Anything dubbed “burlesque” these days is code for “Renaissance Faire with pasties” — overly tattooed hip people living out their bump-and-grind, titty-shaking fantasies onstage while paying customers gawk. But we have something a bit more special in Big Willie's Burlesque. Willie McNeil is a drummer who sits front and center and is just as compelling as the T&A that surrounds him. In his Panama hat and retro suit and tie, he flails his sticks with the panting look of a teenager peeking into a ladies' locker room. And his band swings hard — a six-piece, horns-and-all troupe that provides a steamy, lowdown backdrop. McNeil celebrates his new CD Bunny Girl at the swanky Edison, where you should really dress up.

Thu., April 7, 2011

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