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!)