The revival of the burlesque is official! There has been a tremendous wave of its return across the country but for those that have been taking part in this cult of personality this is not news. Capital Fringe welcomes this sexy, outrageous, and witty theater based on caricature, humor, and satire. ‘Burla’ comes from the Italian for joke and Burlesque Classique delivers!
The creativity behind Fringe shows comes from many varied places. If you are looking for entertainment, escape, comedy, all things risque’, a gritty underground of the unconventional, and even a bit of nostalgia…go see this show! Lola Rose, the quintessential burly queen of the DMV, produces and choreographs as well as performs. She’s “hired” a host, Karen Beriss, co-founder of Clown Cabaret who right out of the gate opens with a classic funny intro — my family named me Mae — may wreak havoc – after audience laughter — she adds, “Yeah…my family was pretty funny.” And the jokes keep coming! The quick wit and banter Beriss initiates sets up the energy for the show. Lola and Co. – Lola Rose and Gigi Holiday — start off with a classic tap number to the sweet sound of Benny Goodman’s licorice stick in Sing, Sing, Sing.
Stagehand Diva Darling retrieves flung garments from the floor and Beriss strikes in with another classic bit…borrowing 50 bucks from her…the price of admission is worth it just for this bit alone! Diva pulls off the bewildered confusion perfectly as they fall into a traditional clown one and clown two dynamic straight from Abbott and Costello.
Each dancer decked out in colorful make-up and glitter has their solo routine they perform to a T. Rose strips her clothes to reveal an oh so appropriate black fringed bra and bottoms. She knows how to accentuate each sensual body part as she does justice to Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass, a tribute to full-sized females. Holiday’s number includes ostrich feather fans which she employs quite creatively all to the ooohs and aahhs of the audience.
Beriss has several highly interactive magic acts that showcase her expert capacity to thrill. I won’t reveal too much, but if you’re sitting in the front row and are chosen to volunteer some dough for the host’s act be prepared to watch your dollar bill go up in flames! And then amazingly have it show up again from… well…go see the show! The entreacts are many from Beriss, Diva, and Lola herself and all captivate in humorous moments of suspended disbelief that actually help to tie the show together. Beriss has an arsenal of tricks – from the egg in a sack, tearing newspaper into strips and well, again…with her wonderful way of story-telling she performs her magic right in front of your eyes and gives meaning to the ole adage — seeing is believing!
In the line-up there’s also Hot Todd Lincoln who explains a little about the tradition of the side show all while telling true stories about his straight jacket (which he reminds us that in the 21st century we can give the contraption any name we please!!!). He too chooses someone from the audience to act as his assistant – and we gobble this up…all of us living vicariously through the grand theatrics! Hot Todd doesn’t waste a moment in his feature bit – getting restrained in the jacket – every one of his expressions from the pantheon of physical theater.
Lola Rose has her solo to a heart-wrenching Amy Winehouse track. She’s clad in red feathers that cover all her private places as she undulates hips, chest, and arms. Burlesque tradition stems from a feminist statement of the acceptance of one’s body – full-figured bellies, hips, and breasts are honored here – burlesque dance revels in the burly body beautiful. The three dancers perform a grand finale of vaudeville-styled moves to cheers from the audience as they bounce around with feathered boas swaying in crowns above their heads!
Finally, Diva Darling gets her moment in the limelight and does she ever shine in her red sequin dress that clings to every ripple and curve of her buxom body. With a sweet yet gravelly voice she sings and teases by removing her overcoat then strips her red satin gloves ever so seductively.
Get to the Trinidad Theater early for the Vaudevillian Romp by Burlesque Classique. They don’t disappoint! And you’ll have so much fun!
Running Time: 70 minutes.
Vaudevillian Romp by Burlesque Classique plays through July 26, 2015 at Logan Fringe Arts Space: Trinidad Theatre -1358 Florida Avenue, NE, in Washington, DC. For information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe page.