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Spicy Kaleidoscope Cabaret delivered the goods
Spicy Kaleidoscope Cabaret delivered the goods
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Kaleidoscope: A National People of Color Cabaret
Columbia City Theater
August 2


It was to my mind, the equivalent of the best banquet that could be had on this planet - complete with the most luscious desserts one could ever imagine - and, honestly, it filled me up so completely that afterwards I skipped the real desserts catered by That Brown Girl Catering Company. After seeing the saucy, sexy acts of burlesque performers Desire D'Amour (who did a wonderful strip to the song "Peel Me a Grape") and the stylish Miss Orchid Mei, and the elegant Toni Elling, a burlesque legend from Detroit, I didn't need anything else.

Sponsored by CARA (Communities Against Rape and Abuse) and Entre Hermanos, the cabaret, which took place in the cozy environs of the Columbia City Theater on Rainier Avenue South, brought together a number of national people of color performers who shook what their mamas gave them, bringing cheers and, a couple of times, spontaneous standing ovations from the capacity crowd.

It's hard to name just one or two acts as favorites, but I definitely won't soon forget the raunchy and politically astute number by performer Miz Ginger Snapz, or the arousing piece by burlesque artist (and teacher with Miss Indigo Blue at her Academy of Burlesque) Shanghai Pearl, who started out in a pink, furry gorilla outfit and ended in sparkly pasties and a g-string. Also a big hit was the live singing of Canadian DJ/MC Beth "Buzzy B" Allen, who sang original hip hop songs to her own arranged musical track. Definitely look for this major talent if you're in Vancouver, BC, where she spins discs locally.

But the highlight of the show was Toni Elling, who did a striptease to Duke Ellington's "Satin Doll." Saucy but elegant in white, this performance brought the whole audience to their feet in appreciation, and even the performances of Chica Boom and the stirring performances of Cherry Gallette and Tudo Beleza Brazillian Dance Company paled a bit (just a bit, though) in comparison. A perfect end to the first part of the show, and perfect balance to acts like stunning and sexy Julie Palomra Robles, who did a rousing drag king performance to a legendary Mexican singer's song (which had several female audience members, Lesbian and straight cheering). All in all, a great night indeed, and one that I hope will continue next year. Xandra Ibarra, who put the show together, said that if funding comes through, there probably will be many more shows in the future, and I'm sure if you e-mail either Aleksa Manila (who was the hostess with the mostest, and had the cutest costume changes!) at www.aleksamanila.com, or CARA at www.cara-seattle.org, someone will point you in the direction of where to send donations for these amazing shows to continue.

And, last but certainly not least, a big hats-off to Chica Boom for her tongue-in-cheek number "Token," which was sexy and political at the same time, and to Sydni Devereux, for her amazingly hot strip that had all the grrlz and bois hollering.

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