Monday, January 30, 2012

Syrens of the South's Tease Tuesdays

So each Tuesday since November 29, 2011, Syrens of the South Productions has a free burlesque show at Bull Frogz in Kennesaw, which is just North of Atlanta.  Yes, you heard me correctly, a FREE Burlesque show OTP (Outside The Perimeter for those that don't live in the ATL) each week from 8-10pm.  If that's not enough incentive, each Tuesday also comes with $2 beers and $3 well drinks not to mention very tasty and reasonably prices food as well.  I highly recommend the Mozzarella sticks, in case you needed a recommendation.

Though the line-up changes each week to keep the show fresh, regulars to the Tuesday Tease stage include John Carney, Emmalucious, Katherine Lashe and Rosie Palms.  There has also been performances by Chad Sanborn, Edie Akimbo, Kittie Katrina, Princess Jessikat, Sally Strumpet, Stormy Knight, Ursula Undress and the belly dancing gypsy: Willow.  What can you expect on a Tuesday night?  Many of the performers have been using this venue as a way to test out new numbers and experiment with old numbers.  So not only can you get a sneak peak at what is to come, you can also see some acts that have been packed away for a while getting the dust blown off of them.  Also, as this is an OTP performance and at an all ages restaurant, the ladies always wear full coverage panties and under boob is always covered.  They know there are a lot of fans who can't get into the normal 21+ bars to see the show, so now is your chance to get a peek at these lovelies.

Our ability to continue having this show completely depends on the amount of people that show up each week, so if you would like for Syrens of the South to keep having a FREE weekly show in an area that does not normally get burlesque, please come out and grab a drink and catch a show!

Here is a peak at some of the acts that have been happening for the past two months:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2011-12-31/2012-1-1 Imperial OPA Circus with Cake at The Fox

Back in November, a few weeks after wrapping up Boodeeni, my other half received a text that he would be opening for Cake on New Year’s Eve at The Fabulous Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta.  At the time, it was a far off concept and it didn't seem real to either of us.  It wasn’t until he heard it announced on the radio on his way home from work at the beginning of December that it really started sinking in.  Shortly thereafter, I was asked to be the stage manager for this amazing show and ran rehearsals through December to get the show in order and help organize some of the best talent in the Southeast.  It is always an honor to work with these performers and they never cease to amaze me as to what they can accomplish in a very short period of time.

Saturday, December 31, 2011, started pretty early for everyone.  Rigging for the aerialists began at 9:30am with brief moments for them to familiarize themselves the set up before the other opening act, Wolf and the Tuba, and the headliners, Cake, needed to take the stage for set up and sound check.  B and I did the idiot check before leaving the house.  All of his drums and such were packed in the trailer so we wandered over to Zach’s house, the tuba player, to pick him up along with Hiron, otherwise known affectionately to the band as the Keebler Death God, who is the guitarist, lead saxophone, band leader and writer of most of the songs.  We had one more stop before heading over to the Fox; we were off to pick up Mike, aka Brutus, and accessories such as the tumbling weight, the Widow Maker and the Baby Maker.  Once we were loaded up in the car with the trailer packed to the ceiling we were off to the Fox!

Once at the Fox we loaded everything in while Cake was on stage with their sound check.  We were crossing back and forth trying to be as quiet and sneaky as possible to not disturb their sound check.  It was a very surreal experience to be standing on stage, with Cake playing and looking into the 5,000 empty seats that would later be filled by screaming fans.  Once we got everything in we all went down stairs into the catacombs to the OPA dressing room.  Everyone was getting dressed, stretching, putting on make-up and preparing for the run through, which would be our first time actually working on the Fox stage.  We were going to be dividing the show into two acts, one at 8:30pm and one at 10pm, with Wolf and the Tuba going on in between the acts and Cake going on after the final act.  The run through was amazing!  We ran through as many acts as possible in our time frame. We worked with the Fly system for dropping and raising the lyra (aerial hoop), the trapeze and the silks, to make sure we had everything timed correctly to keep the show moving as smoothly as possible.  We had 30 minutes for each act and there was no room for error.

