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Last Tuesday at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg was the 4th annual Rock ‘n’ Roll auction to benefit the Willie Mae Rock Camp For Girls, hosted by our CC fave Mr Murray Hill.

The Awkward Turtles

Sapphire

The auction was also a showcase for a couple of rock camp bands, The Awkward Turtles and Sapphire. (Did I mention Kaki King performed too?) Keep your eyes out for the young graduates of the Willie Mae Rock Camp For Girls. The Awkward Turtles played with a lot of heart and a lot of charm, and Sapphire — whoa boy! — these young ladies (their lead singer is in seventh grade) are ready for the big time now. Check out their website here. If there is any justice in the world they’ll be the next Jonas Brothers, cuz they are CUUUUTEE!!! omg. It’s like The Indigo Girls meet The Jackson 5.

Murray rocked the auction, which was supposed to be silent, but ended up being out loud. As Murray said, “What’s the big deal? I’ve got the biggest mouth in the room!” But like all good causes they could probably use an extra dollar or two. If you want to contribute, do so through the Willie Mae Rock Camp For Girls website.

The best case for giving was given by Sapphire in their song “More Who Have Less”. It was written just this month, a couple of days before the earthquake in Haiti, and the girls sang it for them. Check it out…

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This Friday, November 6th, check out the glorious return of This Is Burlesque with The Pontani Sisters and Murray Hill!

Cultural Capitol talked to Angie Pontani about the new space and the new show. “The new space is fantastic,” she told us. The stage is upstairs at Sweet Carolines on West 45th between 8th and 9th Avenues. “It has a much larger stage and better sight lines for the audience, yet it maintains the intimate style of Corio.  We are also pretty excited to be in Times Square!”

If you loved the extended Pontani burlesque famiglia you won’t be disappointed with the new lineup. Murray Hill, The Pontani Sisters (Angie, Helen, and Peekaboo Pointe) with guests-in-residence Melody Sweets and Little Brooklyn are still the hardest working family in showbiz.

I asked if there were any surprises in store for the upcoming run. “Yes,” Angie said, there will be “new numbers for sure and bigger and better then ever.  With such a large stage we are going to be able to use more props and perform larger group numbers.  The Gin Bath act has a new home — I am so excited to do that act every weekend!”

Friday will be an extra special evening because it is also Angie’s birthday! (Happy birthday!)

Get your tickets now!

This Is Burlesque

Every Friday and Saturday night at 9:30

Sweet Carolines, 322 West 45th Street

For advance tickets call 212-977-3884

photo by Jenny Bai

photo by Jenny Bai

Last Monday I sat down with rising star Broadway Brassy at The Magician bar on Rivington and Essex to talk about her career, where she’s been, where she is, and where she’s going. She’s is out of town for the next couple of weeks, but be sure to catch her at Duane Park in late July and August! (Details below.)

CC: Hello Broadway Brassy! Thanks for coming to talk to us at Cultural Capitol. I guess my first question is, how did you get to New York?

BB: I took a chance, I don’t know. God I hate interviews. I just always wanted to come here to New York City since I was a little girl — always. There was never any wavering, there was never any other place I wanted to be. It was here. So I came. That was that. I finished college, and I just moved. To Staten Island. And it was horrible there.

CC: Why did you go to Staten Island?

BB: Because I had friends there. So I thought, if I go to New York City I should be near my friends. I didn’t know anything. So I moved there, and realized right away that was not where I wanted to be, so I moved to Brooklyn.

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Murray Pic

June 25 2009 was a downer. A major downer. I was at home, getting ready to leave the warm comfort of Brooklyn for the mean streets of Manhattan, when I checked my Facebook and saw Lefty Lucy had updated her status. It said “Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett…Michael Jackson?” I thought she was kidding. I commented “<gasp!> You just jinxed him!” Then I saw that the news feed was adding posts rapidly. People from all over the world were saying the same thing: Michael Jackson, RIP.

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Murray and friends at Corio Saturday April 25 2009

Murray and friends at Corio Saturday April 25 2009

Don’t get any funny ideas from the title of this post. When I say I spent Saturday night on Murray Hill, don’t think I was drinking at the Rodeo Bar.

I was the special guest of legendary Murray Hill for “This is Burlesque” at Corio. “That’s impossible!” I hear you say. “You’re just an anonymous blogger whose idea of a good time on Saturday night is to get stress management counseling at the Bay Ridge Community Service Center.” Yes, that may be true. But thanks to Twitter, I made a new friend, and he made my night.

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357 performs at the Coney Island benefit party at Southpaw Saturday night

.357 Lover performs at the Coney Island benefit party at Southpaw Saturday night

The band .357 Lover promises on its website to sacrifice their souls so that we may be properly rocked, and Saturday night they delivered.

The Coney Island benefit party at Southpaw was Brooklyn to a T. Freaks, Geeks, Hipsters, Lezzies, Homos, Straights, Bents, Rockers, Mods, Burlesquers, and B-Boys all showed up to save the dilapidated symbol of Brooklyn Soul. The World Famous Bob co-Emceed the Burlesque potion of the show with Miss Astrid, and let me tell you dear reader, they are two of the funniest women in show biz. (Murray Hill, who was not there, is the funniest man.)

It was a night of New York burlesque all stars including Julie Atlas Muze, Gigi La Femme and the World Famous Pontani sisters who performed together and separately.

Peekaboo Pointe

Peekaboo Pointe

You can’t go wrong with that lineup. Angie Pontani sealed the deal with her show stopping tub act, courtesy of Hendrick’s Gin. After that it was hard (so to speak) to walk out of the club upright.

The special surprise of the evening, what made it really special and not just really good, were the Daisy Spurs. They tore up the stage with sizzling energy and heart-pounding dance moves. It was my first time seeing the Daisy Spurs, and I was so impressed I imediately updated my mobile FB status to “Daisy Spurs, my new favorite crazy.” That impressed.

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Helen Pontani, Angie Pontani, and Peekaboo Pointe

Big thanks to Angie Pontani for her love.  She must have liked our ridiculously thorough coverage of the burlesque festival, and invited us to come and see her show at Corio (Weekly, Thurs.-Sat.). And by “invite,” I mean free tickets, which is a big deal considering how completely broke I am these days. Congrats to Murry & Angie:  this recession-proof extravaganza was sold out for both the 7:30 and 9:30 shows!

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Chapter 2:
Saturday, 9/20: the Saturday Spectacular at Le Poisson Rouge
By J.D. Oxblood
Photos by T-Bone Caruthers, Willy G., and Jane Smith

Ruby Valentine

Ruby Valentine

[***3 kisses indicate J.D.’s faves.]

The crowd at the Saturday Spectacular was decidedly older and more well-heeled. And completely sold out. Turns out that getting people to the West Village is easier than getting people to Gowanus—who knew?—and the place was weirdly, if not wisely, laid out to accommodate VIPs at tables close to the stage and standing room only everywhere else. Which is to say that if you didn’t pay the tab or have the connections to score a dope seat, you couldn’t get within fifty feet of the stage. My entourage and I were lucky enough to find a quaint little spot wedged in between the exit door and upstage left, putting us in the path of performers entering from stage left (Trixie Little rubbed up against me! I’ll never wash that shoulder!) and I had the added pleasure of having Jo Boobs sit right in front of me for the first act in her civvies. It isn’t just that she’s so hot, you dig?—like any man, I can get hot pushed in close to a middle-aged Puerto Rican woman on the morning G train—but, this woman is, like, a legend. You can feel it steaming off her. And I am honored to be so close.

It’s gettin’ hot in herrrre!!!

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