by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
Nearly 200 bump and grind enthusiasts packed the West Hall to watch the first ever Academy of Burlesque Boylesque 101 student graduation recital, October 17 in the Oddfellows Building on Capitol Hill.
During the past six weeks, gender-bending sensation Waxie Moon and Miss Indigo Blue, headmistress of the Academy, taught 12 students all things burlesque - with a twist. Boylesque, according to Indigo, is a "show where a girl can wear pants and a boy can wear a dress." With the help of Waxie and Indigo, each student created a character and production number to perform live - for the first time - at Saturday's recital.
The show began with two back-to-back performances by students attending the "Bump and Grind" and "Belly Dance" classes. Immediately afterwards, Ernie Von Schmaltz joined Indigo as co-host for the duration of the show. Schmaltz, a character played by a female, is a womanizing sleazeball who has quickly become one of Seattle burlesque's rising stars of stage and striptease.
The first student to make an appearance was the incredibly masculine and sexy Kayge, one of the show's star performers. The tall, muscular Kayge donned a silver and black android-like outfit, which he stripped off piece by shiny piece. A natural onstage, the exhibitionist began to school the audience on sex appeal and what a Boylesque star is meant to be. Kayge's performance was what an all-male dance revue would look like on a futuristic planet.
The boys of Boylesque 101 certainly did their homework. Each piece was so amazingly different from the others it created a sense of excitement where you just had to ask yourself, "What can possibly happen next?" Throughout the night, the men delivered Madrona Green, a British lad in a dress who smells a flower that makes him release himself of his frock; Hugh G Cockamamie, a schoolboy wearing a propeller hat who, while in detention, strips down to his propeller skivvies; Captain Jackaloff, a Baltic Sea pirate obsessed with knots and rope, which the good captain reveals is covering his booty and jewels; Teddy Bare, a hopeless romantic who, while trying to set up for a picnic dinner, spills red wine on his tattered suit, which he inevitably steps out of; Sweet Prince of Darkness, a boy who, while working out, is seduced by a plate of cupcakes, eventually stripping due to a sugar high; and Dr. Edwin J Fancypants III, who, due to the scorching temperatures at his tropical medical outpost, is forced to strip off his white coat in order to cool off.
The girls of Boylesque 101 were a hit as well. The women created such an illusion that, for the most part, the audience couldn't tell that the "man" onstage was actually a "she." It was, for all intents and purposes, gender bending at its best. The audience enjoyed El Aguila, a Spanish matador and superhero who strategically shimmies out of cape and costume; Mickey Doe Eyes, the burlesque Super Mario Brother who strips in hopes of seducing a cardboard cutout of the Princess from the famous video game; Mr. Vincent Lightning, a New Jersey private eye who escapes his captors by stripping out of chains and detective outfit; and Army Private Maximilian Pride, a military recruit who learns to salute, shine shoes, and take off his uniform - burlesque style.
The recital's standout performer was the sleek and sexy Jean du Jour, "The French Quarter Whore." Dancing to "Hey Big Spender" Jean paraded the stage counting money and wearing a very original white and silver outfit. The talented performer is meant to be onstage, and Jean clearly loved every minute of his fabulous number. Part model, part dancer, and all Boylesque, Jean du Jour is sex, style, and entertainment at its best.
"In the beginning of the class, there was this wonderful awkwardness among the students," Jean told SGN. "But, we quickly turned into a very supportive, talented, and gorgeous group of people. I love taking my clothes off in front of them!"
Jean said he recommends the class, and has particularly high praise for Waxie Moon and Miss Indigo Blue.
"They are like hanging out with royalty and listening to tales of the Wild West and amazing feats of magic," he told SGN. "They are the epitome of the male/female counterparts reversed, and then reversed again. Indigo has these wonderful abilities to demonstrate anything on the spot, while Waxie shares insights and ideas that flip switches 'on' in the brain."
At the end of the recital, each student walked across the stage to the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance" to retrieve their diploma from Headmistress Miss Indigo Blue.
The Academy of Burlesque Boylesque 101 graduation recital was an absolute guilty pleasure that I highly recommend. The music selection, outstanding entertainment, and artistic expression create the perfect cacophony of sensual and seductive appeal.
The Academy of Burlesque was founded in 2003 by Miss Indigo Blue and offers courses in basic and advanced teasing, twirling, dance and performance techniques. The Academy is now housed in West Hall, offering classes Monday-Saturday in the Burlesque related arts. The next Boylesque 101 class is scheduled for March 2010. For more information, visit the Academy's official website at www.academyofburlesque.com.
Share on Facebook
Share on Delicious
Share on StumbleUpon!