This Saturday night just past, saw Mumpty attend the first heat of Tease & Trouble Productions’ Grand Tease NZ. Held at The Meteor Theatre, it was an absolute highlight on Glamilton’s burlesque calendar and I was very excited to be the Door Dolly, which is an arduous job consisting of taking tickets and selling merch!
Tease and Trouble Productions is the glamorous vehicle of the fabulous duo, Ruby Ruin and Bonita Danger Doll. The Grand Tease is a new initiative in which they celebrate New Zealand’s burlesque talent in the classiest and fabulous-ist way possible! (Note: both Ruby and Bonita appeared in Mumpty’s Pinup December – see here for Ruby’s day and here for Bonita’s.)
(All photographs taken by the talented burlesque photographer, David Rowe of David Rowe Photography.)
Firstly, a quick overview of the Grand Tease format – and by the way, you can visit their Facebook page here. The Glamilton show consisted of ten contestants; each of whom performed a classic burlesque routine in the first half; followed by a neo burlesque routine in the second. There was a People’s Choice award, and the three judges made the overall decision as to which two performers go through to The Grand Tease Finale in Christchurch on the 1st of August. They were also able to choose a “wildcard” performer to go through.
The gorgeous and extremely capable judges were: Honey L’Amour, MisRed and Leda Petit, and believe me, they had a very difficult job to do on the night! They were fortunate though, to be regularly plied with alcohol by the delightful Piotr – but more on him later!
Let the show begin …
First up was Ivan the Red; the show’s only boylesquer. I love watching boylesque – it’s so athletic – and acrobatic – and there’s just not enough of them! Ivan the Red did two rocking performances, and took away the title of “Most Terrifying” at the end of the evening! I wonder if that had anything to do with the fact he drew blood by whipping himself with a studded belt?
Azure D’Murre’s Highway Woman routine is perhaps my favourite burlesque routine EVER. It’s clever, entertaining and fabulous – just like Azure. Full-stop. Azure was presented with the coveted “Best Boobs” award!
Saucy, sexy and confident, Ms Tittle Tattle really lived up to the Grand Tease billing of the show in her performance for the the classic burlesque section. Her Minsky Girl performance was a refreshing interlude amongst the Neo section – it’s a great poem (I guess you’d call it a poem – or maybe an ode?) and I love watching her perform it. Ms Tittle Tattle took out the Grand Tease Runner Up title as well as the “Biggest Tease” award.
Another first-timer for Mumpty – as in the first time I’ve seen Vola Tile perform. She did a great job, and what an absolutely gorgeous girl she is! She trained at the Bambina Burlesque Academy with the fab Lilly Loca I believe, so that’s got to be in her favour for sure! Vola Tile was presented with the “Best Bed Eyes” award, which she ably demonstrated on request at the prize-giving ceremony!
In my head, I dance like Coney Bow. Sadly, that is far from reality, but if dreams were real, then that’s how Mumpty would roll – or dance, actually. Huge shout-out to this gorgeous woman; first time I’ve seen her perform IRL and sign me up for more is all I can say! She really is, quite simply, superb! And for that reason, I was thrilled to bits when she received the wildcard vote and will be dancing her little sox off once again at the finale of The Grand Tease in Christchurch. Coney took out the “Dazzling Dancer” award, and my god – she so is!
Miss Kitty Rose did two things that stood out to Mumpty onstage … which is not to say all the other things she did weren’t fabulous too of course! Number one: she had those fan things with the traily bits of fabric hanging off them and she used them so beautifully and so effectively with regard to the music that I was a little bit in awe. (If you pop onto her Facebook page, she has uploaded a video so you can see what I mean.) And secondly, she stood on a chair – in high heels – sounds like a simple thing, but I can tell you it is not – and it was a GREAT way to end an act. Well done Miss Kitty Rose! She was presented with the “Best Newbie” award at the end of the evening.
This was the first time I’d seen Madam Mutiny perform and I hope it won’t be the last. She was fabulous – lots of sass for her neo routine, with lots of sensuality for her classic routine – can’t go wrong with that combo now can you?! Madam Mutiny was presented with two highly-coveted awards; “Best Costume” and “Best Butt.” Pinnacle reached!
I.never.ever.get.sick.of.Ruby.Spice! I think I must be one of Ruby’s biggest fans – she never ceases to bust out superb routines, and her “Born to Be Wild” act is freakin’ awesome! Obviously I’m not the only one to love Ruby Spice; she won Glamilton’s Grand Tease heat; as well as being awarded “Best Surprise” and the “People’s Choice.” Gooooooo Ruby – you rock! Glamilton represent!
Ms Ruby Rebel was also a new performer to Mumpty and I really enjoyed both her classic and her neo performances. She is most certainly one to be watched; something which Bonita and Ruby Ruin were obviously aware of as they presented her with the “Most Potential” award, which is a very cool one to receive if you ask me!
Well – what can you say about someone who can pull off an en pointe swan routine; followed by a hip-hopping, rainbow-tressed unicorn/My Little Pony routine? I read a couple of days before the show that Miss Bettsy Rose Lee’s husband made a comment along the lines of “well, they certainly won’t have seen you like that before.” Quite right Mr Swainson – that wife of yours? Never.fails.to.surprise(in a good way!)
And finally … Piotr from Uzbekoslavia. My favourite-ist MC EVER. Like any audience member in their right mind, I am somewhat scared of Piotr – well, put it this way – I would SURE AS HELL NEVER ATTEMPT TO HECKLE HIM! Ain’t no one gonna win that but Piotr! He is rude, crass and at times, forgetful (he blames it on the acid!) but at the same time, simply.bloody.hilarious! And loveable.
Funny thing happened … when I tried to upload the picture above of Piotr to my blogging programme, this is what I got:
I found that somewhat amusing, and I’d like to think Piotr might as well! Anyway … if you get a chance to see a show where Piotr is the MC – like Nike says – just do it!
So that brings me to the end of my long and picturesque review of the first heat of The Grand Tease NZ. I hope you enjoyed it.
And because you can never shout-out to sponsors too often, here they all are. Thank you for helping make The Grand Tease such a fabulous event! And lastly, to Danni Morgan – what a brilliant stage kitten/stage assistant she is! So lovely to meet you Danni.
Signing off now.
Tease and trouble …