Friday, December 9, 2011

Back Bar Beauties Burlesque

One of Seattle’s newest troupes, Back Bar Beauties Burlesque, is attempting a new approach to building their audience base. Their holiday show is playing three nights in three different bars, and three different neighborhoods. Last night this gypsy troupe of burlesque performers was at Sonya’s Skyy Lounge in Downtown Seattle. I am a big fan of the traveling show format.  Some of my best experiences as an actor have been with such shows, so I am excited to see a troupe embracing this in the burlesque community.

I applaud the Beauties’ for this concept and the guts to go this route with their shows.  It is hard work and creatively very challenging.  I do want to caution them that they are going to need to ramp up their game if the troupe is going to have staying power.

Individually the acts were all pretty solid, aside from feeling a bit cramped (Sonya’s back bar has a tiny little stage), but as a collection the show felt a bit… lackluster. At first glance the show seems pretty varied. Laela Lovechild’s tap dance routine was high energy and spirited, and I was impressed by her choreography. Tin Pan Sally and Olatsa Assin’s musical theatre themed acts added a lovely element of vocal performance to the show; and Tin Pany Sally's Misery themed piece was pretty darn funny. Madisun Avenue’s wind up doll was a beautiful and fun take on the classic Nutcracker’s Columbine, and Donatella Melies engaged the entire audience with her Christmas tree act. All of this was great!

Where the show lost me was that despite the apparent variety, nearly everything ended the same, followed the same arc of the tease, and honestly there wasn’t enough teasing in the show for me. Stripping and baring a beautiful body is all well and good, but I wanted so much more from these lovelies. I wanted more power on the stage, more confidence, more sensuality. I wanted more costume, more pieces to remove. I wanted more spectacle, perhaps a touch of pageantry.

My final critique is that the group act felt superfluous. It neither introduced something new nor topped what was previously seen. As a finale it kind of dragged. As an encore however it would have worked fairly well. My advice to the ladies of BBBB is to switch the order of curtain call and your group act.

All of this boils down to the structuring of the show. A good burlesque show is itself a burlesque act. There should be an arc, a tease, and a solid finish. The audience should want more but feel satisfied at the same time. This takes practices, trial and error and flexibility to switch things up and if this group sticks with it I think they’ll put together some really fun collections.

Back Bar Beauties Burlesque, with Laela Lovechild, Olatsa Assin, Donatella Melies, Madisun Avenue and Tin Pan Sally, has one more performance of their holiday show coming up at Coppergate in Ballard, December 18th. Help support this troupe and give them some love and encouragement. There is potential here!


Fosse Jack

PS: If you continue to use the personable and lovely Miss Anita Goodman as your hostess, remember that Anita is the ‘eye of a hurricane’, the calm within a storm.  Don't be afraid to bump it up a notch to provide a stronger contrast with your emcee!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Upcoming Show: Christmas Stockings

I am the proud brother of a United States Marine. My brother has been an anchor of support for me, accepting me as gay when the larger part of my family has not been able to accept that part of my life. He is clueless of course as to how same-sex relationship work and I have to say I laughed really hard when he asked me if I was the “man” or the “woman” in the relationship, but that aside I cannot begin to fully express my gratitude for him personally or my pride in what he does.

I cannot agree or be happy with many of the choices the US government has made over my lifetime or is still making, but I will continue to lend my emotional and vocal support to the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces. Now I get to help out with more!

Seattle’s Miss Kitty Baby (also a US Marine!) and her Pinup Angels are having their holiday show fundraiser to help raise money for care packages which they will send to US Troops the world over. The show, Christmas Stockings will be held at The Rendezvous on December 17th with a performance at 7:00pm and a second at 8:30pm. The lineup is super sexy and will include Miss Kitty Baby, Lucky Penny and Tamara the Trapeze Lady among others!

I would love to encourage all of you to add Christmas Stockings to your holiday show list (I know there are a lot!) because the cause is a really good one. Whether you agree with government policy or more likely do not, I know that my burlesque comrades won’t be able to say no to supporting the offering of sexy cheesecake and goodies to stressed out men and women!

Help ensure some Angels’ ears will ring and come to Christmas Stockings.

The Pinup Angels present Christmas Stockings: A Burlesque and Cabaret Fundraiser featuring an all-star cast of Seattle talent. All proceeds will benefit our care package fund to send morale to our deployed troops.

Dec 17, 2011 TWO SHOWS!
7:00 PM & 8:30 PM
$15 Advance... $20 DOS
Get Tickets Here!

Fosse Jack

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bootleg Burlesque, Top Shelf Burlesque at Recession Proof Prices

Last night at Happy Ending Urban Mercantile, a store front repurposed for the evening as a performance venue, hosted a theatrical throwback to burlesque’s fringe origins in Seattle. The show, Bootleg Burlesque, produced by Solange Corbeau and Flirty Sanchez, paid homage to prohibition era entertainment and depression era values … doing taboo things on the cheap.

There were two rules that every performer had to follow. 1) They could not spend more than $50 on a costume (which is a feat to be sure!) and 2) any pieces they repurposed or borrowed could have never been used as part of a burlesque act before. So this group of artists stretched the limits of their creativity to create acts that were both visually entertaining AND inexpensively fashioned, and despite these limitations they all succeeded.

The venue itself presented both challenges opportunity. The size of the performance space was a hindrance, and more than once I was afraid a performer was going to crash into one of the nearby pieces of furniture or the audience. Being space conscious myself, it was not a venue I would have felt comfortable performing in, for the sheer fact that from the wall to the audiences’ noses I wouldn’t be able to extend my 6’4” wingspan (damn lanky limbs). As for the audience, I was fortunate to have a good seat and even I lost sight of the performers from time to time. If the producers are going to continue producing here they will need to either reformat the staging or lower the ticket price. The front row had a $15 view, but most everyone else ended up just a little cheated.

That being said if the producers reconsider the staging (perhaps consider doing a floor show in the round?) the space offers some amazing opportunities that almost make up for the disadvantages.

Last night Bootleg Burlesque allowed Seattle burlesque performers to break the last major taboos of our performance community. In an alcohol free venue the legality surrounding nudity is loosened and the removal of a pasty becomes the final reveal that Seattle audiences have yet to experience. I am glad that most of the performers retained their nipple coverings, because it made the couple of times where nipple was bared all the more powerful and sexy.

The cast of performers never failed to impress.

Hostess Diva Le Deviant was in her element in this intimate space, and wearing little save $50 (seriously she had $20s for pasties and a pair of $5s as a merkin!) she titillated the audience with her unique blend of elegance, class and over-sexed bawdy humor. Diva darling, you are a Tigress among future-Cougars.

Musical artist Sara Dippity serenaded us during the pre-show and intermission with some beautifully sung, sultry jazz pieces. It is hard work to entertain an antsy audience during their break, and it can be thankless but Sara took it all in stride and I very much appreciated her performances.

Polly Wood opened the show with her blend of classic bump and grind, silver-screen inspired storylines and musical theatre camp. I love it when a burlesque act tells a clear story and Polly is one of the best storytellers in the art form.

Harriet Scary followed Polly. Harriet is what happens when you take a performance artist, lock them in a dark room and starve it. Than after a couple of weeks you unleash it into a flock of captive audience members. I mean this as both a compliment to the artist and a warning to any future audiences that get to experience this off kilter trany-wreck.

The next performer was new to me, but I will have to say that he can join the trio of plushy-pals on my bed anytime. Gosh I could snuggle with Teddy Bare for hours. Teddy’s act was short, sweet and funny, and he had a mastery of comic self-consciousness that few artists can affect with any level of truthfulness. I hope to see more of him in the future.

Solange Corbeau entertained us with her love of whiskey (which is a real and very romantic thing… I’ve heard her discuss this passion before), in a solid piece of moonshiner comedy.  Her opening was the funniest thing of the night, I love it when a performer can make me laugh by doing 'nothing.'

Another performer new to me was the first act closer, Fanny Tragic. With my brief experience of this performer I feel confident in saying that Fanny is the love child Lucille Ball and the Clown from It. There was a little too much time between the first and second parts of her act but the audience seemed to be entertained enough to allow it, so I will too.

The second act was opened one of my favorite camp-artists, Lady Tatas. Tatas performed her Dimestore Diamond act with finesse and flare. Her costume was also the most creatively crafted, using trash bags, beads and other mundane objects to create a rather dazzling show girl ensemble. Lovely.

Watching Madisun Avenue perform is like watching the collision of a group of gossamer clad coryphées in slow motion. She is graceful, limber and mesmerizing. Her three part act structure is also refreshing allowing the audience to bask in her presence for longer than a single song.

Olatsa Assin packs a lot of attitude into her petite frame and her number last night embraced that attitude. I would have liked the act to go for a little longer, because two minutes of Olatsa just isn’t enough. I haven’t seen anyone tie a tie in a reverse strip yet. Hint. Hint.

