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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 5, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 40
The dark underbelly of sex
Arts & Entertainment
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The dark underbelly of sex

Portland's David Lynch-themed burlesque show comes to Seattle

by Jessica Price - SGN A&E Writer

BLACK LODGE BURLESQUE
RE-BAR
October 12 and 13


Whether you worship or despise his non-linear, often-surreal narratives, no one ever forgets seeing a David Lynch movie. Perhaps Diane Ladd drunk-dialing while smearing fire-engine-red lipstick all over her face in Wild at Heart gave you chills. Or you fell for a young, pre-meltdown Nicolas Cage being visited by the Good Witch in the same film, or the cruel romance between Naomi Watts and Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive broke your heart. In all of his films (as well as in the short-lived, mind-bending television show Twin Peaks), David Lynch's bizarre characters and dreamlike realities leave you with a fractured view of normal life for at least a few hours afterward.

Two Portland burlesque producers well-versed in the unconventional are bringing their successful 'Black Lodge Burlesque: A Night of Cabaret Inspired by David Lynch' to Seattle's Re-Bar next weekend. Vera Mysteria, who produces shows regularly as Sign of the Beast Burlesque, and co-producer Rocket (GoGoRocket Productions), met while working as a DJ and a dancer, respectively, in Portland.

'I was surprised to see a woman DJ at a strip club - that's uncommon,' says Rocket. 'She was hilarious. She'd say stuff like, 'Next up on stage, it's Rocket! She loves chocolate and kittens and brushing her hair. She's gonna take us back to 1985 right now with this next song. Do you like kittens too? Go give Rocket your money right now!'

A fast friendship was born, and it wasn't long before the two began performing in each other's left-of-center burlesque and variety shows, and organizing joint productions. 'Black Lodge' is the first of these to come to Seattle, and it's no surprise - the Northwest already has a soft spot for all things Lynch (Twin Peaks was set in a fictional Washington town with exteriors filmed in Snoqualmie and North Bend). Expect to see appearances by the Log Lady, Laura Palmer, and the Elephant Man - and maybe, just maybe, Baby Le'Strange will break out her gender-bending transformation from Blue Velvet's Dorothy to the inhalant-crazed Frank Booth.

WHY DAVID LYNCH?
I asked Mysteria what makes Lynch's characters so ripe for reinterpretation through burlesque and cabaret. 'Cinema and burlesque often have very similar archetypes for women,' she said. 'Both offer the chance to present a character in any number of the classic molds. Many of Lynch's women appear to fit one of those molds on a surface level, but he sort of flips them over and reveals their dark, bizarre underbellies. More and more I'm seeing burlesque performances that aren't centering on the bright and shiny side of sexuality. It seems like we're becoming increasingly interested in that seamier side of sex, because it feels more relatable.'

Added Rocket, 'The characters are often so bizarre, creepy, or sad, and that's a mood that burlesque doesn't usually play upon. I like that the audience doesn't know how they are going to feel from one act to the next. David Lynch's work has such a cult following, and I think that the people who come to see the show are already fans - they already love the characters. We even work in some call-and-response with the audience using classic lines from the shows and movies - so be prepared!'

Sign of the Beast Burlesque and GoGoRocket present 'Black Lodge Burlesque' at Re-Bar on Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13. Both shows start at 7 p.m. (doors at 6). Tickets are available only at the door.

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