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Shakespeare Butts Review

Burlesque, Events, Performance, Reviews

August 15, 2017

If you haven’t heard already, Geekenders and Instant Theatre are partnering up to put on a Fringe show, “Slumber Here”, a real life RPG retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. To raise funds for the much hyped mini donkey and portal to the fairy world, Geekenders presented to us A Bawdy Night of Bardlesque Revelry, a variety of burlesque acts based on the Bard’s sizeable body of work. Whether a Shakespeare nerd or someone who appreciates the art of burlesque, this marriage of the two is sure to be an entertaining ride.

The night began with the audience filing into the Rio Theatre with Shakespeare memes on the screen and Ren Faire-esque music from the speakers. As the band for “Slumber Here” led by Ian Montgomery takes the stage, the theatre came to a hush and otherworldly music filled the air. After a couple of songs, William Shakespeare himself (Instant Theatre’s own Nikolai Witschl) sauntered up to the stage to deliver many puns before introducing the first act with even more puns.

First act of the night was Hairy von Heels with his reinterpretation of King Lear. New to burlesque, Hairy von Heels brought life and humor to the tragic tale of familial love and succession. His costume changes and dance routine ended with a crown on his head and not much else.

Next in line was a routine based on The Merchant of Venice with Effie Alexandra as Portia and Stephen Blakley as Bassanio. Effie Alexandra’s mesmerizing routine had heavy hip hop overtones and incorporated selected audience members as the princes of Morocco and Arragon. As the number unfolded, each chose a box of gold and silver, leaving the box of Pb for Bassanio, thus winning her hand in a passionate embrace.

Afterwards, it was Antony and Cleopatra with Catfish as the titular queen of Egypt. Catfish’s Elizabeth Taylor-esque Cleopatra captured the audience with silliness and exaggerated expressions while prancing around on stage to The Bangle’s “Dance like an Egyptian”. An actual trouser (stuffed) snake put the routine to an end as Cleopatra slipped into eternal slumber.

What Midsummer Night’s fundraiser would be complete without its very own number? Next, we have Cruella De Vine in a transformational number as Nick Bottom. It began with the writer puzzling over his script only to have a fairy blow fairy dust (or glitter, as it is known in the mortal realm) blown in her face. This spelled her metamorphosis from human to Eeyore, off to find her Titania.

The only historical number of the night was Bella de Colletage as Queen Margaret from Henry VI. This kickass number saw Queen Margaret strutting on stage as Hairy von Heels’ Duke of York cowered in a corner in awe and fear.

Another of the Bard’s famous work, Taming of the Shrew, we had Jayne Fondue as Bianca, and Graeme Thompson, Greg Delmage, and Stephen Blakley as her three suitors. This hilarious number began with the three attractive – if pompous – suitors vying for Bianca’s affections and almost winning it. After much competition and chest pounding, each suitor then brought a gift as the final offering, one of which was a cheese pizza. To the audience’s surprise and delight, Jayne Fondue’s Bianca ran off with the pizza and left her suitors behind, awkwardly consoling each other.

Before intermission, the stage took a dark and delicious turn with Titus Andronicus, in which Kitty Glitter’s Titus committed a fun, brutal murder. Hairy von Heels and Seamus Fit-It-In appeared briefly as Chiron and Demetrius, Titus’ guilty victims who were made into pie. Kitty Glitter then smeared said pie all over herself and fed the audience whipped cream, once again proving that revenge is a dish best served sexy.

After intermission, the Slumber Here band once again captivated the audience with a couple of lively tunes before Will Shakespeare welcomed them back and introduced them to Romeo and Juliet. Trixie Hobbitses and Stephen Blakley serenaded the crowd with a parody of “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music – “Thirteen Going on Fourteen”. The altered lyrics brought to light how amusingly creepy and ridiculous the premise of the story was, all the while in ironic contrast to Trixie and Stephen’s adorable displays of affection.

Next, we have a gender transcending number with Rear Admiral Ziggy Starbutts as Twelfth Night’s Viola/Cesario. Ziggy sashayed on stage to a jaunty tune in a full suit, top hat, and a sparkly mustache. As the dance number progressed, she tap danced her way into a flowy dress and presented herself to be Viola, before shedding even that to reveal “Olivia” scrawled on her stomach with an arrow pointing downward, and “Orsino” above her rear.

No Shakespeare night is complete without Lion King Hamlet. Draco Muff-Boi and Ginger Femmecat took to the stage as the titular character and his lover. Ginger brought vividly to life the ethereal and delicate Ophelia, while Draco’s Hamlet appropriately brooded and sulked around the stage. With Ginger drowning in a mist from a squirt bottle and Draco expiring from poison, the routine came to an end with a proper Hamlet ending.