Flirty Sanchez embraced the repressed energy of Prohibition Era and the drive and passion of the coinciding Suffrage movement in an act done to spoken word poetry. It was fascinating and I couldn’t help but compare Flirty to Catherine Hepburn as her regal presence captivated me. Normally such an act, that is one without a strong musical anchor, would have lost the audience pretty quickly but Flirty commanded them and they obeyed. Brava.

Randi Rascal was the final performer of the night, and her performance will have a lasting impression on me. Like Flirty, Randi used minimalistic movement to convey her message. But while Flirty’s motivation was to simply express the truth, Randi’s was to actively dominate her audience and that she did well. Randi’s reveal of a single bare nipple was terribly sexy, but it was the appearance of a whiskey flask hidden somewhere upon her nearly naked person that brought the house down. She pulled WHAT our or her WHAT? Seriously yo, that was some sexy sh!t.

Last night the performers brought game to a playing field that was far from ideal and they rocked it. I’d like to applaud each of you, and look forward to seeing more of this kind of awesomeness in the future.


Fosse Jack

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sinner Saint Burlesque Presents: DARK MATTER

Sinner Saint Burlesque’s current show DARK MATTER is an exploration of the darker side of the soul; a journey through the “cosmos” in search of something that cannot be found externally because it only exists within our minds. It features a variety of burlesque acts, a few old favorites and several new pieces. Last night Evilyn Sin Claire, Dona Dei Cuori, Jesse Belle-Jones, and Polly Wood performed (Sorry I missed you Tatas!) with internationally known belly dancer, Delilah as host.

As a host Delilah is charming, if a little scattered. She approached the audience with good natured humor and shared some interesting “dark matter” facts. I would have liked a little more introductory info with certain acts, Dona’s especially could have used some extra set up (I thought the Alistair Crowley bit and “the beast” would have been great to elaborate on!). I would have also loved for her to play more with the “woman of the night” and less with the pirate captain schtick, but I have never been able to share Seattle’s obsession with pirates. I also feel that in act three when she let the piratic-affectation go to talk of life and death she seemed the most natural and comfortable. More please! Also more dancing, I very much enjoyed watching you!

Jesse Belle-Jones’ acts, her “Straight Jacket” number and her “Cycles” act (not sure what she calls it) were both exquisite. She explored and embraced the 'dark' aspects of femininity such as the strictures that society and psychology put on the female mind and the fact that women’s bodies rebel against them once a month. I have long believed that by embracing the difficulties pressed upon you, the evils so to speak, rather than fighting them, causes them lose their power over you. These were excellent and beautiful examples of embracing these trials and finding empowerment in them.

Polly Wood’s acts, the “Whore of Babylon” and “Soldier’s Wife” also explored the dark aspects of the soul. In one she delivers death to the “faithful” and finds pleasure in their blood, in the other she prepares both herself and her love for the death that is inevitable. I would have really liked to see a 'body' in the first act, but I'm not sure if thats in the 'sweet hearts' job description.  (Hey Polly, let me know if you want to kill me on stage!)  The Soldier’s Wife is especially powerful and I am glad she brought this one back. It makes me cry every time I see it.

Dona De Cuori explored the dark side of spirituality (or perhaps spiritual identity?) and the transformative power of death. In her “Beast” act she portrayed a shamanistic revelry or ecstasy as first, she was the beast, and then found her passion in the beast. Her “Black Feathers” act featured a fan powered ‘inferno’ and showed the dark, bestial, side of her being burned away to reveal her humanity beneath. I would have liked for her to take her head piece off, and complete the transformation.

Evilyn Sin Claire showed us the dark side of everyday life, specifically the extent to which our society will seek excuses for ‘illicit behavior’ in this case, Ambien. Fortunately Evilyn doesn’t need the excuse of “the pills made me do it” to tease and tantalize us with those vivacious curves! Her final act, embraces “The End”. An exploration of Mayan eschatology, and the movement toward the end of that calendar and the birth of a possible new age, this act is (and leads into) the piece de resistance of DARK MATTER.

As a whole DARK MATTER is an entertaining, and thoughtful revue. The individual acts are of SSB’s usually professional quality and with some polishing and streamlining of segues the show could be among their strongest.

In case you didn’t know SSB will be leaving Seattle for spell in January 2012 (to grace London with their presence!), so DARK MATTER will be the last run most of us will have the privilege of experiencing till they get back in early March. Check it out folks, this one makes you think! (I also have it on good authority that when Lady Tatas is back, she will be reprising her "Toddlers and Tiaras" act... which is one of these creepiest things I've seen on stage!)


Fosse Jack

Monday, November 14, 2011

Academy of Burlesqe 202 Recital

I don’t normally do write-ups for shows that I perform in, but my classmates deserve the recognition! On Saturday night I joined Man Johnson, Piston Chambers, Summer Lovin, Rip Curl, and the Rhinestone Stud, Sir Eddie Van Glam, on the stage at West Hall for the Burlesque 202 Graduation Recital. Our host? The Man, the Myth, the Mustache, Ernie Von Schmaltz!

Man Johnson: Few recital acts receive standing ovations, but Man Johnson rocked it with both of his numbers. Fearless on stage, he goes places that would make most performers blush. His Leather Daddy Subverted act was superb. His self-confidence and command of the audience made clear at the beginning made his total submission to an iconic Japanese chibi-cat all the more amazingly funny. His act (I will dub) ‘Love Sucks’ was so over the top and committed that our classmates joined in the uproarious laughter every time we saw it. SuPURRRRb, I bow before you sir!

Piston Chambers: You can’t help but love this incorrigible and precocious boi when (s)he busts out his signature, mischievous grin. His first number, which I like to call “It’s F*ck and Bake and I Helped” is a solid piece of burlesque comedy. High energy, and multi-layered this piece will never allow me to look at raw chicken the same way again! Piston’s “Drumline” act was daring, and fresh. It focused not on the strip tease but on the abandon of an artist truly loving what they do, the passion of which lead to the shedding of clothes. Piston always makes me really happy when he performs! Love you!

Summer Lovin: With grace and confidence, Summer Lovin dived head long into this nearly all boylesk group, and I believe made her Seattle debut in the process! Summer’s acts walked a fine line between classic and neo-burlesque. Her “Not in the Mood” act took an anti-glamour approach, and allowed her to focus on a very well played, back and forth tease with the audience. Her “Milk Maid” act likewise was a gift to the audience. Summer Lovin took stereotypical scenarios and turned them on their heads, in a fun and fresh way. I really look forward to seeing more of Summer and what she comes up with!

Rip Curl: Rip is a walking, talking, geek of a teddy bear and I love it! His ability to play a crowd is truly impressive. He asks the audience if they want him to ‘take it off’ and happily obliges when they enthusiastically say ‘Yes!’ His Firefly inspired dinosaur act is high energy, fun, and a definite crowd pleaser. His final reveal at the end made me SO happy and proud! His “Occupy” themed number was likewise popular. Channeling strength and determination, and more than a touch of outrage he both praised and chided unbridled protest. Very nice balance!

Sir Eddie Van Glam: I am particularly proud of the Rhinestone Stud, Sir Eddie Van Glam. Having had the opportunity to serve as friend and mentoring peer, I am truly thankful that he has continued in the art form and hope that he sticks with it for a long time! Van Glam’s first act was truly HOT. A very masculine take on a classic chair dance, Van Glam allowed himself to be sexy and stunned the audience with his strength and control. Later he ‘hammed’ it up with his celebrity crush act, implementing crisp and committed choreography and over the top, cartoon-character bravado. So good, Bud, I am immensely proud!

As a whole the show was amazing, and more than one person said it was one of the best recitals they’ve seen come out of AoB. With such talent as those artists above, and the expert guidance and unconditional support of our teacher, Waxie Moon, it is no wonder that this group rocked it!

I would personally like to say thank you to Waxie Moon for all of his work, and his amazing encouragement, to Miss Indigo Blue for her wonderfully frank feedback, to Ernie Von Schmaltz for an amazing job hosting, Solange Corbeau for being an awesome SM, Lisa for the AMAZING lights, Polly Wood for being her crazily dedicated self (Love you!), and to everyone else who made Saturday night possible.

To the community and amazing audience that showed up on Saturday night, we could not have done this with out you!  Thank you for allowing us to share our hard work, and for giving us the energy we needed to shine!

To my classmates, it was truly an honor and a privilege to work with you, and I sincerely hope that we do so again. Each of you posses fabulous talent, and dedication, and I will be endlessly thankful for the encouragement and support you showed me over this course.


Fosse Jack

Saturday, October 29, 2011

STAGEright Presents G&S Pirates of Penzance

Gilbert & Sullivan must be rolling in their graves with hysterical laughter thanks to STAGEright Theatre’s current production The Pirates of Penzance! My own response was no less dramatic. The spell weaved by the cast; crew and director of this raucous parody of a sarcastic satire moved me to silence and stillness. Enraptured in a cacophony of G&S music, pop culture references (and appropriated snippets of pop songs), over the top physical humor, brilliant actor “business” and more, all I could do was sit, watch and grin like an idiot.

