Image Credits: Medianoche.
we are gathered here tonight to say goodbye to one of New York City’s finest performers – Hazel Honeysuckle is leaving for Las Vegas.
No more than a hundred mourners were allowed to buy a ticket to the Wasabassco send-off show she curated, handpicking friends and loved ones, as well as their favorite acts of hers. House rules don’t allow for photographs, sadly, so you will have to let your imagination run wild as you go through this review.
The first of Hazel’s picks we see tonight is the hostess, which is our favorite pick too: Boo Bess comes out in a lovely green sparkly sequined dress – the first of a few tonight, and if I recall correctly, one she bought while vintage shopping with Hazel.
The show kicks off with Hazel herself, sending us off with “No More Love” in a green and purple peacock-feathered dress.
Amanda Whip is stage kitten tonight, and even for this job Hazel has picked the best of the best, rolling over the floor and flexing all limbs to pick up performer’s clothes – again… and again… and again. It’s amusing to see Boo lose her train of thought or simply cede the spotlight and admire the view in those little moments.
Next, Boo undresses from green to blue, a dress that Hazel gave her. She introduces Puss-N-Boots, the first of two to implore us to come together as we say goodbye.
Topher Bousquet shows off his hooping, flexing, and singing skills, bringing us “Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls, but adapting it to the moment: “Don’t you wish Scott was hot like me? Don’t Cha… Don’t Cha Hazel, Don’t Cha” It’s cute, sexy, and charming, and Scott seems to appreciate the sentiment too. Topher’s performance iss doubly impressive because the microphone isn’t wireless, so he ends up navigating the microphone cord (with some help from Amanda) while keeping the hoop spinning.
Next up was supposed to be Medianoche, but she couldn’t make it, and they found a last-minute replacement: Gary Nachos. Gary is no slouch, performing a perfectly coordinated routine to “Hey Ya”: the tassels twirl to the beat during the “shake it” break, and “get on the floor” throws Gary on the ground. I hadn’t seen Gary ever before, but surely she knows what to do.
“And even when Gary shows up in sweatpants, he’s not lazy – he emptied that bag on the table and picked out the eight perfect Doritos for this act!” says Boo.
Time for a first break, and even the ambience music is on point – I pick up on “Please Don’t Go” and “Don’t You Forget about Me”.
The second act of this trilogy opens with Chris Harder, dressed like a mix between Prince and George Michael. Even when “Freedom” drops out for a few seconds, Chris is a pro who doesn’t miss a beat, and the audience keeps singing as he sashays his way over to the DJ booth and gets the music to come back. It doesn’t hurt either that he ends his act with a perfect twirl of the asstassels.
Penny Wren performs her first ever act, which happened to be with Hazel in the cast. Boo tells us that Penny still remembers the compliment Hazel gave her that night: “you run in circles real good!”. We got a demonstration of exactly just how good, as well as a unique Penny move at the end – holding her leg straight up, then falling into a split from there. I am definitely not trying this at home.
Rosie Cheeks makes her Wasabassco debut tonight, on Hazel’s request, and brings one of her signature acts, in glittery green – Money Make Her Smile, including a glitter glove shower.
Time for a second break – and again, the music sets the mood, with “Go Your Own Way” and “I Will Always Love You”. Tonight is coming for your tear ducts.
For the third act, Boo comes out in a golden dress, and introduces the rarest act of the evening: Scott Hazelton performing possibly my favorite Hazel act, Cookie Monster, as a tribute to his wife. I manage to just touch one of the flung Oreo’s with my fingertips, but it slips past before I get a chance to catch it. Scott pulls the act off convincingly and gets the loudest applause of the night.
Speaking of pulling off and applause, somewhere during the night Boo Bess asks the biggest Hazel fans to volunteer for a competition. I hesitate for a moment, then decide against volunteering, as the room is probably full of Hazel fans more ardent than me. One woman and two men step up though, all of them named Alex. The competition involves doing your best Hazel imitation on stage to one of her many songs. I’m glad I didn’t volunteer, because all three of them did a much better Hazel than I could have pulled off!
Next up is Tiger Bay, a performer who can take her acts towards the ridiculous, the sublime, or the scary. Today she’s doing something unspeakably cute in pastel colors with an eel kissing her neck and other body parts. “Does he have a name?” asks Boo after the act. “Yes – his name is Electric William. Get it?” Tiger Bay says from behind the curtain.
Time for something more patriotic, with Ula Uberbusen‘s red, white and blue salute to our current reigning commander-in-chief. Her sentiment is echoed enthusiastically by the crowd. This is also Ula’s first show with Wasabassco.
Time for the final act, a duo act: Nasty Canasta and Hazel Honeysuckle perform as the unicorn and the princess. It’s a delight to see Hazel comb Nasty’s pony tail, as well as see Nasty deftly use her hooves to take Hazel through various stages of undress.
All the performers that are still around come on stage for the curtain call, and get to dancing to “I’ve had the time of my life.” In the ensuing melee, Hazel manages to lose both of her pasties before they all vacate the stage and the party starts.
Star Wars VIII beckons us in fifteen minutes, so we wrap the night up, discussing what our favorite act was. One thing is certain – we got to see some rarities tonight.
Godspeed, Hazel and Scott. May you return often while you’re gone and come back eventually!