October 29, 2011

Carousel Cabaret October 2011

This intimate Carousel experience was hosted by Vinyl Burns who entertained with a surprising vocal range, escaping from a strait jacket, and his usual self mocking audience banter. The audience was treated to two performances from most of the performers and those who only performed once I would not have minded seeing again. I hope the trend for multiple performances continues at future Carousels.

Patti Cakes played four amusing, and I assume original, songs accompanied by her ukelele Pork Chop. She is cute, she can sing, and her lyrics kept the audience on their toes wondering what she would sing next.

During Lily Loca's first act she interacted with the audience via her facial expressions. There was more tease in this act than we had grown accustomed to - performers usually lose their clothes much quicker! Her second act was a peacock inspired fan dance. She talked with her fans rather than her face. The music track was fascinating beginning with a Shakespeare quote spoken over a pan flute.

Sadly Miss Burlesque NZ 2011 Bettsy Rose Lee was unable to attend due to a back injury. Miss La Belle (her predecessor) filled in for her with a dance similar to one she teachers her students. Dressed in an exotic bright pink outfit she owned the stage and seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself. From a simple teaching tool she performed a stunning dance.

For Miss La Vida's first act she managed to undress while covering herself with fans which I found rather impressive. Her second act was the same one she gave to the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. She began a lady in an elegant gown with an impressive hat dancing to a slow song and ended a modern woman in knee high boots, suspenders and tassels shaking her rear to "I Like Big Butts."

Little Miss Broadway is striking both on stage and off. Her act was a dramatic and elegant dance to "Be Italian" in which she hits herself with a tambourine - much less disturbing than it sounds but I'm pretty sure that she'll have bruises!

The best dressed competition winner was a man dressed as a devil who narrowly beat out a woman dressed as a homage to this months promotional poster in suspenders, pearls and top hat.

Do not miss this months Carousel or you will regret it! Look out espeically for Little Miss Broadway and Miss La Vida's "Big Butts" routine, two such unique performances will be hard to match.

See you next month, November 25th and 26th.

Venue: The Garden Club
Price: $35 door charge
Dates: 28 & 29 October
Time: Doors open 7pm, show starts 8pm

October 24, 2011

Diwali Wellington (Diwali Mela)

The second day of the Wellington celebrations of Diwali was called Diwali Mela and was held on Sunday 16 October at the TSB arena. The event included retail stalls, speeches, dances and food.

The event was well organised; there were signs up listing the timing of performances, security controlling the flow of people into the food hall and a separation between the retail and stage area. It would have been useful to see the programme beforehand but information about the Diwali events was difficult to find. I think the door charge was fair but, considering the experience we had, I would not have been happy to pay any more.

There was a huge selection of food in Shed 6 including (confusingly) Mrs Higgins Cookies amongst the many Indian restaurant stands. Unfortunately we managed to buy from a stall that didn't have very good food and ended up throwing most of it out. The small stage in the food hall had an area in front of it for people to sit on the (concrete covered in tarpaulin) floor. The kids were looking forward to the puppet show but weren't that interested in it though I thought that having the puppet stall next to the stage was a great idea. We missed any performances on the main stage as the speeches seemed to drag on for quite some time.

Obviously the event was well patronised as it was a squash to get to see anything of the retail stalls. The kids were happy to look at the shiny things, they were particularly enamored of the 3D pictures, but didn't have much patience to wait and push through a crowd. I would have liked to see more of the stalls but it was too difficult.

For the Festival of Lights it was lacking in the lights department, there were fireworks in the evening but reports were that they were far from spectacular. I think perhaps the best way to sum this up was something an Indian acquaintance said; "We used to go, but we don't anymore. It's not worth it." Sadly accurate.

Venue: TSB area
Date: Sunday 16 October
Price: Gold coin donation

October 3, 2011

Carousel Cabaret - September 2011

Carousel is the brainchild of the incomparable Venus Starr and has been running for almost a year. The show started at Estadio but has recently found a new home at The Garden Club.

A long wait was relieved by Vinyl Burns who described his hosting skills as a 'long uncomfortable road trip to a mediocre destination.' The screaming audience who fought over winning his whistle disagreed.

Bonita Danger Doll on loan from Christchurch in fluffy skirt and matching fans moves like a dancer. She had beautiful music and movement (although we missed her floor work due to sight restrictions) but it was sadly somehow lacking in expression.

Fanciforia Foxglove performed the same act she did at her graduation ceremony, from Miss la Belle's classes in July, though this time accented by red rather than orange. She was one of the two or three who performed there that looked polished enough to go professional - congratulations on her for following through and doing it. Her act was a mixture of vixen and sweet girl, not many performers can pull off both but she can.

Gender bending Billy Black performed an alternative and much more entertaining NZ idol both unaccompanied and to a soundtrack. He has obviously had extensive waxing and can rock heels, stockings and a g-string. The second musical act of the night was Emily Fairlight who played in even less clothing - a pair of boots and a guitar - and possessed a beautiful breathy voice.

Ruby Ruin in ruff collar and mismatched outfit was a jerky expressionless clown urging the audience to 'join in the circus, apocalypse is drawing near.' Her act was more disturbing than erotic but fascinating all the same and illustrative of Venus Starrs passion for broadening the horizons of burlesque.

The most seductive act of the night was Athena di Lure judging by audience comments of arousal. Despite the purple mermaid hair she managed to have a regal bearing (her necklace and tiara helped too). The only disappointment was the end of the act where she shot blue/purple liquid on herself which not only seemed out of place but you had to squint to see. 

We're looking forward to seeing what is in store next month. Come along and make sure you dress up - you could win prizes (it pays to have a contingent of supporters in the audience if you want to win). Did you see Venus Starrs costume? It was made by Purdy Corsetry (look out for a review on them in coming months) who let us have a close look as it was being made, you can't tell from the pictures but those are diamante studs down the front.

You can find Carousel Cabaret on the web and on Facebook

Price: $35 (cash door sales)

Date: the last Friday of each month, doors open 7pm

Venue: The Garden Club (who you can find on the web and on Facebook)