Frisky entertainment served up by sassy performers that were dipped in a little crazy with a wonderful sprinkle of the spectacular. There is no doubt that The House of Burlesque in February 2012 at The Kings Theatre went above and beyond the rest to set the bar for the future of the local burlesque scene.
When a lover leads you to the orgasmic climax of your life you realise all that came before were average and a temporary fix. This is the case when reflecting on previous shows that had holes to be found and elements that were amateur or imperfect. Not this year!
An enthusiastic corset wearing and feather bower draped audience were crammed into a sold-out stalls and dress circle at The Kings Theatre. Strapped in and eager to be amused, they witnessed in awe the overwhelming high standard of talent from a cast of performers booked and teasingly introduced to the stage by the dramatic and emotionally unstable, Joe Black.
It is difficult to select highlights from a set that was drowned in magnificent extravagance. A sentiment reiterated by the consistently animated audience with frequent rounds of spontaneous applause, shocked gasps and wailings of laughter throughout the night.
Forced to summarise and select, personal favourites were Kitty Bang Bang with her complex, on point shoe, dance moves in the first half and flame swallowing alight nipple tassel swirling in the second, a feat that made her stripping simply a naughty bonus. Count Adriano Fettunicin’s brought a smile with his silly drunken unicycle bagpipe striptease and the kooky handsome comedic musician, Elliot Mason, who made us all giggle as he reeled of songs about his bizarre thoughts and observations while his eyeballs seem to dance independently in different directions. Catchy tunes for all the wrong reasons that felt so right!
Further sparks of genius worth a mention included the mesmerising tribal belly dancer, Leah Debrincat. Her use of what seemed to be metal / techno music combined with her flexible tattooed body and big shiny sword delivered a powerful visual experience. Craig the Incredible Hula Boy also sent us all into cheers of adoration as we watched on to a man who mastered the hula in excess and speed that would beat the tapping feet of Michael Flatley on crack!
Lighter acts that served as a ‘cherry on the top’ were returning local artist, Vie O’Lette who lightened the mood with her Beginners Guide to Tassel Swirling. Kiki Kaboom also entertained us well with her innuendo song about her pussy cat ‘scratching on the back door’. Unfortunately though her striptease was simply that. As lovely as her bottom was, Kiki’s repeated bending over in a thong was unnecessarily seedy and without a strong accompanying talent the striptease was disappointing alongside the outstanding skills from the others. The ‘striptease only’ tone was also demonstrated by the Dita Von Teese tribute, Carrie-Ann O’Dell, which of course is expected given the figures iconic historical routes in burlesque. Aside from the admiration and respect for Dita Von Teese there was no escaping its replication and lack of originality when compared to the kind of outlandish and outstanding talent demonstrated by Kitty Bang Bang and Count Adriano Fettunicin. It seems that a new generation of ‘super’ striptease burlesque performers are raising the bar in the scene beyond their piers and idols.
Finally, the master of ceremonies, teaser of all tassels and enthusiastic giver of all that is inappropriate, Joe Black was on top form and smiling from ear-to-ear in response to the resounding success of the show. The multi talented musician selected the grand piano as his instrument for the night, which added a consistent level of class that cemented the show. Fans know his capabilities in centre stage well, but Joe didn’t hog the limelight and gave us just enough of his inane improvised banter, enthusiastic artist introduction and sporadic musical treats from his repertoire of songs with beautifully grotesque subject matter.
For those that have been and gone from the audience of previous burlesque shows at The Kings Theatre feeling disappointed or only mildly entertained, its time to dust of your corsets and slap on the guy liner – House of Burlesque just got shiny, professional, stunning and even sexier!