Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a big fan of the world of burlesque, vaudeville and sideshow acts, and that is saying it mildly. There is something extremely appealing to me to see the bravery of expression (in whatever form it takes) that comes out in these type of art forms – that the women and men who take the stage to express themselves are fierce and fearless. They are literally willing to reveal everything, not just down to pasties, but parts of their soul for the sake of their art form, and that is powerful to see how the artists can translate what they are feeling to the audience. It is glorious to watch.
This is long overdue, because it took me a while to full process what a impactful show The Glamour Geek Revue at the Sheraton on Saturday night over Labor Day weekend at this year’s Dragon Con was. It literally was one of the hottest tickets, so to speak, to wait for. Lines started wrapping around hours before the doors opened at 11:15 pm for a midnight start. House had to hold the doors until after 12:25 am before everyone would finally be seated and the show could begin. At full capacity of 1,300 people making it one of the largest stages to perform on.
With Talloolah Love at the helm, as producer, performer and emcee, she juggled the hats of titillating geekery to a perfection. With over 90 acts submitted from all over the world, it was a labor of love and process to dwindle it down to 13 performers to compile a lineup with the right feel, from solo numbers to group numbers that rounded out a total of 16 separate acts with no intermission for the 2016 Dragon Con Burlesque: Glamour Geek Revue.
Atlanta’s own Candybox Revue bookend the evening with ensemble numbers. First by starting off with a powerful Game of Thrones inspired number, called the “Dance of Dragons” with Talloolah Love as Daenerys Stormborn and Roula Roulette, Candi Lecoeur and Sin Tillating as her dragons. The “Dance of Dragons” was graceful, elegant and strong to see these women provoke an array of emotions. At the end of the number, Talloolah Love emerged as the emcee for the evening and kept the show moving along at a nice and even clip.
Following CBR, Black Mariah from Dallas, Texas, took the stage over with her first number of the evening. Black Mariah’s “Slave Leia” act was confident, sassy and sexy as hell to watch as she brought an empowering motif to the iconic Slave Leia from Star Wars and made it all her own. Phoebe Nyx made several appearances on the stage, for her own whimsical Muppets inspired acts. From Fozzie Bear to Beaker to Kermit, all of them endearing and delightful as she played along with her ukulele, mixed in part with equal parts comedy and sweetness. At the end we all wanted more Phoebe Nyx and Muppets. Atlanta’s own Atomic Bomb, Nikki Nuke’m was a belly dancing firehouse with her “Fallout” inspired number. The muscle control, flexibility and the ability to make her body move in ways that do not seem natural is what makes her one of the most fascinating artist to watch.
Up next was Fritz Krieg, from Atlanta’s own nerdesque troupe, Hysteria Machines. Fritz performed as Mad Eye Moody from the Harry Potter lore, for his “Mad Eye Pretty” number and was he ever oh so pretty as he pranced, with some shimming of garb removal and in general had really good comical timing. It was a real treat to watch him on the stage as the first boylesque performer of the night, but would not be our last.
Vita DeVoid from Tampa, FL, took the stage as Lucille Ball for her “VitaMeataVegaMin” performance and it was priceless and chuck full of hilarity. Next was Big Mama Dixie Crystal, out of Charlotte, NC. She was mesmerizing as she brought new life into a “Labyrinth” number. Dixie Crystal started dressed up in a big white crystal encrusted ball gown as Sarah for the famous dance scene out of the movie during “As the World Falls Down,” then Dixie morphed into the Jared, The Goblin King. For the final reveal, she transformed into the owl. It was one of the most breathtaking performances of the night.
Atlanta’s own Estella Zorn, another member of the Hysteria Machines troupe took the stage and her Avatar Korra was to die for. She battled the elements with power and grace. Also from Charlotte, NC, Dee Dee Perks brought a bit of Super Mario Bros with “Bowser” balancing striptease, hooping and splits. Dee Flowered, from Athens, GA, graced the stage with a sinister performance as the “Penguin” and she played the supervillain to perfection, monocle and all. Atlanta’s own Persephone Phoenix, the executive director of Hysteria Machines, took the stage for her “Red Right Hand” act that not only made us all want to “Scream,” but was dark and provocative too. Black Mariah graced the stage for the second time with her “Sin City Stripper” act. While the act was highly enjoyable, provocative even it didn’t hit the same cords for me as her “Slave Leia” number.
Up next was Avery Wolf as the supervillain, Two-Face with Coquette du Jour as Sugar and Estella Zorn as Spice in “Razzle Dazzle,” from Hysteria Machines’ production, “Gotham, a Tale of Two Faces” performed on the Dragon Con Burlesque stage. This number was so much fun to watch. The sheer energy and dynamic presence that each of the moving characters created was so intense.
The final act for the 2016 Dragon Con Burlesque was a “Mad Max” inspired commanding anthem that was a sheer force to be reckon with by The Candybox Revue. This was a super intense chair number with six members of The Candybox Revue – Flame Cynders, Kat Asstrophy, Candi Lecoeur, Sin Tillating, Roula Roulette and Desta del Carmen.
For me, along with the other 1,299 people in attendance the 2016 Dragon Con Burlesque: Glamour Geek Revue was a huge success. I can’t wait to see how it gets topped next year.
Dance of Dragons by The Candybox Revue
Talloolah Love as Producer, Performer and Emcee