Chapter 1:
Friday, 9/19: Premiere Party at the Bell House
By J.D. Oxblood
Photos by Jane Smith

The Love Show

The Love Show

[***3 kisses indicate J.D.’s faves.]

I showed up early and was hit in the face by the smell of wood varnish. The space is brand spanking new and I can’t really figure out why they opened a venue of this size in this location. It’s Gowanus, people, which sounds like something you get from raggedy chicks on Craigslist and might very well be. The walk from the elevated F/G stop at Smith and 9th was like a descent into something from Dante’s imagination. Or Cleveland. You choose. And this joint is the kind of high-ceiling, wooden beam affair where you expect to see moose heads on the wall. And the crowd in the lounge? These are the kinds of guys that make you ashamed to be an American—guys who are used to yelling at each other in somebody’s kitchen. They still reek of Bolognese sauce. They’re so psyched to have a bar in their neighborhood they might never go home. Fortunately, the big room was, in fact, very big, so it was possible to get close to the performers. The crowd was mixed and fairly young—those brave enough to make the trek to Gowanus—with an extra helping of young dudes rubbing up against their young babes with the unbridled optimism of knowing they’ll have something to do with their boners when the show is over. Ah, the fantasy of a threesome. Girls, don’t be upset that your boy isn’t thinking about you; just be glad it’s you he’s fucking. The first two gogo dancers were, um, not much of dancers and less of gogo, but they were soon replaced by a smokin’ hot black girl with Supremes sensibilities, and a big, fleshy redhead who was so generous in spreading her ass for the crowd that I considered trying to take her home and skip the whole damn festival. It would take the entire weekend to work THAT out.

God bless Scotty the Blue Bunny, who’s so catty he makes real cats act like mice. He did warn us early on that he was drinking on his anti-depressants, so he can be forgiven for all the heteros in the audience he invited to bang him in the ass—just to make sure they’re hetero, don’t you know.

Roxi Dlight started us off in a “Pirates of the Caribbean” outfit, doing a slow grind and pouring doubloons over her chest. Scotty called her a “Pirate Hooker” and I had to wonder if she could take 16 men on her chest. Roxi is new on the scene and damn sexy, with full, perky breasts, a flat belly, a round ass, and an ease and naturalism about her that can’t be faked.

Miss Southern Comfort, a tiny thing, came on in a big wig and a pink dress, and danced with an invisible beaux to “Last Dance” before shaking her booty to “Call Me.” I was particularly intrigued by the twin tattoos on her back as she disrobed—f holes, making her look like that Inge painting from behind, making me want to play her like the devil’s fiddle. Tatah DuJour, from Key West, busted a Pebbles and Bam Bam routine with a couple of friends and a large, stuffed stegosaurus. What is it with out of town acts and big props? We’ll have her back next year, mostly because I wanted to get to know her redheaded Betty a little better. (She didn’t take nearly enough off.) Sauci Calla Horra was the spitting image of Barbara Streisand, working a Yentl-esque. I admit I didn’t get it. Is Barbara hot?

The Animal Crackers

The Animal Crackers

Darlinda Just Darlinda, Ms. Saturn, Harvest Moon, and Pinky Special as: The Animal Crackers. Basically, hot colored wigs, frumpy skirts, bad line dancing. On anyone else it could have been awful, but look at that lineup! Fun stuff and it’s always nice to see four divas put aside their differences and rub up against each other. The mulatta Vagina Jenkins, from Atlanta, pulled a classy act in a New Orleans outfit to a swank sax swing, and Dame Cuchifrita and Coco McIntyre absolutely dazzled with their spy-burlesque fiasco. Cuchi in a trenchcoat, with a pistol, and Coco decked out like Sistagirl from “Undercover Brother.” We got the shootout to James Brown’s “Payback,” and when the Tarantino music kicked in they started kicking each other. Interracial girlfight!

Vivienne Vavoom!

Vivienne Vavoom!

Colorado’s Vivienne Vavoom is the kind of girl R. Crumb would love. Blond, cute, compact upstairs and Rubenesque downstairs; white sparkly dress, classic. But her act lacked specificity—too much of that casting around, looking for a comedic hook, like she left a cigarette burning somewhere. Like someone who’s watched a lot of Julie Atlas Muz but not… quite… enough. (Digression: Where the fuck is Julie Atlas Muz? No sign of her all weekend.) Surprisingly, wicked hot disrobed. A straight-up Greek goddess with legs one aches to climb.

