Sex, Drugs, Debauchery & Death!

Title got your attention? The decapitated head of Jayne Mansfield rolling across the stage got mine. Who am I kidding, the entire show got my attention! This was easily the best Slow Burn Burlesque show I have seen.

You could feel it in the air when you walked into the Howling Wolf. The place was packed with a virtual who’s who of New Orleans burlesque. Everyone had come out the see Hollywood Babylon – Slow Burn Burlesque’s tribute to Kenneth Anger’s book about Hollywood’s Golden Age scandals. Directed by Kitty Twist, and guest starring Trixie Minx, Bella Blue, Natasha Fiore, Madam Mystere, and Angela Eve, this was not just any old Saturday night at the Howlin Wolf.

Our foray into to Hollywood’s dirty laundry began with Fatty Arbuckle and Virginia Rappe.  The frenzy of the tryst that allegedly lead to Rappe’s death was portrayed perfectly by a psychotic Ben Wisdom and the always lovely Roxie le Rouge. Ben was both funny and frightening as he chased the poor girl around the stage in his briefs only to be ridden like a horse at one point.

The depravity continued with Trixie Minx as the under-aged Mildred Harris to Jason Moffett’s Charlie Chaplin. Jason was a perfect Chaplin. It is as if he were born to play the part. Having said that, I could not take my eyes off of Trixie. No wig, very little make-up, licking a lollipop – she was a child. I felt dirty. Trixie may be the best actress I have seen in my short time covering burlesque. This is the same girl who made eating lettuce dressed as a tortoise sexy. Her Mildred was so sexy but seemed so young, I felt like I should register as a sex offender. Trixie makes me smile.

It says something when rolling around in a mound of cocaine is the least crazy thing I have seen Lady Lucerne do on stage. Her act with Ginger Licious as Hollywood Hopheads was spectacular.  When I start looking past the boobies and notice the actual choreography and make notes about it, that shit has to be good. It was. Lucerne’s coke induced frantic gyrations were brilliantly juxtaposed by Ginger’s slow fluid opium haze. In the end they share their drugs and maybe more.

The night’s glorious scandals just kept coming. Kitty Twist casting herself perfectly as the impish 1920’s “It Girl” Clara Bow stashing men away all over her boudoir. A very sexy Ruby Rage played a hopeful starlett learning the ways of Hollywood on sleazy producer Jian Bastille’s casting couch. I am not sure how difficult this role was for Jian – between feeling up Ruby and spanking Kitty, I would say the man had a good night.

Nona Narcisse, as sensuous as ever, was the life of the party as hard drinking Ava Gardner, and Moxie Sazerac looked more beautiful than I have ever seen her as Lupe Vélez, the Mexican Spitfire who took her own life after a night of pills and a poorly chosen last meal of enchiladas. Drowning in the porcelain goddess is probably not the legacy Lupe was hoping for.  On the other hand, Marilyn Monroe was probably fine having been known as a presidential mistress among other things, and Bella Blue’s homage was delightful. While she may not be built like Marilyn, Bella moves so well around a stage that any physical differences disappear. – she became Marilyn. The whipped cream g-string was a tasty touch.

As good as Ginger and Lucerne were, there is something about the pairing of Natasha Fiore and Madame Mystere that just works. Portraying rumored lesbians Claudette Colbert and Marlene Diedrich, their lovers tango could not have been hotter. If I didn’t know better….

One act I had especially been looking forward to was Angela Eve. Having only seen her in pictures, I was stoked to finally catch her live. Normally a brunette, Angela looked stunning as blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield. She started with sultry gypsy-like moves succumbing to Don Corbitt’s devilish Anton LeVey breaking into 60’s style gogo dancing, winding up in aerial straps – it was like catching three acts in one.  Angela is so strong as an aerialist, the crowd was eerily hushed for much of her act. By the time Anton poured blood red wine over Jayne’s exposed breasts, everyone was simply in awe. When the aforementioned head bounced out from backstage, I thought that alone was worth the price of admission.

Bravo Slow Burn, you have outdone yourselves.

Until next time people, good night.