Burlesque’s best bring the heat to D.C., Baltimore’s Creative Alliance

For much of this week, Maryland’s heat index has hovered around the hundred degree mark.  But for burlesque fans in the mid-Atlantic region, it’s about to get much hotter.

Three scintillating shows are on tap this weekend for Baltimore and Greater DC.  And each offers afficionados of the art something a little different.

The exotic Angie Pontani
Angie Pontani -Photo by Barry Fidnick

Here in Crab Town, this Saturday June 29, the Creative Alliance will host one of the most in-demand burlesque performers in the world,  Angie Pontani.

Crowned “Miss Exotic World 2008” at the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, the choreographer, costumer and co-founder of the New York Burlesque Festival is one of the brightest stars in Neo-Burlesque.  Unlike professional pole dancers, Neo-Burlesque artists often perform in exquisite costumes reminiscent of a Las Vegas review.  A Neo-Burlesque act may also include bawdy humor and accentuates the sexiness of the striptease rather than its sexual aspects.

Pontani’s all-star review, Burlesque-A-Pades Beach Party pays a playful homage to those classic American International beach party films of the early 1960s. The show incorporates elements of exotica, tiki, tap dance, twist party and long board hijinks into ninety ocean-sprayed minutes of suntanned fun.

Pontani told the Baltimore Post-Examiner that the lineup will include her sister, Helen Pontani, The Maine Attraction, Tansy, and Velvet Kensington.  Pontani also said a surprise guest or two may be added to the bill.  Side-show magician and straitjacket candidate Albert Cadabra hosts the South Seas Island affair.  The doors open at 8 p.m. at the Creative Alliance 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, Md.  Tickets and other information may be found at the Creative Alliance website or by calling (410) 276-1651.

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On Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 VisArts in Rockville welcomes D.C.s famed burlesque variety show, Tilted Torch, for an intriguing mixed media event called Pasties and Popcorn.
Malibu and Miss Joule - Photo by Silly Human Tricks
Malibu and Miss Joule of Tilited Torch – credit Silly Human Tricks

The Pasties part of the program will feature top local talents Mourna Handful and Baltimore’s Sicilian Princess Maria Bella, along with an assortment of dance and comic performances by Suprise!, Shaell, Swami YoMahmi, and Malibu.

The Popcorn part of the night will give the audience a chance to sit back and catch their breath, while watching some of DC Shorts favorite one-reel offerings.  For those unfamiliar with DC Shorts, this show will provide a potpourri of sexy select subject films plus a sneak peek at a film programmed for the 2013 DC Shorts in September.

The producers also promise to feature amazing feats of courage with a collection of sideshow tricks.  Just be sure to stand back when your buddy volunteers and then asks you to hold his beer.

Pasties and Popcorn kicks off at 8:00 and will be hosted by Shortstaxx.  No talking or texting will be allowed during the showing of the films.  However, hooting, wolf whistles and cat-calling are encouraged throughout the evening.  Tickets for Pasties and Popcorn may be found here.

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For those pining for a classic game show with an R-rated twist, New York burlesquers Jonny Porkpie and Donny Vomit will be hosting an evening of unbuttoned fun called Grab My Junk.

Cherie Sweetbottom
Cherie Sweetbottom – Photo by Richard Just

Starring Jo “Boobs” Weldon and DC’s aptly named Cherie Sweetbottom, Grab My Junk allows contestants a chance to compete for prizes both frightening and fabulous, while judging the performers and getting to know the hosts a bit more intimately.

On a side note, this reporter had a chance to see Jonny Porkpie and Jo Weldon last month at a venue called Times Scare in Manhattan.  The duo were joined that evening by Angie Pontani, Tansy and Baltimore favorites, Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey.  The talented ensemble put on a rollicking show that night.  It’s always a treat when the New Yorkers make their merry way to Maryland.

Grab My Junk may be seen at The Bier Baron, 1523 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC.  Doors open at 7:30 pm, show at 9 p/m. Tickets and information may be found, appropriately enough, at Grab My Junk.

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On July 12th: Mourna Handful of Black Tassel Boolesque will present Pretty in Pasties: A Burlesque and Variety Tribute to Movies of the 1980s.  The ghoulishly delightful Handful will be joined on the stage that night by Cherie Sweetbottom, the DDP Drill Team, Maria Bella, Burlesque’s Naughty Librarian, Missy Agrivation and DC’s Own Sideshow Girl, Mab Just Mab.  Hot Todd Lincoln hosts this event at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia.

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For seven dates, beginning on July 11, Crystal Swarovski directs a tribute of sorts called Kubrilesque.  A burlesque parody of the works of Stanley Kubrick, told through the story of a director making his final film, Kubrilesque will feature the talents of more than twenty-five performers including Swarovski, Kitty Bermuda, Bunny Vish’us, Cherie Nuit, Dainty Dandridge, Stache, and burlesque legend Gabriella Maze.

Kubrilesque runs July 11 through July 28 at the GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010.

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And finally, back home in Baltimore, Twisted Knickers will return to the Yellow Sign Theater, July 19th for their Artscape show, “La Belle Époque.”   Tapatha Kix of Twisted Knickers told the Baltimore Post-Examiner she is still booking performers but has confirmed Beaujolais Nouveau, Ruby Rockafella, Cherie Nuit and Bunny Vish’us.  Other guests will be announced through the event’s Facebook page.  Hot Todd Lincoln is emcee and Blanca Chingamiga will stage kitten.

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Summer is here and the heat wave continues this weekend with some of the hottest burlesque around.  Don’t be surprised if you come away with a new appreciation for short films or garish game shows.  Or if you find yourself a willing subject for an Aztec sacrifice ritual.


Please read the Baltimore Post-Examiner stories on Baltimore burlesque stars and the New Your Burlesque festival.