The second supernatural act of the night saw Jaspurr Moans as The Tempest’s Ariel. No, not the mermaid. This Ariel was more bird-like and danced sensually to enchantingly stormy music, ensnaring the audience with her routine.

Another spellbinding routine, the second last act was Lithium Little, Taylor Mayde, and Leeloo Oleander as the Wyrd Sisters from the cursed Scottish play. This bewitching display had the three sisters gyrating against fittingly ominous music with fireplay a consistent motif throughout the spellbindingly eerie number. The unearthly performance ended with the foretelling of Macbeth’s rise and fall, with a flash of fire through the crown.

Last but not least is Adam Stargasm’s debut as Julius Caesar, alongside Effie Alexandra, Kitty Glitter, Hairy von Heels, Princess Iwannaleia, Seamus Fit-It-In, and Stephen Blakley. This entertaining yet increasingly chaotic number captured perfectly the tumultuous nature of politics. And in true Shakespearean tragedy fashion, everybody died.

All in all, Bardlesque was much like many other Geekenders ventures, clever and entertaining. Even accumulating a pile of bodies on stage had the audience in stitches. To catch more of Geekenders ventures, coming up on August 18th is Lord of the Schwings: A Tolkien Burlesque Night at the Rio Theatre. Or if you want to see more Shakespearean ventures, click here to get tickets to Slumber Here.

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Gentlemen Hecklers: Krull

Comedy, Culture, Events, Performance

August 2, 2017

Oh, gods. Krull. Where does one even begin?

Krull is a science fantasy masterpiece of a film that is everything that the early eighties had to offer: confusing decisions about story, theme, character, and clothing. A weird underlying philosophy about the power of prophecy and wedding vows that result in the power to shoot fire. And an evil army that travels through space in a giant mountain fortress that teleports every day.

I mean, what?

This sounds like an early Dungeons & Dragons adventure module that someone with more cocaine than sense decided needed to be made into a film – and the cocaine was right. Krull did need to be turned into a film, and the film we got… well, look at the trailer:

This is the perfect fodder for people like the Gentlemen Hecklers, and certainly the perfect film for them to celebrate their five year anniversary.

Come witness three of the geniuses that brought us the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot as they return to the Rio Theater. Eric Fell, Shaun Stuart, and Patrick Mahlia return to the Rio Theater to five years of laughs and bad movies brought to the big screen.

On August 9th, these three plucky heroes will confront the Beast in the heart of the Black fortress that some call the Rio Theater, a place which does not teleport so much as loom over the intersection of Commerical and Broadway in Vancouver, British California, Canada. You can buy tickets by clicking here, or pay $14 at the door. If you are a Vancouver native or are simply passing through, this is the best thing you could do with your time come August 9th.

Doors open at eight, show starts at nine. See you there.

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Review: The 24 Carrot Show! Fou Fou Ha! Featuring FOU YORK!

Burlesque, Comedy, Culture, Events, Performance, Performance, Reviews, Showcase

July 29, 2017

Last night… I gave a lap dance to a clown on stage while 100 people at The Rio cheered me on… because, in this show, audience participation is its own reward!

Let me explain how I got there.

Earlier this week we did an interview with Maya Lane, creator of Fou Fou Ha! It was great! She is great! Then, last night I went to the show. I went with Miss Dee Twenty because we like to go to things like this with each other.  We also sat near other local burlesque performers. The performers went around the audience and would ask weird questions like, “What agenda items would like to add?” and also, they would catch popcorn with their mouths if you threw it at them.

When the show began there was a lot of prepping for the fact that this show relied on our participation. This is usually not the case with most stage shows in Vancouver… and of course, it isn’t like most shows in Vancouver, because this show is unabashedly San Fransico!

After some banter from the host Jamie Dewolf and lovely tightly choreographed dancing from “The Fou’s” the first contest was announced… they didn’t say, hey who wants to give a clown a lap dance… all you got was beautiful clowns coming into the audience and saying hey you there… get on stage! So, there I was, standing next to Miss Dee Twenty, on the stage of The Rio, when the host assigned us numbers and then said, ok, you will go in order and when we tell you to start… give our “sluttiest” clown Fluffer Fou, a lap dance. In that moment, I knew what I had to do. I had to take off my shoes and limber the fuck up.

