Evolution of Burlesque
by KC Fringe Festival
"Evolution of Burlesque," right off the bat, was just a weak production on the night of Friday, the 22nd. The lady who "vamped" before the show started (and who would continue to do so throughout the transitions of the show) was cute enough, but not really funny or charming enough to hold the position of "MC." But that forgiven, the audience transitioned into the show with a somewhat optimistic feel as to what they would soon encounter. However, what they encountered were women who seemed to have little dance experience, no singing experience, and a slightly obvious inability to walk in heels.
The first performer, "Nina Ross," as best as the audience could understand the name (given no program), was an almost-explosive performer. If she choreographed her own pieces, she did a fairly good job: such moments as the one occurring during the lyric "New Dress" were pretty much magical. Sadly, though, this particular performer's pieces (also including "Material Girl") were anti-climactic and incorporated too much time-killing (strutting around with no purpose) a little too often.
Lillith Moon's (again, apologies if the name is incorrect) first piece was a representation of a female taking on the man's role in romancing another female – a hot-enough concept, but still not quite what it should have been. The choreographer missed the boat on the potential comedy of this piece. The entire number was played far too seriously for the idea they were trying to sell. By the way, Nina Ross, who sat in a chair the whole time, stole the number with her adorable responses to Lillith's "male" come-on's. Lillith's second number, "Put a Spell on You," showcased a very sexy song, but the performance did not live up to the sound track. The choreography and quality of performance was monotonous, bland, and (it's tiresome having to repeatedly use this word) anti-climactic.
The lady who performed "Foxy Lady" was not properly introduced – and what a shame because she was one of the highlights of the show. Finally, an excellent song, and she was well-enough equipped to handle the sexuality of the song. However, the last quarter of this performance was also dedicated to far too much "time-killing," including nothing else but clumsy walking - nothing deserving of the audience's full attention.
The MC's number, "Rolling in the Deep," started off interestingly enough - after all, she was being left at the altar. But the number soon turned into a lip-synched disappointment. The emotions that a female would feel after being left at the altar were neither not fully exhibited in the strip-tease nor properly acted by the performer. Along with questionable make-up application and little to no content, the performer seemed far too distracted with how much thigh she was showing (by constantly fixing her outfit) – a particularly odd thing to worry about in a burlesque show.
The story line for the mimed number was a bit rocky, but forgiving yet another confusing performance, the audience saw a fairly cute female playing the male role in a relationship. The female who was playing the male role had some very charming moments, but she failed to completely give in to the "mime role," and many awkward moments were a result of her uncertainty in the emotion she was supposed to be playing in any given moment.
The most entertaining part of this show definitely belonged to the gentleman who acted in the Elvis song, "Satisfy Me." Admittedly, the performance kept the audience's attention and was comically valuable. But, ultimately, like the rest of the show, it was anti-climactic and was missing several things that could have made it great.
This show was just flat-out weak in almost all of its areas. It was weak in its transitions. The music cues (sometimes the wrong cue) and lights were weak. All the ladies seemed to struggle a little too much with their clothing in their attempt to get undressed. It consisted of weak dancing, weak acting, and contrived ideas. Maybe 2 of the performers even knew the entirety of the finale dance. The audience was not only worried about these stumbling heeled-women on chairs, but also about the spill that was never cleaned up which posed a threat to 3 or 4 numbers after its occurrence. This $10 production left this reviewer wanting either a whole lot more or wishing she had seen another production entirely.