Back in mid-December (and goodness that seems like a long time ago now doesn’t it?!) I was lucky enough to be asked by the fabulous Ms Tittle Tattle to be a backstage helper at her annual Christmas burlesque show; Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge. And, as with all Bombshell Burlesque productions, it was a fabulous night of burlesque, tease and high-spirited fun! I had a blast, and judging by the obvious enjoyment of the audience and their feedback, so did everyone else!
For those of you who haven’t taken yourself along to the The Nivara Lounge in Glamilton … you must! It’s a fabulous, intimate little vintage-styled venue with comfy chairs, a great little bar and although I didn’t try it, the food looked and smelt fabulous.
I was so excited when I saw the lineup of talent; this is the first time I had seen some of these ladies perform, and yay – there was even a boylesquer!
Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge was MC’d by the effervescent and actually, quite hilariously irreverent (!) Miss La Vida. Miss La Vida, of course, is an extremely well-known burlesque performer in her own right and has taken the stage from London to Las Vegas and New York to Sydney! Her MC style is funny, engaging, slightly bossy (believe me you do NOT want to be caught taking pictures or doing any other naughty stuff!) She had the crowd in fits of laughter with her bawdy antics and bogun jokes about Hamilton (clearly someone forgot to tell her we prefer to be known as Glamilton!) Her lightening-fast costume changes between acts were very well received, with the most popular ensemble appearing to be the rhinestone encrusted g-string and bra by New Zealand costumier to the stars, Flo Foxworthy. She posed with a flourish between the stage curtains and sauntered on to much applause – Miss La Vida is, most certainly, a showgirl in the extreme. And that, of course, is what you want in a burlesque MC!
The opening act was the first act of two by the inimitable Pixie Twist, which was later followed by her controversial Lady Cxxt act (if you want to see the pics of that one, visit her Facebook page!) Miss Monique Sweet and I had a rather interesting time helping the Pixie out with her latex and glitter props – ya’ know what – backstage at a burlesque show is never quite as glam as you’d think! I have to say though, burlesque girls (and boys!) are VERY MacGyver-like with their props!
Pixie’s acts were both designed to encourage us to question the wisdom of trying to conform to the mass media’s ideals of physical perfection and what is appropriate behaviour for young ladies. Pixie is very much of the opinion that you should love your body, no matter what it’s shape, and do what feels right for you – and who can argue with that?!
The fiery Ruby Spice was up next with her fabulous Born to be Wild act – I love this one – I remember a while ago when I saw it for the first time with my friend … she said to me “oh, I didn’t know you could do that with burlesque – I thought it had to be all slinky and slow” – HELL NO! Burlesque can be whatever you want it to be! Ruby’s Born to be Wild act is high-energy, raunchy and the audience loves it!
This was the first time I had seen the wonderful Miss Cherry Lashes perform, and what a treat it was … she did a gorgeous, classical routine and I really enjoyed watching her. That girl sure knows how to peel a glove to maximum effect!
And finally … a boylesquer! Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge was lucky to showcase the incredible talents of Mo’ Cachino (Mr Burlesque New Zealand 2013) Mo’ Cachino describes himself as “a velvety hot chocolate, with a double shot of samba for extra shimmy.” Sounds good right? Well he is. You can totally see how he won hearts and the main prize at the Mr Burlesque NZ competition back in 2013. Miss Cherry Lashes – you are one lucky lady!
Fun fact: A “boylesquer” is a male burlesque performer. They’re a relatively rare breed, but their numbers seem to be on the increase on the New Zealand burlesque scene. Hahhhaaaa … I’ve made them sound like a new species that’s been discovered … and perhaps they are?! Anyway, they’re a welcome and wonderful addition to the “scene” – they perform quite differently to the ladies, and it’s always great to have a variety of acts and “new blood” to keep things fresh and exciting.
Well … if you’re ever looking to see a stunningly beautiful, classical burlesque performer, look no further than Coco Valence. Move over Dita … this beautiful girl from Raglan will give you a run for your money! This was the first time I had seen Coco perform and she was a pleasure to watch – fan dances are so beautiful and Coco and her fans were no exception. If you want to find out where Coco Valence and Alegra Fantail are performing this summer, check out their website here. They are both part of the Blue Sapphire – Electroswing Collective.
Seasoned Glamilton performer and audience favourite, Miss Ooh La La Paree – Chic, Unique and Magnifique strutted her glamorous stuff with her lively Samba routine – she’s always so much fun and it’s fabulous to see how much she gives to her acts and how she lights up the stage every time. A true showgirl.
And last, but my goodness, certainly not least (!), was the curvaceous, fabulous bombshell that is Ms Tittle Tattle – producer of Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge. She showed her usual mastery of the audience and gave as good as she got – and managed to ooze old-school glamour all the way. Superb Ms Tittle Tattle – well played!
Guests at Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge were treated to a pre-show and an interval set by awesome Auckland-based DJ Netti Page. She also rounded off the evening with some fabulous after-show dancing – great to see some of the performers – and Netti – kicking up their heels! Performer’s music for the evening was very efficiently handled by the King of the 2014 Burlesque Festival NZ, Mr B Frank.
And would you look at these two huh?! This is a not-so-great photo of moi and a gorgeous-as-always photo of Miss Monique Sweet – we were the stage kitties for the evening, and we had a wonderful time backstage, onstage, around the stage, at the barstage – everywhere really!! Miss Mollie Tov did an admirable job of Door Dollying, and it was awesome to see Ruby Spice, resplendent in Christmas lights and Hershey’s Kisses perched (somewhat uncomfortably unfortunately!) on the bar as a welcoming gambit!
So there you have it … a rundown of the fabulous evening that was Burlesque at The Nivara Lounge – I hope you enjoyed!
Oh … and here we have a picture of Mumpty on her way to what was clearly very SERIOUS business – I think I look like someone ELF’d me!!