Jai Price had never been to a burlesque performance before now, and neither had Lost Magazine covered one! The Showhouse Perth put on show #6 of The Midnight Special at Badlands Bar in Northbridge on Thursday night and turned up the sexy fun to a sizzling 110 degrees!
Ah, the loss of my burlesque virginity was a hell of a thing. Prior to this event, my only experience with the medium was that episode of The Simpsons where Bart works for a burlesque house. When I first walked into the dreary, atmospheric and aptly named space that was Badlands Bar, it felt wrong to look at the lone girl dancing on the stage, illuminated by harsh white light. It felt wrong, too, to look towards the bar to see a scantily clad woman absently grinding against it. As this warm-up routine wore on, however, I grew acclimatised to this environment, and by the time the stage went dark to herald the opening of the show, my interest was piqued.
A woman in a flashy red dress, sporting a faux-Russian accent laid out the ground rules and got the crowd hyped up, before the girls were let loose in a fanfare of fur coats, skimpy undergarments and fluid dance moves. My viewing companion described the art as ‘tasteful stripping’, where enjoyment is found in the tease, rather than the skin. I would be inclined to agree with this assessment. There were a great variety of skits performed, from a sensual police interrogation, to a balloon-popping affair. As the sphere-clad dancer weaved her way through the crowd, extinguishing the balloons one by one, gold glitter was released from them, a beautiful sight.
One of the wilder performances was that of two girls in cat ears on leashes, being dominated by a third woman. It was obvious that the performers wholeheartedly enjoyed what they did, an aura that wound down into the audience. It was an exhausting watch, I don’t think I’ll ever stop appreciating how one can have the stamina to perform at such intensity and make it look sexy. It was all thoroughly entertaining without ever feeling dark or seedy, the girls never losing their air of unrestrained brevity.
The costume and prop design was sensational, and added a lot of flair to the already exuberant atmosphere. Glittery red bras lit up the stage like flares, while a sultry enchantress made adept use of feathered fans to ensnare the audience’s gaze. Surprisingly, rap was incorporated into the show, with the rapper in question wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey, accompanied by two cheerleaders. This rotation of acts functioned much like a sushi train, ensuring you had a taste of everything while never getting bored. At one point, two audience members were invited onto the stage, and the look on their faces as they were tended to by their dancers was one of both pure ecstasy and mild bewilderment.
I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for this job, but I went away with a sense of elation at what I witnessed. The Midnight Special certainly lived up to its name (despite finishing before 10PM), being a brusque, invigorating, special (ha ha) performance that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. The Showhouse girls certainly succeeded in crafting a night that was glamorous (confetti cannons are the best things ever), gorgeous and, most importantly, just plain fun.