Surprise host tonight – it’s Stache Novak, the Friday early edition! Stache kicks it off at 21.40 with a few zingers, such as “was a taint, now it’s a twasn’t”, or calling himself a “gentleman of negotiable affections.”

Gal Friday is the first performer of the night, railroading us through a classic purple routine of hers. I don’t know if it’s because of the act evolving over time or if I only just noticed the parallel, but this time I see the act as a five year prequel to Peekaboo Pointe‘s Lazy Stripper act – sort of the “I no longer give a fuck” version.

“Gal Friday – the love of my life, my future wife”, rhymes Stache after staring at her uncomfortably from the side of the stage during her act, earning him a few middle fingers.

Next up is Chipps Cooney, stunning the audience by giving away the secrets of the trade, and making it look so easy that he’s the Velvet Underground of magicians – everyone who sees him perform is sure to become a magician as a result. Stache agrees: “The illusion is perfect!”

Stache is throwing around the jokes and the one-liners – “He was so lazy, he married a pregnant woman!”

Seedy Edie provides relief from the comic relief, showing us that even the devil has a softer side, dancing to a song she shares with Emily Shephard.

I am a sucker for aerial, and there are few as good as Lucy Licious, displaying equal parts strength, control and grace. The song she picked is a beautiful plaintive piano tune that somehow reminded me of Eternal Sunshine.

Stache manages to pull us out of the contemplative mood Lucy put us in to by ragging on Los Angeles: “In LA, if you want to hide your money, put it in a book.”

He did so to introduce the next performer, who calls LA home: Coco Ono. She comes out in a nun’s habit, as a Foreigner to New York, and answers the age-old question we all want to know – what love is – with a toss-up between “love is a man handing you bananas from the side of the stage” and “love is giving away bananas so you can let them let you bite the banana that feeds”. Coco’s act ends with a Canadian double-fisting and lit-up pasties, so this act covered a lot of ground in only a few minutes.

Time to get awkward – Stache does an audience competition, where the winner gets a classic Bill poem recited, and the loser gets a lap dance – and this time the loser witnessed Stache completely naked save for a bandana and a strategic ball-cup, one of which was removed right before the curtain fell.

What a way to introduce the break, where Seedy Edie goes around with the tip bucket, and Coco Ono and Lucy Licious take turns on the gogo box.

The second half starts off a little confusing, with Chipps Cooney doing an actual burlesque act, with a single chest tassel. Gal Friday pulls us out of our confusion with another classic Gal routine, walking on by and flicking her vajayjay magic into the audience.

Wilfredo treats us to his version of “Those were the days”, shaking his perfect Spanish rump and swaying to the music.

Lucy goes for rope for her second act, at times hanging from a single foot or hand, making the audience watch with baited breath.

Seedy Edie picks the best songs for her acts – this time Ella Fitzgerald morphs into Karen O and Trent Reznor’s reworking of Immigrant song, as Edie is dressed in black with bird feathers.

Coco Ono counters with one of the least obvious songs for a Burlesque act – Paranoid Android by Radiohead, a late nineties Bohemian Rhapsody. Ballsy! She comes out in a freshly delivered Japanese schoolgirl outfit, and walks us through the song’s four acts with increasing intensity, taking off a garter belt that’s actually a ball gag and wearing it, then revealing the rope tied around her waist, handing part of it to the audience (who proceed to pull a little harder than expected in their excitement), and finally ending with a good old-fashioned transparent paddling. Gal Friday and Seedy Edie were peeking from the side of the stage.

And with that, the early set is over! Gal comes out on the gogo, gives a civilian Cheeky Lane a good old-fashioned spanking, and also pulls Coco Ono in for a full mounty.

Since the midnight show is hosted by my favorite host, Bastard Keith, I stick around for a bit longer. He starts off by singing “BK wants to make love to you.”, humping the side of the stage while proclaiming: “The proscenium is my friend. I’m not just going to say ‘hey, it’s fuck o’clock.’ I want to take my time!”

Looks like it’s Radiohead night at the Slipper Room tonight, as Joshua Dean does his rope loop aerial number to Creep, pulling some incredible moves and performing more spins than I thought were humanly possible.

Rosie Cheeks comes out in black, trying to figure out who’s done it to the tune of Perry Mason, and just like BK gets intimate with the proscenium.

“How many of your masturbate?” asks the bastard, and after a quick show of hands, “So many truth sayers… and two liars!”

Things get a little bit more blurry after that, but I see The Maine Attraction, GoGo Gadget performing an act with three songs and a beak, and Darlinda Just Darlinda who performed her patriotic duty by removing a stray 45 from her grabbed pussy and ripping it up. She keeps it political by going into the break with a tip bucket and a shirt that reads “Thank God for abortion!”

After tipping, I scoot off with friends to the Meatball shop across the street for a favorite late night snack. Good night, Slipper Room!

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