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Archive for May, 2012

VIBF-Friday by Guest Blogger Madame Mae I

Posted on May 14th, 2012

The Vogue Theatre was buzzing with excitement from the very beginning. The diversity in the line-up was what had me most excited, and I couldn’t wait to see some of my favourite comedic, classic, and ‘alternative’ performers on stage.

It was really hard to pick out my favourites from the night since every performance had something unique and exciting to offer. So I didn’t. I wrote about them all 

But before I start reviewing the acts, I need to mention somebody who made the night for me. Somebody who held everything together, captured the audience and never let them go, and broke out her own brand of sass for everybody to see. That somebody is Crystal Precious. Holy fuck, girl! That was some kick-ass hosting. I loved the costume changes, the strip-hop opening, and how you seamlessly moved the audience from one act to the next. Amazing. Simply amazing.

The night started with a bang with Villainy Loveless, who made the costume & bondage festishist in me very happy with her Cop act. In true badass fashion, when she lost a pastie she simply ripped the other one off and continued her act unapologetically.

Jenny Magenta was probably the scariest and funniest bridezilla I have ever seen. And speaking of terrifying and hilarious, Sparkle Plenty performed one of the best acts I’ve seen from her in the comedic act “Fear of Clowns”.
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Blue Morris had the female audience members squealing in delight with his guitar act and exacted one of the most creative male stocking peels that I have seen. Luciterra Fusion Bellydance had the audience in awe with their performance, which blended various styles of dance together in a synchronized and extremely well executed choreography.

The first act closed with Cherry on Top and Lola Frost performing their duet, Egyptian Nights, which they are competing with at BHOF. I have seen this act before, and I loved it then, but these ladies NAILED IT on the Vogue stage. The act is innovative, creative, and captivating. I loved the choreography and dance elements, and the energy of these two women together on stage is awe-inspiring. Plus, there really is something to be said for two ladies stripping each other’s clothes off. Hot!

Voracious V opened the second act with Naughty Geisha, and performed it better than I have ever seen! Spooksy DeLune was next with a sexy and dark act titled “Dirt”. From the Morticia-style dress to the gutting of a pumpkin on stage, it was a thrill to watch.

Nicky Ninedoors was up next with “Nude”. She sang live, and with the amazing acoustics of the Vogue and her natural talent, her voice was hauntingly beautiful. Paired with those gorgeous fans, it was certainly an act that stood out.

Screaming Chicken’s “East Van Dreams” was a thrill to watch. I need to take a moment to commend them for their clean and well-executed choreography. With a group that large, it’s a hard thing to accomplish, and they managed to achieve it with a sense of sparkly glamour and their own brand of SC fun. Great job, guys!

Cherry Typhoon warmed my heart when she performed. This woman is so adorable and fun to watch. Her face shines with joy and happiness, and it is obvious that she is having the time of her life on stage. The act from start to finish was fun and entertaining.

Then came the burlesque legend, Tiffany Carter, with her Cat act. Ummm….YES! The first thing I saw when she got on stage was that the whiskers on her cat mask lit up – amazing. I loved the double layer of gloves and how she had zippers to remove the top layer. Then, of course, we were able to witness her legendary negligee work, which was, of course, amazing. And then it finished off with pasties that lit up just like the whiskers on her cat mask. Sigh! I love watching legends perform, and so did the Vogue audience. Standing ovation for a deserving legend!

Raven Virginia and Violet Rhapsody performed a star trek/fight scene/go-go girls act titled “Star Trek Booblesque” that was so fun and random that you couldn’t help but love it.

Melody Mangler performed “Waaah Wow!” which showcased her inventive costuming, excellent musicality, and sheer stage presence. This woman is one of those performers that could stand on stage and do nothing and it would still capture the attention of each and every audience member and have them at the edge of their seats.

April O’Peel, my favourite comedic performer in Vancouver, performed her Chicken act. The perfect combination of comedic timing, characterization, classic striptease, and excellent musicality had the audience in the palm of her hand. From start to finish, I loved every moment of this act.