Act one opened with an intro from Tim and the entire cast coming out on stage while the band played “OPA Swing”.  It was a high energy way to start the show and give the audience a taste of what was coming for them throughout the night.  At the end of the song the stage was cleared except for the next act which included Rose going up on the lyra with Meredith and Angela who would be belly dancing to a CD of the song “Erase” by Beats Antique (used with permission of the band.)  The CD had a few skipping issues but Rose and Meredith kept it together through the whole piece and made it look beautiful and the audience had no idea there was a technical issue.  Next were the jugglers, Safety Third, performing to the band playing “Sketchy Gypsy”.  They started with balls and then switched to rings before the music went to double time.  Once the music went to double time Steve, as Father Time, came out in a tiger stripped suit with his walker and began doing balancing tricks and hand stands on both the floor and on his walker.  Next came a fountain of feathers with Musee du Coeur performers: The Chameleon Queen, DeeDee Chmielewski and Desire Evoquer entering with red and white feather fans only to reveal Jacosa hiding behind the cascade of fluff before she rose up to the trapeze to perform while The Chameleon Queen did a beautiful fan dance, backed up by her Musee sisters as the band played “Cutie Pie Malonga.”  After a very solemn and delicate finish monkeys burst onto the stage scaring off the beautiful ladies, clearing the area for Brutus, The Iron Behemoth, and his lovely assistant Petunia showing off their beast master skills.  With creatures such as Discount Monkey, Expensive Monkey, Picasso the Geometric Gorilla and rounding out the show with the evil vultures, these beast puppets showed both amazing puppetry skill as well as a wonderful comedic vaudeville skit done by Brutus and Petunia who also wrote the bit.  Next up was Lauren, who flipped and twisted herself on the aerial silks while the band played “Beaten Tracks” and The Chameleon Queen and DeeDee danced Sky Writers over the audience.  Closing out the first act was Todd and Amber doing their AcroYoga hand balancing act.  The band played “Troup Enters” while they spun each other around with the finale being them balanced while Tony, the expensive monkey, dove between their balanced bodies and Brutus, Petunia, Steve, John, Rose, Dee Dee and Jacosa created a human pyramid behind them to frame their amazing feats of feet!

After the first act everyone had approximately one hour to change clothes, smoke cigarettes, and get ready for act two while Wolf and the Horn played and managed to fill up the stage and get the audience hopping with their two person band. 

Act two opened with a welcome from Tim and then immediately went into Safety Third juggling clubs with assistance from the beautiful Desiree Evoquer and the band playing “Puppy Dog Stomp.”  They quickly tossed the clubs back and forth, starting with four and working their way up to ten clubs flying back and forth across the stage.  Next came Lauren back on the silks with a slower, what appeared to be more difficult and was definitely full of some amazing acts of skill.  Dee Dee came out and did a beautiful veil dance while The Chameleon Queen and Desire fluttered on the sides with silk fans to extend the beauty coming from the aerial silks while the band played “Sinking Stars.”  After Lauren lowered herself to floor it was time for Brutus and Petunia to re-enter with their amazing feats of Strong Mannery which included a fight over the tumbling weight while the band played “F F#” and giant weights for a lift off before creating sexy voltrons with their unpaid gypsy harems to try to outdo each other. In the end they decided to work together and even the unpaid gypsy harems seemed please.  Next was another bought of AcroYoga to “G Thing” with all the spinning and lifting you could imagine with Tony bouncing off a Spring board doing a flip over the two of them, which was a very spectacular ending.  Next was Jacosa’s time to shine on the trapeze while Rose did an acrobatic fabric dance on the floor.  Jacosa twisted and swung in amazing angles while keeping herself precariously balanced as the band played “Moondoggie” during all of her tangles and turns.  The Belly dancers returned to the stage with their tribal dancing and ended with Fire Fans, balance candles and Tim coming on stage with a flaming sward.  It was a very spectacular way to end the show.  The final act was the bows while the band played “Bella Chow” and the entire cast came on stage and took a bow that waved across the stage and then the cast danced around the stage bringing up the energy of the audience before Cake took the stage. 

The band was totally amazing and hit all the cues, even the ones we had trouble hitting due to technical difficulties.  Their professionalism and skill helped move the show along and create a seamless line from act to act that kept the show going.  As I was the only person running props and working with Larry “the Fly Guy” to get all the aerials in, there were a few moments that there was more than I could do by myself.  All of the performers were wonderful and willing to help me by hopping in and assisting me in getting tumbling mats placed, set props, etc… They were truly amazing to work with and all so willing to help out so that everyone’s act went well, not just focusing on their own.  I am very pleased to say that we were 30 seconds under in our time in the first act and almost one full minute under in the second act.  In fact, everything went so well that Cake asked all of us to be on stage for the countdown at midnight so that’s how we all rang in the New Year.  It was an amazing moment, just being on stage with Cake and the rest of the OPA while 5,000 people celebrated with us is the most amazing way I’ve ever spent a New Year’s Eve.  If this is any sign as to how the rest of the year will be, by all means, bring on 2012!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011-12-17 5th Annual Tits for Toys for Tots Burlesque Show

On December 17, 2011, Syrens of the South Productions had a stage full of new performers and some seasoned veterans in an attempt to collect toys for the less fortunate in their 5th Annual Tits for Toys for Tots Burlesque Show.

I got there around 5pm and that's about when the toys started flowing in.  Though the doors didn't open until 7pm, we had advertised that  even if you could't make the show we would accept toys from ANYONE who was willing to swing by and drop them off through out the night.  Before the doors even opened we had already collected around a hundred toys which was an excellent start to the evening.  Back stage, the Tease U Level 1 students were pacing and preparing for their showcase and the old pros were laughing and applying make-up, it's amazing what a little experience does for your backstage attitude.

