Monday, July 7, 2008 marked the opening night of the new Monday Night Burlesque at the Performance Space Formerly known as Galapagos. The act to christen the space, or, to “embooben,” as Nasty Canasta put it, was no other than the now super-famous Julie Atlas Muz. She came on in classic black — eyes big as swimming pools complete with bikini-clad pleasure models lounging with Mai Tais — lost her black dress in under a minute, sucked off a rose in fellatiatic splendor, spat out the petals, spilling down her bare bosom, and before anyone could quite check the turgidity of his member, was crawling across the bar to bathe herself with a bowl and a bar of soap, complete with avid pit and crotch scrubbing. No one does nudity with laughter better than the Muz. She finished with a bottle of vodka upended over her entire body and I half-thought she was going to set her entire figure on fire. Let me be the one to tell you, folks: Julie looks hotter now than she did when I first saw her naked, 8 years ago. That’s some serious deal with the devil, and I think he got took.

I can remember when Galapagos was just a cavernous bar with a reflecting pool and no liquor license. Eventually they started hosting the Monday Night Burlesque, which, according to legend, was the brainchild of Julie Atlas Muz and (then artistic director of Galapagos) Boo Froebel. I met Julie sometime in 2000, at a theatre where Julie was daylighting as a stagehand. She had her hair in braids, and those massive, cynicism-defying blue eyes. She was adorable. Young and careless, a gang of us decided to meet at a bar for a drink, and by some freak occurrence, Julie offered to give me a ride to the bar on the back of her bike. I rode on the back through Manhattan traffic as she stood on the pedals and pumped and pumped.

By the time I saw Julie swimming half-naked in the aquarium at that club in Chelsea, she’d forgotten who I was, and by the time I saw her at Galapagos, I’d forgotten who I was, and realized that burlesque was becoming a scene into itself, that Galapagos had become a juggernaut, and that Williamsburg had become the kind of place where, well, I wasn’t cool anymore. Since I still got laid like a motherfucker I didn’t let it bother me too much.

So what did we get for our ten bucks? Here’s the rundown in as few words as possible. If your attention span isn’t up for all this tits and ass talk, skip down to the HIGHLIGHTS and kiss my tits and ass.

The evening kicked off with three go-go dancers — Bird of Paradise, Lady Lucerne, and Madame Rosebud (see HIGHLIGHTS). Producer Doc Wasabassco and GiGi LaFemme informed us of the new (boring) name of the space, Public Assembly. Act I was co-hosted by Nasty Canasta, who came onstage with the ripping line “One small step for boobies, one big step for boobie-kind,” and Jonny Porkpie, who looks like one of the Doobie Brothers playing a pimp, or, if you squint, Kid Rock. Julie got things started—in spades. Then Anita Cookie, a curvaceous yet small-breasted brunette, came out looking like Josie from the Pussycats and gave us a blistering rendition of “Purr-haps.” Ruby Valentine, “the alabaster beauty,” entered to a clarinet swinging and disrobed in one big flourish. Working the Marilyn angle — and hot enough to pull it off — she ended in red heart pasties, her porcelain flesh blinding and every cock in the club hard as — you guessed it — alabaster. Thanks, Jonny, for the “rock” joke; some of us got it. Jo Boobs, “the Headmistress,” showed us her ass before we saw her store-boughts — thanks, sweety. What an ass it is — and sucked a dildo and mimed puking before tying herself up in knots with a purple string that made her look encased in a giant fishnet body stocking—with purple gloves and a blindfold to match. If you’ve never seen Jo Boobs, you’re an idiot — she’s hot enough to make Lucifer ask for a glass of water, and it’s not the T or the A; it’s the girl-next-door face that kills. This girl should have played Mary Jane Watson. And did you catch her Godzilla routine at the Mermaid Parade Afterparty? Sheeit … this woman is simply sex on a stick. Seth Herzog disrobed down to his Wonder Woman costume to the Wonder Woman theme song. Clams Casino did the routine that won her two titles at Miss Exotic World 2008—a tennis routine to Queen’s “We Are the Champions” complete with a floating tennis ball on a stick.

Dizzy yet, bitches? That was Act I.

Act II was hosted by GiGi LaFemme and Anita Cookie, who did a chaste little kiss. Girls, if you’re gonna make out, MAKE OUT. Otherwise, nevermind. GiGi was stunning in a green sparkly dress — that girl’s got class she ain’t even used yet — and Anita was in a high-waisted skirt and a demi cup. Her schtick is to come off as a lush, and either she’s a terrific actress or a bonafide drunk, complete with snorting. Little Brooklyn came out in a half Fay Wray / half King Kong costume; the monkey stripped the girl and force fed her a banana to Frank’s “Love is a Many-splendored Thing.” Harvest Moon and Mr. Fantastic did a duet. Jonny Pork Pie fan danced to “The Humpty Hump” — that’s one flabby Kid Rock but the girls screamed anyway. Creamy Stevens was dressed as a cow and ate herself to the Reverend Horton Heat’s “Eat Steak” — we got a double shot since her CD was dirty (is that code for something? See LOWLIGHTS.) Peekaboo Point, blonde with big teeth and a monstrous tattoo down her left side, came out as a sailor girl, self-wedgied and licked her fingers to “Nobody Does it Better.” Nasty Canasta did a fan dance to a car alarm — mercifully short. And Angie Pontani, Miss Exotic World 2008 herself, who owns possibly the most perfect ass I have ever seen, came on in an oyster and showed us the only way to untie a corset. Dear Public Assembly: you need to build a goddam riser, because the floorwork is simply lost on that stage. All I saw were heads, and all I want to see are Angie’s stems.

