POSTED ON JULY 9, 2008:
It's Not Stripping
But it is better than a Bill Paxton film--it's burlesque
Seductive, Secretive and Sexy. The Eye Candy show itself was a pleasant mix of comic eroticism, playful teasing and pasties. Sparkling pasties, twirling twinkling tassels and feathers.
We've all been wrong from time to time. We've put ourselves out there only to fall directly on our asses. It's not a scene worth repeating, but occasionally we forget. We slip.
My friends have been trying to get me to an Eye Candy Burlesque performance for months and months. They've been praising these women and their art. "You've got to come," they've been saying. "You're going to be there, right?" they'll continue. The first couple of times I responded with a, "yes, I should," or a, "Really? That does sound fun."
But, after months of build up I was getting kind of sick of all the reviews. "Yep, I've heard it's a good show. Want to grab a quesadilla?"
Truthfully, I was somewhat expecting a letdown. It's like the movie that everyone is just gaga over and then you lay down the eight bucks to see it and flop. Worst thing you've seen since the last Bill Paxton movie.
With the Eye Candy girls, I feel like I was almost cheering for a bust (ha ha... no pun intended). If so, I could go around to all my friends and tell them they were wrong. "I guess you just have poor taste," I'd say. My ego can always use a boost and I'm the perfect person to give it a jolt. Now, after Eye Candy's Fri., June 27 performance at Continental, I'm just another "you should go."
How could I not love a couple of laughs? Some nearly nude women? A packed bar? Okay, maybe not the part about the packed bar, but laughs and women sound pretty cool. Who was I kidding?
That was the most people I've seen in a bar downtown since I arrived in Tulsa, and we all paid $8 to get in. Yes, it led to a couple of elbows and some dirty looks from me to some unsuspecting drunken peers, but it didn't ruin my evening, although I could have done without having to stand on my tip-toes and move to and fro to see the ladies. As a matter of fact, I think the large crowd only enriched the experience. I say that largely based on some entertaining falls I saw later in the night.
I found myself wondering if this is what a burlesque club of the early 1920s sounded like when filled with sailors. My only reference point was cinema. The whistling was deafening. Impressive. I wish I could whistle like that.
The performers' sensuous dancing was enough to inspire the crowd to dance on tables, the backs of booths and on the dance floor before, during the break and after. Especially after. DJ Moody provided tunes ranging from Johnny Cash to the Beastie Boys. I considered dancing on a table or a booth back, but I would have hit my head on the ceiling. I'm over that.
The show itself was a pleasant mix of comic eroticism, playful teasing, and pasties. Sparkling pasties, twirling twinkling tassels, and feathers. Seductive, secretive, and sexy.
The Eye Candy girls play a range of characters from shy schoolteacher to playful feline. Some are more experienced than others, but it was hard to tell. They all seemed comfortable and confident on stage. Even when a CD malfunctioned and left Savonne the Minx dancing in silence it only seemed to motivate her more. I would have cried, but that's how I deal with malfunctions.
Martini Presley, a woman with a taste for liquor, racy jokes, and Elvis-like pink hair, hosted the evening. Her knowledge of genitalia slang was as abundant as any 14-year-old boy. I had forgotten many of them until she reminded me.
As a man, I'd say the men in the audience appreciated the show. But, after hearing my girlfriend's take on it coupled with other male audience members shouting for two performers to kiss one another, I decided some in attendance might not have truly appreciated the performance as art. For some, tits are tits, and that's it.
For me, Eye Candy Burlesque was much more a celebration of women than a simple removal of clothing. Not the celebration of size-zero women whose diet consists of saltines and water, but real women. I hope that for most this goes without saying and based on the crowd I think it does. Burlesque is re-emerging in American clubs as a viable art and entertainment form. It's easy to see why: the female body is a beautiful thing. And, this is fun. (For more, see Paul Sheckarski's preview of OKC-based troupe Kabaret Falschtanz's appearance in Tulsa on page 42.)
Since we attended the show my girlfriend has been frantically searching for information on burlesque. This isn't something new either. The night only served as a reminder. "I still want to make some of those pasties. And, did you see those feathers?"
Sadly, the library has a limited selection. Maybe the librarians don't want the pages ripped out of their books. Who would have guessed? Internet, bookstores, and conversations have all been peppered with curiosities over tassels or Bettie Page or dancing.
I can't blame her. I know many people who would love to be comfortable enough with themselves to get up on stage and work the audience like these ladies. I'd love it. I don't think I could do it in my underwear, but if I could, I would walk with a little more pep in my step. As a matter of fact, I'd have trouble reciting the alphabet fully clothed in front of the type of crowd at Continental that night. Put me in my underwear up there. Ha. No thank you.
As the evening was drawing to an end I was preparing myself for a tussle over a tassel. I stopped myself. The Eye Candy girls aren't going to be throwing lingerie into the crowd, Isaac. There are so many things wrong with that thought.
Maybe I had been hypnotized by the twirling of Lu Foxxx's tassels. Left, right, clockwise, counterclockwise. Where do you learn a trait so mesmerizing? Not at the library.
Yes, this was better than the last Bill Paxton movie. They were right.
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