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.


"A liberty encrusted, justice soaked, apple pie scented pagaent of patriotism." This is the tag line for Freedom Fantasia, a DeLaRue production, playing for just one more show at West Hall, Oddefellows Building.  As the tag line suggests it is a spectacle of glitter, rhinestones, American flags, and more... so much more.

Burlesque as art, not in it's highest form but in it's most important one. That's is my heart felt response to this show. As entertainment it is superb, and if that's all you want out of it, you will love it.  It is campy, gay, and energetic with fun, upbeat choreography excelently executed by a star spangled cast.  But art does more than entertain, it makes a statement, it forces us to think, it challenges us. Like a fun house mirror held up before self importance, Freedom Fantasia distorts our view of history; showing us the truth behind the myth but doing so in such a way as to hide it from conscious perception.  Okay, so maybe I'm letting my words get carried away, but it's true.

Producers BenDeLaCreme and Kitten LaRue have filled this funny, sexy, glittery show with stinging commentary.  It pokes fun at the "blind patriotism" so often endorsed by the media, and clung to by much of America.  It laughs at the concept of a "united" country, even calling out civil rights activists who want "their people" liberated but not necessarily "those people."  It reminds us of the sad truth that all men (and women) are not yet equal in the eyes of the State.  Finally it makes the statement that the true American spirit is that of the rebel, that as 'patriots' we should continue to be ourselves and live the ideals of equality and liberty, even when they aren't given to us... if that fails, we can always blow stuff up.  (That song is going to be stuck in my head all night.)

BenDeLaCreme is witty, charming and bubbly; a hostess who just wants to wave Old Glory, and see life through star-spangled lenses.  LaRue's character brings a biting cynicism, that adds a bitter note to the fluff, and her act at the end made me cringe in all the right ways.  Cherdonna and Lou, Lucky Penny, Jim Kent, and Markeith Wiley are equal parts hilarious and impressive, showing off some mad dance skills.  Major Scales, and Jinxk Monsoon ramp up the camp with their musical numbers.  Furthermore, I have to say that Jinxk Monsoon... oh my God, girl, I think I'm in love.  Those pipes are ... meep.

I truly wish this show was going on for another weekend, at least, because this is a MUST SEE in my book.  It says what needs to be said, and it says it in the most fun way that it can think of.  Laughter is a powerful medicine, and everyone needs a dose of this one.

Loves, Fosse Jack

Friday, July 1, 2011

Beebo Brinker Chronicles; June Pulp Cabaret

The ongoing saga of the Beebo Brinker Chronicles continued last night at The Re-Bar, in the third of four Pulp Cabarets. This month’s show focused on the character of Beth, a woman who left her husband and children to be true to herself in New York City, and to seek her long lost lover, Laura. Instead of Laura, however, she finds Beebo. A lusty affair ensues. With author, Ann Bannon looking on, the cast of performers explored the themes of self discovery, denial, repression, self loathing and the ever present threat of legal repercussion against lesbians and other gay people during the 50s.

Cherry Manhattan as the hostess is charming, witty, and elegant. Lyla La Coeur’s emceed with a breathy sweetness that bordered on mischievous naiveté. The evening’s dramatic reading, narrating the meeting between Beth and Beebo was delivered by Miss Elaine Yes and acted out (in comic melodrama style) by Diva la Deviant and Randy Andy. Gun Street Glory, provided musical embellishments, and entertainment; and though the lead singer’s vocal style made me fear for her voice, her showmanship was impressive.

The evening’s other entertainments included burlesque by Violet Tendencies, Minetta Lane, Miss Kitty Baby, and Jess Belle-Jones. EmpeROAR Fabulous!!! offered an emotionally charged piece of spoken word poetry and Daddy-O channeled beatnik culture in a capella style. Finally, Fuschia FoXXX returned to the stage, bringing us back to the central themes of the show; overcoming self-loathing, and embracing the blurred lines of gender.

Something this time around that did not click as well as it did for me at the first cabaret, was the convention of introducing the performers as characters from the books. Whether it was the subject matter, or the writing, I’m not sure, but many of the introductions felt forced into place. It worked. It just didn’t flow as smoothly as it could have.

Still, the show was very well put together. It had a nice mix of style and art form; and it had some good comedy. It never quite reached the level of dramatic engagement where I felt like I was in that Greenwich Village speakeasy, but it was enough that I could forget I was sitting in a bar… until I picked up my pack and found it coated with someone’s spilled beverage. Meh.

The moral of the story? If you aren’t good to yourself, you are no good to anybody.

The Beebo Brinker project is an ongoing series of events that will continue next month with the final Pulp Cabaret. Following the cabaret series there will be an engagement at ACT’s Central Heating Lab of the best of the series, and will finally lead into the Seattle premiere of the theatrical adaptation of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles which will play at The Re-Bar in September-October.


~ Fosse Jack