For those of you who have never seen a G&S production (like me until last night) don’t expect much from the libretto, or plot for that matter. The lyrics are cute but silly, and the plot absurd.  As for the music, it is pretty, and parts are down right beautiful, but its number of superfluous notes make Mozart's busiest concertos look conservative. During the lifetimes of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan the show’s commentary had some serious bite, but as much as the G&S Society would like us to believe, that dog lost its teeth long ago; at least until last night. Director, Brendan Mack took this classic and in the spirit of its creators turned the traditions on its head.  As Bob Fosse did with the musical Cabaret when he directed the film, Brendan Mack "destroyed it to save it."

Drawing from dozens of pop culture references, and parodying of pretentiousness in our own society, this production is a play in burlesque form. A cast of 11 actors, most double and triple casted, play all the roles usually worked by a cast of two dozen or more. On top of that, each actor has created their own personas

The show begins well before the first chords of the scores are played. Actors in unique “hipster” personalities mill about stage, play games, and carry out stories. These relationships resurface throughout the play adding a wonderful, sometimes subtle, sometimes not, layer of complexity. For example, Sophia Federighi the young woman who plays the Pirate King (did I mention this show includes gender bending?) and Paul Linnes who doubles as music director and the Major General spar both as their characters and as their “actor” personas.

Each member of the cast brings something special and unique to the show. Ashley Coates’ ability as an over the top character actor is brilliant and contrasts beautifully with Jordan Melin’s pretty boy pomp and stiff heroic ego. Jordan and Arwen Dewey beautifully rock the score as Frederick and Mabel (respectively), and Katherine Kuntz is one of the most talented young physical comedians I’ve seen in a LONG time!

I could go on and on about how much I really did love this show, but it wouldn’t do it justice. You have to see it to really get it, and even then it might take a little bit of time to let it all sink in. It is play in burlesque form. It takes a concept, strips it down, says something about it, puts its back together with tassels twirling, and through it all there is a storm of proverbial glitter, feathers and fans. There is a LOT to take in friends, but you should seriously try, and if one viewing isn’t enough STAGEright’s “repeat offender” policy will give you the opportunity to see it again.

STAGEright’s Production of The Pirates of Penzance plays through November 19, at Freehold in Belltown on Fri-Sat evenings at 8:00pm. For more information check out

It’s a Fosse Jack MUST SEE, so I hope you get the chance!


~ Fosse Jack

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Behind the Scarlet Curtain:: Burlesque 202 (Sneak Peak!)

Without giving too much away, I want to give my readers a little sneak peak of what is going to come out of the Academy of Burlesque in another two-three weeks. Last week I started Burlesque 202 with Waxie Moon. What makes this class unique is that it is almost entirely a “boylesk” class! Myself, Sir Eddie Van Glam, Piston Chambers, Rip Curl, and Man Johnson make up the bulk of the class. Seattle’s newest import, Summer Lovin from Chicago will provide the sole aspect of burlesque femininity to the class, and she a cutie too!

If you are a familiar with at least two of these performers you can get an idea of how varied the acts are going to be. Piston Chamber’s campy, high energy, boyish charm contrasts beautifully with Sir Eddie Van Glam’s mature, metrosexual aura and robust masculinity. Rip Curl’s geek-chic concepts and goofball stage presence, and Man Johnson’s unabashed kink factor and shy slutiness will add some serious humor and definitely up the level of “sick” awesomeness. Finally, Summer Lovin’s classic burlesque beauty will provide the essential “hard points” for the audience to grasp on to.

As for me? Well, as always I will strive to add my own flare and style to the show. There will be some fun dance moves, some sultry attitude, and like many of my shows some sort of anthropomorphic animal. ;-P

As a teacher Waxie Moon has been incredibly encouraging and supportive, and his insights to our numbers have been amazing! I am so excited to get pushed to my limits as a dancer and as a burlesque performer in this class. I am also very excited by the insights and feedback others in the class have been providing. I must admit that I talk WAY too much, but it is nice to have the opportunity to contribute, and my classmates have yet to tell me to shush up. Of course there are two weeks left (yikes! Only two weeks left!) so we might get to that point soon.

A few words and phrases to tease and tantalize your imaginations: milk bottles, celebrity crushes, marching band, vacuum cleaner, “Occupy…” and my “special sting.”

The recital is on November 12th, with performances at 7:00pm and 9:30pm. You can purchase tickets from students in the class for $10 each. Let one of us know if you need tix and we hope to see you there. It’s gonna be all sorts of sexy.


~ Fosse Jack

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fosse's Journal; Burlycon 2011, Thursday

And so Burlycon 2011 begins; or rather it did at noon-Ish today, Thursday October 20th, 2011. Like many good theatrical presentation on opening night it was not a perfect opening. With computer systems down, the staff scrambled to manual check people in. Attendees took it in stride however, and it didn’t take long to get the events rolling.

I had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Jo “Boobs” Weldon. Her passion for the story and purpose behind the museum (and pageant) of the Burlesque Hall of Fame was an excellent mood setting for my initial Burlycon experience.

Afterwards I spent most of the afternoon working alongside burlesque composer and performer, EmpeROAR Fabulous!!! as one of the Con’s merchandise hawkers. It was fun watching people look over the tee-shirts and rhinestone encrusted tank-tops, and marvel at just how small a “women’s large” is nowadays. (I don’t blame them, those tees where pretty tiny!)

The evening would eventually lead to the “Vintage Meet & Greet,” a crowded get together in the Hospitality Suite. It was fun to see everyone together, but to be perfectly honest it was a bit overwhelming. After making my rounds, sampling a few of the delectable snacks provided by Zephyr Paquette, and trying in vain to remember any names I had tried to hear during introductions, I retired to the hotel lounge for a burger and martini with fellow performer (and Burlycon roommate) Ella Titsgerald.

My hunger sated I find myself drifting into a state of pseudo exhaustion; the sort of weariness that comes from working 10-days straight before diving into a fun but rather intense series of social events. So instead of attending the peer reviews this evening, I felt it would be better to actually decompress just a little and maybe, just maybe be well rested enough to make it through these next exciting days.

To any performers being reviewed tonight, I apologize for not support you. It is, I assure you, nothing personal… I’m simply beyond my capacity for the evening.

Dear Burlycon and all of my friends and compatriots attending this weekend, I am immensely pleased to share these days with you and I hope we make some very fond memories together.


~ Fosse Jack

Fosse's Journal; Burlycon 2011, Friday

Day two of Burlycon draws to its close. Still the evening is not yet spent, for I will shortly leave the relative comfort of my hotel room and head out to the evening’s Peer Reviews. I am particularly excited for this.

Today I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the educational activities of the Con. I began my day an 8am with a workout and dance session with DANCEBELT members Ruby Mimosa and Inga Ingénue. The class was fun, and a good way to get going in the morning.

From there I went straight to the day’s history class. Scott Ewalt, a man who has been involved with burlesque since he was twenty and fresh faced in NYC, shared his passion for the art form and in this particular case for the male aspects of burlesque. I didn’t realize that the male side of the art form had such a rich history, dating back to the 1890s and Henry Dixie! Scott’s slideshows and his intimate knowledge of the subject were intoxicating, and immensely challenging. I could have sat there for hours more, and I have MUCH more to do.

After a shower, and a light breakfast would be a PANEL on Touring Shows (very informative) and a class taught by Miss Rosie Bits (gosh, she is just adorable!) about Getting Sponsorships (very encouraging!), followed by a bit more time helping out the Burlycon staff at Merch.

The Keynote address, attended by a large portion of those at the convention brought Indigo Blue, Scott Ewalt, Miss Astrid and living legend Ellion Ness. There were moments of tender remembrance for those performers who have been lost recently, and a great deal of encouragement given to those in the hall. Ellion was particularly touching as she got all flustered with joy. It is so amazing to me to see the legends that are still with us. Our fore-mothers and such, those who have helped to truly define the burlesque art form.

Tack on a VERY crowded class photo, and a fun and rather raucous parade to the pool (through some very confused hotel patrons), and you have the bulk of day two. The crowds would slowly make their way up to the canteen on the pent house floor and soon after begin to disperse. Very shortly now some will gather to review colleague’s performances and act in progress, and I am very much excited for this.

Well friends, I’m off. I fully intend to end up at Denny’s tonight so I will think of you when I am killing myself with chicken fried steak. :-P


~ Fosse Jack

Fosse's Journal; Burlycon 2011, Saturday

It is Saturday night and in the room above the bulk of the Burlycon attendees prepare for the evening festivity, the Neon Party. I find myself inclined to spend my evening in the hotel lounge, my netbook in my lap and spending some time in reflection. It’s not that I don’t like a good party, but I am fairly certain that the combination of neon-clad burlesquers and thumping dance music may be more than my sensually saturated psyche. ;-P

Today began with an excellent class by Waxie Moon. The exercises he showed us were simple acting tools about physical energy points and ways to ground ourselves. I have used similar exercises in acting before, but it was great to put them to work as a burlesquer. In fact I think these exercises an even more useful in non-verbal performance like strip tease. In any case, it was a lot of fun and an excellent refresher course.

