What was simultaneously the best and worst parts of those choose-your-own-adventure books we’d read as children (right, just as children …) was the fact that you just had to explore every avenue. If you went to the candy shop instead of the library, you’d go back and read the other option, until you’d read the whole book in the most arbitrary order a book can be read in.
That’s sort of how Wild Night: A Choose Your Own Burlesque Adventure Show felt. Choices were included, but they didn’t really matter. If anything, the choice was a gimmick. For example, the first choice presented is the option of waiting at your house for a really hot date or going to a hopping club and trying to get laid. Our crowd, the horniest crowd you’ll find outside an orgy (every choice went to sex over anything else), choose the party. Somehow, we ended up on the date anyway.
Luckily, the gimmick didn’t matter, because let’s be honest, no one is at a burlesque show for storytelling. We care about good-looking women in pasties, women playing with fire, belly dancing and … all that good stuff.
And that comes in abundance. The story aside—it makes purposely zero sense, but it’s funny enough to earn its place among the talented ladies of the Tilted Torch crew—each of the girls owned the stage twice during the evening. So it makes sense to review them one-by-one, with this note that it all came together in feeling very much like a troupe.
Shortstaxx: She narrated the show and was quick enough on her feet, though it seemed that she’d lose the thread at times (if there was one … this could be a personal bias of looking for something that wasn’t there). Also, not to nitpick, but I sat in the very back of the room and her mic was LOUD. Like, painfully loud. Definitely not her fault, but it did reduce the enjoyment of a great show.
Danger Drop Dave: I have no idea who the hell this guy was. He could be with the show or just be a Fringe worker who helped out by holding the “applause-o-meter” which helped gauge which choice was chosen. He was actually hilarious, simply in how completely out of place he looked on stage next to the corseted Shortstaxx. DDD had an ultimate failing though when he walked out on stage to tell Shortstaxx she was on the wrong narrative. A note to the Shortstaxx: that would have been a good time to whip your whipping boy.
Cherrie Sweetbottom: She did two burlesque dances, one in which she stripped out of 1920s garb and one in which she stripped out of 18th century French court garb. Her name is pretty eponymous, and cheers were pretty loud when she got down to the pasties and thong. Unfortunately, of everyone who performed, she had the least going for here. Not physically, but in terms of entertainment, the others were all a bit more outlandish. And in this territoriy, that conquers.
Malibu: Star. Yep. She’s, hands-down, the star. The crowd was loudest around her, and the excitement was palpable. Why? Because she plays with fire, puts flaming charcoal in her mouth. She’s a star, and I wish we’d see her more.
Shaell: Want to see a beautiful girl dressed as a ninja belly dance to post-rock and then do the most tantalizing version of The Robot ever danced? Then see Shaell.
Miss Joule: It took pretty much everything I had not to propose to Miss Joule. At one point, she’s hoola-hooping dressed as a penguin, then strips into a sequined leotard. Later, she’s dressed as a 1940s butcher, but stripes down to pasties and a thong, revealing a body that’s been marked like meat would “meat, flank, breast, etc.” Funny, sexy, beautiful and good with a hoola-hoop: Miss Joule, will you marry me?
Oh, yeah: the show ended with a dance party, Sweetbotton in her French outfit and Miss Joule still in the pasties.
Wild Night: A Burlesque Adventure as 5 performances, ending July 29, 2012 at Warehouse 645 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC
Details and tickets