Saturday, 9/20: the Saturday Spectacular at Le Poisson Rouge
By J.D. Oxblood
Photos by T-Bone Caruthers, Willy G., and Jane Smith
[***3 kisses indicate J.D.’s faves.]
The crowd at the Saturday Spectacular was decidedly older and more well-heeled. And completely sold out. Turns out that getting people to the West Village is easier than getting people to Gowanus—who knew?—and the place was weirdly, if not wisely, laid out to accommodate VIPs at tables close to the stage and standing room only everywhere else. Which is to say that if you didn’t pay the tab or have the connections to score a dope seat, you couldn’t get within fifty feet of the stage. My entourage and I were lucky enough to find a quaint little spot wedged in between the exit door and upstage left, putting us in the path of performers entering from stage left (Trixie Little rubbed up against me! I’ll never wash that shoulder!) and I had the added pleasure of having Jo Boobs sit right in front of me for the first act in her civvies. It isn’t just that she’s so hot, you dig?—like any man, I can get hot pushed in close to a middle-aged Puerto Rican woman on the morning G train—but, this woman is, like, a legend. You can feel it steaming off her. And I am honored to be so close.
The live band—The Fisherman Burlesque Orchestra—opened with some nice cheesy 60s game show music, and Murray Hill came on to host. Murray is not so much a dyke in drag as a drag in dyke. No, seriously folks, I love him, and I’m pretty sure that everyone who ever wanted to fuck Don Rickles is dying to fuck Murray Hill. No, really, I kid—where else can you find a middle-aged salesman in polyester with a voice as high as Geddy Lee’s? Murray did an opening song—“Show Biz”—with backup dancers, and then, boom, straight to the advertising. But I don’t mind commercials for Secrets in Lace lingerie, especially when it’s presented by the reigning queens of the New York burlesque scene tricked out in pointy 50s brassieres shaking their grind things to “It’s Getting’ Hot in Herre.” Smokin’.
Vixen Violette, of Los Angeles, cowgirled it up in a red and pink hat and chaps with fringe, creatively using her chaps as fans later in the act. A full-figured brunette, Vixen is cute and definitely sexy, with absolutely flawless skin. I don’t know how she managed to hide her guns in that corset, but I always think that licking the barrel of your gun is a nice touch. It shows you mean business. And it was refreshing to see a woman from L.A. with homegrowns instead of storeboughts.
Miss Aurora Boobrealis came in with straight-up Tina Turner hair and a black empire waist shift, doing a nice slow chair dance to Tina’s “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” When she lost the dress she whipped the wig off to reveal a shaggy mohawk, pumping it to Missy Elliot’s “Supa Dupa Fly”—which, yes, contains a sample from “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” This girl knows her hiphop history. She finished by wriggling into a plastic bag fatsuit—referencing Missy’s video. Love that high-concept shit.
Have I told you how much I love Gigi La Femme? I mean, the girl is bangin’ gorgeous, tall, thin, brunette, like a Barbie Doll but sluttier. This is the kind of girl you really want to take home to meet your mom—just maybe not your pervy uncle. AND she did her spanking routine, previously described (passionately) in these pages, to the Gorillaz’ “Every Planet We Reach Is Dead.” I won’t go into it again, except to say that I don’t think I can stand to see that act more than six or seven hundred more times. Then I have to join in.
San Francisco’s Delilah pulled some act involving balloons… not a full balloon act, but there was some popping and then… balloon animals. I won’t go into what this reminds me of, but let’s just say I lost wood. Miss Delirium Tremens entered with one breast already out of her dress, all in red, red sparkly bra, heels, long black gloves, grinding it to Tom Waits’ “Temptation.” The panties and pasties were glittery red and Murray claimed to be “a kid in a candy shop.” I really love the way Murray keeps the performers onstage AFTER the act. I know he’s just a perv who wants to ogle a bit longer, but so are we, and his bedside manner is all kinds of charming. Keep ‘em up there, Murray, keep ‘em chatting, keep ‘em happy, and let us stare at their lovely bodies still glistening with sweat. Props.
