So my friends NN and AT have been waiting since Friday for me to write about THIS one.
We went to the last performance ever of the burlesque show Velvet Hammer. It started off weird, with a disgruntled employee handing us a brochure about why we should boycott the show, even though we'd already paid, so what kind of a boycott is that?
Then the Dykes on Bikes road by twice waving. The queue started filling up with people in 1940s costumes and lots of lesbians.
By the time they opened the doors to the deco El Rey and we slumped in our seats, we were already exhausted. We're getting older, and NN & AT had spent the day shopping for apartments in a market where landlords are asking for iPods in addition to first and last. Me, I'm just no good standing that long in heels.
The show was a long two hours of bad jokes, burlesque, and circus freak acts. The owner clearly had athing for Lynch, from featuring a dwarf stripper named Bobby Pin to closing the night with Rebekah Del Rio singing Crying.
I've never been so bored/horrified/fascinated.
Some of the numbers featured amazingly talented performers, like the stripper who climbed two curtains to do acrobatics above us (saw that once at burlesque in Paris; it's simply stunning). A few of the numbers made no sense whatsoever and dragged on too long, like the Candy Tray Girl poisoning the Cracker Jacks boxes. We got to see a smoking woman pop all her balloons, and an Orlando Bloomish matador take on El Toro, a lawnmower he eventually balanced on his chin (my favorite). Some of the numbers were clearly feminist deconstructions, like the ballet dancer who was stripped by a bum, or the amazing Kiss act, where a transvestite flanked by naked male lackeys was revealed to be a petite white woman with a black strap on she played like a guitar rock god.
The whole night was stunning and odd, and we went home afterwards rather quiet and dissettled. There was nothing erotic about it, but you felt dirty because of the prurient quality they kept rubbing in your face. I kept expecting to see David or Jennifer in the valet line after, cackling at us maniacally in the streetlight.