It was a sight to behold, as all the sinners dressed to the nines came out to play on Palm Sunday. Calling out from the rafters “Dita, Dita, Dita,” the audience at the beloved Tabernacle marveled, to witness something truly awe inspiring and breath-taking. Dita Von Teese‘s “Burlesque: Strip, Strip Hooray” tour made its final stop at the Tabernacle in Atlanta on April 13, 2014.
With more than 1,300 people in attendance, including some who traveled from one side of the country to the other in order to see the undeniable Queen of burlesque herself, Dita Von Teese: this was truly the biggest night and highlight for everyone who attended.
Every type of person one could imagine, including virgins to the world of burlesque and entertainers themselves showed up to become part of something truly remarkable and special. It was a fitting tribute to have the most recognizable name in burlesque since Gypsy Rose Lee, take the stage at what was once a Baptist church, now a mecca of entertainment in downtown Atlanta.
When asked if they had ever been to a burlesque show, responses from the audience elicit either a yes or no with eager excitement, like children in a candy store, with some knowing exactly what they are getting into or others overly excited and couldn’t wait to see if it’s more than just a striptease.
The second question had a bit more of a bite to it. I asked what does burlesque mean to them. For Chelsea Hancock it meant “hot girls, stripping, old school music…pinup stuff.” For Sunshine Devine “it’s all about the tease, it’s an actual art form for us (stripping). So it’s about telling a story.” Alice Undead believed that burlesque is “a classy, teasing, artistic strip.” The one common theme from everyone I spoke to was the epitome of burlesque is about confidence in one’s self.
“It’s a great way to get dressed up and feel sexy,” said Kat Kitchen. “I like the fact that my company (The Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Company) empowers both men and women of all different sizes and stripes to feel sexy and confident, not only on stage but in life too.”
Dita Von Teese’s “Burlesque: Strip, Strip Hooray” tour definitely knew how to build up a tease with a continuous flow of retro music echoed in the once hallow halls of the “Tabby,” which intensified and enticed the excitement in the air. You could taste the tingles in the air, in the anticipation of that magic moment when the music would lull and the curtains would open to commence the beginning of the night’s glamour start.
Von Teese started the night off for the first of her four numbers with a smoldering cigarette in her mouth and full pantsuit with black rhinestone top hat that she shimmed out of every so seductively. Von Teese took her time, drawing the crowd in with each step and ended up splashing around in a supersized martini glass with a simmering smile. The entire time that Von Teese was on stage, you literally could not take your eyes off of her; it was utterly impossible, since she encapsulated the audience with a sense of wonderment that was contagious.
Von Teese personally picked each performer was personally picked by Dita herself, making it a night I know no one will truly ever forget. Murray Hill from Brooklyn was the Master of Ceremony for the night. Hill kept the crowd on their toes as his sarcastic wit kept pace with the night.
What I think I love most about burlesque is that ability to embrace on every level everyone for whom they are, no matter the shape, size, age or sexuality. It truly is about acceptance. Each performer came with their numbers and shined bright. Dirty Martini made the stage her own with each striking move, even popping a pastie by the end of the performance. Catherine D’Lish ensnared the crowd in her web of seduction, as she danced across a spider web. Lada Nikolska, from Crazy Horse Paris, did a special rendition of the Parisian lips number, which was very femme fatale and exotic. Perle Noire, who in my opinion, stole the show away with her Josephine Baker inspired banana dance number and her high energy, toe touching, split dropping performance. And what show wouldn’t be complete with a little boylesque as Monsieur Romeo got the crowd all hot and bothered under the collar. Every number was unique and a site to behold, truly showing the spectrum of what burlesque has to offer from some of the best performers. Of course Von Teese ended the night with her “Opium Den” number, dripping in red and black encrusted rhinestones with a fantastical hands-on geisha fantasy.
Every number was unique and a sight to behold, truly showing the spectrum of what burlesque has to offer from some of its best performers. The entire evening is not one I imagine anyone in attendance with forget anytime soon. Dita Von Teese’s glamorous world is one to behold and relish in with all the sparkle and shine. I know I cannot wait to dip into her fantasies once again.