Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2010-09-18 Mon Cherie's Rockabilly Lounge

Mon Cherie Presents The Rockabilly Lounge at The Masquerade with special guests from all over the country.  The performers included New Orleans Jon who was the Master of Ceremonies and who sang a beautiful rendition of Moon Dance.  He then brought out the beautiful Katarina Laveaux from Birmingham, AL, who did a very sultry classic act that included both fans and a boa.  Then came the always fun Catatonic Raucous who did a fun glittery striptease in a pseudo Victorian style outfit.  The closing finale was the hip-notic Szandora La Vey of LA who did a sultry strip tease in devil red while slowly moving a hula hoop around her body.  It was the most sensual hula hoop act I have ever seen.  It turns out that Ms La Vey as family in town so hopefully we'll be seeing her again next time she comes for a visit.

The band for the evening was The Suicide Doors.  They were a lot of fun and in their second set one of the members decided to put on a corslet to show solidarity with the burlesque performers.  There was also a raffle that included items from the vendors as well as the most coveted Lux De Ville Purse and beautiful hair flowers made by Mon Cherie herself.

It was an amazing show for all 10 of us that showed up.  Sadly I think that because of Anime Weekend Atlanta, people being out of town for the New Orleans Burlesque Fest, and the East Atlanta Strut going on that weekend it really reduced the turn out.  I am hopeful that the next Rockabilly Lounge on Oct 15, will be much better attended.  

Sadly I did not take my camera with me having just flew in from NOLA that morning and then MCed the AWA Cabaret before heading over so here's some random pictures from Rockabilly Lounges for you to enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

2010-09-18 Anime Weekend Atlanta Cabaret

Anime Weekend Atlanta is the third weekend of September each year in Atlanta, GA.  It is a full weekend celebrating all things Anime at the Cobb Galleria with shows, video rooms, vendors and artists.  Below is the promotional video that was done this year.

For the second year in a row Stormy Knight has put together the Anime Cabaret with burlesque and Cabaret performances based on Anime and Anime culture.  Last year I performed my steampunk/pirate locksmith number and was the Mistress of Ceremonies, this year I opted to just be the Mistress of Ceremonies and had the most fun MCing I've had a show in a long time.  It's always very helpful when you have a great crowd, great performers and are completely punch drunk from flying in from NOLABF...I'm apparently much funnier when I'm delirious as I got lots of compliments that night.  Performers included the woman who brought us all together, Stormy Knight, doing an amazing Elfin Lied strip tease that drove the crowd wild.  With her great shoes, pink bobbed hair do, and wrapped in bandages like a sexy mummy, she had the crowd eating out of her hand.  The amazing Lime Barb from Chicago was next in her very sexy version of The Little Mermaid.  She started off in a full body covering Fish outfit that did a strip tease before coming out of the fish as a mermaid and then stripping down to a very sultry woman.  And there were bubbles!   Next was Um Bo Sakura(sp?) that was drapped in a beautiful kimono and stripped keeping her face covered behind a mask until the end for her big reveal.  It was her first striptease and I'd say she definitely started with a bang!  Next was Talloolah Love doing a very high energy go-go number inspired by Cowboy Beebop, complete with guns!  There was shimming, shaking and a whirl of fringe that pulsed with her every move.  The finale was Kitty Love dong a tribute to Van Helsing.  She came out is a short yellow dress and ended up covered in blood that she drank as well as rubbing it all over her body.  It was a very sensual act that went over very well.  Afterwards we had a curtain call that ended in a standing ovation.  It was an amazing feeling to see a packed house be so pleased with a show.

The performers then all went to the merch table to sign autographs and have pictures taken with all of the amazing performers that were a part of the show.  The laws of Cobb County meant it was a Sunday School show so the performers weren't able to go down to pasties, but I can assure that didn't detract from any of the performances that I saw that night and it didn't seem to stand in the way of the audience enjoying it either.  It was a lot of fun and I hope to be invited to be a part of it again next year.  Below is a slide show of picture from Anime Weekend Atlanta, I sadly didn't get to take any pictures because I was so delirious that I had left my camera at home, but you can at least see some of the others that have been put out there.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010-09-17 New Orleans Burlesque Fest

This year was the second annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival produced by Rick Delaup and Secrets in Lace.  Sadly due to a scheduling conflict I was only able to attend the Friday night shows, but they were so amazing that it almost makes up for me not seeing the Queen of Burlesque competition with live band on Saturday night...almost...  Performers from all over the country descended on NOLA to perform classic burlesque at both Harrah's Casino and the original House of Blues.