At 8pm it was time for the students to strut their stuff!  I, Katherine Lashe, took to the stage to introduce my newest batch of students.  Opening the show was Princess Jessikat who wowed the audience not only with her tease, but with her singing voice as well.  Next came our favorite little murderess Sally Strumpet who's red right hand not only stole her clothes, but may have stole the show as well.  On a more serious note, the Rev Robin Sexton (yes, she's really ordained) came on to bring sexy back to the pulpit and not only made much of the audience laugh so hard they were in tears, they also were falling over each other for a sprinkle of her holy glitter so they could be baptized in the church of burlesque!  Keeping the audience laughing was Edie Akimbo who went through spontaneous puberty right in front of the audience's eyes and flashed everyone her rhinestoned beaver!  Then came Stella Doll, who did a reverse strip, showing us how a lady gets ready for a night on the town making putting it on just as sexy as taking it off!  Closing out the solo acts was Sarah Femme who did a classic strip tease to a modern song, the blend of traditional movements to non-traditional music made it a whole new kind of act.  While the students prepared for their group number burlesque performer and teacher Ruby Redmayne took the stage to cheer them on dressed as a cheerleader.  Not like a regular cheerleader, but the cheerleader of your dreams who had strategically placed letters placed all over her very encouraging form.  The Tease U group routine closed out the show with all six students strutting their stuff with a shimmy and shaking of their money makers.  Each student showcase is better then the last and I am extremely proud of all of these ladies for sticking with it for their stage debut!

The main event kicked off with Kisa von Teasa of Knoxville's Salome Cabaret being "that girl", you know, the one that goes to the holiday party and has way to much to drink before being inappropriate.  Luckily for us taking your clothes off in public is absolutely appropriate at a burlesque show and she totally rocked the drunk girl chic!  After Kisa staggered off the stage, Rosie Palms took us to Christmas Island with a promise of beaches and palm trees covered in lights an ornaments to celebrate the holiday in more welcoming weather.  If you couldn't imagine it on your own, Rosie was having no problem heating up the stage to make you feel that beach heat.  Jacqueline Trade took us back to WWII with a beautiful classic strip tease waiting on her honey to come home for the holidays and closed with his entrance and a very passionate kiss on stage.  Selia d'Katzmeow from North Carolina showed the audience how to stay warm in the winter weather while raising the temperature by taking it off on stage.  Next came hometown honey Talloolah Love, through not a holiday number, it was too fabulous to turn away.  She debuted her Southern Peach routine that only made the audience want to take a juicy bite out of her when she was done!  Spinarella's Bella took the stage by force with a giant group number that had a pimping Santa Claus that was thrilled her knew where all the bad girls lived.  With assels, chair work and very well rehearsed choreography this dance routine made the audience go wild and ended with Mrs. Claus busting Santa for his indiscretions and brought it home with her own assel twirling skills.  Closing out the first half was Burlesque Legend Gabriella Maze who did a blend of classic strip tease and robe work before doing some very naughty things with Cookie Monster.  It brought down the house with awe and a laugh before we broke for intermission.

During the second half of the show I handed the MC reigns over to Kisa von Teasa so I could change it to something less comfortable so I could take it off on stage.  Opening the first act was Lah Lah Lucious who sang "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and then revealed a very naughty outfit with paddle under her robe for when Santa arrived.  Next I came on stage to show my love of Dr. Seuss with my holiday tribute to the Grinch.  After me, Selia d'Catzmeow came back on stage in plaid pajamas and showed that taking it off and putting it back on it a great way to warm up those winter nights, especially when you get to open presents!  Speaking of presents, Lola LeSoliel came out as Santa Claus and handed candy canes to the audience before showing everyone what she really wanted for Christmas which was a boa, a boa made out of money that is!   Putting the ass in class was Pearl E White who did a tribute to the Marine's that would make anyone think boot camp sounded like a good idea, especially with the boots she was wearing.  She somehow managed to be tasteful and trashy all at the same time and rounded out the act with her assels.  Next came a more traditional routine by Ursula Undress with the bumpiest version of "O Holy Night" I've ever heard.  By the time she was done shimming out of her clothes the audience knew why they should fall to their knees and rejoice.  Fonda Lingue came out as Suzy Snowflake with an elegant and beautiful routine, this King of Boylesque is truly the classiest of ladies.  The finale was a very sensual and stunning routine by Burlesque Legend Gabriella Maze who definitely gave us all something to put on our holiday wish lists.  She was wonderful to watch and her grace and poise was truly a window to days gone by.

The whole show was amazing and I am always surprised and blessed by the amazing performers that I get to share the stage is.  Special thanks to Kisa von Teasa for splitting the MC duties with me.  Kisa is a hilariously quick witted MC that rolls with the punches as well as she can roll down her stockings and keeps the audience begging for more.  We raised over 300 toys for Sgt Lopera to take back to be handed out to children all over the Atlanta area.  All the performers take a special joy in being on stage and it's that much more amazing when we do so for a good cause.

Next show: Vixens Valentease Burlesque Show benefiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Friday, February 10, 2012 at The Five Spot Doors at 8pm, Show at 9pm, $20 or $10 with three cans to be donated to the food drive!