I come in and Hoodoo Hussy is manning the windowsill for the pre-show gogo.
It’s a rainy Wednesday so Nurse Bettie is a little more empty than it usually is. But that doesn’t matter to Shelly Watson, a consummate professional who early on introduces one of the patrons to her balcony. Shelly kicks off the night by singing Night and Day, and then introduces us to the first act: Hazel Honeysuckle is back from a short trip to Venice and Los Angeles, and delights us with her B-O-O-B-S song, adapted for the occasion to feature references to Shelly, the host.
Shelly mentions she read something on “Face Libre – that’s Italian for Facebook everyone!”
For the next act, she asks if anyone in the room is an Arrested Development fan? She introduces someone debuting at Nurse Bettie – and Peachy Kink comes out dressed like a Bluth banana to Abba.
“She popped her cherry here tonight, everyone! Incidentally, I told my last lover that I popped it a while ago, but that I still have the box it came in!”
Shelly introduces the third act of the night – Hoodoo Hussy, who was doing the gogo before, in a classic white and green outfit accompanied by Harry Belafonte.
Shelly sings “Moderate Spender” for a different take on the classic, and as Hazel goes around with the tip bucket, Shelly serenades her with “Whatever Hazel Wants”, and as a result Hazel takes the stage again for the intermission gogo.
I couldn’t stay after the break for Tutu Toussaint and Lillian Bustle – next time.
Bastard Keith was talking to two girls on stage, one a UFC fighter, the other a chef. One of them was from England, and about to get married. “What is going to be your new surname? And surname in England is the name we give to a sir.”“You’re going to love this”, she replied. “It’s Handside hyphen Dick.”
I think she temporarily broke Bastard Keith. I haven’t often seen him at a loss of words due to a fit of laughter before, but she sure did it.
Bastard brought out Jonathan Nosan, a contortionist, who wowed the crowd bending every which way.
Then The Maine Attraction the came out, dancing with fire on her hands, ending her act by setting her pasties on fire.
With that, the first show ended, and Cheeky Lane took the gogo box, inviting people to send her dick pics, and showing them to passersby as they came in.
Wilfredo was our host for the second show, and started off the night with his song for all seasons, throwing flowers into the audience.
Madame Rosebud came out in a gorgeous gold dress, performing a perfectly undercooled act, causing Wilfredo to inform us that we all just nibbled on the nipple of excitement.
Ellie Steingraeber let us in on her all-American aerobics routine, and seeing all those hoops definitely got us excited.
Wilfredo introduced Jonathan again, saying “He’s just trying to make ends meet.” Jonathan did a long act where he essentially ripped up a newspaper, then made it whole again – an interesting twist for a contortionist.
Wilfredo was in fine form tonight, throwing out zingers like “I see you taking a look at my Lower East Side!”
Zero Boy was next, bringing his one-man sound effect comedy to the Slipper Room. Afterwards Wilfredo asked him about his upcoming show, but not before he commented “You’re so tall your wife must go up on you.”
Cassandra came out for the gogo intermission as a blood red nurse.
Wilfredo took us back into the show for the second half with his rendition of “Those were the days”. Rosebud paid tribute to David Bowie with “Wild is the Wind”.
Ellie brought us hoop aerial, contorting in the hoop and bringing the eighties back.
Cassandra had both hands red with candle until she poured the wax out over herself.
And Peekaboo gave us the ultimate send-off with her Lazy Stripper act, telling us all to “go away!” and asking us “Why are you still here? Urgh!”
Uncle Earl came out for the traditional Saturday night “Sweet Caroline” singalong (which saw two patrons dive into the backstage and join the dancers on stage to fill it up, as some of the performers had left already on this late night). And then Wilfredo came back out too, and they did a duet to “Theme from New York” to close off the show.
Wilfredo wanted to bring someone out for gogo, but didn’t know who was next (and frankly, there weren’t any dancers left that hadn’t taken the gogo box yet). He asked the DJ to get creative, and the DJ announced “On the gogo box, it’s your host – Wilfredo!” Good move, and Wilfredo obliged, and I made sure to make it worth his while.
It had been a while since we had closed the Slipper Room together, but this was a perfect way to celebrate our four years in New York!
Once every few months, Wasabassco hosts a burlesque show where the performers go all the way. We had seen it at the Kraine Theatre in the East Village, but since then the event has moved to the Gemini & Scorpio Loft in Brooklyn and changed slightly to have a dress code and only allow pre-sale ticket entrance, which we assume helps to keep it classy and filled with people who really wanted to be there.
