by J.D. Oxblood
(Thursday, April 21, 2011)
I always like to see a new show—new producers, new performers, new acts—you name it. And I especially like to see a new show by performers I heart, and I REALLY like to see a new show that plunges to new depths of kink and depravity. So welcome to “Shame and Ecstasy,” a new monthly (Third Thursday) show at Galapagos, brought to you by the white-hot demon vixens Madame Rosebud and Marlo Marquise.
This show has rules: Expressing your excitement is mandatory; no self-stimulation (and the old guy in the trenchcoat had me worried); no phones; no photographs (the enclosed were captured and disseminated with the producer’s permission. Contrary to what some photography shows may lead you to believe, cameras and photographers are usually allowed—welcomed, even—at most burlesque shows. This is NOT one of those shows, so leave your camera at home.)
That lovable scumbag Bastard Keith is our host—shocking—and he leads with “These Boots Were Made for Walking” and does it more Frank than Nancy. (There are about six jokes packed into that sentence, so read it again.) The dance, however, was all Nancy. Fitting tune since our theme tonight is the SHOE FETISH—and check out this super hottie in the front row all in white with white platform come-fuck-me stilettos. Her name is Kelly, she’s English or Australian or Pretentious, her girlfriend (lover? I didn’t probe) is uber cool and tomboy-hot, and Kelly will walk on your back in those shoes for NO CHARGE. Or, she’ll walk on mine, anyway. Seem to have lost her number….
NO SELF-STIMULATION! Curtains open Darenzia, far deep stage left stretching on a chaise in a simple red dress, rubbing her legs; the stage at Galapagos is massive, often swallowing, but in this instance is epic, the back wall washed in green light as this stunning, gamine brunette limbers up like a cat rising from a moonbeam nap. The music, of course, is Portishead, “Over,” super-creepy, and this damsel of the dark rises and twirls en pointe across the glacial stage. When the gloves and dress are gone, the lighting washes to purple and she’s spinning in revealing vinyl.
(Dear Darenzia: please teach me some new words. I don’t know what to call that brassiere you were wearing—it wasn’t a bra, your boobies were hanging over it. And was that a kind of corset? Coz it had the robust flavor of Wonder Woman underwear, stopping low and cradling all the good stuff below. Teach me to be more fetish-fluent. I’ll be such a good student.)
She sits, cuts off the pointe shoes’ ribbons with scissors, and steps into a pair of red platform heels whose heels are, naturally, buttplugs.
Aaaand that’s the opening. And yes, some technical issues, and no, nobody fucking cared. This is live theatre, it’s their first show, and the audience is truly forgiving because everyone is either wet or hard. Or both.
Marlo Marquise sets the stage twistedly, flanked by two stage kittens bent over stumps, stilettos in the air akimbo. Marlo smokes, shakes her ass, and a third kitten peels off her gloves. As Marlo pulls her dress over her head casual-serious, I dig on all the kittens having a uniform look—like them Robert Palmer videos, they’re all in simple black leotards, all brunette, hair pulled back. The two upended have torches stuck into their shoes, and their purpose is as holders for Marlo’s fire eating act, which ends impressively with a backbend—like doing a backbend tassel twirl for a finale, only Marlo bends upside down towards the audience holding a flaming torch in her mouth. Hot, obs.
Madame Rosebud—who we’ve watched transform from a plain brunette to blue-, then red-mohawked—has been rocking the bouncy blonde wigs lately, and tonight’s act is a Frenchie McFrencherson jaunt with an ostrich feather headdress and a fun, spring teal dress. She works the catwalk and the season is changed—this is far more bouncy bouncy than anything we’ve seen yet, but I know Rosebud’s work too well so I know we’re going downhill from here. She busts open a bottle of champagne and drinks it from her high-heeled slipper, gets hot and ditches the dress. The curtain rises and she climbs the stage and begins crawling up a 10-foot A-frame ladder decorated with shoes—stopping to molest a kitten, of course. She gets two steps up the ladder and stops to suck on a heel. It only gets worse—we get the tit fuck from a heel, the ass cleavage fuck from a heel—every few steps more moans and groans from the besotted ‘Bud… and while all that is super, um, engorging, I was caught up in just how crazily sexy it is to watch a girl in stilettos scale an A-frame ladder. Calves bulging… Ok, my kinks are showing.
Bastard Keith takes a moment to further harass Hot Kelly in the front row—“You’re so hot,” he says, “Every time you talk smoke comes out my penis hole.” He then barks us through the best runway show I’ve ever seen—a tour of fetish footwear. Kitten Joey Bones rocks the patent leather pump, Rachel Jean the 7 ½ inch gladiator sandal—and to think some girls say 7 ½ isn’t enough—and Anya the over-the-knee stiletto boot. And THEN Darenzia walks down the stairs and onto the catwalk in ballet heels—these are the shoes that so creeped me out when Kristina Nekyia rocked them at the NYBF—woof, SO hot. And Darenzia is a fucking pro—after stopping halfway to flex some ballet moves on the rail, Bastard Keith gives her shit about only walking half the catwalk, and THIS savage jaguar goes ALL the way to the back of the house and turns around blazing double raised middle fingers. I’m not sure if BK can take both of those fingers—especially with those nails—but I’m sure he’ll try.
The aerialist Lisa Natoli has a special place in my heart, offering up—before she even executes a single trick—what I can only call “rigging porn.” Yes, I once worked for the circus, and assisted our rigger—and while that sounds dirty, a rigger is the guy who affixes all the apparatus to the “ceiling” so that aerialists don’t fall down and DIE. Because that does fucking happen. Usually, circus height acts use a web, a ring, drapes—some kind of something that the audience sees—which is then attached to other things. So I just got a boner when I saw that Natoli was going to do an act right on a span set. Rigging gear as performance apparatus. Totally bare bones. SO hot. RIGHT? Ok, I give up—there are like 5 people in the city who know why this is hot. ANYway, Natoli is hot in her own right—short-cropped dark hair, the stunning, athletic, well-defined back that got us all so hot for dancers and aerialists back in our 20s (ok, me, anyway) and turns in some great tricks, including a nice roll from high up to a catch at her shoulders, a dead hang from her ankles, and a climax of a neck hang. Descending to the floor she proves that she also knows how to walk.
Ok, I’m starting to ramble so if you’ve read this far you can guess that the final act features producers Madame Rosebud and Marlo Marquiese, that it provided something previously unseen in the evening, and that it was hot. And you also know that you are already pulling out your smartphone to build your life around the next incarnation of “Shame and Ecstasy”—
All photos ©2011 Melody Mudd. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permissions. Thrilled for performers to use shots for promotional purposes, but please credit properly with photographer’s full name and a link to this piece. Performers who would like hi-rez images, please get in touch.