Showgirl Adventure: New Orleans Burlesque Fest, pt. 1

Posted by RubyJoule On October - 6 - 20103,116 views

Our trip began in true glam fashion, with yours truly behind the wheel, Coco Lectric riding shotgun, and sweet Pearl Lux squeezed between giant suitcases in the backseat – the trunk being full of props.  We were leaving early Friday morning, as Pearl was set to open the “Risqué Soirée” showcase that night at the House of Blues in New Orleans, and we had a good ten hour drive ahead of us.  Why drive? Well, I use this bench and table in my act, see – which miraculously fit perfectly in the trunk… and it seemed like the thing to do.  Plus, this trip was self-financed and one of us has a gas card, so…

Car Full of Jigglewatts

And we're off! (actual departure scene may vary)

I’ve made this drive many times, but this time it seemed to go by much faster as we chatted away the hours and miles, excitement building for that night.  Pearl had never been to New Orleans, so Coco and I regaled her with our wise accounts of trips past; the beauty and melodrama of the city she’d soon greet for herself.

We pulled into town at dusk, braved the parking garage Ramp of Doom (a nine story spiral ramp that you drive up, up, up, still up until you think you’re going to go insane, then you are rewarded with a beautiful view of the river), and got settled into our cushy quarters at the Westin Hotel.  I love the way the lobby air and the complementary toiletries both smell of white tea.  Do you think they planned that? Branding through fragrance, now that is advanced!  We had just enough time to get dolled up and walk Pearl over to the House of Blues to check in.  We tiptoed backstage and said hello to Red Snapper (LA) and drooled over the Stage Door Johnnies (Chicago).  One of them, Bazuka Joe, showed us a rather ingenious contraption of male costuming used for those big reveals, that amounted to little more than a man-pastie applied in the front, merkin style, with medical adhesive.  Ouch!  But wow…!

As Coco and I excused ourselves to claim our seats out front, the glitterati were just arriving from the Mondo Burlesque showcase earlier at Harrah’s; Jo Boobs, Kitten De Ville, Cora Vette, and darling fellow Texan Angi B. Lovely among them.  The excitement built through the pre-show musical act, and when it drew to a close, the crowd was frenzied to see the first burlesque starlet take the stage.  I nearly teared up as the opening beats of Sing, Sing, Sing began and Pearl shimmied her way onto the stage, all flying fringe, high kicks and twirls!  Of course I am biased, but I feel she set the bar pretty high for the acts that followed.

Pearl Lux

Pearl Lux' big finish at Risqué Soirée - House of Blues, New Orleans

Well, they met the challenge!  Highlights were the Stage Door Johnnies: Bazuka Joe never made a towel look so good, and Ray Gunn in a heart stopping Matrix inspired act, Virginia D’Vine in a tribute to Lorraine Lane’s famous “Satan’s Dance,” and the stunning Catherine D’Lish in an epic turquoise pheasant feather fan dance.

Ray Gunn

Ray Gunn's Matrix act

Virginia D'Vine

Virginia D'Vine's tribute to Lorraine Lane's "Satan's Dance"

Catherine D'Lish

Catherine D'Lish

After all that, my voice was gone from screaming but it was well worth it.  The rest of the night slid by in a blur – we were whisked up to the lavishly appointed Foundation Room above House of Blues for after hours celebrations.  I’m afraid at that point the spirits of New Orleans (namely champagne) took over and demanded their tribute.

Foundation Room

A cozy corner of the Foundation Room

We made it back in the wee hours, having earned our fluffy pillows after such a long day!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this adventure… the Queen of Burlesque pageant!

xoxo, Ruby Joule

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