At 9 sharp, Nasty Canasta bookended her sleazy Nightrain routine inbetween two slivers of classic burlesque music for the parts where she kept her pasties on.
Tiger Bay commanded us to comply with her futuristic permafrost act, dressed in black like a female robocop oozing control with a baseball bat held with those black leather thumbless gloves that sadly were about the only thing that didn’t come off by the end. Her icy death stare dominated the audience throughout, and this act was a definite highlight.
Sydni Deveraux brought back the nineties in a bubblegum school outfit going to the beach, spreading out a bathing towel and putting the cream back in suncream, accentuating her youthful transgressions with “oops,I didn’t mean to do that” looks.
This first triad took us to the break, which ended with Nina La Voix coming out sitting at a table dressed in long lilac feather boa’s (which were hard to avoid stepping on later in the break for some patrons, as it turns out).
Delysia La Chatte took the stage dressed only in a large black sheet, which she, after revealing it all in the opening, expertly used to draw sharply outlined partial views of her body. That is, until she brought out a skull, proceeded to make out with it, and then had it nibble on her breasts before disappearing it between her legs. The act pulled off both funny and erotic at once, and my partner and I both agreed this was the highlight act for the evening for us.
I used the second break to unclog one of only two bathrooms in the loft to speed up the proceedings. After that, Gigi La Femme (who moved out of New York, but was back for the week) performed an act to Dimitri From Paris’s “Une Very Stylish Fille”, which I sadly can’t find on Spotify.
Jenny C’est Quoi usually has acts that go just a little bit more out there, and this time was no exception. We couldn’t really see what happened exactly, but it seemed she slid something between her legs, took out her phone, and handed it to a woman in the audience to play with. We were guessing that the phone controlled the something. A little bit later, she passed the phone to a man on the other side, who gingerly said “Watch out!”. At the end she took out the something and pretended it was a phone as well, talking to an imaginary someone on the other side as she walked off.
The show ended with the traditional unwrapping of Amanda Whip: Amanda takes a seat, and performers one by one come up to remove an article of clothing as suggestively as possible. Gigi made off with a necklace, and Sydni and Qualms came up together, allowing me to settle the burning question of “which of them is taller?” (answer: they both are, as far as I could tell).
And with that, the show was over, the gogo started again, and we mingled with the guests for a bit before buying a Hellfire Club photo book and making our way back to Manhattan to the Slipper Room.
At 22.20, Shelly Watson opens the night’s proceedings, and calls Velvetina Taylor out on stage, dressed in red and horn-adored, giving Elvis two workouts.
Minnie Tonka performs in purple taking us from Hawaii to Harlem.
Next up is Logan Laveau, taking us through a range of classic burlesque face muscle exercises.
Shelly sings Big Spender for us and takes us to the break, with Logan taking the tip bucket around the room as Velvetina takes the platform for gogo (which interestingly enough on Wednesday is at the back where the performances are, rather than at the entrance like on Thursday. But I digress.)
In the second half of the show, Shelly brings in two women and a man from the audience for a dance-off. The winner is from the Netherlands, where Shelly used to live at some point, so she pulls out her best Dutch, and comments: I once made out with a dyke on a dyke in the Netherlands and it was awesome. And yes, I put my finger on it.
And with that, she introduces Gigi La Femme who moved to Nashville from New York but is back in town this week to make the rounds.
Shelly sings an aria from Giovanni (or at least, that’s what I thought I heard her say) and showed off the pipes.
And that brought us to Sapphire Jones, and just like Logan she shows off a wide range of face expressions, demonstrating her mastery of physical irony.
The show ends with Shelly leading us into a singalong to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” while Sapphire does a second round with the tip bucket, and Shelly sends us all off into the night at 23.40.
Nasty Canasta did a great act, dressed in a black dress holding a glass of gin, which she expertly sipped from through her performance, and in the end she drank it with no hands at all until it was as empty as she was in a state of undress. She parked her glass between her buttcheeks and proceeded to fill the glass again from her hipflask that now served as a shoulderflask. Cheeky class act.
Gigi La Femme closed the show in the bathtub. She’s from New York but moved to Nashville to build out the Wasabassco empire over there. She performed like she’d never left though, and that black vinyl outfit made her look like Satan’s high nun. It was a good look!
