The week before last, I went to four shows that were part of the Summer Burlesque Blitz, a four-day burlesque festival featuring a lot of impressive stars from the New York burlesque scene (including ones that have performed all over the world!).
First up was Kiki's Paper Dolls in Midsummer Night's Muses. I have no pictures of this show, nor of my outfit, but I realized very quickly I was way overdressed. I wore a black wrap dress to a teeny black box theater. Still, burlesque shows are best in small intimate spaces so it was fine.
It was my first time seeing the Paper Dolls, a quirky group of performers, many of them less seasoned than the women I'm used to seeing. The customs were generally less glamorous--far fewer rhinestones. The show was pretty entertaining if not a little disjointed. With the name Midsummer Night's Muses, I expected something Grecian and stuff. My burlesque crush Kita St. Cyr was really the only one who channeled that, doing a raunchy tribute to Bacchus. But I did like the variety aspect of the show. Vivi Le Voix dressed as a mermaid who sang Verdi while taking her top off to reveal some great starfish pasties. I also really though Samantha Slithers had a charming act. She used a strobe light to give the effect of a black and white silent era film and was a Chaplin-like mime waiting for her date to show up to their picnic. When he didn't come, she pulled two great big snakes out of the picnic basket and seemed to have some kind of sexual something happening with them. Weird, but really great idea.
And then I stuck around until 1 am to see Shocks and Cocks, the boylesque show. Now. In program, it was called the "all nude, all dude review" and yet for some stupid reason I didn't expect full-front nudity. The rest of this post is not for the faint of heart, and neither is this show. Every last performer stripped completely nude (unless you count the machete juggler who kept on his Vans and socks) and several did various tricks with different parts of their anatomy. Our host for the evening, producer and performer Jonny Porkpie did a couple funny songs about how small his penis was. I laughed but my friend and I were left scratching our heads wondering if it was just a shtick or part of a body acceptance movement we weren't familiar with (that's actually possible; a man recently won a pageant for having the Smallest P*nis in Brooklyn).
After Jonny's first song and dance, Hard Cory used his bare butt cheeks to open a beer bottle and then threw it into the (very small) audience. It narrowly missed my head.
Tigger is a pint-sized ginger who's very, um, flexible. So much so that I got a full eye of not just his bright orange pubes but also his perineum or guiche piercing. I didn't even know you could do that. Luckily, Tigger's act was also hilarious, a drag striptease that started off with him as a sort of 60s French bike babe and ended with him doing splits in the nude.
A big thanks to my brave friend who watched the show with me. I'm glad I got to experience the show. It 100 percent lived up to its name--plenty of shocks, plenty of cocks--and gave me a lot to think about. Because these men definitely don't look like they're "supposed" to be stripping. Some were skinny, some were chubby, so maybe, as in female neo burlesque, they want to emphasize body positivity.
What do you think? Would you have liked the boylesque show?