Capital Fringe Review: ‘Kubrilesque’ by Yvonne French

Highly suggested: watch a Stanley Kubrick film marathon and then go to Kubrilesque, a mash-up his movies, which include The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and Eyes Wide Shut. But you’ll want to keep yours wide open at this rock musical send-up of Kubrick that has electronica-tinged renditions of some of his theme songs along with original music by Mentally Restarted. Written, directed, and choreographed by Crystal Swarovrski, of Washington, D.C., the show first appeared at the Prague Fringe Festival.

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The somewhat confusing plot has laconic screenwriter Jack Gertraud (played by Neil Freuen) writing and casting a burlesque production (also called Kubrilesque), while a cabal of dancing Kubrick devotees including the sinister droogs (friends) from A Clockwork Orange is determined to thwart him. Of course “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” but that is soon to be remedied.

Kubrilesque gets a rave review for the pure number, variety and fit of the costumes. For example, after they doff ape suits from 2001: A Space Odyssey we see six ballerinas perform a synchronized swim routine in patriotic bathing suits and old-school bathing caps. This was a charming bit of physical theater that reminded me of the old Ed Sullivan programs. Also fun to watch is a pair of maids mirroring each other through an empty wardrobe rack. They have a message from The Shining painted on their torsos when they do the big reveal. And Scarlett Letter is not to be missed because her red hair somehow makes her dancing seem demure. It is clear from the ensemble numbers that a whole lot of rehearsal went into this production. The dancers, who all have stage names, are nationally and internationally known.

Running Time: 75 minutes.

Kubrilesque plays through July 27, 2013 at the GALA Theatre – 3333 14th Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For performance times and to purchase tickets, visit the show’s Capital Fringe page.

Read 2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘Kubrilesque’ by Crystal Swarovski (Director).


  1. Everyone who enjoys this show may be interested in knowing that there will be two burlesque shows held out outside of the Fringe Festival which will be largely or entirely comprised of members of this cast. Both shows will be at MOCA DC, an art gallery at 1054 31st Street, NW in Georgetown. MOCA DC can be hard to find because the entrance is not visible from the street. It is in the corner of a brick court yard at that address.

    The first show will be Friday, July 19th and starts at 9pm. Performers include, Miss Satine, an electrifying star from Italy, GeeGee Louise, an Alvin Ailey alum who lives in Boston, Scarlett Letter, a glamorous performer from Los Angeles, and local performers, ‘Stache and Christopher Inlow.

    The 2nd show will be Saturday, August 3rd and also start at 9pm. The headliner at this show will be Gabriella Maze, an International Burlesque star from England who was recently recognized by the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum as a “Living Legend”. Gabriella will perform in Kubrilesque during it’s final weekend. Also on the bill for the August 3rd show will be Bella LaBlanc, Aurora Wells, and Kitty Bermuda from the Kubrilesque cast. As a special treat, we have also invited a male exotic dancer from Baltimore, Lyon Beckwith to provide some gender balance to the eye candy on stage.

    These shows are a special opportunity for DC Metro fans of burlesque to see some of the world’s major talents in the genre making rare appearances in our area. And to add to the specialness of the occasion, it will take place in the small, intimate setting of MOCA DC.


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