Boston’s Black Cat burlesque is one-half theatre and one-half red hot goodness. To a cover of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch,” a big girl in a witch costume did a standard strip tease as a hairy guy snarled on a table. As she was bouncing and twirling her tassels, the guy disappeared and reappeared as a snarling wolfman and mauled her. She exits, enter Red Riding Hood, who does a lovely pas de deaux with the wolf—whereupon he rips off her gingham dress, revealing no bra, just lovely littles with tiny pasties. And a perfect Little Red she was, thin and delicate and dying to be defiled. I think it was the folded lace socks and Mary Janes that did me in. He takes her skirt off to reveal ruffled spanking shorts, and she stabs him and eats his heart out. Fantastic.
Amber Ray in a big poofy taffeta skirt, feather fan and a headdress. There were technical difficulties and her mic never came on—but Dionysus bless her, what a hard worker, she still did her best to belt out “What Lola Wants, Lola Gets” over the music and the din of the crowd. A tight white corset only accentuated her generosity above and below. After the act Murray kept her onstage to reprise the song along with the drummer. Sheer professionalism, Amber.
***Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey crept in under darkness in black sequined catsuits; she lifted him; she did a handstand and fell into him. As he held her she took off her hood to free her glowing blond locks—why is such a simple act so dreadfully erotic? I truly love these two. As she stripped he did a series of lifts, and the dramatic climax was Monkey holding her above his head, her body bent and curved like half a pretzel, and he dropped her, her legs and arms curved around him, catching her on his shoulders, then dropping her again to his waist, then again to the floor. The room’s collective breath gasped. He washed it all down by holding the fogger up and shooting fog all over her body as she writhed in the smoke like a twisted little Marilyn. Murray asked when they were moving to New York. No shit. What the fuck is in Baltimore, anyway?
***Mimi First. Mmmm Mimi. Murray said, “What a knockout!” as she was standing in the wings, and he wasn’t joking. I don’t remember what she did I just know I want her. Ok, half true. She did a straight-ahead 4/4 rock grind with some unnecessary suitcase backdrop—the props were road signs that she held up as view-blockers, decent jokes—speed bump, curves, headlights. But all that truly mattered was the girl—fantastically gorgeous, face of a demonic angel, body that ought to get her arrested. Mimi needs to visit from Chicago more often—and I hope she’ll keep me warm when I go to visit. When the dress came off she had chains hanging off her undies. Chains, people. Mimi begged the question that often agitates me in burlesque: would she be this hot if she weren’t taking her clothes off? And all I can say is yes. I saw her in the crowd at Sunday’s show and, even in a room full of stupidly hot women, she stood out.
***Getting ahead of myself. Speaking of chains, we all know how gorgeous Ruby Valentine is—like Marilyn Monroe with a slightly long nose, which, personally, I prefer. You want something rubbing up against your belly, if you catch my drift. But who knew Ruby did black patent leather? Imagine Marilyn as a dominatrix and you’re well on your way to the personal heaven I was enjoying. Black patent leather bra, corset, skirt—a skirt that unzipped at the ass. She lost the tall black boots only to replace them with shorter ones with heels. Oh. My. God. Taking shoes off and putting them back on? If I had more of a shoe fetish I would have needed to leave. And she strutted around with a flogger and a riding crop. Boots off, garters off, slow unbuckling, zip corset, ultra-slow roll-down of the hose, and, yes, she has a black heart tattooed on the right side of her lower back. And just for grins, she threw on a white sheer nightie to exit. Dear Ruby: I’ve been a very bad boy….
The Amazing Knicker Kittens, from Sweden, are hot in the way that a sorority mixer is hot. There are a lot of them (five—that’s ten tits with silver tassels), they’re all gorgeous in completely different ways, and none of them are going out with you. I don’t know how much experience you have with Swedish women, but, for the most part, they travel in packs, they’re incredibly protective of each other, and most of them have little or no experience with dating anyway. The thing in Sweden is to just get drunk and hook up—kind of like Long Island City. And these girls are all lesbians anyway. So just imagine the shorter brunette and the hot blond working on each other and leave it at that. White corsets, headdresses, feathers, a kind of line dance—very Vegas showgirl, hot like a Maserati—sleek and gorgeous, but you know you’re not getting into one.
The Incredible, Edible Akynos, with the incredible, ununderstandable name, did Janet Jackson moves in a black hat, and impressed me with her ability to actually dance and actually lip synch. And the world Famous *BOB* is just so much woman. She did a martini pour, plugging for Hendricks, of course, putting the shaker in between “the twins” and shaking, holding the strainer in her mouth and leaning over to pout perfectly into a martini glass.