Jesse Belle Jones’ “Hobo Jones” stood out as one of my favourite acts of the night. It was inventive (newspaper fans!) and theatrical. The choreography was at a professional level, and I enjoyed that she brought so many dance elements into the act. It was unique and different, and very well received.

The night finished off with a performance by the “No-pantser Romancer”, Jett Adore, with his act “The Peacock”. I am completely in love with this act. It was beautiful and creative, with the music complimenting each movement he made perfectly. To be honest, I forgot I had to review the act when I was watching so I wasn’t able to make many notes, but I do think I heard a lot of panties hitting the floor during his performance.

After the curtain call and the show ended, I was left with a giant smile on my face. I felt so proud of the VIBF Board, the volunteers, and the performers (both locally and internationally) who made the Friday night showcase such a success. Amazing work, guys!

-Madame Mae I
www.yesyoumae.com

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VIBF- Thursday Night

Posted on May 13th, 2012

Huzzah!! A success!! A milestone for Vancouver’s community and Burlesque at large. I’m happy to report that Vancouver has celebrated its 7th annual Burlesque festival. Seven years that have seen Burlesque grow and flourish and celebrated in our little mountain city- no small feat really considering that while we remain a Burlesque capital, with creativity and innovation constantly reaching and improving, other cities complain of low pay rates, being unable to sell out a bar show for their festival, and smaller talent pools. Its a very inspiring thing to be a part of. To see the talent and joy and endless unpaid work, paying off as my friends and peers performed their hearts out in a theatre that they deserved to play in. The greatest thing I got to see this weekend, what made the stress of helping and hoping this festival would pan out, were my friends happy.

 

This year’s festival saw everyone pulling out all the stops! Everyone brought their A game and I was very proud of everyone who performed! One of the major changes this year were the 2 night showcase at the Vogue Theatre. Wow-Wa-Wee-Wow, what a venue!! The board this year were reluctant to still offer the Thursday as a night for productions as we were concerned about making sure the larger venue would sell out but man oh man am I ever glad that we kept the production night!

 

For those unfamiliar with how our festival used to work, it had more of a fringe festival feel with groups or producers creating 1 hour shows specifically for the festival.  We switched things up this year and had the two nights at the Vogue as more of a showcase- it seemed like the best way to have more opportunities for performers to play at such a rad venue. After some concern from the community we decided to keep the Thursday night as a vehicle for productions still and I have to say that I feel the production night is such an important opportunity for growth and innovation that there is no way I would ever recommend it going anywhere!! I love not knowing what am I going to see and loved the different styles and themes that each group offered.

 

Starting off the night were Pandora and the Locksmiths with The Night Owl Revue, a tribute to scintillating soul music. Things I loved about this production were Carole Brunette’s Foxy Lady; Holy Tail Spin!! I had never seen that one before and I definitely appreciated it!

 

For me, the best number of the entire night came from Burgundy Brixx as she played a very sexy she-devil What an absolute professional- she is a magician of striptease!

 

We also saw Nicky Ninedoors with her new boa. She humped it. I liked it.

 

Miss Fitt was also a standout of this production. She got kindof weird on me with her psychedelic adventure involving mushrooms and tye dye silk fans and I REALLY liked that. The best part of her performances all evening twas her joy- which was absolutely infectious. It was joyful for me to watch and in my opinion were the best performances of her career to date.

 

It was a polished performance of perfection from The Night Owl Revue (I would expect nothing less)

The second production of the night came from local producer, performer and board member, Blue Morris. I originally voted against this production because I thought it had already been seen too many times in Vancouver this year but I definitely ate my words. The fact that this team of talented tempters and temptresses already had their dry runs (so to speak) meant that this was a very very strong and impressive show. I have spent the last 5 years of my life, living, eating, watching, and performing Burlesque with many of the cast members of this production and I had the very succinct feeling that I was witnessing many of these performers in their prime. This show was flawless in my mind and special shout outs to Melody Mangler, Violet Femme, Calamity Kate for coming so far and being so damn awesome.

