I arrive at City Winery at 23.45 sharp, and luckily the show starts slightly less sharp so I have just enough time to be ushered to my seat at a table with three people I don’t know. Right on cue, my favorite mancee appears from behind the curtain – it’s Bastard Keith, who on this night has the right setting to let more of his nerd flag fly (although there were still plenty of dicks to be had, in case you were worried)

Bastard Keith gets straight down to business by singing “I gotta be me”, then introduces the audience to some principles of Burletiquette: “Keep your hands to yourself, but let everything else out – hoot, holler, yell, whistle.”

The producer of the show, Dangrrr Doll, is the first performer on stage, performing as Sonic the Hedgehog. The stack of bangles on her wrist that she throws over her shoulder, making them bounce and tinkle just like in the game, is a very nice touch, setting the tone of detail orientation for the rest of the night.

Teo doesn’t need more than a light brown Federation shirt to evoke Captain Kirk. He brings out a big balloon which he sticks his head in. I couldn’t tell if it was intentional or not, but when Teo puts more of his body in the balloon, it pops. It does look like the act finished a little bit before the music ended.

Maki Roll, a DC-based performer, comes out as the perfect Storm – even having the milky white eyes Storm has in the movies when she uses her powers. The LED lights on her cloud-like fan streamers evoke the lightning she throws at the audience.

Bastard Keith gives kudos to DJ Stormageddon, and invites the audience to tweet him some nerd sex positions by listing a few of his own favorites:

  • the Pennywise: you make your genitals look like a clown. Bonus points for painting your ass like a spider.
  • The Wonder Woman: it’s so fucking good! You had no reason to believe it would be, but it is.

  • The Justice league: an orgy with too many bodies and you didn’t build up to it. But you’re going to do it anyway.

Quite the buildup, but the next act deserves it, as tonight is her final night as a burlesque performer. Stella Chuu comes out dressed as a Japanese school girl: Yuki Nonaka from The Testament of Sister New Devil – a seemingly innocent enough start, but somewhere in the middle Stella reveals the rope dress she’s wearing underneath, and Dangrrr Doll comes out again and gets intimate with Stella, and immediately after Bastard Keith and Teo run to the other side of the stage and start making out with each other in response. The performance ends with a green snake between her legs that shoots white streams of something sticky into the audience, leaving it to wonder what the hell just happened.

There’s really only one way to follow this up – and that’s with a break.

When the break ends, Hazel begins, and to the stratospheric sounds of Rush she does an act from the Hobbit. I finally get to see Hazel perform on stilts for the first time, and she’s clearly had practice, as she pulls off some daring moves stalking around the stage. Her outfit is immaculately impressive too – a beautiful tree, with two smaller tree people puppets hiding somewhere in her bountiful foliage. Given the 50% extra fabric required to pull this off, this act showcases Hazel’s dedication to the craft. While Hazel was billed to perform as Zatanna, I doubt that would have worked better than the act she chose to give us instead.

Topher Bousquet brings us Voldo from the SoulCalibur games – a great choice for his flexible contortion work. The knives for hands is a nice touch too.

Bastard Keith pleads ignorance: “I don’t play anything above eight bit.” I would love to see him get a perfect score on my Atari VCS 2600’s Pitfall – but let’s not get my fantasies get in the way of a finish for this review.

BK declares a winner for the Nerd sex positions competition after mentioning some honorable runners-up. “The Stan Lee: you jack off in the corner during a threesome, but you still get all the credit anyway.”

After that, a Cylon comes out, scanning red eye light included. Various pieces of the costume move – the quality of the outfits this year is truly impressive. Halfway through, the Cylon loses enough armor to reveal the humanoid underneath: Stormy Leather, sporting a skin-colored patch running up and down her back, with a running led light there as well, to great effect. I finally get what it means to be in love with a strict machine.

We’re nearing the end of the show, but luckily, the two forces of nature behind this show since the beginning are each performing a second act. “It’s about to get *really* nerdy”, Bastard Keith promises. Dangrrr’s act starts with a gold coffin on the floor, from which she emerges a little bit into the act as a Mimic from Dungeons & Dragons. I think a big chunk of the audience are taking their mental image of this particular treasure chest home tonight.

And then, last but not least, and for the last time ever, she returns: Stella Chuu, performing as D.Va from the game Overwatch, which now puts me personally effectively in uncharted territory. Stella catches me up quickly though, so that I now understand that this character involves Dorito’s (kudo’s for the big Dorito’s used as fans, that was hilarious!), fed to the audience, as well as a big can of Mountain Dew, which somehow magically makes it out of several cups onto her hair and body, and strangely enough even the rest of the Dorito’s are no help at all in cleaning the mess up. Stella leaves another explosion on stage in her wake – going out with a bang.

They must have been very good Dorito’s too, because both Dangrrr Doll and Bastard Keith eat some from the floor after the curtain call.

What a great night – if only we didn’t have to wait a whole year for the next one!

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