The first show was Mondo Burlesque at Harrah's Casino.  The audience was dressed to the nines and still couldn't compete with the amazing outfits and costumes on stage.  The show was hosted by the Mistress of Ceremonies Cora Vette who sang, complete with back up dancers from Dames D'lish and BurlyCute, in addition to keeping the audience entertained between acts.  She had the voice of an angel and the mouth of a sailor, which turned out to be an amazing combination!

Performers for Mondo Burlesque included an adorable house wife number by Vicky Sin from New York, an amazing group number by The Chicago Starlets that was one of the best choreographed and well timed and thought out group numbers I have ever seen, and Ophelia Flame from Minneapolis who did an amazing number with silk fans, then came Ursula Undress from Atlanta who did her tribute to Bettie Page to Wild Cat, she drove the crowd wild with her shimmy, shake and SHAZAM!

Cora Vette then changed her outfit and looked like Burlesque Rainbow Brite, it was a brilliant outfit complete with boots!  After that was the naughty twins Mina Mechante and Deirdre Doll from Chicago proving that two is better then one and that sometimes you don't have to choose!  Dinah Might from London was next with a beautiful and forceful fan dance that included slapping around Atlanta's own Derrick Jackson, I've never seen a man so slap happy.  Then came Angi B Lovely from Dallas who is not only an amazing burlesque performer but a skilled aerialist as well.  I never get tired of seeing her climb the silks and my heart always stops when she does the drop at the end.  I know for a fact she's going to be okay but I get so caught up in her performance it surprises me every time!

Cora Vette then changed into a sparkly green ensemble with hair down to her butt, her hair do had been growing through out all over her changes, a nice touch.  After that was The Bon-Bons from St. Louis.  I love these girls, they're fun, they're sassy and each performer has their own personality come through even when they're all doing the same dance move.  Keeping your individuality while doing a group number is a fine line and they walk it beautifully!  Then came Jo Boobs, the Headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque.  She was a vision in gold beaded fringe that shimmied around her like an angel's halo.  Her connection with the audience was very apparent and the audience was hanging on every shimmy, shake, bump and grind.  Jett Adore from The Stage Door Johnnie's in Chicago was the only male to grace the stage at Harrah's that evening.  He did a Zorro number that had everyone in the audience swooning with each article that came off during his sword fight and the ladies were fighting to catch a glimpse of what was under his cape.  The answer was not much!  Kitten DeVille from LA and Miss Exotic World 2002 did her tribute to Dixie Evan's Producer's Chair routine that was taught to her by Dixie Evan's herself.  The act started off cute and cheeky and went into a raunchy sexuality that I am sure was shocking in the 50s and 60s when Dixie did this act.  Some how Kitten DeVille kept the act classy and full of raw sex, which is not an easy task.  The finale was Chicago's Michelle L'amour, Miss Exotic World 2005, who did a panther routine that left the audience begging for more.  Her movements and attitude really made you believe that she was a wild animal trapped in a cage that could devour you at any moment.  It was captivating, compelling and and a beautiful and graceful way to end the show.

I took over a thousand pictures of the show so I hope you enjoy!

The second show that evening was at the House of Blues for Risque Soiree.  It opened with an act from Minneapolis that had Cadillac Kolstad playing while Tomahawk Tassels danced.  Then came the Master of Ceremonies Johnny Rock from New Orleans.  The performers included the amazing Pearl Lux from Austin, Madame Mystere of New Orleans, Virginia D'Vine of Toronto, Sammich the Tramp from St. Louis who was the only variety act and was amazing.  Rosie 151 of New York, Vivian Velvet of Chicago who gave all new meaning to saluting America, Bazuka Joe of Chicago's Stage Door Johnnie's had an amazing use of towels down to his wash cloth. Kiss Me Kate of San Francisco, Lydia DeCarllo of Vancouver who did an amazing fan dance. New Orleans Burlesque Legend Wild Cherry wowed her audience, Red Snapper of LA, the amazing Ray Gunn of Chicago, also of Stage Door Johnnies did a Matrix Routine that did indeed defy gravity.  Charlotte Treuse of Portland did a beautifully classic routine followed by Shanghai Pearl of Seattle who never ceases to amaze.  Then came out the heavy hitters!  Satan's Angel, Queen of the Fire Tassels, came out with her signature act and the crowd went crazy as the lights dimmed and her flaming tatas twirled before the lights came back up with her flowing robe like wings wrapped around her.  The headliner of the show was Catherine D'lish, who has won over 30 titles, came out in an amazing corset covered in feathers with a tail that made her look like a peacock with it's teal color and length.  As the corset and tail came off she replaced them with two amazing fans that were absolutely breathe taking.  Her skill and grace with fans are unmatched and to see someone using fans twice their height is absolutely mesmerizing.  Sadly I could not get as many photos at HOB (only 348) due to my being short and it being insanely crowded.  Always good for the performers and the promoter, not so much if you're holding a camera and can't see, lol.  I hope that you do enjoy the ones I did get to take!