From Waxie’s class I moved into the vastly crowded session with Kate Valentine AKA Miss Astrid. In a jam packed room we got to here from one of the movement’s best emcees. She echoed various sentiments that I have actually developed, which was encouraging. She did so in a fantastically matter of fact, and witty fashion. Just listening to her teach I can see why she is such an excellent emcee. She knows her job, does her job, and is not afraid to speak her mind, and all the while she is the model of professionalism.

From Miss Astrid’s class I moved back to the Burlycon merch table where I proceeded to struggle against insetting lethargy, while chatting with Ruby Mimosa, J Von Stratton and other vendors. It was an entertaining afternoon, if a bit slow.

I got to visit my favorite ladies, Sinner Saint Burlesque at hospitality with Lady Tatas made me feel terribly naughty by giving the Eucharist in her sexy-Madonna, Mother of God, outfit. There may have been some shirtless time among a handful of the boy-lesk boys, instigated by David Bishop (the Bishop of Burlesque), and maybe some naughty pics with a bunch of “Virgin Marys.”

Lydia McLane’s class on book keeping was extremely informative and made me realize just how disorganized I am as a business person. I got to know Lydia a bit more as we worked together on blowing up balloons for tonight’s party. Finally I stopped into peer reviews and caught a few acts before my need for supper drove me to Jack in the Box.

All in all the day has been excellent. I am tired, but in a good way. Tomorrow I will wake up early to catch Dancebelt’s next class and then it on to class and some final work time at the merch table. I look forward to posting my “journal” entries when I get home tomorrow, but even more, I am excited to spend just a little more time with the friends I’ve made these past few days.


~ Fosse Jack

Fosse's Journal; Burlycon 2011, Sunday

And so Burlycon 2011 is complete. I could sit and talk all about how wonderful and amazing the experience was, but that will have to wait for another entry. For now I shall I continue with my simple journal entries.

The day began with Dancebellt’s Madonna workout, where we learned Vogue. Okay, so I didn’t enter pop music till the late nineties so I missed a lot of Madonna, and I hope I won’t be stoned when I say the first time I heard Vogue was at this workshop. :-P Anyway, Ruby and Inga were, as always, awesome teachers and I very much enjoyed the show and have some new choreo to play with!

After this I skipped across the hall for the first bit of Waxie Moon’s dynamic staging. I couldn’t stay for the whole thing as that class period was the only time I had to pack before working merch that afternoon. Still what little I sat through was just amazing! I love seeing tools I learned for other art forms being applied to burlesques, but as Waxie said burlesque is just dance, acting and sex so it makes sense that acting tools are so easily applied!

After this I packed my bag and lugged them to the vendor rooms. Aside from a few crazy bursts, the afternoon was fairly slow so I got a chance to bond with some of the vendors; Ruby, Jamie, Foxy Tann and the others.

Then it was off to the Closing Ritual, a moving event that was both sentimental, reverent, silly and truly touching. In a phrase it was “bittersweet and frosted.” (Imagine a DARK chocolate cupcake with pink caramel icing.) I won’t go through the details, sometimes you can only understand by experience, but I will say I got to share some beautiful intimate moments with some amazing performers. At the end I walked away with encouragement to continue my work as a performer and perhaps more importantly as a producer. The need that was I was given by one of my peers was the need to provide opportunity to performers, and perhaps in other ways to put myself out there and perform elsewhere as well. I am motivated!

Then I joined the staff and remaining volunteers to breakdown Burlycon. Breakdown had the sense of making the bed after an amazing night of passionate love making, and snuggling with you lover… tender and satisfying. I parted ways with Burlycon after many hugs and thanks and smiles, and I will always treasure this weekend and work my hardest to live up to what the community needs of me!


~ Fosse Jack

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Burlesque, Autumn 2011, Recital

Last night saw a new class of performers graduate from Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque. As per the course, some of these performers will simply move on, post their diplomas on their walls and giggle when they remember it, others will continue on and join the active ranks of Seattle’s burlesque community. Whether they go on to perform elsewhere or not, each of these performers should be proud of their performances last night.

I could go through the list and recap the entire show, but honestly considering the size of this particular class that could constitute an entire series of articles. Instead I will focus on the “honor students” and their performances.

The first I want to mention is Aurora Airyolas, the performer I will lovingly dub “Class Clown.” Her act to Brick House by The Commodores was by far the most fun of the evening, and reminded me of something you might have seen on Pee-Wee Herman’s Playhouse… only not creepy, and ridiculously sexy.

Unlike other performances I have seen to this song, Aurora provided a literal interpretation, and for the first third of the act was actually a dancing brick house in bellbottoms and platforms… imagine a disco version of Baba Yaga’s Hut. Her choreo was crisp and well executed, and her energy fun and over the top. It was ridiculous in a Saturday morning cartoon way and I loved every moment of it.

Performer Blithe Night earns Fosse’s Fan-Boy Honor of “Salutatorian”. Her act was slow, drawn out and she held the audience (and Mis/ter Waxie Moon!) rapt. I am not typically interested in “gore-lesque” but Blithe’s serial killer act was pretty awesome. I love it when performers take their time, and really dominate the audience and that is what Blithe did.

Every move was calculated, and there was nothing superfluous. Her choreography was simple but well executed and the images she evoked were chilling. The innocence of the blonde in white, the world “Velma Kelly” esque brunette in black silk, and the washing of the hands gave the whole things the feel of Dexter meets American McGee’s Alice. Loved it!

The honor of Fosse’s Fan-Boy “Valedictorian” goes to performer Nikola Tease-La. Aside from having the cleverest name in the class (in my opinion), Nikola had the stage mastery and polish that bumped her to the top of the class. Her timing and choreography were spot on, and though her sexy science experiment was nothing new conceptually her execution was one of the best I’ve seen.

On a side note, she also had a fantastic recovery on stage, after falling off one of her heels, she rolled through it, continued the number and deftly kicked her remaining shoe off when appropriate. Turning a potential dangerous accident on stage into a part of the choreography takes talent and I was super impressed. (I only know it was a accident when comparing first and second performances, but brava diva!)

Honorable mentions have to be made as well. Angelina Allure’s performance to Maneater had the best revel of the evening and Crimson Royale’s popcorn number was the kitschy-est and Crimson herself had some of the best audience contact moments.

Again, every performer last night should be proud of their work, and of the standing O they received at the end of the second show. Know that your tutors were glowing with pride last night (gotta love seats next to the teachers!)  To those of you who go on to work as performers in Seattle and beyond allow me to wish you a heartfelt “Merde Mes Amis!”


~ Fosse Jack

PS: I LOVE Miss Indigo Blue as a Emcee.  She is so good!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Burlesque Social Club @ Velvet

Last night brought the inaugural session of the Burlesque Social Club at Velvet! It was an intimate affair with Velvet owner, Michelle, Fuschia FoXXX, Piston Chambers, Kitty Baby, Sir Eddie Van Glam and myself. Two others, Karen and Autumn showed up later. It was simple, low-key, low-stress and a lot of fun. We got cozy on a comfy couch, sipped wine and PBR and munched on popcorn while watching Kitty’s pick, The Producers (the musical re-make with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick).

The opinion at the end of the night was summed up by a unanimous, goofy grin, and considering the emotional state the event was intended to evoke, I would call the Club meeting a success. Fuschia, Michelle (and myself) are hoping that the club will take off, and grow. Velvet is ideal for intimate events but the unique atmosphere of the space channels energy in a positively intoxicating way. The more people we get together, the sweeter the buzz!

The meeting also provided a chance for some informal networking and for some industry education. Kitty Baby shared her connection with a burlesque Legend, Novita. We watched a clip of Novita’s very first burlesque number; a b&w film of a night club floor show. It was fascinating… and a little funny. Floor show chorus girls are rarely Follies caliber. Notvita however was splendid and I am thankful to Kitty for introducing me to a bit of burlesque history. Awesome!

So ladies and gents, let me just say that I hope you get a chance to attend the Burlesque Social Club. For now we are planning to go ahead and meet on a weekly basis (hosts' schedules and time permitting), and so the next opportunity you have is NEXT Monday night. I’m not sure what the film du jour will be but I bet there will be a couple of options! Whatever it is, it’s gonna be a lot of fun! (And I'm going to make cookies!)

Hope to see you at Velvet!

