Thursday, February 15, 2007

Minx Burlesque

Last week, I had my first ever experience with a burlesque show. I had actually been under the impression that I was going to see The Gourds (that is tonight), but found out just before I left that this was not the case. Still in the mood for a show, I elected to go. I'm so glad I did. While I certainly wouldn't say that the show was suitable for all ages, it was not some kind of seedy strip act (okay, maybe it was a little seedy). It was a vaudville like I've never seen up in person.

The show opened with a punk band called Christian Teenage Runaway, one of the best band names I've heard in some time, who reminded me a lot of the old Riot Grrrl acts like Bikini Kill and Eugene's own Bratmobile. They weren't the greatest band in the world, but they were playing their hearts out and piercing the ears of the audience. One thing I found hilarious was about the drummer, who was very small, played in a bra and hose, and sported a "Thug Life" tattoo on her stomach (unfortunately, I wasn't able to get close enough to her to see if it was real...I sure hope it was). They were a great opening to a great night.

When the actual burlesque act began, I guess I didn't know what to expect, but they came with everything. The emcee, a woman in convincing drag, walked on stage with all the bad jokes one could stand, they had the requisite strip-tease to old dirty blues songs, a tap act, silent movie skits (including the classic girl tied to the railroad tracks bit), a stand up comic, baudy Valentine's Day gift ideas. I really appreciated that the girls were of all shapes and sizes and their performing was dependant upon their talent instead of their looks. Everybody, on stage and off, looked to be having a great time. There's nothing wrong with a little self-exploitation now and again. Fun as unexpected as this doesn't come around too often.

The most interesting question of the night, however, came from a friend of mine I happened to meet there. We had all heard about it fairly suddenly; there was no advertisement, the only way anybody knew it existed was by papering the streets, and very little at that. For only five bucks, to boot. Her question: how is this so far underground and strip clubs are so far above ground?