Sadly I did not get to see the main event which is the Queen of Burlesque competition on Saturday night at Harrah's Casino.  All the performers do their routines with a live band just like they used to back in the day.  It's a very unique experience and I am very sorry to have missed it this year.  The competitors included some of the best burlesque performers in the country, many who have also competed for Miss Exotic World/Reigning Queen of Burlesque at The Burlesque Hall of Fame. The Mistress of Ceremonies was the amazing Kitten on the Keys.  Coco Electric from Austin was crowned The Queen of Burlesque with Renea'le Roux from Las Vegas receiving first runner up and Lola Van Ella of St. Louis received second runner up.  Other performers hoping for the crown included: Ruby Joule of Austin, Amber Ray of New York, Evie Lovelle of LA, Indigo Blue of Seattle, Catherine D'lish of Seattle and Ginger Valentine of Dallas.  There were also special non competition performances by Athena and Dante the Magician, both from New Orleans.

I hope that there will be many more years of the New Orleans Burlesque Festival as this is an amazing event and truly captures the essence of Classic Burlesque!

2010-09-16 Satan's Angel in Have Tassels Will Travel

Satan's Angel, The Devil's Own Mistress and Queen of the Fire Tassels, is a burlesque legend that has had an amazing and interesting life and career.  Her love affairs read like a celebrity who's who list of the 60s and 70s and her career is full of adventure in an attempt to over come many instances of Murphy's Law.  Her one woman improvisation show has been touring all over the country and I was lucky enough to catch it at The Allways Lounge in New Orleans when I was in town for the Burlesque Festival.  The show included a slide show of pictures of her as a baby and of her all through out her amazing career.

Angel told stories about how she ended up performing by winning the amateur night so many times they offered her a job and how she came up with her name.  Some of Angel's stories we're funny, some were touching and some were absolutely heart wrenching with the way she was treated being a gay performer.  The loss of jobs, the physical and mental abuse was all a part of her journey as a performer in a time when it was not okay to be gay.  The show was very moving and multiple people were crying at various points through out the show.  Her life has been an amazing tapestry of love, performance and a struggle to be treated like a human being regardless of her sexual orientation.  I spoke with her afterwards and she said that she felt it was one of her worst performances, but it was also one of the more open and
personal performances as she spoke openly about her drug addiction and her recovery.  You really get a sense of how things were, both good and bad.  Stage door Johnnies bringing minks and diamonds to the performers but it was at a price of personal freedom, body image and the basic human right to love whomever you want regardless of gender.

Satan's Angel is a favorite Burlesque Legend among the neo-burlesque performers as she is very personable and very approachable.  She is extremely out spoken and always willing to give an honest opinion about a performance or a costume.  Sometimes she's known for being a bit of a hot head but that's part of her drinking, smoking and foul mouthed charm.

I was allowed to take picture of the show, as per usual, I do not claim to be a photographer, but I like to take pictures!  So I hope that you enjoy them and there are some lovely images at the end of all the neo-burlesque performers, who were there to watch the show, on stage with Satan's Angel.
There's even some awesome jazz hand action, lol.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2010-09-04 Stormy Knight Presents Dragon*Con Cabaret

For those of you that don't know what Dragon*Con is:

"Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!" - from Dragoncon.org

What does that mean to the layman?  Dragon*Con is a geek themed, five day party, with your favorite celebrities, costumes,  dealers, shows and panels that are all involved in the Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Gaming and other generally nerd-tastic themes!  Remember those guys that got picked on for being smart in school that grew up to become Bill Gates? Yeah, those guys, this is their version of Club Med!  Dragon*Con occurs in Atlanta, GA each year over labor day weekend.  It now includes four official hotels and approximately 50,000 people attended this year.