A short Bathtub Gin night, with only three performers, but I was already well satisfied by the earlier show that night, and this was the perfect nightcap.
Sadly I arrive late through the rain a good fifteen minutes into the show already. The first thing to strike me is how much more diverse the audience looks here, and I guess that reflects the cast. More of that at Burlesque shows, please?
Storm Marrero is hosting the show, and I recognize her from a Company XIV show. She’s announcing a raffle: “1 for $3, 3 for $5, 5 for $10. The bodywrap is 20, and if you’re smart you can use my hips and ass for that and you will win, that is guaranteed!”
The show takes a break at 20.45. It’s 21.15 when act two starts: “This vagina has not seen anything for four months. I’m ready. Don’t talk to me like that Frankie!”
Pearls Daily gives us some Pillow Talk leaning into a fan blowing.
Storm leans against a pillar in the audience to sing Back to Black.
Perle Noire picks In the Air Tonight and puts that anthemic drum solo to good use.
The extremely flexible Lilin Lace feeds on our collective anger to contort and bend limbs and back into impossible arrangements.
Taradise starts off with Perle, posing separately, then locking arms on the floor, and moving to an embrace dressed in feather fans, as Perle slips away and Taradise switches into ballet mode.
The Seven Deadly Sins close the show together, right before 10pm to Chargaux’s Lullaby.
The Seven Deadly Sins are:
Lust: Bizzy LeBois
Wrath: Lilin Lace
Sloth: Pearls Daily
Vanity: Poison Ivory
Greed: Tutu Toussaint
Gluttony: Perle Noire
And it’s only after the show, going through photos, that I realize how well the color lighting worked throughout the show, accentuating each individual performance.
This is most certainly a different style of Burlesque show – less of a slow teasing undress, much more collaborative, and much closer to a dance performance. The music throughout tying the performances together was really good too. Beautiful concept, well-executed – I hope I get to see it again, in full this time!
At 10 to 10, Broadway Brassy opens up the night with a song about butt stuff to set the tone. She introduces Roxie Le Rouge from New Orleans, who was in the Slipper Room earlier this week, repeating her Louis XIV sun queen head piece act. Dandy Dillinger came out dressed in red for another classic burlesque act.
And then Tiger Bay took it up a notch, coming out in a cloudy outfit with lightning on her head, performing to “Here comes the rain again”. I don’t know how she manages to keep a straight face all the way through, but she did, as she twirled strings with cloud balls around.
10 past 10, Dandy and Tiger Bay came out with tip buckets for a short break.
At 10.30, Albert Cadabra introduced the second set, and quickly brought out Gigi Bon Bon dancing to Temptation by Tom Waits – an excellent song to show off her moves to. Karina Libido followed dancing to a traditional, Oy Tsvetyet Kalina, which you’d recognize if you heard it, and so did the crowd, which ended stomping and cheering when her legs started swinging.
Albert introduced a little drink winning competition, and three contestants faced off. Sadly the first contestant couldn’t handle the pressure for more than 5 seconds, pulled out, and in a fit of frustration ended up running out and shoving a woman on the way. For a second there things got a little weird. Albert kept it going and someone named, appropriately enough, Chantelle, got us all focused on the task at hand again. The third contest was a new arrival who, while a little drunk already, still managed to pull out some convincing moves. At least he made me forget who ended up actually winning.
The show continued with Justease in a daring purple which worked well for her as she got close with some of the patrons, and ended with the always stunning Rosie Cheeks in red.
With the first show finished, Stache Novak wasted no time to kick off his Midnight Fingers. After demonstrating how to properly strip as a man, he brought out Peekaboo Pointe who demonstrated convincingly how nobody does it better, giving us a salty sailor salute. Velvetina Taylor came out as an orangutan, confusing the crowd into a range of emotions they didn’t think they had. Then after that, Stache professed his love for the next performer, and we cannot disagree: Stormy Leather took the stage and gave us a leather and wax act that did justice to her tagline.
Time for intermission again, and Peekaboo Pointe came out in a leopard print catsuit on the gogo box as Stormy made the room with a tip bucket.
Since the world of finance doesn’t run itself in the morning, it was time for me to slip out and miss the second set, wishing for the first time ever I was red hot molten wax.
Sir Richard Castle opened the evening’s proceedings around 22.20 with a morning wake-up routine that ended with shooting the TV talking about trump. “And that is how you keep production costs low!”