***Ah, the Love Show. What can I say about these girls? What do you do with 5 tiny hotties, when not a single one could possibly be of legal drinking age? Please, oh please, don’t throw me in the briar patch with these girls! No joke, Murray introduced them as teenagers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he were serious. This troupe is local, and I started to give myself that creepy feeling until I remembered that the age of consent in New York is 17. Giddy up! It’s the 1980s, we’re in the Hamptons, and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” is blaring as these 5 uppity bitches saunter around the stage, the sheer picture of privilege and erudition, casting the crowd smoky glances and ignoring each other. They lose their sarongs and vogue in their one-piece swim suits. I faint and am revived by a six-and-a-half-foot bunny. They smack each other around a little before sitting around sunning and fanning themselves. A hot moto boy comes in to give one girl money while making out with another, does a little coke off the mirror in his crotch, and grinds to “Dr. Love.” Then the ubiquitous pool boy enters, young, hairy, sexy in a chubby-ass kind of way. Ah, I live for the predictability of women’s fantasies. And yes, after some ritualistic sunscreen application, the randy bored bitches strip him naked and spank his ass. Mmmm… that’s good satire.

Sweden’s Duchess Dubois is… well, hot. Tall, striking, with an interesting flower tattoo across the top of her back, wearing a white headdress, long earrings, and, yes, a muff. Lip-synch grind to “Perhaps,” (Cookie, don’t you have that tune trademarked?) and after getting down to just a white bra and panties with the slightest of fringe skirts, pulled a Russian Doll trick with the muff—smaller, smaller still, even smaller. Perhaps. Lola Van Dyke, another Swede—a blonde—came in blue with peacock feathers and a headdress, doing a classic striptease with a side zip.

***Just when you were worried about the New Yorkers, here comes Harvest Moon looking like Speed Racer in a skintight motorcycle racer’s getup, complete with glasses and helmet. In 3 bold stripes—red, white, green—this outfit must have had 20 zippers. Sleeves, legs, and, yes, she bent over and unzipped right up the crack. The outfit WAS the prop and this is the kind of stuff we really like to see—nothing to distract from the hotness of the girl, but ingenious and creative. And she never took the glasses off. Harvest, you’ll always be a favorite.

Clams Casino did her award-winning “Tennis” act, previously described in these pages. Ok, great act, but isn’t this the time to bust out some new shit? Am I being a bitch? Whatevs—this was a great chance for me to rush out to the lacquer lounge, grab a beer, do a blast, burn a smoke, and get back for more. Colorado’s Fanny Spankings and Lexy Demure were south-of-the-bordered-out in sombreros, fake mustaches (I hope they were fake) and ponchos, basically doing a bandito-harrasses-bartender routine that worked its way into a shootout and a sloppy disrobe. Again, I think the Colorado school needs to work on their specificity. Take some classes with Jo Boobs while you’re in town. Mercifully short act.

The Peach Tartes

The Peach Tartes

The Peach Tarts did some sideways theater: enter bartender with bar attached to her—a gorgeous, scrumptious redhead with Bernadette Peters good looks (and, no, we didn’t see her naked), and two saloon girls. Enter the cowgirl in white chaps and hat, cue the theme from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Snidely Whiplash comes in and we shift into “Bang Bang” as the two go at it and clothes start flying. Snidely turns out to be so thin, so tiny, so brunette, so hot naked, I get distracted and stop taking notes. It’s tough, kids—like watching porn one-handed. We get the big group get down, and then the pastie twirl shoot-out between Snidely and the Cowgirl—and then another between the two bargirls. The crowd goes apeshit—this was a definite fave, which somehow—stop trying to figure him out, J.D.—inspired Scotty to tell us that he could have been a real estate agent. “My mom would have loved it if I sold you a house. But instead I’m sucking dick.”

I’m sad to say that I didn’t quite catch the name of the next act. Is it Tally Demure? Anyone help me out here? It looks to me like she was a late addition—she replaced Florida’s Torchy Taboo. At least, that’s what I think; we never saw Torchy and Demure was touted as being a local girl, so it may have been her big break. She pushed out a massive cauldron and entered with full fog machine in effect and a witch’s costume to match the brew. She rides the broom, does a big slow side zip, and let me tell you—THIS girl has been taking lessons from Jo Boobs. I can’t think of anyone else who can unlace a corset with such grace. The gorgeous redhead closed the act by taking off everything downstairs and pulling a live black cat from the cauldron and holding it over her hoohoo. Yes, we caught a glimpse of Christmas and saw the pussy, too.

Brown Girls Burlesque did a big, group act, and while overwhelming, it lacked some of the creative oomph that we’ve seen from some of the individual members. I’m not giving up on these girls yet. Hypergender Burlesque did a girl-girl 50s theme with the greaser and the doll dancing it up at the sock hop. He rips his T-shirt off, revealing control-top pantyhose, and when she finally lost her top the crowd went wild. Two chubby dykes never got such group action. Dulce de Leche sported a tight silk dress with a boa and hot pink gloves. Mmmm… flabby goodness with a big girdle finish. The “dark heart of burlesque,” Creamy Stevens, entered to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” in a skull mask and a black cloak, later revealing a white dress, pink and gold fringe. Her finale involved ripping the head off a teddy bear and spilling red glitter. You have to admire Creamy—so twisted my neck is still sore.

***Lil Miss Lixx entered nerded up to the nines in cat-eye glasses, pink skirt with suspenders, the ubiquitous white schoolgirl shirt, and knee socks—carrying books, no less. She got hotter the more clothes she shed, convulsing like an epileptic trying to undo her buttons, and taking a break to puff from an inhaler. Hot and funny, just the way we like it. And whoa… white spanking panties—you know, with the little fringe?—and tiny titties to encourage salivation. We need to see some more of this one.

