Pop! Six! Squish! Uh Uh! Cicero! Lipschitz!
The Evolution of Burlesque
KC Fringe Festival
The lights dimmed and the audience quieted to a whisper. Slowly, 6 women came out of the dark, each to an accompanying chair.
Pop! Six! Squish! Uh Uh! Cicero! Lipschitz!
It was 'Cell Block Tango' from the musical "Chicago", one of my favorites! Each girl personified a character as the choreographed piece unfolded. One at a time the performers introduced themselves to the audience as they showed off their individual talents. By the time the song was over, the once quiet crowd was unceasingly cheering as the women left the stage.
On Tuesday, July 26th at 7:30PM, I went to see the 'Evolution of Burlesque presents the Divine Divas'; a sexy, ethnically diverse, burlesque troupe from Kansas City. Their show was called 'Burlesque through the Ages' because, as the emcee described, they were taking us on a ride in the Delorean from "Back to the Future", only the windows were stuck and the air conditioner was broken. It was hot in the MET and the girls just made it that much hotter.
The hilarious emcee introduced herself as Luna Flare, a transgender performer that kept the audience rolling in-between each act. About halfway through the show, Luna did a number of her own to the song "Rolling in the Deep". In her performance, she was left at the alter by a scantily dressed ballerina. Luna then proceeded to strip out of her wedding dress, revealing a sexy outfit and a darker side.
Nina Ross was the first performance after 'Cell Block Tango'; she danced to the song 'Jezebel', and brought an emotional song to life with her stage presence. After numerous splits and a mid-performance triple pirouette, I knew Nina had been professionally trained.
Next was Lilith Moon, the sexy show stopper who performed to 'Take it off', a short two-minute song that was not long enough to fulfill my desires. Fortunately, Lilith came back out, later in the show, wearing a tight red dress for the song 'Giving Him Something He Can Feel'. The longer five-minute performance gave Lilith a change to show us the art of the striptease as she expertly pulled her stockings off over her head and sensually removed her gloves as she strutted around the stage.
Annie-Mae Allure followed, as she pulled an audience member out of the crowd to sing 'Why Don't You do Right'. The lucky man was serenaded in a sultry tone as Annie teased him relentlessly in a Jessica Rabbit fashion. Her next piece, 'Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me' from the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" was equally well-sung as she enthralled the crowd with her thespian abilities.
The only noticeable glitch in the show was before Little Lottie Mayhem performed. The emcee had to vamp while we waited, but eventually Lottie came out dressed like Charlie Chaplin with her date, Sarah Lee Shortcake, the stagehand. The two romped around the stage to a 1920s style piano piece. Soon, the lights dimmed, Lottie's mustache came off, and the music switched to rock. Lottie began stripping to the music, but before she was done, the 1920s music came back and Sarah pulled her off the stage. It was a fresh take on an old classic.
The last performer was Sasha Livingoode with her stagehand, Diamond Dan, performing to the Elvis song 'A Little Less Conversation'. Sasha lived up to her name 'Livingoode' as she quickly convinced Diamond Dan to present her with a bracelet, a necklace, and finally an engagement ring before the short two-minute song ended. This was a quick, but cute performance that had a good response from the audience.
The show ended with another choreographed piece to the song 'Circus'. Each performer embodied a circus act; there was a lion and lion-tamer, a ringmaster, and a snake charmer with a real boa constrictor. On the last note, the Divine Divas struck a pose as the crowd burst into wild cheers.
The show was 1-hour long, but with all the action, time flew by fast. The crowd announced their sadness when the show ended with a resounding "awe". I too wished the show could have been longer. The performance pulled us into their burlesque world, and kept us there until the final bows. I would recommend the Divine Divas to anyone looking for a sexy-good time. Their last performance is this Friday, July 29th, at 6PM.
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