The rumor around town is that Vaudezilla is doing monthly shows at Stage 773 with new formats and new performers rotating in with each theme. I THINK THIS IS AWESOME. So here’s a slice of what happened this month, in A Naughty Nostalgia Burlesque. SPOLIER ALERT: A couple *ahem* phallic objects *ahem* made appearances during the night. While these rather realistic looking props can sometimes be used as a great gag/joke in a piece—the audience is not always as receptive to the glaringly obvious penis reference as one might have hoped. That being said, all the numbers were excellently well-thought out in their character choices, but at one point it became a bit too much. (Not the best night to bring a friend who’s only heard me ramble on about burlesque and never actually seen a show. Eeep!)
Now, ‘Naughty Nostalgia’ conjures up all kinds of imagery and reminiscent dreams of the 80s & 90s for me, and I got exactly what I came for from Vaudezilla! Songs like “White Wedding,” “I Believe I can Fly” and some ABBA all mixed in with glittery burlesquers from all over Chicago? Yes please!
We opened with a small group number that included “Hollaback Girl” and some sweet and sour looking little Pageant Girls competing for attention. (I love when troupes find ways to get their stage kittens into the performance as more than just pick up and set up!
Then we move right into our first nostalgic number of the night, going as far back as… Ancient Egypt! Featuring Red Rum as a mummified Pharaoh that keeps the crowd giggling with each removal, as she’s so old that even her gloves are full of dust!
Soon after, we’re introduced to our MC of the evening, Anita Lilmore, as a very pregnant chain-smoker who loves PBR. She keeps us entertained throughout the night, interspersing games and comments, playing Name That Tune, hosting decade-themed trivia, and appearing in a short number later on in the show-- “In Memoriam.”
Then, one of the greatest songs of the 80s, because who doesn’t love Billy Idol? A “White Wedding” dance by Kitty Karoline, featuring love, lust, guns, blood, white dresses, and betrayal— with a rock solid wrap up! Whodunnit?
Next up, Magister Freud and his most sensuous card trick of all time. “Pick a card, any card… from my Chip n’ Dale themed card deck.” (wink wink) And if he can’t guess the card you happened to pick, well, he’ll obviously have to dance for you to “I’m too Sexy!” Yes, that happened. And what’s better than that? The card you picked is written on his underwear! We love sexy audience participation numbers. You can call me up anytime!
Now for the hottest number involving an Old Person, Carmel *hard* candy and a bicycle I’ve ever seen! Thanks, Dirty Devlin, I’ll never be able look at Werther’s candies again without having special feelings.
Now back to the 80s. Didn’t you ever want to see Marty McFly stripped down to nothing but his Calvin Klines? Well you could have on Saturday with Trixie Sparx! Great homage, even down to the puffed vest and rockin’ mullet. (Nice pasty save, by-the-way Trixie! Showgirl skills!)
Then to a short EVERYBODY ONSTAGE AND DANCE bit to- what else but “Dancing Queen!” Which seamlessly transitioned into a hot and FRINGE-TASTIC cowgirl number to “These Boots Are Made for Walking” by Lily Rascal. Can’t get enough of those shimmies girl!
Now who doesn’t love pie? And who doesn’t love a hot housewife holding that pie? And who doesn’t love the hot housewife holding pie and then stripping in front of you and rubbing herself down with the pie? Did all of your secret fantasies just come true? Because Raven Gemini can do that for you. All you have to do is play a little A-Ha and get her some lace white gloves.
Then to break up half of the audience’s Nam-style 80s pop flashbacks we tune in to those commercials that were so catching- for almost no reason- that you could never forget them. Remember the egg and the frying pan? And that awful catchphrase “this is your brain on drugs”? How about your “brain on burlesque” instead?!
Or that great infomercial: “Clap on, Clap off. The Clapper”? We shared a good laugh on that one after we applauded our infomercialists!
Next up, a darling washer woman named Cindy. We’re all too keen on sensualizing the Disney princesses, and Sophia Bliss did not let us down! I bet you always wondered what Cinderella did in her spare time with her sparkling shoes and sudsy soap. Did you want her to wring her sponge out over her voluptuous self? Because I did. And I usually get what I want (wink wink).
And what could possibly be next but a little 90s SIR MIX-A-LOT wafting that ever-so-familiar beat over Bella Canto’s sultry self? She’s a natural crowd pleaser, singing her own introduction to her number that had the audience snickering all over the place with her impromptu vocal olympics. And what could possibly have made “I Like Big Butts” even better? Did you say Assels? BECAUSE THERE WERE ASSELS. And Tassels! They were everywhere and we loved it!
Now if you’re looking to get a little hot under the collar at the next show you attend, make sure Mister Junior is performing. We got a handy- er- solo- UM, chocolate covered performance from him, revolving around the song “Computer Love.” And I needed to take a cold shower after that hot fudge sundae. Hot damn!
After getting the crowd all riled up, what better way to completely sexually frustrate them than with a song YOU’LL NEVER GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD. Especially when it’s done up all jazzy, bluesy, with a little sumpin’ sumpin’ by Sadie O’Swirl and Zipper McKenzie! A funny, catchy, little acoustic sketch by the duo to keep up with Vaudezilla’s high standard of keeping a variety of great performers in the spotlights.
And if you were wondering where the mighty Po’ Chop has been during the entire show, look no further. For the closing act of the night, P. Kelly, a tribute to all of the R. Kelly songs you ever heard in the 90s. Including “I Believe I can Fly” that required cameo choir singers in the background of her strip. And yes, the infamous urination scandal was referenced- HEAVILY- in a gasp-worthy, eh, finish that wrapped up the night.
Keep a look out for next month’s themed show from Vaudezilla! Can’t wait to hear what else they’ve got in store for us. And remember to check back often for casting calls and other burlesque info. Some of the performers in this show had seen the casting call here on chicagoburlesque.org! So keep in touch!
Article by Henrietta Heartbreak
Photos by Kriss Abigail