Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Corsets and Cuties Brings a Lush Cabaret and Burlesque to The Venue

On July 23rd I went to a rehearsal for a Double Trouble Production of Corsets and Cuties, a Burlesque Cabaret. I made the mistake of first going to The Venue. Luckily I was a bit early and when I looked at the calendar on my cell phone, I realized I was supposed to be at Dreamworks Dance Studio a couple of miles away. The Dance studio is in a strip mall right next to Clemmons Produce Plaza which had huge watermelons in the window. When I arrived at Dreamworks, I found Babs and her husband waiting at the door to the dance studio. Babs is a producer of the show, along with Lady Jaimz. It turns out, I had sketched Babs before at a body painting party at DRIP on International Drive. Her talents had turned her model into a glittering white pixie fairy.

As we waited for someone to arrive with a key, it began to pour. Thankfully we were under cover. Performers who arrived late however were soaked along with their costumes. When one performer arrived, she complained that she had stabbed herself on the porcupine quills that were sticking out of a pocket in her purse. Now that is an occupational hazard you don't hear about very often. I can't imagine what kind of costume would require porcupine quills. I once took a survey to find out which Indian spirit animal I most resembled. It turns out I am a porcupine.  The porcupine walks through the world with quiet confidence. He is keenly aware of his surroundings and always prepared. He protects himself with authority without being outwardly aggressive.

I helped cover the front windows of the dance studio with tarps since there would be partial nudity at times.  It was Bab's birthday and performers showered her with flowers and balloons. The back dressing room became a buzz of activity as the women and one male performer got into costumes. Corsets were tightened and glitter and feathers were everywhere. Risa Risqué is the performer who was kind enough to arrange my sketch outing. I spotted her in the audience of Legally Blonde way up in Eustis. She has a tattoo of tiny angels wings nestled between her shoulder blades. It is one of the classiest tattoos I've seen. I've often wondered what image I could commit to for the remainder of my life and as a visual artist my tastes change too often. I sketched Risa as she adjusted her frilly svelte costume in the mirror. I then focused on Lady Jaimz as she introduced the show. I figured she would return center stage between acts giving me multiple chances to refine her sketch. I was right.

Frank arrived. He is a blow up doll that is integral to Bab's first number.  He was a bit flaccid when he first arrived, so she had to blow him up until he was rock hard. The inflation nipple isn't locate where you would expect it to be. It was in the small of his back. He was a marvelous dance partner and she helped him strip. He was fully anatomically endowed and it was hilarious when she had him nestle between her ample breasts. Like most men, he was a disappointment and she cast him aside. Seven performers sang during their burlesque routines. They are consummate performers with good lungs and a knowledge of how to entice with humor. There was one costume mishap when Honey Child's banana belt fell off as she danced. Group dance numbers were well choreographed and polished. One group number had all the girls and Jax N. Augh wearing hats. After he stripped, he kept the hat over his privates and then let go. The hat dangled in front of him as if by magic. Even the girls dancing with him were laughing. This is going to be one hell of a show!

Mark Your Calendar! Corsets and Cuties, 2 shows only! 9pm on August 1st and 2nd at The Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Fl)   The shows are already sold out folks.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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