - 1/22/12

Comments (0)


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 9:02 AM
click to enlarge debrahartook.jpg

The Toledo Show



Walking into Harvelle's on a Sunday night is disorienting. The long rectangle of a lounge is lined with a row of red leather banquettes full of couples, ladies with shiny red lips and fur-collared jackets. A cocktail waitress drifts by in a black dress and possibly pin-curled hair. It's so smoky, it feels like you've been transported to a jazz club on the south side of Chicago.

And then there's Toledo Dimon, aka Toledo Diamond. He's concealed by a throng of people at the edge of the tiny dance floor in front of the stage. Three burlesque dancers are reclined, scissoring their fishnet-wrapped legs. His voice is rising above the din, with a come-on that wouldn't be out of place in the catalog of R. Kelly: "Opposites attract, and you look so delicious on your back."

click to enlarge DEBORAH ARLOOK
  • Deborah Arlook

The Toledo Show is Dimon's funked-up jazz night featuring scantily-dressed dancers. It's been running for well over a decade around L.A., with much of it Sunday nights at Harvelle's. A show running that long on Sunday night in Santa Monica, and the place is crammed with this many people? All of us under the impression that the Cher and Christina Aguilera's Burlesque killed off burlesque were apparently wrong.

But credit Toledo and his band as much as "The Dames," clad in lingerie, ripped fishnets, leather bonnets and cat-eye sunglasses. (One was a dead ringer for Kreayshawn, add five years). In a black romper, striped Oxford cloth, puffy polka dotted tie, hat, and ever-present cigarillo -- seriously, the man was never without a lit one; it must be part of the costume -- Toledo looked like a more chill Cab Calloway. Cradling a vintage microphone, he roamed the black-and-white checkered floor, growling to a woman, "I'm the king of the jungle, baby."

His band, The Cats, are nuanced and comfortable in the way only a band who have been playing together for years can be. Especially impressive was the saxophonist/clarinet player, who performed a solo blowing both instruments at the same time.

The Toledo Show is all very dramatic and campy, in the best possible way; I found myself laughing at every lyrical reference to sex ("Is it real, is it right? Wrap your legs around me, baby, to hold me tight"). And Toledo's a showman, no doubt about it. Remember US3's "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)"? He choreographed that, as well as danced for Janet Jackson and Sammy Davis, Jr. In other words, he knows how to sell every single line and every single leap.

Related Location

Related Content

Now Trending

  • The 50 Most Beautiful People at Coachella

    So many Coachella-goers spend months before the festival working on their tans, their outfits, their figures, and their breezy poses.  There's a real glut of fabulousness, we have to say, both among those in attendance at the Polo Grounds and the parties surrounding the festival. Here are the 50 most beautiful...
  • What Music Do Frat Guys Like?

    Frat guys were once thought to be the Neanderthals on campus, particularly when it came to their cultural tastes. But you'd be surprised the kind of music you hear at fraternity parties today - it's often more Low End Theory than fratstep.  To wrap our heads around what the bros are into, we...
  • Worst of Coachella 2014

    Coachella's first weekend was amazing this year! Except when it wasn't. Here are the parts of the festival that rubbed us the wrong way. See also: The 50 Most Beautiful People at Coachella Worst: Saturday Night dust storm (above) Conditions may not have been as bad as they were during last...

Around The Web


Los Angeles Event Tickets