Pussy Galore

Oh, how I wish the New York Burlesque Festival happened every weekend: Ladies named Trixie Little and Frenchie Fontaine left messages on my machine, and every other girl called herself Kitty or Kitten, and you all know what a big fan I am of pussy . . . cats. Anyhoo, getting paid to watch glamorous women take their clothes off is such a demanding job, so I dutifully took notes during the first annual fest, held May 23 at the Slipper Room and May 24 at the Knitting Factory.

The Slipper Room was woefully oversold—the organizers, Thirsty Girl and the Pontani Sisters, hugely underestimated the appeal of watching hot, busty girls peel it off—but I managed to push and shove my way to the front, all for you, dear readers! The host, a potty-mouthed, seven-foot-tall, college-educated gay man wearing a Lycra bunny suit and platform heels, otherwise known as Scotty the Blue Bunny, took time out from taunting the audience to introduce the opening act. Ginger Goldmine, an Amazonian redhead from L.A., came onstage, appropriately enough, wearing gold-plated armor and wielding a sword. She soon found herself possessed by unknown forces, and started wiggling out of her clothes. Terrible! (Later, Ms. Goldmine and I went to lunch, and she told me that she has a thing for short guys with big noses. Too bad for me, but fantastic news for you dorky types!)

A bazillion other acts followed, including New Yorkers Jo Boobs and Ammo (both hailing from Le Scandal, formerly the Blue Angel); the latter did an awesome striptease to the tune of Night Ranger's "Sister Christian." She started off dressed as a nun, but by the end she was wearing tighty-whiteys, tube socks, and Converse sneakers, and was, um, doing things with her rosary beads. Said the guy next to me: "At the Blue Angel, she used to do that without her underwear."

Non-New Yorkers strutted their stuff too, including Kitty Diggins, who has a unique 1920s look, and the Fuckerettes—who, despite their raunchy name, were quite tame: They performed to hard-rock music and did synchronized dances and didn't take a stitch of clothing off. I heard one guy mutter, "What's the point?" but another fellow didn't care: During their second performance (a cowgirl, yeehaw type of thang), a small, older man in the front, who'd been spastically dancing the whole time, started making equally spastic movements with his hands and tongue (I'll let you figure it out), which would have been really gross if he wasn't so ridiculous.

One of the evening's highlights was Ms. Kitten on the Keys, who played the piano in a twisted Lil' Bo Peep outfit and sang a little ditty called "It's Not a Pretty Princess Day," which had a line that went something like, "Oh, that twirly 'stache—that's my snatch!" By the song's melodramatic conclusion, she was reduced to tears, and also, no clothing.

The next night at the Knit was sold out; some 600-plus folks filled the two floors, and the evening's host, drag king Murray Hill, mentioned that it was the best turnout the venue had seen since the smoking ban went into effect. You'd think club owners would have figured out this very simple equation a long time ago: bodacious, funny, half-naked girls = lots of spectators! (Even Matt Damon was supposedly there.) The Fisherman's Xylophonic Orchestra opened the festivities with traditional 'teases from local lasses Amber Ray, Harvest Moon, and Dirty Martini. Murray Hill, who was on fire all night, played the cad to the hilt, chasing Ms. Martini around the stage. While ogling the ladies' considerable assets, Hill said, "A lotta people ask me why I got into show business." Well, duh!

The Atlanta kids Torchy Taboo and Madly Deeply of the Dames A'Flame had the naughtiest acts; the first consisted of a man dressed in a giant corn outfit standing behind a female Indian, who stripped him of his leaves, and who, due to the excitement, popped his package (popcorn). The second act featured a hungry redhead with pigtails having a picnic and eating a huge, phallic sandwich covered in mustard—which, of course, had squirted all over her by the end of the number. Later, Hill pulled her aside for a brief interview, and asked, "What would you like to say to your fans?" Miss Torchy responded in a thick Southern accent, "When's dinnah?"


tromano@villagevoice.com


Relates Story:
"Bombshells Away!: The New Burlesque Hits Gotham" by Tricia Romano

 
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