A lively cast of Las Vegas locals put on the monthly “Burly-Q Revue” on Feb. 10 at Daddy Mac’s and proved that, contrary to insinuations in the Las Vegas Weekly, there is a lot of Vegas burlesque to love.
Miranda Glamour, pictured left, was the “femcee” for the night and conducted the show with her usual mix of warmth and wryness. The timing of the performance wasn’t ideal, as the “Varietease” event for the Burlesque Hall of Fame was also taking place the same evening. Logistics meant that the start-time of the ”Revue” was delayed by an hour, but that was the only casualty.
Glamour detailed a bigger tragedy, though. In her coverage of the “Varietease” show, Kristin Peterson of the Las Vegas Weekly commented that, “aside from Cha Cha Velour’s monthly burlesque show at Boomers Bar, it’s slim pickings around town, despite the burlesque dancers that abound here.”
Hmm. Maybe Peterson is talking about Las Vegas, N. M., because Las Vegas, Nev. has more burlesque than arts writers like me know what to do with. Yes, as Peterson pointed out, Cha Cha Velour’s “Booming Burlesque” at Boomers Bar is a fantastic standby. However, the “Burly-Q Revue” takes place on the second Thursday of every month is is tied with Madonna for reinvention capabilities.
“Karnival” at the Onyx is generally the second Wednesday of each month and almost always includes burlesque of some kind. The Erotic Heritage Museum is known for featuring performers like Dr. Sexpot for one-time-only or serial events, like the “Grindhouse Burlesque” show that took place on Feb. 13. Jeff McBride’s “Wonderground,” another recurring show, happened Feb. 17, as did the “Four Play Variety Show” at the Erotic Heritage Museum. There has also been talk of a burlesque game show that would be transpiring in the near future.
Individual performers are continually grabbing the neo-burlesque movement by the horns and organizing their own shows. The people behind these instances will tell you that the burlesque business isn’t easy. It isn’t dead, either, and the performers deserve credit where credit is due … including at the “Burly-Q.”
Once the show got started, it skipped along energetically and featured acts from well-established Vegas performers. Lou Lou Roxy, with pink gloves and her signature smirk, managed to shimmy her way out of a strait-jacket to a track that could have scored an enjoyably bad spy movie. The second act featured Roxy in a glittering copper dress, which was soon discarded in favor of fringe and feathers that were both artfully wielded.
JP Nomi Malone performed, most memorably, a contemporary pointe number to Across the Sky’s “First Love Song,” which was a true novelty and holds potential for future performances. Cartwheels, handstand-rolls and splits, coupled with the exaggerated presentation, made both of Malone’s acts entertaining.
Miranda Glamour and Dr. Sexpot maintained intermittent banter that kept things cohesive. Glamour’s delightful “Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me” from “Rocky Horror Picture Show” is becoming a signature act for her and, like a good cheese, keeps getting better with time. Sexpot revealed unsung talents on the piano to go along with her splendid voice in a jazz number at the top of the show. Her sunshine-steeped personality also shone through in “Put a Bag Over My Head and Let’s Make Love,” which was, if possible, almost musical theater burlesque.
Blanche DeBris, part of the cast of “Menopause” at the Luxor, gave Sexpot a vocal run for her money with a rendition of “Funny Valentine” sung into a handheld mirror. Oh, and there was a guy eating what looked like flaming marshmallows. Zamora the Torture King smoked other performers with his fire-eating act and ended the show with the same side-show energy that makes burlesque so much fun to watch.
All bawdy jokes aside, this month’s “Burly-Q” was unexpectedly poignant. While the comment in the Weekly certainly isn’t condemning in itself, it reveals a sobering mentality about some of the artistic work in the city. Grassroots shows like this can be easy to overlook sometimes. However, the vivacious effort on the part of the performers makes them considerably harder to discredit.