~ Fosse Jack

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (Play Review)

On Thursday, October 15th “queer” history came to life at The Re-Bar. The Beebo Brinker Chronicles opened to an enthusiastic house that included Queen of Lesbian Pulp Fiction, Ms. Ann Bannon, herself. Featuring the talents of Rhonda J. Soikowski as Beebo, Polly Wood as Laura, Tom Stewart as Jack, Christopher Dodge as Charlie, and Opal Peachy as Beth with appearances by producers Cherry Manhattan, Sasha Summer Cousineau and Donna Stewart, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, is a hot and sexy piece of dramatic camp.

Okay, so what exactly is “dramatic camp”? You know it took me awhile to figure that out but if you go to the show with that descriptor in mind if will save you a touch of confusion. The show walks a fine line between real and over the top. This was off putting (for me) at first. A “drama queen” at heart, I like having my heart tugged on at shows, and the back and forth took me by surprise. Still when I realized, “Duh! This is pulp fiction” it all made sense. It is a genre of art we are no longer familiar with and to see it on stage, well it took a few scenes to get used to. Still once you’re on that train with Laura, the ride is pretty smooth.

The show started off with a classic “noire” scene between the characters of Beth and Laura. Laura wants Beth to run away with her, and Beth leaves her for Charlie. This ‘betrayal’ sets the story in motion and the unresolved romance will haunt both characters through the next nine years. We see the first repercussions of this in some fairly intense dramatic scenes between Beth and her husband, Charlie. Beth is a confused, closeted lesbian, who in my opinion is little more than a selfish child. Charlie is a caring if naïve, all-American boy who knows his wife is ‘queer’ but has hoped throughout their marriage that his love and their children would be enough to hold her. As the story unfolds we find this is not the case.

Immediately however, the show shifts from drama to light hearted camp. We are introduced to Laura and Jack, and shortly after to Beebo. T. Stewart as Jack is an over the top eccentric and interesting contrast to the seriousness of his “Mother.” Polly Wood as Laura is a serious tortured soul, caught up in her romanticized college relationship with Beth, and at the same time coming into an awareness of her sexuality. Soikowski as Beebo is charming, boyish and in a word incorrigible. The three form a sort of ‘love’ triangle, and through the rest of the play the journey and changing relationships provides the major story arc.

Producers Cherry, Sasha and Donna all make appearances in the show. The scene between Marcie (Cherry) and Laura was heart wrenching (and I am told spoke deeply to a number of young lesbians in the crowd), Donna as Lili was a total scene stealer (loved it!), and Sasha as a tortured lesbian author was smoldering, callous, calculating and terribly funny. Each added some wonderful moments in the play, providing motivation for growth and change.

The primary actors each brought talent and heart to the table.  Rhonda was delightful, sexy, pitiable and frustrating all where she needed to be.  Erin drew the audience in, and really made them feel.  Opal expertly portrayed the frustrated, slightly unstable, and childish Beth. Her performance was fine enough that I didn't much care for her by the end of the night, and I really should get to know her because I understand she is actually a lovely person!  It was easy to sympathize with Christopher's Charlie.  BTW, Christopher also played the character of Burr, and his portrayal of both the positive and negative sides of the naive/egotistical straight boy was nicely done.  As a certified "Dutch Boy" I relate with the character of Jack, and though I would have liked him to easy up on the bluster once in awhile, I enjoyed Tom's take on Jack.

The play itself is not a perfect construct. It is three books condensed into a two hour production; and as such, there are gaps that I wanted filled, character development I wanted elaborated on, etc. I’d like to see someone take the source material and put it on the screen, a mini-series would be appropriate… someone pitch it to HBO. With the exception of the ladies in this production no one does staged sex better (and yes there are some hot sex scenes in the play). The staging and sporadic narrative bits gave the play a sort of graphic novel feel that I found very interesting and intentional or not, approaching each scene like a graphic “panel” was smart. Kudos Katjana, for choice or instinct!

At its heart The Beebo Brinker Chronicles is about growing up through heart break. Laura matures through the loss of Beth, her experience with Marcie, the trials with Beebo and relinquishing her stubborn self-dependence. Beebo matures, when for the first time in her life she experience lasting love than suffers true loss. And Beth, well… the play ends with the hope that Beth too can grow, and learn from her own heartbreak.

Ladies and gentlemen, I do hope you get a chance to see The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, playing at The Re-Bar every weekend through October 9th. It has the power to make you laugh, cry, and most importantly to remember and think. As Ms. Bannon shared in her post-performance address to the audience, this play and the passion its members bring to it would have shown her friends who had struggled through the real life trials of 1950/60s gay life, that their hardships would not be forgotten and perhaps even been worth it. We are not where we need to be, but we are worlds apart from where we were. That is thanks to people like Ann Bannon and the women (and men) she knew in her youth. Brava divas!


Fosse Jack

PS: I wish that Stage Manager, Leslie Manning was in the Re-Bar booth more often.  The technical aspects of the show went off without a visible hitch.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Burlesque Social Club!

Bonjour Mes Ames! Gutten Tag Meine Freunde! ‘Ello Mates!

I am really excited about a new weekly event that is coming up at the beginning of October. I’ve been given the opportunity to help put this puppy onto the course and I’d love to have you be a part of it! The Burlesque Social Club “produced” by Miss Fuchsia FoXXX, is going to happen every Monday night at Velvet in SoDo.

Have you heard about Velvet? Wow, so much to tell. Okay, so Velvet is a new private club just south of Safeco Field and it is going to be THE new hot spot in Seattle. A constantly evolving piece of reclaimed industrial history, Velvet is raw sensuality incarnate: rough, hard wood floors, bare beams, sexy art and antique finishes and all of it dripping with red velvet, silks and lace. It’s like walking into a New Orleans bordello or Old Seattle ‘seamstress’ abode. If my descriptions aren’t enough consider this, Fuchsia FoXXX helped design it. Sexy huh? No, seriously y’all it’s awesome.

Velvet’s going to be having some pretty cool events coming up, so I highly recommend checking them out! Also, look them up on Facebook!

Okay so now you know where it is, I guess I should explain more about what it is. Well simply put its “Fancy People Relaxing.” The hardworking girl that she is, Fuchsia knows that there is a definite need for folks in our community to have a retreat, a place for performers to just hang out. I LOVE working, doing shows, getting ready for shows, etc but a big part of that love is the people I work with. It’s you!

Now because we are all a bunch of workaholics (often broke workaholics), setting aside time and money to go out and socialize is not always on our priority list. Fuchsia and Velvet would like to change that.

The Burlesque Social Club is a day of the week set aside for socializing, talking shop, informal networking, hanging out, or just relaxing with friends, all in a really awesome space. Fuchsia is lining up ‘entertainment’ in the form of “Performers’ Picks” movie nights. Whether it’s a community showing of a local work, a piece of historical burlesque or artistic inspiration, you’ll get to see some local artist’s favorite films. I mean what better way to watch “A Wink And A Smile,” “Waxie Moon,” some classic Betty Page, or really anything, then with a group of burlesquers?

That’s the point of The Burlesque Social Club. It is an event FOR burlesquers and those that love them. It’s for you! And the kicker is that there’s NO COVER. Seriously, Velvet is opening its doors to the community. There will be some complimentary beverages, some snacky type food, and lots of awesome folk.

The Burlesque Social Club goes up on Monday, October 3rd and is going to happen every Monday afterwards! Again, that’s October 3rd, 6:00pm (movie at 7:30pm) @ Velvet; 1700 1st Ave South (it’s on the second floor, so more details to come about getting up there). Show up, hang out, chit-for-chat, and then will watch a movie! What movie you may ask? Well to get us started we’ll have Miss Kitty Baby sharing one of her favorites!


~ Fosse Jack

Monday, August 29, 2011

Upcoming Shows: Sinner Saint Burlesque

My name is Jim and I’m a Furry.

You might say that the first step in exploring your kinks is to admit you have them. I’m gonna admit the hell out of mine!

I’m a Furry. I use words like yiff, yiffy, scritch, pounce, paw and furpile. I have a fursona, a fictional incarnation of my inner critter. His name is Ash, and he’s a Vulpine. I think Anthros are sexy. When gene-tech is advanced enough I am seriously considering getting a tail, an upswept little number that matches my hair… the verdict is still out on the sheath… that’s a bit more ‘re-constructive’ than I’m ready to tackle.

Anyways, do you get it? Do you understand what a Furry is? Do they scare you? Well they shouldn’t because we aren’t scary. We’re a friendly bunch, and for the most part are yiffers not fighters.

If you understand my kink, you’ll better understand my excitement as I recommend Sinner Saint Burlesque’s next show: ANIMALIA!

SSB first performed the show about a year and a half-ago and my boyfriend and I went to see it (Qevin’s a total Furry too). We loved it. Seeing some of my favorite ladies rocking fur, feathers, scales and what have you, will be something I will always remember, and my tail is wagging furiously at the thought of seeing this show again.

