I’ve been to many Burlesque Hall of Fame competition nights, but I think this year’s was the fiercest. From the beginning of best debut to the end of the evening when all the fabulous contenders competed for the title of Miss Exotic World Queen of Burlesque, it was a whirlwind of top notch fierceness up on that Showcase stage. As always, I’m glad that I only had to shoot the show and not actually judge the evening as there’s no way I could ever pick a winner.
The winners of the evening…
The best debut category was just full of truly innovative and creative acts, but Gaea Lady was a real standout with her expert skill with layer upon layer of fabric that she made appear to float along the stage airstream. It was a truly beautiful and moving performance. I would have had a hard time judging the small group category (as Jonny Porkpie and Blanche Debris had a laugh defining as “more than 1 but less than 4, but really that’s just 2 or 3 people”). All the competitors had absolutely solid performances, with the winners – 2 To Fly – pulling off an amazing and surreally athletic performance with mad hatters and wolves thrown into the mix. So fabulous!
The large group (again made fun of by Johnny and Blanche as “more than 4 people but less than 1”) were all fabulous troupes leaning mostly to the comedic with winners Screaming Chicken Burlesque bringing everyone to their feet with a truly hilarious fowl-based performance that must have had 2 dozen chickens (and 1 rooster) up on stage by the end.
The best boylesque category is always fabulous to watch – with such top notch performers. All the competitors brought their A-game, but Harden Reddy’s marionette routine was fabulous with his constricted use of a red curtained theatrical box from which he languished on his strings. When the ladies came up to compete for the big title, I was already mentally exhausted from all the energy and creativity on that stage and although there were so many (sooo many) standouts, the crown in the end went to Poison Ivory for her stunning and energetic performance.
Congratulations also to Lada Redstar and Sweet Pea for their runner-up performances – truly well deserved. What an evening of competition performances – I would have just given awards to everyone!
And on a final note of stellar performances and Queens of Burlesque – Trixie Little. One month ago she had an accident, was hit by a car in New York before heading to BHOF. But she didn’t let that stop her from producing a step down number that was killer and incorporated all her frustrations of having a broken leg – still in a cast.
Enjoy these teaser shots, and stay tuned for reviews of each category and a full photo gallery. Don’t miss any of our Burlesque Hall of Fame coverage.