April 8, 2012

Caburlesque April 2012

The revamp and return of the bi-monthly burlesque show Caburlesque brings with it a new structure and a new producer. In return for a slight increase on door charge (from $7 to $20) we are relieved from the need to tip each performer after their act, a welcome change. The idea of tipping at a burlesque show didn’t sit well with any of the people I spoke to.

Our host for the evening is Sadie von Scrumptious,  in her signature green sequined dress, who opens the show with a little Yiddish lesson (Saturday was the first day of Passover) and keeps up the audience participation as the night goes on with plenty of prizes to coax out the shy ones. This month the show is dominated by graduates of Miss la Belle’s House of Burlesque. Several of the routines are recycled from the graduation performances but each either has something new or is performed so well they were greatly entertaining. 

In her first show since taking out Miss Congeniality and Sponsor’s Choice at Miss Burlesque 2012, Bon Bon Rocher starts off with her detective act (with which she debuted at Carousel Cabaret) and treats us to her Miss Burlesque “Living Doll” routine. Both acts have a clever plot and Bon Bon captures each character well, I especially liked her slow transition from emotionless and puppet-esque to a real ‘living doll’. 

Atomic Ruby performs her signature “Blisters” routine, which I always love to see, then for the second half has a new routine. I’ve seen many a balloon pop dance performed but ever with a flaming marshmallow. This was a brilliant idea but towards the end of the act, as the marshmallow became more and more burnt, it struggled to hold a flame. Always professional, Atomic Ruby kept her conviction and did whatever it took to pop those balloons. At times she was so focused on the flame it made me think of a pyromaniac who does a fire routine but gets so transfixed by the fire she forgets the audience, this gave me a good giggle. 

Salacious Sugar brings back two previously seen routines (her graduation ‘maid’ act and ‘I Want To Break Free’ seen at Mis Red’s Kansas show). Both routines are well thought out plot wise and despite one or two prop malfunctions, Ms Sugar owns the stage and has the audience cheering and laughing along.

Hester Hawthorne starts with an act I haven’t seen, very burlesque-meets-belly dancing, fitting as Hester has the beginnings of a baby belly which she proudly displays. It takes some skill to get a good tassel twirl, Hester takes this to a new level with not only adding ‘assles’ (tassels on the bum) but also pulling off twirling all four tassels at once. In the second half she returns with her “Muppets” act (also from MisRed’s Kansas show) which really hits a note with the audience.

Appearing in her first show since her graduation, Miss Delish puts a new spin on the Scottish play. Again, this routine has had some great thought put into it plot wise, I never thought I would see Lady MacBeth as sexy but Miss Delish proved me wrong. She manages to be spaced out and in control and the same time, the blood capsule was a nice finisher.

A new name on the scene is Spinning Jewel, a pole performer from Kaos who “climbs to the top of the pole and into your hearts”. She earns her tag line well and truly pulling some impressive twists and spins, I don’t know if she was dizzy but I certainly was. I look forward to seeing just where this performer will go from here.

Show: 7 April, 8.30pm. The Fringe Bar
Tickets: $20 at the door
Next Show: June "A Night With Queen"
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  1. Great to read such a positive and well written review.

  2. The tipping wasn't so bad and you got to chat to some of the performers afterwards. I was never spoken to so who did you speak to.

    1. I spoke to friends who had been in previous months, performers, attendees at April's show. It's entirely possible I just didn't get around to you over the course of the night.

  3. I've never been because of the tipping (and everyone I've spoken to have said the same thing, some of them involved in burlesque):
    1. we don't tip in NZ
    2. it makes it feel like the performers are strippers

    I might go to the next show.

  4. Well maybe you sould of gone and checked it out instead of assuming.
    The performers did not feel like strippers and aren't strippers putting there money in garter belts this did not happen at the Caburlesque shows and you would have known this if you had been to a show.Its great that someone tried something so different.

  5. Looks like two of these comments are from the same person (2 and 4). I bet they have something to do with it like they were in it. Face it, Caburlesque is just the poor sister of Carousel - can Wellington really support two burlesque shows anyway?

    1. Interesting comment since most of the Caburlesque performers have performed at Carousel as well. I'd say Caburlesque is the least conceited of the two shows having been to both.

    2. I strongly disagree with that, Caburlesque and Carousel are two completely different shows with different concepts.
      Wellington has a massive burlesque culture with several monthly/bi monthly shows plus plenty of one off or annual shows.
      Here are some just from the top of my head: Dr Sketchy, Carousel, Caburlesque, Fetish Ball, MisRed's various shows (she also has a bi-monthly show in Palmerston North, many Wellingtonians travel up especially), Frolic Lounge, I could go on.
      Have you been to many shows? Perhaps if you had you would have a better understanding of the scene.