On “Revealed” Under St. Mark’s

Bastard Keith, Madame Rosebud & Minnie Tonka. Sketch by Luma Rouge

Last Wednesday—I know, I know, but aren’t we all running a little behind? ‘Tis the season for tardiness, crankiness, and all-round bad cheer—I managed to wrap up my other nonsense and slip down into the basement Under St. Mark’s just in time. I had come with a purpose: to see Minnie Tonka’s “Revealed” debut. Madame Rosebud greeted me warmly, called me her “favorite pervert”—which I don’t believe for a second, not with B.K. standing right there—and rubbed some body glitter on my face. Miss Astrid’s words were dancing through my mind like sugar plum fairies: “Body glitter: the herpes of burlesque.” The crowd was already rowdy, passing bottles of wine and yukking it up like extras, and somebody reeked of reefer—or maybe it was my wishful thinking. Minnie stood off to the side in a boxer’s silk robe decked out with a larger-than-life star of David on the back, ready for the ring. The joint was frigid, the twin turkeys already done.

Enter Bastard Keith, striding pimp-like in a suit and tie—he claimed it was decorated with seagulls, but they looked more like frigates to me—and spectators from hell: red and black two-tone shoes. With verve and swagger, he launches into “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” complete with old-school crooner glee and new-school pervy asides between lyrics. He’s a belter, that one, and even an old Grinch like me was touched. (Insert your own joke: something about “touched” the way a priest touches you, “touched” as in “touched in the head,” etc.) After the song, he immediately starts to tool mercilessly on “the crazy guy in the second row” who has “the stare of a rapist.” Not for nothing, this guy looked like someone Nurse Ratched would send to the rubber room. But we came here for something more than just Bastard’s clever patter.

I hadn’t seen Perle Noir perform since Vegas, and seeing her from three feet away only cemented what I already believed: insanely, obliteratingly hot. Yellow showgirl headpiece, bangles on her skirt hem ringing our arousal, heel-walking barefoot, Perle brings the house down around her with a flip of the wrist. This woman is the prototype of her phenotype. If you like women you can pick your teeth with, she ain’t for you, but if you like her type—and seriously, who doesn’t?—she is drop-to-your-knees, die-of-desire, slap-your-girlfriend’s-mama hot. And she lives in New York? Why don’t we see her more often?

Speaking of type, have you seen Jezebel Express lately? I know, most of you men out there are too fucking proud to admit what you really like—that middle-school era bullshit wherein you only admit to being hot for the girls that everyone else you know has already said—out loud, in the cafeteria—“she’s hot.” And most of you women are too kindly—and/or fearful of judgment—to admit when someone is NOT hot. Unless she’s bangin’ the boy you want, dig. So let’s be honest: Jezebel is a Whole Lotta Rosie, and she’s not making any apologies. But she’s totally, totally hot. I’d love to test my theory—show of hands versus secret ballot: men, would you like to roll around with Jezebel? Discuss. BTW, J.E. pulled a simple high-concept holiday strip: wrapping presents, she wrapped her own clothes.

((What? I know I’m a week late already—I’m writing it now. I’ll have it online in a half hour. What? With THIS salary? Fucking editors fucking Xmas fucking fucking…))

Ok, I gotta wrap this up. Other fabulous highlights of the night included Kobayashi Maru in a white gossamer skirt ACTUALLY lit up by Xmas lights. Super cool and I wished that reek of reefer had been passing me by. Candy cane stripes and all, KM, minty fresh. Dixie Dynamite read the “Doc Wassabasco” part of an email exchange between “Doc” and Bastard Keith, and the girl has such a sultry, sexy southern voice I didn’t even need to see her to be aroused. Although she looks damn sexy, too. And Gigi la Femme—what a hottie—had such a simple touch, the detail that sticks in your mind—back to the audience, about to take it off, she turned her head, looked at the audience, and NODDED before the reveal. As if to say, yes, you want it. Such showomanship. Remember, according to Bastard Keith, the stated goal of the night was “turgidity.” BTW, Keith, with the way that suit fits, I can tell your religion from here. Speaking of, as Bastard’s monologue deteriorated he only got funnier, ripping on Joe Lieberman and plugging his own upcoming show. “We’re gonna party like it’s 5770.” The best thing about being Jewish is they’re “always in the future.” And this zinger—“We’re still screwing each other through a hole in the sheet, so suck it, Catholics!” Hmmm… he wants a catholic to suck it… why does that ring true to me…. Keith even called me out, introducing me to the crowd as the “iconoclastic writer/douchebag of burlesque.” I should be pissed. It’s “iconographic.”

But then, there’s what got me out in the first place. Minnie Tonka. Do you like Jewish girls? Coz I love ‘em. Minnie, to answer your question, I think we’re in the low teens over here, though it’s sometimes hard to be certain. But I was straight-up about how I learned about the etrog and Sukkot. Anyway, kids, I LIKE Jewish girls, and if you ever dated a Baptist you know why. And Minnie is just so chot, you know? So… intriguing. I’m not putting it well, I know, but how and why you’re attracted to someone is ultimately ineffable. And yes, my job is to express the ineffable, which is why I usually take notes, but it’s impossible to take notes when Minnie Tonka is taking her clothes off in front of you. Or putting them on. Reverse strip. Entered in towel, lost it, slowly slipped into polka dots. I couldn’t have been happier. Sure, you see a woman and imagine her naked. Taking something off. But watching a woman get DRESSED is ultimately more intimate. You’ve seen many women take their clothes OFF—on TV, at strip clubs, whatever. But when you see a woman put her clothes ON it usually means that something heavier has just occurred. Your brain is hardwired to putting these things together. And Minnie, it was a lovely, lovely time. Call me.


(Marvel Comics? BK, your antecedents are showing.)

Kiss kiss,


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