 

I also definitely need to mention Connie Cahoots as being a stellar host! I absolutely loved her characters and skits which really helped the production feel like a production.

 

Also deserving mention twas Via Rose- Her Blackbird fan dance was absolute perfection and in my mind, her greatest performance yet.

 

I also wanted to send out a Hell Ya to Rebel Valentine, who proved she is able to master any genre of Burlesque with her solo that was quite abit prettier than her usual Neo-Bad Assery.

 

The night finished off with Bender in Bermuda, the love child between the Surf Messiahs and the collective of Maggie Pie, Sparkle Plenty and Madam Manic. I loved this production thanks to its imaginative group numbers, stunning costuming and swell music! It was a great way to end the evening. The theme worked really well and felt super cohesive. SO FUN!

 

Stand outs for me included EVERY GROUP NUMBER!! Something about groups on a big stage…. drool… They were so tight and just so we all know- dancing alcohol is my favourite thing ever. The End!

 

I also really loved Sister Madly’s solo which for me, was one of the stand outs of the entire night. Glitter in the stocking, acrobatics onto her chair and the helium baloons floating around created an absolute magical effect and I was over the moon for this number!!

 

I also love love LOVED the crab number from Voodoo Pixie and Coco Cinders. This duo have some real magic going on together- they are well polished and have the comedy and cute down pat! They could be a variety show all on their own. BE MY SCREEN SAVER!!!

 

All in all it was a great night out and everyone really brought it! It was a great way to kick off the festival and I honestly cannot wait to see what productions will make it in next year. All photos were taken by Voodoo Bill’s Kustom Photography. Check out his stuff HERE- he’s great!!!

 

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Welcome to Burlesque Stars!

Posted on May 10th, 2012

Greetings Everyone and Welcome to BurlesqueStars!

I’m writing this from beautiful Vancouver, which I like to call “VanGroovy” – and which certainly was that this past weekend with the 7th annual Vancouver International Burlesque Festival hitting town.

This festival is quite meaningful to us as when we launched StripCHEEZ two years ago, it was during the same event. We received such gracious and enthusiastic support from everyone at the festival – Producers, Performers, Photographers and the audience that it gave us great momentum to continue on to Toronto, New Orleans, New York and BurlyCon later that year.

While participating in those events, we asked a lot of questions on how we could improve our service to the community. Your answers came in droves and were smart, funny and really constructive.

Cut to present day and we’ve evolved into BurlesqueStars.net, a whole new site that implements these changes and gives you a beautiful new venue within which to enjoy and use them.

Please take a tour and let us know what you think. If you’re active as a performer, producer, photographer, videographer or school, you’ll want to check out our “PRO” membership. It gives you a ton of promotional and organizational tools that will help manage and boost your career – and you can try it out for free!

You can visually customize your profile page to reflect your fabulousness – and integrate it to your facebook and twitter accounts so everyone can see what you’re up to. You can create events that are immediately posted on facebook, but also super easy to search and find on B-Stars with the keyword tags we provide for you to use. Upload photo albums (never flagged :) , show your activities in the calendar on your profile page, lock and unlock videos, list yourself or search for people you need in the “Availability Listings”, and sooo much more.

I think you’ll find it quite useful and enjoyable, so please check it out and let your friends in on it as well. We’re here to serve you and help your Burlesque Career be as fun and productive as possible.

And thanks again to all the incredible people who made the 7th Annual Vancouver International Burlesque Festival such a great success. We’re honoured and proud to be a part of this great, fun and innovative community. We’ll be posting videos from the festival in the next couple weeks, so keep your beautiful self tuned to BurlesqueStars and also make a point to say Hi if you see me at a festival – we’ll be at as many as we can this year.

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