From Jesse Belle-Jones’ purr-worthy, puma, to Lady TaTas delightfully goofy flamingo, and Polly Wood’s adorable fruit bat, to Dona de Couri’s own take on history, and Evilyn Sinclaire’s celebrity impersonation, it’s gonna be a yifftastic furpile of burlesque babes!

What’s even cooler is that, according to my intel, Flirty Sanchez is hosting this run. If you haven’t seen Flirty host, you should! She is amazing and I am really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with. Will she rock an inner critter? I hope so, cause I want to see what hers is! I’m thinking Coyote, personally but we shall see!

So ladies and gentlemen, friends and lovers, I do hope you get to see Sinner Saint Burlesque Present ANIMALIA! It opens this Thursday night, 9:30pm and will run for several weeks at The Noc Noc, Downtown. (Tixs are $15 at the Door.)


Fosse Jack

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Behind the Scarlet Curtain - Beebo Brinker Pulp Cabarets

I sit in the empty room of ACT’s Bullitt Cabaret. I am early. It is not unusual, I’ve been early all my life. I like it this way. I like the chance to sit in a lonely room, with only the shadows of performances gone by to keep me company. It is a special time for me, who so longs to be among others, to find peace in a moment of solitude.

I think back on last night, the opening of this wonderful cabaret series I have had the fortune to be a part of. I think back to the laughter, the cheers and applause, and most gratifyingly the rapt silence. It is a wonderful thing to remember. It is not solely what is on stage however, that will make these memories special. It is the interactions backstage that I cherish above all. To have moments with those I love, and moments where I come to love others, is a blessing that in this uncertain age is more precious than petroleum.

From snuggling with my dear friend Polly Wood on the chaise backstage, to talking shop with Jesse Belle-Jones and Lady Tatas, enjoying some mutual “love, love” with Diva Le Diviant, and getting to know one of my burlesque idols, Ms. Lilly Verlaine, I will always treasure the memories of the Beebo Brinker Cabarets!

(written on 26 August 2011)

The experience with Beebo Brinker, first at Re-Bar and then this past weekend at ACT, has been a wonderful blessing in my life. Through it I have come to know individuals within the community better, come to see friends become dear friends, and learned more of and participated in ‘queer history.’

In meeting Ms. Ann Bannon last night, I was introduced to a part of history that I had never before known. Yes I have known older gay men, but they have rarely spoken of those days. Perhaps it is harder for them to remember. But to meet a pioneer, a woman strong enough and brave enough to at first be a part of it, and then to relive it, that is truly special.

I would like to thank Katjana, Donna and Sasha for this amazing opportunity. I would like to thank Leslie and Lauren, and our Stage Kittens for all of their hard work. I would like to thank Donna and Rhonda for making our scene HOT, and I would like to thank everyone who came to see the show. It would not have been possible without you. Thank you all, and thank you to the wonderful performers who shared this opportunity with me: Fuschia, Lily, Polly, Jesse, Tatas, Angel, EmpeROAR, and everyone else.

Finally, I must thank Ann for having the courage to do what she did. Because of you and those like you, I need not feel ashamed of the Love that I CAN name.


~ Fosse Jack

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Upcoming Shows: rePRODUTION!

As you know this has been a chaotic year of hesitant steps forward (DADT) and racous slides backward (just about everything else Congress has pulled).  Now in the "American spirit" of rebellious-getting things done-ness, a local powerhouse team of producers: Heidi VonHaught, Randi Rascal and Wiggy Stardust are producing a burlesque benefit for Washington's NARAL Pro-Choice, the state's leading pro-choice advocacy group.

This evening of burlesque and raunchy political satire is in response to recent infringements upon the sexual and reproductive freedoms made by legislaters this past year.  Specifically: the legal redefinition of rape and incest; changes in legislation that encourage violence against abortion providers and allow for misinformation regarding birth control options; and attempts to strip health care providers such as Planned Parenthood of their funding.

The line-up is as diverse as it is talented. Bella Bijoux, Evilyn Sin Claire, Heidi Von Haught, Iva Handful, Jenny PennyRandic Rascal, The Shanghai Pearl, Wiggy Stardust and Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2011, Miss Indigo Blue are the ladies that will be heling you stay a "breast" of current events, politics and reproductive controversies.  Tiny Reedlet's Sexy Puppet Parade will be there (puppet sex!).  And representing the men will be Sylvester Stiffbreeze and the incomparable ladies' man, the myth, the mustache Mr. Ernie Von Schmaltz.

Wow, there are some hot, hot, hotties in this lineup! From the only woman ever to make me want to sit back on my haunches and beg for a treat, to the glam-rock wet dream goddess, to My Leige and Lady?  Yikes.  Gosh, not to mention Sylvester (ladies' I'm envious), and Ernie (I bow before you sir!); this is going to be a crazy show.

And like I said it is for a great cause.  Defending freedom its Seattle Burlesque!

From the makers of That F*cked Up, comes rePRODUCTION! and it is coming up soon, this Friday, August 19th at Theatre off Jackson (ToJ is the place to be this weekend).  The show starts at 8:00pm.  Tickets available at http://www.brownpaperticke​

~ Fosse Jack


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Upcoming Shows: Under Construction

Next Saturday night, at Theatre off Jackson, Discontinued Trim Productions presents a new show that brings together some of Seattle’s hottest fresh faces and established entertainers. This show, called Under Construction, is a mix of burlesque, aerial performance, Bollywood dance (seriously y’all!) and more. As its name implies the show is about performers building, renovating and remodeling themselves. It should be pretty awesome.

Producer and performer, Iva Handfull is the sensuous smarts behind the show, and I am supper excited to see her bring together these artists.  Tamara the Trapeze Lady, Pinky Shines, and Elsa Von Schmaltz represents some Seattle’s sexiest senoras, while Lotti Glitterati, Solange Corbeau and Sir Eddie Van Glam are some of the young guns just starting to make some noise on the scene.

Other performers include: Host Rebecca M. Davis, Nikolai Pirak (he’s one sexy juggler!), and Rebella Revolver. Hottie McNaughty, Foxglove, Renten, Vanadium Silver and Peter McCarthy will also be making appearances.

And if a bunch of superheated mammas, glittery girlies, and hunky boy toys all showcasing their tantalizing talents is enough to get you out to ToJ, then consider the veritable cornucopia of rhinestoned goodies you could shop for! Haute Under the Collar, TwirlyGirl, The Epic Bath and Kelly Brownlee Illustrations will all be vending at this event!

Again, Theater Off Jackson, Saturday August 20th 8pm-10pm show (doors at 7pm). Get you tickets early at: or just hit the ticket booth on your way in!


~ Fosse Jack

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ask Fosse Jack: Burlesque Etiquette

Dear Fosse Jack,

Last night I went to a great burlesque show in Seattle. The performers were working really hard and were really sexy! But it was really hard for me to enjoy the show because the audience was so rude! There were like four parties going on and they wouldn’t stop talking. One large group came in late, made a lot of noise and walked out early. Is there anything you can say to burlesque audiences in Seattle to get them to exhibit some form of common courtesy?


Disappointed In Seattle Spectators' Egregious Disrespect


I agree whole heartedly. There is nothing more disappointing than a good show being hijacked by bad audiences. That being said, I want to assure you that your experience while more common than it should be, is not the Seattle norm. For the most part, Seattle audiences, while more casual and listless than other cities’ theatre going crowds, are relatively polite. They may be hard to get vocally excited, but they appreciate the work performers do on an internal level.

As to your request, I do have some things to tell the average audience member, here in Seattle. The first is a reminder, courtesy of Firefly's Shepherd Book, that there is a very special level of hell, “A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.” Remember Jesus is in the room with you, and he doesn’t like it when your antics distract him from the hot girls and boys taking their clothes off on stage.

This brings me to a comparison. Burlesque is just like any other form of theatrical performance. Yes we take off our clothes. You might talk and be rude to the hard working boys and girls that work at “strip joints” but you are not in a strip joint. You are in a theatrical venue. It may not be as grand as the opera, or the ballet, but it is a theatrical performance none the less. Burlesque performers work hard to produce the product you buy. And just like buying a meal in a restaurant doesn’t give you the right to be ass-holes to your servers, buying a ticket to a show doesn’t give you the right to be douche bags either.

My advice to the aspiring burlesque spectator is to behave like you would in your crazy aunt’s Pentacostal church. Sit or stand when appropriate. Cheer (hell, say amen) loudly when the spectacle evokes it. I would avoid speaking in tongues, most Seattle-ites frown on that, but if the spirit moves you, show your appreciation raucously. Don’t chat with your neighbor, girlfriend, etc when the one up front is talking, singing, telling a humorous anecdote or taking off their clothes. It is rude, and you will, eventually, burn for it.

I hope this helps DISSED, and do feel free to show this to your friends and anyone you feel like taking with you the next time you go to one of Seattle’s glittering plethora of burlesque performances.