***Melody Sweets, a New Yorker who was new to me, strutted on in a big white fur coat and a Scary Spice fright wig and impossible platforms, and sang her heart out as a doppelganger basically naked in white-silver Butoh body paint crept up behind her and began undressing her. By the time the strobe lights came on I was already on the edge of an epileptic seizure. Melody can truly sing, the both of them are unbelievably sexy, and their writhing together was like a futuristic advertisement for safe lesbian sex.
It has been the year of Prince, and Lux La Croix, from Los Angeles, looked more like him than anything we’ve seen. It was “Let’s Go Crazy” as Prince did a mad jump to the splits, busted moves while stripping down to a woman’s body with the Prince beard and mullet. True gender-bending, and the crowd went wild. First rule of burlesque: If you think you know what turns you on… you haven’t been paying attention.
Dr. Lukki did something with a carousel horse, complete with a big pole, eventually transforming herself into Lady Godiva. I didn’t get it. But fortunately, San Francisco’s The Flying Fox executed the most creative wardrobe display of the evening. Stunning, with short dark hair, she entered in a white fur-lined robe, revealed a black tuxedo, pulled it off to reveal a black sparkly evening gown, pulled THAT off to reveal a vest with men’s boxer shorts and sock garters, then down to a vest and sparkly panties, finally moving to pasties. The costume was the act and she pulled it off, literally.
Dirty Martini unveiled a brand-new act in a pinstriped suit. A Mafioso-inspired act, complete with the theme from “The Godfather,” it included brass knuckles, a gun, and, of course, stripping. Always pushing the envelope, Dirty had one leg on the press table as she started to undress, and by the time she started dancing with a knife she was all over the front row. How this woman can move.
The Schlep Sisters recreated the old testament in blond wigs and desert robes. I think Moses would have approved of the neon bikini finish, but the rest felt like… yeshiva. It’s tricky, mixing education with eroticism, and I need more of the latter. People, Jewish girls are hot. Judaism? Not so hot. I start thinking about circumcision and the holocaust and Palestinian kids with rubber bullets in their knees. And, really, all I want is to sniff a fucking etrog and lick some hairy pussy. The most cerebral inspiration I got from this act was wondering… is that The Hooters? Yes, “All You Zombies.” Kids, ask your parents about the 80s.
After intermission Angie Pontani did her Hendricks Gin ad from Friday, and I didn’t mind seeing it again. The thing about Angie’s body is it’s just… so… perfect. She gives teenage girls complexes about their bodies everywhere she goes. And is she really banging an NFL player or did Murray say that just to aggravate us? Yes, Murray, I know I’m not fucking Angie, but guess what? Neither are you.
Nasty Canasta in a black sparkle dress, boa, heels, gloves, smoking, and I think that was “Begin the Beguine.” So classy. Oh, and the Groucho Marx nose/glasses. My that Groucho has a hot ass. The big payoff was the reveal—pasties and panties are, indeed, Groucho noses. And the cigarette went right in the crotch. Nasty continues to be one the most creative voices on the New York scene.
Announcer Scott Rayow & Anita Cookie—she’s just so cute!—did an advertisement for Secrets in Lace, with Cookie trying stuff on until she starts stuffing her bra and playing around and Scott has to chase her off. Cookie’s so drunk she probably doesn’t remember it.
***Jo Boobs dedicated her act to Sherry Britton, a 40s burlesque artist who entertained the troops in WWII, and was working with Jo until her death earlier this year at the age of 89. Look her up, dawgs, she was guh-guh-gorgeous. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/04/02/2008-04-02_burlesque_legend_sherry_britton_dies.html
And this is why I love Jo Boobs—she consistently reminds me of the Louis Jordan line, “I know I ain’t common cause I got class I ain’t even used yet.” It was a seven veils-ish act, cranked up when she whipped out a hairbrush and brushed her hair over her namesakes. And yes, she spanked Murray with it after. Jo, I’m coming after you for an interview this fall—you’re a fucking legend.
If you ever wondered what Peekaboo Pointe would look like as a brunette, I have to quote Paris on this one: hot. Fucking flammable. White sparkle skirt slit aaaaall the way up, her top barely covering the good stuff, bare belly flat as Nebraska. She did the back bend tassel twirl and the crowd ate it up.
