The second annual Michigan Burlesque Festival brought performers from near and far together in Detroit for two spectacular nights of burlesque, boylesque, aerial, vaudeville and more.
The boss of burlesque, Miss Foxy Tann started the first night off with a bang with such a diverse group of comedic, classic and modern burlesque there was truly something for everyone. Florence of Alabia had the audience roaring with laughter with her Teacher Florence routine; Zara Estelle gave a super sexy performance to a sultry version of “I want you;” and Rasa Vitalia had the audience mesmerized by her daring sword dance.
Michigan’s own Lula Loops gave an awe inspiring performance on aerial chains (if you have never seen this before it is incredible) and I had the honor of performing one of my signature classic burlesque numbers during the first night of the festival.
Miss Cruel Valentine of Chicago, Illinois was one of the festivals headliners this year and she gave a stunning performance to a song I adore – “Portions for Foxes” by Rilo Kiley. Cruel Valentine is always a treat to watch. Her style is so versatile that she always keeps you guessing. She has intensity in her eyes and performance that cannot be ignored; her act at the festival was no exception.
The show closed with a montage of routines by the incomparable Satori Circus. Satori has been a staple in the Detroit performance community for over two decades. He continually inspires performers, artists and his audiences with his imaginative style. The love from his friends and fans was evident when the entire room started singing along with his adored “My friends” song. It was the perfect warm and fuzzy ending to a wonderful evening of performance.
The second night kicked off with an outstanding group performance by Chicago’s Vaudezilla Inc. that included the troupe’s founder Red Hot Annie, Mia D. Vine, Raven Gemini, Lilly Rascal, Zara Estelle, Willy LaQueue, Gin Fizz, and Sadie O’Swirl.
Monet MaCabaret charmed the audience with her sweet smile and dazzling performance; Ava Adore teased us in her Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini; and Dahlia D’Luxe had us all craving popcorn with her “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” routine where she is dressed as, you guessed it, the most adorable box of popcorn you’ve ever seen.
Maddie Moiselle performed a steamy peeping tom act that got us all a little hot under the collar; and Gin Fizz brought the Christmas Story’s Leg Lamp to life with one of the most creative acts I’ve seen yet.
Vince V. Vice performed an act you simply have to see to believe; let’s just say none of us will ever be able to look at pork and beans the same way again.
On top of the huge undertaking of producing and organizing the Michigan Burlesque Festival, its beautiful founders Mable Syrup and Valencia Starling delighted the audience with their unique blend of comedy and burlesque.
The amazing husband and wife duo Pinch & Squeal of Cleveland have chemistry you can see from the back of the room. Together they performed variety of outstanding musical and magic vaudeville acts that no one will soon forget.
I might be a little biased about the final act of the evening (but come on readheads really are the best) however, I simply adore Red Hot Annie. She is a stunning performer from Chicago that blends comedy and classic sex appeal flawlessly. Her signature Strawberries & Champagne act was the perfect sweet note to end a beautiful festival on.
The Michigan Burlesque festival was a great experience, it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and meet many new ones. Since I was performing in the show I didn’t get a chance to see all of the acts but the excitement of the audience could be heard all the way through the building and it sounded like the acts were loved and enjoyed.
Burlesque legends Lottie The Body and Toni Elling were even in the audience watching a new generation keep the tradition of burlesque alive. In addition to an abundance of wonderful performances the second room of the Tanget / Hastings Street Gallery was full of vendors with everything from makeup and skincare to pasties and corsets. I couldn’t resist picking up some of my favorite pasties; Hardcore Pasties by Foxy Tann and some stunning corsets by Ivy’s Corsetry while I was there. Mable and Valencia thought of everything, there was even a Michigan Burlesque Festival photo booth where you could create your own photo strip to take home! It was a fantastic, fun filled festival that I hope to be a part of for years to come.
Congratulations to Mable and Valencia on another year and a festival well done!
Be sure to check out part two of my blog, with interviews coming soon!
For a complete list of 2014’s performers visit: http://michiganburlesquefest.com/
Ivy’s Custom Corsetry – http://www.ivyscustomcorsetry.com/
Foxy Tann’s Harcore Pasties – http://hardcorepasties.com/store/
Bruno Vanzieleghem – bpv.tumblr.com
Spilt Sugar – http://spiltsugarphoto.smugmug.com/
John Froelich – Detroit Freepress – http://www.freep.com/