I was second in line, the first contestant tried really hard but you could tell that he was extra uncomfortable, but the audience whooped and hollered and went OWW! OWW! OWW! Then, my turn.

I gave a clown a lap dance. I apparently gave him a really good lap dance because he was really liking it and people in the audience were even louder than they were for contestant 1. I actually don’t remember what I did in my lap dance… I do remember that someone told me afterwards that they liked my tramp stamp…

Then, Miss Dee Twenty (professional burlesque performer), gave a clown a lap dance… and well she did the splits.

Then contestant 4 gave a clown a lap dance… unlike the rest of us… this dude gave us some full on Magic Mike style male stripper action.

In the end… the whooping and cheering and applause chose the winner… And surprise surprise our local professional burlesque performer Miss Dee Twenty won!

Even their DJ is Fou-lisicous

After that more beautiful dancing and then… something completely different. The members of the troupe would come on stage remove as much of their clowning attire as possible and give monologues about how clowning and burlesque saved them. How performing, how encouraging others to let their freak flag fly, to let the shadows come out, into the light, was transformative. There were performers who were suicidal until they found clowning, performers who didn’t know where they belonged and felt trapped in a world where they had to hide until they found clowning, and even the creator of the show, a therapist, said that clowning is her therapy.

After more crazy contests including telling embarrassing sex stories that were then reinterpreted in the art of dance! and pretending to make love to a carrot the show ended with everyone being asked on stage to take pictures with “The Fous” and have a big dance party and hug fest.

And this is the type of show The 24 Carrot Show! is.

It is so much more than pretty people taking off clothes and encouraging audience members to give a clown a lap dance, the theme of the night is own your celebrate your mistakes and your weirdness.

They will be in town for one more night! So! Please! Go! To! The! Show! and support them. 

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Preview: The 24 Carrot Show! Fou Fou Ha! Featuring FOU YORK!

Burlesque, Comedy, Culture, Events, Interviews, Performance, Showcase

July 24, 2017

Fou Fou Ha! is an ensemble of animated character performers who thrill audiences with over the top shows filled with Circus antics, jaw-dropping dance numbers to high-energy music and audience interactive playfulness. The Fous are a family of enticing, colourful, sexy performers, each owning a unique character that celebrates individuality and unabashed human expression.

Loved by many wherever they go, FFH inspires audiences to celebrate, dance, let out their inner Fool and be comfortable with their shadow. Divine trixters, sexy activators, captivating performers, out of the ordinary show. This is theater at it’s best, and the Fous make sure you have a good time watching and engaging with us.

We had a chance to talk to Maya Lane creator of Fou Fou Ha about the troupe and their upcoming shows on July 28th and 29th at The Rio in Vancouver:

LM: Can you give us a brief but fascinating history of how Fou Fou Ha! came to be.

ML: It began when I was studying dance in Holland and the Cirque culture in Europe became very inspiring and influenced me a lot. When I came back to The States I had the chance to go to Burning Man and those two experiences combined with my love of the club kid aesthetics from the ‘90’s led me to create Fou Fou Ha. The clowning aspect grew organically from there.

LM: How did you get involved with The Rio?

ML: We were introduced to Corrine of the Rio by Jasper Patterson and  Jamie Dewolf who is a well known performer in San Francisco who happens to do the annual Game of Thrones Live show, Corinne from the Rio came to see our show last year in SF and invited us to bring it to the Rio. This meeting made it so that we could do a yearly show at The Rio.

LM: Do you feel yourself to be a burlesque troupe that happens to clown… or a clown group that happens to also do burlesque?

ML: We didn’t start as either. We are a dance company who likes theatrics. But eventually, the aesthetic went to clowning and satire. Burlesque performance was also added later on as well. So, as a pure tracing of the genealogy of the show, we are clown troupe first.

LM: How many are in the troupe that is performing in the Vancouver show?

ML: 10 from San Fran and 4 from New York

And now.. not so serious questions we used to get to know people…What are your top 4 road trip songs?

LM: What are your top 4 road trip songs?

ML: My road trip songs are

  1. Alaska Thunderfuck – This Is My Hair
  2. Balkan Beat Box – Habibi Min Zaman
  3. Edith Piaf  – Padam Padam
  4. Tricky – We Don’t Die

LM: Victor/Victoria or Cabaret? Cabaret

ML: Cabaret… gotta love Fosse!

LM: If you were early to get to your plane and you had 20$ what would you spend it on?

ML: A dry martini and an Italian Vogue

For a peek of what Fou Fou Ha! Is about please feast your eyes on the video below! Tickets and show information is here!

 

 

 

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