Little Brooklyn came out in a hawk’s beak and chicken feet. I just can’t, people. I’m sorry, I gots to draw the line at chickens. Even if you are doing the “Pigeon” from Bert and Ernie.
The World Famous Pontani Sisters are world famous for a reason. They don’t take their clothes off. And you know why? THEY DON’T HAVE TO. Chicago-style chair act, the three of them taking turns at downstage center, classy, black lingerie, smoking hot with clandestine bedroom rigor. Controlled, well-executed, flawless. Superlatives fail at describing these women. And how Angie can manage a festival of this size and still perform with such grace is truly admirable—you try handling all these divas.
London’s Desmond O’Conner had some balls to come onstage not only as a man, not only in a tux, but with a fucking ukulele. I wanted to throw something, but—wait for it—the kid is good. That fast-patter London ‘tude, he did one humorous song about fake tits and then asked if we wanted a nice love song or if we wanted to go to the other side of filth. We chose the latter, he delivered both: a nice little ditty about necrophilia. “If I want to get your legs around my neck I’ll have to break them first.” Nasty.
***Australia’s Amelia Wood is a true show-stopper. She came on barefoot and tried on the silver glittery shoe displayed on a short column pedestal, a striking contrast to her dowdy dress and birth-control glasses. She went crazy, a dance montage—from the “Chicken Dance” to the Charleston to Pulp Fiction to AC/DC to Sean Paul’s “Get Busy,” and the glasses came off and the dress—revealing a perfectly athletic body, flat belly, fantastic ass—and before I even saw that low-slung chair, she was grabbing her shoe pedestal, lying back in the chair, and foot juggling in heels. True circus spectacular, a genuine foot balancing act with fantabulous gams during which she managed to get her panties off. Murray gave her his address, and I planned to stake out Murray’s place and kidnap the little Ozzie.
Chicago’s Michelle L’Amour gave me another reason to visit Chi-town. What the hell is going on out there? Michelle is fucking hot as hell! And what a costume—a tight, diamond print top with a skirt made of orange strips. Short dark hair, a lovely face, and a sultry style all her own, she stepped on the fingers of her glove to pull it off. During the tune’s drum solo she shook her ass, barely bouncing on her heels, a kind of backwards bouncing moonwalk that took her, ass first, all around the stage, for what felt like ten minutes. Miss Exotic World 2005, ladies and gentleman, and half the room’s fantasy for the next… well, two minutes.
***Because this is Murasaki Babydoll, a troupe from Japan with four—count ‘em—four Japanese hot-asses. Schoolgirl outfits, neon wigs, shaking it hard as hell, and when the schoolmaster came out they stripped him and spanked him, then stripping themselves down to white fringe bikini tops, then losing those and busting an encore in pasties and tiny fringe bottoms. The Japanese practically corner the market in the ability to mix cute with sexy, and these four are no exception. Fun, wild, exhilarating.
***Gravity Plays Favorites is a duo of dykes and, yes, they’re big girls. Which only makes it more intoxicating when they get gnarly circus on your asses. “Hey, Ricky, you’re so fine,” and one of them is Lucy-d up and the other is all Ricky, and they brought their own pole and proceeded to use it. They both stripped and did tandem pole work, not only shaming every stripper in NYC, but actually holding each other up. One locks legs around the pole upside down, wraps her arms around the other’s shoulders, and the other takes her legs OFF the pole. Incredible. These are some strong, sexy, talented women, and they managed to ratchet up the audience to a state of near exhaustion.
And Tigger! gets the closing slot, busting Betty Davis’ “Nasty Girl” in “Clan of the Cave Bear” drag, exploding into a strobe light as a mostly-naked man came on and got down with Tigger! until (She? He?) stabbed him. Tigger!’s been hanging out with Creamy Stevens or some shit, and I felt slightly robbed at not seeing his penis. I mean, we expect it.
Amelia Wood, Michelle L’Amour, Murasaki Babydoll and Gravity Plays Favorites were like a steady escalation, great programming, whipping everyone into a frenzy and making me want to lie back, light a cigarette, and maybe take a nap. Truly satisfying, and some of the hottest entertainment to be had at any price. If you missed it, you missed out.