Chicago Teases for the Strip

Check out what I did last Friday!!

I have contributed a show recap piece to www.ChicagoBurlesque.org

The Burlesque Hall of Fame (BHoF) in Las Vegas, Nevada is something too rare that this community as a whole cannot lose. Sin City would seem to make the perfect archival home for keeping the rich history of burlesque alive, however its specific location has been overrun with the construction of the adjacent transit highway. And so, what is the BHoF to do, in order to properly preserve its precious gems? Well, those assels gotta get movin’! With the ever growing burlesque community and with room to spare for legends in the making, it is only fitting that the BHoF be relocated to an even lovelier and most of all, secure place to call home.

The organization’s goal was to raise $20,000 to cover relocation & memorabilia preservation expenses, with the deadline of September 1st. For months, various burlesque troupes worldwide have been producing shows with proceeds going to BHoF. On Friday night–the last day’til deadline, five shows across the continent were gracing the stage in BHoF’s honor. Though Chicago boasted the largest production of the fundraiser’s final night!

The Kiss Kiss Cabaret, along with its sponsors put on a fabulous show at their resident stage, the Greenhouse Theater. It was a great turnout of hootin’ and hollerin’ spectators to enjoy what was close to a 3 hour show. And what better way to high-kick off the Labor Day festivities.

Every seat is a great seat but if you want the performers to interact with you, get there early to grab the front row at stage level.  However, sitting up front doesn’t always get the attention you want drawn to yourself. Ahem… especially if you show up late, or if you get up to pee during the show. It probably doesn’t matter where you sit with the intimate setting. The host will rip at you and so, no one is safe. This is a burlesque show after all.

Only the chosen ones would know, but backstage must have been a better view. We could only imagine what it’s like to be surrounded by Chicago’s best of burlesque! And we thank you, beauties of: the Kiss Kiss Coquettes, Gorilla Tango Burlesque, Michelle L’amour’s Chicago Starlets, Belmont Bombshells, Hot & Heavy Burlesque, the Dolls of Doom, Plan 9, Angel Burlesque (Indianapolis), and other local independent artists devoting their time and talents.

All of the dancers were a joy to watch, but there were a few who left quite an impression on me…

Chicago Starlet, Honey Halfpint, spun her feather boa ring through her gyrating body. And I loved the surprise of her song choice, an R&B track taking myself back to middle school singing along. Indeed, her dancing “was like whoa!”

The ever so delightful Ray Ray Sun-shine, certainly delivered. She created a scene waiting for her lover, only to find a sparkly dildo sent to her door! She danced with it, stripped down for it, and happily ran away with her love into the sunset!

Tila Von Twirl teased the audience, hiding her sweet body with big feathered fans. Dancing to a number called “Hot Crossed Buns” she later revealed to us a very tasty treat…big, delectable, cinnamon buns!

Gorilla Tango Burlesque’s MsPixy thrilled everyone as a nerd girl and gigantic spider. I liked their comedic twist to the show!

Southern belle, Angela Eve, was incredibly sharp with her choreography. Spinning around in her beautiful gown, peeling off layers of beads and coins, she tore up the stage stronger than Hurricane Isaac ever could!

Nearly naked women weren’t the only entertainment of the night. We laughed the night away with comedic performances of:Brad French the Silver Fox Juggler, The Amazing Tomas the magician with hilarious impersonations, and Ken Raabe of the Claptrap Band singing about a dinosaur orgy?!

Marie Curieosity presented a super clever piece of Batgirl having an identity crisis. And with the magic of makeup, she turned into the Joker right before our eyes!

Hosting the show was Max Flattery, soliciting more donations for the BHoF, asking audience members to throw money on stage …to keep his clothes ON! But as any burlesque show goes, he dutily stripped down to heart printed boxers and red sequin tassels.

Ticket sales and dollar tossing weren’t the only ways to donate. A silent auction was held in the theater lobby, presenting an array of coveted items such as signed photos of burlesque legends to beautifully beaded costumes.

It was a definitive night for the city, with an eccentric collection of Chicago’s greatest burlesque troupes: from classic, to nerdy, rocker to comical…. And what do they all have in common?! The love for BOOBIES!

The finale number was a dream scene, with all the ladies on the stage. Jack Midnight sang of all the great things about Chicago, with the glamorous visual of sparkly costumes flying and titty tassels twirling!

Even before the show started, the Burlesque Hall of Fame had already reached its goal. By the end of the night, $5000 of which was presented on a giant check signed by the Kiss Kiss Cabaret, representing the generous donors of Chicago! At time of print, the BHoF has collected over $23,500!  Now, Chicago wasn’t “teasing for the strip.” I think we got down to business when it came to reaching BHoF’s fundraising goal!

For more info on the Burlesque Hall of Fame and how you can donate, please visit http://burlesquehall.com/2012/08/pleasegive/

About the contributor, Di’ Lovely
Hailing from San Diego, California, Di’ Lovely (of The Caburlesque Kittens) is a recent transplant to Chicago.  With her move to a city of rich history in burlesque, this exotic beach Babe is enjoying a sort of burlesque reawakening in her journey as a performer. Keep up with Di’ Lovely and ‘LIKE’ her profile at www.Facebook.com/MissDiLovely.

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