Eileen and Irene Flairowitz, from California, did an East Coast special as two middle-aged Jewish women in frumpy housecoats and beehive hairdos shaking it to Hava Nagila. I felt like I was watching the Jewish version of “Ab Fab.” They had a damn hard time getting their dresses off and I can’t say I was anxious—fortunately their tassels were attached to their bras. Not for me, but ask me again when I’m 70.

***Miss Saturn. What can you say about Miss Saturn? I can only admire anyone who can keep that many hoops in motion at once—AND she takes her clothes off? She’s a little blond firecracker to say the least. To the Scissor Sisters’ cover of “Comfortably Numb,” Saturn started with one hoop around her legs, working it up her body, and adding one on each arm. An assistant handed her more hoops—and Saturn paused long enough to make out with her—and got 4 going in opposite directions on her arms before the assistant threw an entire stack and the girl had at least 10 hoops going and the crowd was in hysterics. Finished us off with a stage dive. Breathless.

Scotland’s Wild Card Kitty did a bad magician act—you know, bad on purpose—couldn’t pull anything out of her bag but found scarves in her gloves. Her pastie twirl was nothing shy of perfect, and she did, after all, manage to pull a carrot out of her ass.

Jonny Porkpie, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—DJs are underused in the Burlesque World. Jonny’s music was overlaid with two sports commentators telling us the blow-by-blow of his routine. Clever, but such terrible music production that we couldn’t really hear the commentary or the music. And, Jonny… I’ve been meaning to say this for some time… learn how to STAND. Even when I see you in pinstripes you slouch like a skater punk from San Diego. Step it up, kid, there ain’t enough boys in burlesque and we need you to shine. Love the sock garters, though. Nice touch.

***Colorado’s Orchid Mei blew my perception of the Colorado scene. Asian, part-Asian—Korean? Chinese? A mix?—and hot, hot, hot, she came out in one big white feather coat and a white skirt with sparkles and a tight, white corset. When she ditched the skirt she pulled a quick, deft move flipping the feather coat to be worn as a skirt. THEN she slowly took off the gloves. Wow. And I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this girl has an 9-inch waist. I could put one hand around her… and will if I get the chance. And then—she left. No tits, no bikini—just walked off the stage. You could actually feel the collective blood pressure of the crowd drop. Scotty had to massage us—“They call it TEASE, people!” And what a tease. Can I please have another?

***Miss Coney Island—Gal Friday—brought some serious swank and some pomp to the evening with her big shredded saloon girl skirt and Zeppelin’s “Braun-y-aur Stomp.” A firey redhead who could pass as Jo Boobs’ sister, she flapped her high skirt with a belt buckle the size of Rhode Island. The lilac gloves came off, and she spun to ditch the skirt revealing herself in over a low corset, bra, ripped stockings with garters, and proceeded to “ride the bull” in super slo-mo. Wicked hot. When the bra came off she spiked it like a pro ball player. Me next.

Seattle’s Indigo Blue is the kind of girl-next-door you can’t wait to take next door to your house: gorgeous face, curvy; cute chubby belly and incredibly athletic. She sported a blue Princess Leia bikini and was absolutely savage, tearing it up and ending with a back bend tassel twirl, head upside-down to the audience.

Violet Eva

Violet Eva

Big drums, and a big swing… a white ruffled dress cut high in front, long gloves, thigh-high fish nets, a purple wig, and a thousand-yard stare. Yes, Burlesque has made it to Japan and here’s Violet Eva. Perfectly controlled, with absolutely flawless skin, and a big finish that left her jumping up and down on one leg, the other held up high in the air, knee pressed to the side of her face. You truly had to be there.

***The surprise finale was Angie Pontani, pimping for our sponsor, Hendrick’s Gin. A clear plexi bathtub was brought out, with massive bottles of Hendrick’s on each side. I knew we were in for another commercial but I didn’t realize what, exactly was being advertised. Let me clear the smoke: Angie Pontani’s immaculate body. She came on in a bottom-flared dress and a big boa, stripped to a one-piece, then to a bikini. There’s no question as to how this woman won her title—everything about her body is contagiously hot, and her every move is positively dripping with sex. She bent over the tub, showing off her perfect ass. She balanced up on top of the tub and kicked her immaculate legs up, all charming smile and perfectly immodest—What? I’m naked?—dropping herself into the tub and splashing about, raising herself up, pouring an enormous bottle of gin all over her delicious, glistening body, smiling away at us and beckoning with every inch of her figure. If the Hendricks people don’t offer her a contract for subway posters and TV ads they’re a bunch of fucking morons.

Angie Pontani shilling for Hendricks's Gin

Angie Pontani shilling for Hendricks

That was only the premiere party and I’m in fucking Gowanus with a hangover brewing. How much better—or worse—can this get?