First up is Roxie Le Rouge, from New Orleans, in a classic pink tutu, swinging her leg high, doing a burlesque act that matches the outfit and song in timeliness.
“You’re putting on a fake English accent. That is offensive and vaguely arousing.” chided Sir Castle to an audience member.
Cheeky Lane came out dressed in a beautiful red dress dotted with big roses to the theme song from Virgin Suicides (if you’re old enough to remember that Coppola movie). Her work wife Gal Friday came out dressed in purple for a ride on the night train.
That brought us to the intermission at 11, with Roxie coming out for the gogo and Cheeky going round with the tip bucket.
In the second half, Sir Castle worked the crowd, and brought Lisa from Iceland on stage to share a few cigarettes. “If you’re bored, this is art,” he quipped as he got dressed again.
“They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but I say the asshole is the window to the prostate.”
As he asked for bachelorettes in the room, there was one, getting married to another woman who wasn’t in the audience that night.
“Oh, a true lesbian bachelorette evening! What’s your name, dear?”
Cheeky came out as Ganesha, and even if I’ve seen this act quite a few times, it’s still a favorite. Roxie did a second act wearing a Louis XIV sun queen head piece. And Gal Friday closed the night’s set in orange to Isaac Hayes.
If you were hoping to get Cheeky and Gal do an act together or clown out together on the go go box, tonight was not your night – but Gal still left it all on the go go box.
He introduced Cassandra Rosebeetle first, who was dressed in a three watermelon combo dancing to Watermelon man.
Chipps Cooney showed us why he is the ultimate magician anti-hero.
Hazel Honeysuckle came out in a blue outfit and danced to a three song sequence, ending with giant feather fans.
Velvet Crayon did an actual Burlesque act, taking off all his clothes (and I do mean all), with a little help from Walt Whitman in the middle. Seeing him dart around the stage in his wheelchair, and ending up naked except for a koala mask, was a highlight of the evening.
And then things lifted off. An astronaut took the stage to Aerosmith’s theme song from Armageddon – Miss Jezebel Express had come to salute us. She took her helmet off, and interrupted the routine a few times because something more important was happening on her phone and she did not want to miss a thing. She ended with a crowd selfie that made it to Instagram.
Walt informed us that managed had instructed him to “work the room” if he wanted to get paid, so he obliged. He ended by asking if anyone was on their first date, and two women yelled out “us!”. He brought them to the stage, told them that a first date needs to involve drinks to loosen them up a little, and treated them to shots. They giggled and downed the shots, and then all of a sudden started to take off each other’s clothes quickly as the curtains drew open.
Surprise – Raven took the stage, giving us exactly what we came for.
An hour in, it was time for the first break, with Cassandra starting on the gogo box for two songs, then followed by Hazel for another two, in an outfit made for tipping: 5 light blue strips in the front, and a forest of yellow discs in the back.
At 23.25, Goat boy took over for Walt Whitman. I had not seen Goat boy before, and as an act it may not be my cup of tea. But no complaints from me as long as he’s introducing class acts like Cassandra, dressed like Alice in Wonderland and dancing to a Tom Waits tune.
Chipps Cooney came back out to explain most of his acts from the first half.
And then we got a second dose of Raven, together on the hoop this time, dressed in red, to Jack Garratt’s Remnants.
Hazel came out with a huge sideways set of feathers on her head and a set of blue ring tubes hanging from the side, showing off her costuming skills, and tickling the first row with her feather hat.
Velvet Crayon came back to sing two songs, one about Uranium and Franklin Roosevelt.
And then we got a rare surprise – Peaches the Gimp appeared from his trapdoor in the stage. He hadn’t been out since before the eclipse, and treated us to a stellar “Closer” as well as giving us a choice between Justin Timberlake and Gorillaz for a second act.
A tough act to follow – but Jezebel was up to the task. She did a paint-by-numbers number, and as she undressed it turned out more numbers were all over her body, which she dutifully followed with the brush until she gave up and dumped the paint all over herself, leaving her gloriously multicolored next to her easel.
That act closed the set, but then Jezebel one-upped herself by coming out to the gogo box, still covered in paint, and selling pages of her notebook for five dollars each to rub all over her and create your own work of art. Several people obliged, and she ended by taking off a man’s shirt, putting him down on all fours, and spanking the crap out of him.
It was a long night, ending at 1am, but it was worth it!