~ Fosse Jack

Do you have a question for Fosse Jack? Feel free to e-mail them to

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Upcoming Show: The Best of Beebo Brinker at ACT

I am tickled pink to announce that I have been asked to join the stellar cast for The Beebo Brinker Chronicles' three night engagement at ACT.  First, as an actor, performing at ACT is an awesome milestone for me.  Second, as a burlesquer working with this crowd again makes me feel like a total pro.

For those of you who have not made it to the Beebo Brinker Pulp Cabarets over the past four months, this is you chance to see the best and sexiest acts that have been put together as part of the six-month ongoing theatrical event.

OMG, I just realized that I'll be in the same show as Lily Verlaine! Meep! I'll have to remember to bring a paper bag, cause I just my hyperventilate back stage.

Okay, so back to the main course of this dish.  Headliner Fuschia FoXXX will be there, as will several of the cast members of the actuall play, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, including Rhonda Soikowski (Beebo Brinker) and Polly Wood (who will be playing Laura).  As Beebo Brinker, Rhonda is one sexy butch.  I mean, she reved my engine a little and thats saying something.  As for Miss Polly Wood; words cannot express how excited I am to see my dear friend on stage in an acting role again. 

The performer list also includes my fairy godmother, the Sexual Intellectual, Jesse Belle-Jones, the Debutante of Derriere, Lady TaTas, and the Exposing Composer, EmpeROAR Fabulous!!! Of course the glitter soaked trifecta of producers: Diva la Diviant, Lyla Le Coeur and Cherry Manhatten will be strutting their stuff.  I did mentiion Lily Verlaine, didn't I.  Swoon.

As for my involvement, come see an encore reading of hot lesbian sex as voiced by a pseudo-twinkie gay male.  I mean come on, how often to you get so get to see something like that?

It's coming up soon friends.  Three nights at ACT, August 25th, 26th and 27th.  Hope to see y'all there!

~ Fosse Jack

Friday, July 29, 2011

Behind the Scarlet Curtain: Beebo Brinker

Last night, I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Beebo Brinker Pulp Cabaret at The Re-Bar.  Producers, Diva le Diviant, Lyla la Coeur, and Cherry Manhattan invited me to prodvide the voice to the character of Jack Mann, Beebo Brinker's lesbian-savvy gay male friend.  It was a great honor to be a part of this ongoing theatrical event, and I am excited to see the events coming up in August (a three night engagement at ACT!) and September (the premier of the Beebo Brinker Chronicles).

This show marked a milestone in my burlesque career, as my first appearance on The Re-Bar stage (well the first performance... my first time on that stage was getting frisked by Tricky Dick, ;-P) and the experience was super exciting.  The talent that I worked with last night was amazing.  Jasper McCann, Polly Wood, Trojan Original, Miss Elaine Yes, and more.  I loved every moment backstage.  The sense of camaradiere in this community is genuine and heart warming, and I am constantly humbled by the talent that surrounds me. 

That being said,  I am constantly amazed at how technically challenged The Re-Bar can be.  Every show that I've seen there has suffered from sound and lighting 'malfunctions'.  It makes me so mad to see people I respect and care for watch their hard work crumble when a music cue is fumbled, or they are left in the dark.  As I have already said though, I am part of an awesome group of professionals who handle said malfunctions beautifully... I just wish they didn't have to deal with this sort of sloppiness every time.

Ok, that's off my chest... back to the otherwise positive experience.

The 'dressing room' was exactly how I imagine old cabarets, and jazz clubs being like.  Buzzing with performers getting ready, mirrors scattered haphazardly, chairs, couches and tables along the red, gold flecked walls, and an atomosphere filled with grity-romantic energy.  It was thrilling, and I could barely contain my excitement.

The crowd was large and excited, the energy in the bar intoxicating, and the response at the end was thoroughly satisfying. (Lily Verlaine complimented me! Swoon!)  The scenes that Lyla la Coeur, Rhonda Soikowski and I performed together went over very well.  The over the top physicality, and hot girl on girl action provided by these two beautiful women, were definite crowd pleasers... as were The Trojan Original's efforts to distract me during the second reading.  Good Lord, my knees nearly buckled when he grabbed my hair.  Haha! 

I am super excited to see more of the Beebo Brinker events.  August 25th, 26th and 27th at the Central Heating Lab, ACT are the dates for the Best of the Cabarets! Fuschia FOXXX, Polly Wood, Jesse Belle Jones, EmpeROAR Fabulous!!! and Miss Lily Verlaine will all be performing.  Then in September the crew returns to The Re-Bar for the Seattle Premiere of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (a play!) staring Rhonda Soikowski as Beebo Brinker, with Polly Wood as Laura.  It is going to be awesome!

~ Fosse Jack

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Upcoming Shows: Ready for the Rapture...

Remember back in May (or was it April... I can't remember, meh) when we were told that the world was going to end?  Remember how, the prophet who declared the end, shrugged and said he must of gotten the math wrong when it didn't happen?  Well ladies and gentlemen, wether or not you remember that I hope you remember this show coming up in just a couple of weeks.

Ready for the Rapture: The Second Coming of the Second Coming is brought to you by K.A.O.S Art's Collective, including Seattle burlesque-maeven Evilyn Sin Claire.   The show promises to be a wild night of strip tease, circus arts, and something about a wizard? (I'm intrigued.)  The spectacular line up of talent includes: Inga Ingenue, The Harlequin Hipsters, Evilyn Sin Claire, Randi Rascal, Polly Wood, Lady Tatas, Whisky Bliss, and Jenny Penny.  K.A.O.S. is particularly excited to have Seattle boylesque legend, ULTRA, performing for this one night engagement.

Wait... a show about the end of the world, (apocalypse, Age of Aquarious, Mayan calendar, etc) with the Wild Child herself at the creative helm? This could be seriously intense.  And looking at the performers, I think the intensity might just rock the world; well at the very least it is going to rock The Re-Bar and all of the party animals that attend.

Ready for the Rapture is a labor of love, for Evilyn, and all of the performers with K.A.O.S, a group consisting of fire performers, circus artists, metal workers, visual artists, DJs and party catalysts.  The proceeds of this show will go to repairing, and outfitting the collective's van, "The Kackle" for its upcoming trip to the 2011 Burning Man Festival "Rites of Passage."

Date: AUGUST 5th, 2011
Time: Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm, 21+
Place: Re-Bar
Advanced Tickets: Only $12! ($15 VIP)

At the Door: $15 / $20 VIP

It looks like this sucker is going to be party central on August 5th, and the expected turn out continues to grow.  If you want to attend, I highly recommend buying tickets early.

~ Fosse Jack

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl; Seattle STAGEright

On Friday night, local theatre company STAGEright celebrated the opening night of their fifth production; a delightfully absurdist comedy by playwright Sarah Ruhl.  Melancholy Play both celebrates and pokes fun at a dying state of mind.  

Today when a person sighs deeply, and spends long hours lying on a couch or staring out a window, we call them depressed and we medicate them.  We do not value this bittersweet sadness that is a part of the human psyche.  Melancholy makes happiness sweeter, joy more complete.  When we cannot experience the darker side of human emotion how can we fully appreciate its brighter side?  That being said, (and as one medicated for depression can attest to) we must realize that while necessary, melancholy is not a state that we should strive to maintain.  Melancholy separates us from others, and this solitude can cause us in time to be so removed from our fellow humans that we may as well be 'almonds.' This is the message that Sarah Ruhl seems to be making in Melancholy.

Accompanied by the sweet sad sounds of the cello, played by Rachael Beaver, the cast of STAGEright's Melancholy Play sighs, cavorts, laughs, falls in love, falls out of love and experiences the full gamut of human emotion among a simple set of white windows hung against a black backdrop.  A simple fainting couch, window bench and a couple of stools make up the remainder of the set.  Lighting is subtle, and imperceptibly executed.

As Tilly, the melancholic maiden whose bittersweet sadness lures others to fall in love with her, Megan Tyrrell is natural in her sobriety.  While this state seems to suit her, the others that fall into her dark world seem over the top in comparison, with Mike Jones, as Lorenzo the psychologist of "unspecified European" descent, as the master of campy melodrama.

An ongoing theme of the show is obsessive love.  Jordan Melin, as Frank, and Anna Townes, as Frances, and the previously mentioned Lorenzo all fall in love with Tilly.  This love seeks to consume the her.  Her melancholy is a drug and they are addicts.  Jenn Owen, as Joan, Frances' older partner, too comes to love Tilly, but their is more of a friendship of kindred spirits.  Melancholy is a thing that experience teaches us, and Joan as the oldest of the characters may have already had her share.  For the others it is a new thing and it is intoxicating.