Tigger, a fabulous queen and a natural redhead, opened the third act dressed as a priest to “Spirit in the Sky,” pulling a huge shit-colored rosary from his ass and taking communion from his codpiece. Stripping to a banana hammock and then to a G-string, throwing his body to the stage in a kind of push-up in the splits — yikes! The raggedy Staten Island bitches next to me were positively SCREAMING. He’s hot hot hot if you swing that way and dirty dirty dirty even if you don’t. (He not only used the term “leather Cheerio,” he showed it to us.) And yes, that’s “Daddy” written on his chest. Tigger hosted the third act, and suggested that the new venue — which was once a mayonaisse factory — be named The Spread. Too late — and too bad, it’s a great name. Helen Pontani fanned it up in red, tap dancing to a “Naughty Girl” cover by Richard Cheese — think dirty lounge. Helen is so ridiculously hot I simply can’t stand it, and dropping to the splits doesn’t help. One complaint — too short, Helen. We need more. And I hate the fact that your Myspace page says you’re in a relationship. I’m in love with you. Have been for yeeeears. GiGi LaFemme did her bit (see HIGHLIGHTS) and Jonny Porkpie and Nasty Canasta did a Jesus & Mary to Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing” (“I believe in miracles”). Giving Mary the host as she kneels before him—appearing to blow him? Blasphemolicious! And then we were treated to the inimical Dirty Martini, doing a classic bayou tease with unreal pasty control.

— Look, people, since no one else seems willing to say it — Dirty Martini’s ass is a motherfucking force of nature. You’ve never seen an ass so big. Just seeing this woman kicking up one leg on stiletto heels not only defies the laws of physics, it convinces you that Newton was fucking wrong. Her ass is bigger than most people. Her hips jut out at such an insane angle it’s freak-show appealing. It’s awesome in the trueist sense of the word. Any man in the world would imagine fucking that action simply because YOU HAVEN’T YET. If you’ve seen the Grand Canyon and think you’ve lived, you need to see Dirty’s ass. A great thing of great beauty. I challenge her to do a routine where she doesn’t even show her tits. I digress.

For closing, we got the Pontani sisters — Peekaboo, Angie, and Helen — hot, hotter, and hottest. Tigger nailed it with his “sum of the parts” pun: “These girls have some parts.” I saw them once at the now-defunct Sky Studio, and knowing the kind of coin those corporate gigs pull down, it’s a wonder these lovelies have time to slum it in Brooklyn.

3. Harvest Moon and Mr. Fantastic
On the static trapeze in the center of the room, literally clearing the floor… ridiculously hot, climbing the trap, striking poses, sliding across each other in erotic acrobatics, intimately intertwined, a halfbreed of circus and burlesque, tandem stripping with something for XXs and XYs of all orientation. Mr. Fantastic is legitimately hot, in shape and with the moves to prove it, and Harvest Moon inspires hairy-chest beating, fanged teeth snarling, all-out howling The two together made for straight-up sex on a yo-yo. They did two songs, bless them, the second being “Rumble” by Link Wray and his Ray Men (you know it from “Pulp Fiction”), as Harvest began kicking Fantastic around and they went from mostly naked to damn near completely naked. Simulated live sex on a trapeze? Who doesn’t want to see that?

2. GiGi LaFemme
Entering in classic black silk with black velvet gloves, GiGi did a fairly standard strip tease before pulling a paddle from a black bag, raising a leg onto a chair, and turning her ass towards us. She proceeded to spank her own ass, again and again and again, in pulsating rhythm with the music, until her right ass cheek was cherry fucking red. And then — wait for it — turned the other cheek. She literally checked her watch halfway through yet continued unrelenting. I was speechless. Still am.

1. Madame Rosebud
I have to give it up because I want to see more of this girl. I spied her through the window gogo-ing when I first arrived, and, as David Krumholtz said in “Harold and Kumar,” “The things I would eat out of her ass; you have no idea.” I got it bad for this chick, and she gogos better than any I’ve seen in some time. She wears black electrical tape Xs over her nipples, ala Wendy O. Williams, she does the Molly Ringwald from “The Breakfast Club,” and her body temperature visibly rises whenever rockabilly comes on the juke. I love this girl. And I caught her at the pizza place after the show and asked her if she knew who Wendy O. Williams was. She did, which drives her stock up in my book. The black tape? “I think it makes the breasts look good, especially if they’re smaller.” Honey, some of us like them smaller, and yours would look good through prison bars. Call me.

The Burlesque scene still treats DJs like iPods. Work WITH them, people, and let’s hear some collaboration. No one even thanked DJ Fresh Prince of Darkness — despite the 30 minute curtain call. Oh, and the lighting still sucks in that joint.

Look, I’m too horny right now to go into the planned essay of this piece, but in a nutshell, burlesque shows are better than strip clubs because one, they’re cheaper, two, you don’t get hustled, and three, you don’t have to lie to your wife about where you were last night. You can bring her with you. And for you single horndogs out there — your chances of getting laid are infinitely better at a burlesque show. There’s chicks there. You might even score with one of the performers—they tend to be fairly normal people with abnormal careers; few of them are stripper-crazy.

On my way out of the club, I saw Julie Atlas Muz walking her bike. I almost asked her for a ride.