Some of you may be wondering, how does a classic themed burlesque show fit into the craziness that is Dragon*Con?  I'm going to tell you a little story.  Once upon a time (2006) there was a girl (me) who had been asked to do a fashion panel for the Dark Fantasy Track at Dragon*Con.  This panel ended up being a hot mess and didn't happen.  The next year
(2007), the Dark Fantasy Track Director felt a little guilty and took pity on the poor girl and put together a burlesque panel on his track where she was to cover the History of Burlesque and perform.  That same year The Chameleon Queen (f/k/a Diamond Ice) performed an impromptu Sally Rand Tribute during the band The Last Dance's set.  These two events were so well received by the convention that there was an obvious need for burlesque, here enters Stormy Knight.  Stormy Knight has been a volunteer at Dragon*Con for many years as well as an accomplished bellydancer and burlesque performer.  She proposed the idea of the Dragon*Con Cabaret and it was tacked onto the end of programing in a spare room to see how'd it go, the response was over whelming... 
Fast forward to 2010, this is the third year that Stormy Knight has produced the Dragon*Con Cabaret with both local performers and those from all over the country that have come in for the convention.  

This years line-up included MCs and members from Big Momma's House of Burlesque in Charlotte, NC, including Big Momma D herself.  Her rendition of "You Gotta Have Boobs" was an amazingly well done comedic song and striptease that not only showed off her great vocal talents, but her wonderful comedic timing and over the top personality as well.  She also sang "Bring on the Men".  Boston's own Honey Suckle Duvet did a very seductive performance to "Bad Things" by Jace Everett which was extremely well received as it is the theme from HBO's 'True Blood'.  The Violet Vixxxen, Nashville, TN, did a super cute routine to New York New York in top hat tails and all!  Katherine Lashe (me) did a classic routine to a mix of The Silencers by Viki Carr and Peter Gunn.  Fonda Lingue did a reprise of the routine from the Student Showcase in April.  Atlanta's Mistress of Illusion got to in-trance a whole new audience, I'm still not sure if they knew about her something extra because of her feminine grace and beauty.  Miss Kitty Love, Atlanta, did a sugar plum fairy routine with an amazing confidence and grace that drove the crowd wild.  Freya West from Nashville, TN, did the act I also saw her do at the Dallas Burlesque Festival and I didn't mind at all.  She's an amazingly graceful and flexible performer and has some of the best stocking pulls I have ever seen in my life.  Local favorite Ursula Undress brought the house down with her tribute to Bettie Page to the song Wild Cat.  The Sweetest T in the South, Atlanta's Talloolah Love, did her 'New Dawn" routine that brought the crowd to a hushed mesmerized silence during her routine until they erupted into applause watching her rolling around in her fur. Closing out the show was the impeccable Scarlett Letter.  All the way from California, she did an amazing Judy Garland act with a high energy dance routine and one of the most intricate costumes with some impressive deconstruction ideas that I had never seen used before.  The four feet of red hair and miles of bad intentions was an understatement as she disrobed and won over the audience with both.

I do hate to admit that I know I am leaving out two performers who's names I didn't catch, and of course it's the guys.  There was an bellydancer all the way from Alberta Canada who had an amazing shimmy and balance and he did so with a candelabra balanced on his head.  There was also a gentleman of 1000 voices that told us stories and was a welcome reminder of the vaudeville skits from ages past.  

Over all the show was a lot of fun and a great mix of local favorites along with imported talent.  The audience loved it, well very receptive and just the right mix of drunken rowdy and respectful.  I took some backstage video, because that's what I do, so I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2010-08-27 Mon Cherie's Va Va Voom

Mon Cherie's Presents hosted Va-Va Voom at The Shelter to close out the month of August.  It was a packed house of patrons, vendors, performers and a great time!

The wonderful Mason MCed with some fabulous performances by Dahlia Danger who had a cute monolouge to go along with her disrobing, she looked just like a present when she was done.  Chad Sanborn taught us how to do magic Mr. Roger's style with his magic tampon and a banana.  Rebecca DuShon hooped her way into everyone's hearts and donated a free lesson and a hula hoop to the raffle!  I think everyone was very excited about the raffle!  There were donations from Streetzie's High Heel Bunny Slippers, Loysville (who was also vending) and Lux de Ville, it was an amazing prize pack and I am sure there was more then one person who was disappointed they didn't win!

Everyone that turned out was dressed to the nines and it was a packed house!  There wasn't a lot of dancing going on due to lack of room from the crowd, but there was plenty of socializing and drinks flowing. I didn't get to take as many photos as I would have liked because it was hard to get a clear shot of the stage with everyone so pressed up against it.  Mon Cherie sure does know how to throw one heck of a party!