A burlesque beauty, tattooed cutie is spearheading the neo-burlesque movement in Vegas with, among other things, a monthly show at Boomers Bar at 3200 Sirius Ave.
This month’s show, starring Cha Cha Velour, Miss Karla Joy, Flora Fatale, Honey DoRight, La Rosa Muerta, Sue Nami Saki, Resa Alhena, Scarlett Letter and Sia Synn, showcased a variety of talent and tease.
Dr. Sexpot, clad in leopard-print lingerie reminiscent of Betty Rubble, piloted the preshow with a ukulele and some sultry serenades. Her quietly enthralling voice, coupled with carefree, off-the-cuff banter with the audience, created an “I’m not really here but I’m making your night better” kind of vibe.
The rest of the show took place in the Boom Boom Room, tucked in the back of the bar and equipped with a stage and a respectable sound system.
Standard burlesque fare was well-represented in the show, with feather boas and fringe to spare.
However, several acts broke up the everyday attractions. Resa Alhena, a dancer with a troupe called Cabernet, demonstrated a fusion of belly dance and burlesque, undulating and isolating the way only a trained dancer can.
Miss Karla Joy, the purported “joy of your life,” debuted a comedic skit centered around “Vitameatavegemin,” a fictional miracle product containing vitamins, meat, vegetables and minerals.
The crux of the act was the ventriloquism; Joy, clad in blue gingham, lip-synced to a 1950s-style Infomercial track urging viewers to buy the product. The situation became more hysterical as it went on, with the voice of an unseen director prompting Joy to taste the viscous (and, based on Joy’s reaction, vile-tasting) syrup time and again. It seemed to have an intoxicating effect and Joy’s line, “Oh, I feel fine, but it’s a little hot in here …” kicked off the burlesque side of the number.
Sia Synnn, a magician and sideshow artist from Toronto, paid Vegas a visit as well. “I used to torture my dolls because I couldn’t torture my parents,” she said as a lead-in to the set. First, a doll was subjected to the likes of a staple gun and a blow-torch — then Synn turned these implements on herself. Her lazy rapport with the audience contrasted with hair-raising stunts of sadism and gave a serious edge to the show.
Scarlett Letter, an out-of-towner from Los Angeles with “four feet of red hair and miles of bad intentions” fluttered in on wings of orange and blue and preened for the audience with commendable stage presence. She also wrapped up the show with the number that won her the title of Best Solo Performance in 2010 from the Boston Burlesque Exposition.
Cha Cha Velour, the producer of the show, said that this was the kind of talent she wanted to draw to Vegas. Velour began performing in Vegas with the Babes of Sin troupe in 2006 and has since become the mother hen of most things burlesque.
“I wanted more things to happen,” Velour said.”I would love for this show and others like it to continue. People can find out what burlesque is.”
Boomers as a consistent venue was a matter of happenstance. “I’ll just book it and see what happens,” Velour said of the first time she tried Boomers out. “We’ve been really happy … [Boomers] has been great.”
“We seem to be doing a good job in here,” Joy said, citing the attendance of the shows at 50 to 80 people a night. She continued that local support is always appreciated. “I’ve paid $100 for fringe before,” she said with a wry smile. “It’s a lot of effort.”
The Live Burlesque show at Boomers will be taking a hiatus for a couple months and will be back in action the last Saturday of every month starting in January. However, Velour and other burlesque beauties can be seen at numerous venues throughout the city. Check out Cha Cha Velour’s site and the calendar page at the Las Vegas Weekly for info.
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