Melancholy Play is playing at Freehold Theatre (2222 Second Avenue, Suite 200,Seattle, WA) one block south of The Rendezvous in Bell Town, with shows Friday (8pm), Saturday (8pm), and Sunday (5:30pm) through July 31st.  Tickets are $15 and available at http://www.brownpaperticke​

Directed by Lexi Clements Deschambault, Melancholy Play is funny, it is campy, but it is also challenging.  It dares us to feel like Tilly feels; both her sadness and her ecstasy.  Do you dare?  I hope you do!
~ Fosse Jack

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sass Boom Bang Burlesque; Women At Work

The Marsbar on Eastlake Ave E is not the last place I’d expect to find a burlesque show, though I was a bit skeptical when I first arrived. The venue is set up for live music, a rough stage, and hand wrapped sound tiles bolted to the walls in one corner, and I’m sure it is a great place to hear a local band play or maybe have an open mic event. As a burlesque venue it leaves something to be desired, still… if the ladies at Sass Boom Bang Burlesque continue to perform there they have a unique opportunity to play with the space.

Last night’s show, Women at Work, the ‘virginal’ performance of SBBB, was set up in cookie cutter presentational form, and in a venue like The Jewelbox, the Re-Bar, or other ‘theatrical’ space this format would have worked. It did not work as well here. The use of a simple dressing screen did little to ‘hide’ the performers, and I think it would have been better to lose it all together and embrace the fact that the audience can see you. Take your moment in the wings and flirt with the audience. The tease begins before you step foot on stage. It begins the moment you can see your target.

In a burlesque revue like this, the emphasis should be on the contributing individuals but remember that the format, the structure is the foundation upon which you build. (One suggestion, line up wise, I would recommend opening with Solange Corbeau… let teacher set the mood.)

As for the individual performers, Sass Boom Bang brings together fresh talent; young women with good ideas, talent and mixed levels of finesse/polish. A few of the acts left me wanting more, a few left me satisfied and one or two truly earned the hoots and hollers that we as burlesque artists strive to evoke.

Lotti Glitterati, whose concept was simple and execution beautiful, was a personal favorite. Lotti should be a poster girl for Indigo Blue’s Twirly Girl line of pasties. I mean it! She had those tassels going like a pro, in more ways than one. I also very much like the nonchalant attitude she had, “yeah I work with heavy machinery, got a problem with that.”

Scarlet O’Hairdye was also particularly strong, and clever. Working off partner, Bolt Action as the overwhelmed, well hung ‘wimp’, Scarlet was a crowd favorite as a boundaries challenged personal trainer. Her use of an exercise ball was particularly well liked.

As a cabaret singer, Olatsa Assin adds variety to the troupe; her sing and strip act blended class and camp. As a burlesque performer she has a strong, almost defiant energy; as a singer she has some definite pipes. Still I would like to see her find “Olatsa’s voice.” Once her persona as the Scintillating Scandinavian really takes shape she will secure her place in the burlesque community.

Host Luke Thighstalker, was clever and concise but will need to ditch the cue cards eventually. His jokes were witty, but would have seemed even wittier had he had them memorized. As a host balancing scripted and adlibbed banter is important (and difficult, believe me I know how tricky it is). Keep going and you will get a feel for filling the time your stage kittens need to clear and set up. Oh and don’t be worried about the time, the show was a bit less than an hour, start to finish, so stretching things out between outros and intros would be good.

As a troupe Sass Boom Bang has a good amount of potential. I think it will take them a couple of shows to really find their stride but for a first production Women at Work is pretty good. The audience (a pretty packed house!) was well entertained, and was forgiving of the few technical issues. If you are free this Saturday night, I think SBBB is worth checking out; and I hope you can get out sometime to support this group of gals.

Sass Boom Bang Burlesque Presents: Women At Work is playing for one more night at The Marsbar. Saturday, July 16th @ 9pm. Cover is $10.​ndexa.html

Fosse Jack

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Upcoming Shows: July

July is chock-full of shows for the eager burlesque fan, so I thought I'd compile a list and give folks access to all the basic info in one place!  Hope you like it it.  Loves ~ Fosse Jack

VERSUS: "Our world is steeped with conflict.  The injustices of reality have been mirrored in both mythological lore and comics of today." Heroes and Villians is the theme of Sinner Saint Burlesque's current show: VERSUS (play through August 11th).  Evilyn Sin Claire, Jesse Belle-Jones, Lady Tatas, Polly Wood & Dona Dei Cuori will be joined by a rotating cast of guest hosts on Thursday nights at The NocNoc; 9:00pm-11:30pm.  Tickets: $15

Intrigue: Summer Seduction: "an upscale night of dancing and drinking" "where the sweat turns to glitter and the surreal becomes real." These are descriptors posted by Seattle's Goddess of Glitter, Peresophone Illyri.  Artists include: Evilyn Sin Clair, Whisky Bliss, and Boom Boom! L'Roux.  Music and dancing to follow. Wednesday, July 13th @ Mona's Bistro & Lounge; 10:00pm-1:00am; Cover $7 (drink specials available)
Women At Work: One of Seattle's newest troupe, Sass Boom Bang presents this show of labouring ladies.  Artists: Ginger Julip, Lotti Glitteratti, Mahogany Sparkles, Mimi Je Mange, Olatsa Assin, Scarlett O'Hairdye, Randi BoomBoom, and Violet DeVille.  Thursday, July 14th AND Saturday, July 16th @ The Mars Bar/Cafe Venus; 8:00pm-10:00pm; tickets $10

Sideshow Sirens: A Valkyrie Peepshow: A "sinister and sensual peek behind the big top" presented by Minetta Lane & Violet Tendencies.  Artists: Fannie Beaverhausen, La Petite Mort, Kutie LaBootie, Kylie Koyote, Tin Pan Sally (& The Shanghai Pearl), the Trojan Original, and Seraphina. With Candy Apples & Laela Lovechild. July 15th & July 22nd (with special guests Mercury Troy and Iva Handfull) @ The Jewelbox Theater/Rendezvous; 8:00pm.  Tickets $15 @ or $18 at the door.

Whedonesque Burlesque: An evening of Joss Whedon Inspired Burlesque.  Artists: Heidi Von Haught, Polly Wood, Mercury Troy, Miss Elaine Yes, Lexi Luthor, Sister Piston, Mae Kim Beg, Electric Fanny, Raven Mad, Rip Curl, Whisper De Corvo, Legs Montana, The Norse Goddess, Rachel Jackson, Miss LIttle Piza Paradise, Billy Corazon, The Fighting Women fo Performers' Forge, EmpeROAR Fabulous!!! July 15th, Theater Off Jackson (SOLD OUT)

Tempting Tarts Burlesque Presents: CIRCUS SIDESHOW SPECTACTULAR: Artists: Sailor St. Claire, Morgan LaMay, Bitsy Rini, Pepper Patootie, Le Jumeaux Faux, LuLu Bell, Rose A'Lee and special guests Vixen Valentine, Aaron Wheeler, and Persephone Illyri with host Dickie Gazoonie.  Thursday, july 21st @ The Jewelbox Theater/Rendezvous; 7:00pm-10:00pm; ticket info available soon.

Stars and Garters: A Purple Devil Production, this "evening of bemused reverence, bawdy reflection, and perhaps a little smidgen of political commentary" is a burlesque/variety show themed on the USA, and patriotism. Artists: Miss Violet DeVille, Gams Galore, Octavie Sexton, Dahlia Ste. Cyr, Ms. Vixen Valentine, Miss Scarlet Marie, Mimi Je Mange, Fosse Jack (that's me!) and host Mitzy Sixx.  Saturday, July 23rd @ The Jewelbox Theater/Rendezvous; 7:00pm; $15 at the door or, $12

Westside Burlesque Revue: The Skylark's monthly burlesque show, produced by Miss Whisper DeCorvo, and hosted by Mr. Bawdy will feature: Jacqueline Hyde, Sailor St. Claire, Pinky Shines, Deliria Du Laine, Scandal from Bohemia, Peitie Mort, Deb O Naire, Mikki and Boom Boom L'Roux.  Thursday, July 28th; Skylark Cafe (West Seattle); 9:00pm; tickets $7 (I think).

Beebo Brinker Pulp Cabaret: The next installment of the six-month Beebo Brinker project will be on Thursday, July 28th @ The Re-Bar.  This month will feature the talents of Polly Wood, the Trojan Original, and more! More information coming soon! (I'll be in this one!)

AFTERHOURS: Highlighting the 'seedier side' of burlesque, this show by Vixen Valentine and Beatrice Belladona will take place on Saturday, July 30th at The Jewelbox Theater/Rendezvous.  More information to come. (I'll be in this one too!)

Melancholy Play: While not a burlesque show, this is a piece of fringe theater that I reccomend you see.  Presented by Seattle STAGEright Theatre, this play by Sarah Ruhl, is about an irresistable melancholic and the people whose lives she touches.  When she suddenly become happy it wreaks havoc in the lives of those around her.  Opening July 15th @ Freehold Theater.  Check out for more information.

*Do you have a show that I don't know about but want added to the list? Do you have projects coming up in future months that you want to add to future lists?  Did I post incorrect information, or incomplete information? Please contact me at and I will be happy to alter the post or publish an update.