Dear Constant Reader,
Our most recent show happened because of a piece of spam email. Scratch shared some spam promising to initiate him into the secrets of the Illuminati and more than one of his friends made a joke about Illuminaughty. Thus our show about secret societies, conspiracy theories, shadowy government agencies, and cryptids was born.
It was a hot day and quite sweaty backstage at Deacon Giles. We planned two shows, but, in that unpredictable way audiences have, the early show almost sold out and only half a dozen people bought tickets for the late show. So we rolled them into one. It’s for the best. I know I was feeling the heat badly by the end of the show and I’m not sure I could have done a second one and still given a good performance.
Our stage crew were apprentices Coco and Phoebe with F. Andrew Taylor on follow spot. Lots of credit to Phoebe who kittened and performed and really took the lead on set up and strike. Big thanks as always to everyone at Deacon Giles, especially Jesse & Ian for giving us a place to perform and Peter behind the bar for always making delightful and creative concoctions.
The following photos are images taken from the video of the show shot on my phone, so if they look a little odd, that’s why. Maybe someday we’ll have the luxury of a photographer and/or videographer again.
And here’s how it went:
Betty Blaize, Phoebe Star, Vivienne Kitt: Men in Black (“Poker Face” by Postmodern Jukebox ft Kelley Jakle)
Betty, Phoebe, and Vivienne were stoic in black jackets, skinny ties, sunglasses, (and no pants) until one of them flashed the other with her memory-erasing device. Shenanigans and stripping ensued. Of course Betty tried to get everything back on track, only to be drawn into the chaos.
Devastasia: “Secret Agent Man”
These days, if Devastasia is in a show, you can expect to hear her sing. And what a treat that is. She considered wearing a trenchcoat and fedora for this song, but it was too flipping hot. I think this red dress is pretty smashing. The song is obviously the theme from the eponymous television show.
Ava Fox: “The Spy” by The Doors
Continuing on our theme of those who know too much about you, Ava was the spy in the house of love. It’s an impressive chair dance. I originally selected a picture of Ava in her top layer, a slinky evening gown, but how amazing is this move? From the headdstand , she magically ends up sitting in the chair.
Mina Murray: There’s Something in the Water (“Tea for Two” by Doris Day/”Mad World” by Postmodern Jukebox ft. Puddles Pity Party & Haley Reinhart)
I actually created this number for Alice in Underwearland, which called Mad Tea Party, and I really liked it. however, at 6 minutes, I wasn’t sure when I would get to perform it again. Scratch thought we could make it fit the theme of this show and I happily agreed. We were riffing on the idea of the government or other shadow agencies putting things in the waster supply to control the populace.
For this, he was assisted by Phoebe, who went about collecting random small objects from random audience members. Then Scratch called up a volunteer and laid the items on the table. One by one they took turns eliminating items. all completely free choice, right? At last only one item was left, a sealed envelope was opened, and lo and behold, the envelope contained the name of the item left on the table.
Devastasia: “Tombstone Blues”
This is one of Devastasia’s classic numbers. To fit the theme, she appeared as a cult leader with her acolyte, Coco, taking her costume pieces. Extra points to Coco for wearing that black hood in the heat.
Betty Blaize: Computer Geek (“Night Train” by Alvino Ray)
One of Betty’s iconic numbers. She used to perform this every year when we had a standing gig at MIT. The Internet is a dangerous place and you never know what you’ll find on-line. As you can see from the picture, Betty is actually wearing a t-shirt and jeans (also Keds and mismatched socks). Don’t worry it gets more glam as she takes off the layers. I particularly love this image of her doing something very dirty with her mouse.
Ava Fox: “9 to 5″ by Dolly Parton/”I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Ella Fitzgerald
This was a brand new number with some clever props and costume pieces. Ava entered in a blouse and trousers with a briefcase and sat at her “desk”. She “typed”, creating the sound effects on the briefcase with her tap shoes. When she opened the briefcase into a tap board and began stripping, she revealed a little secret. It’s not just the gorgeous harness set that she made, but a lizard tail, cleverly engineered to be concealed, even as unclothed as she is in this picture, until she was ready to reveal it. Yes, lizard people walk among us!
Devastasia: Mothman (“Harlem Nocturne”)
When Scratch first announced the theme of this show pretty much everyone jumped on the idea of Mothman. When the dust cleared, Devastasia had claimed the concept, and honestly, she was probably the best one to do it. As you can see from the picture, she cut and painted a set of Isis wings to look like moth wings. And her pasties glowed red, like Mothman’s eyes. This was a brilliant design and you’ll never guess how she did it.
Mina Murray: Satanic Panic (“Back in Black” by AC/DC and The Swingin’ Pops)
When a prim and proper miss finds a book that leads her down a very dark path, things can get very hot! For those of you who don’t immediately recognize it, that’s the classic AD&D Player’s Handbook.
The concept, music, and some of the costuming for this act came from Scratch, and I was all-in as soon as he suggested it. And I had an inspiration for one of the costume bits (which you can see a little of in the second picture). The fire veil (by Silk Electric) was not part of the initial choreography, but when Scratch called me from BHoF and asked if I wanted it, I knew the perfect use for it.
Although you can’t see them here, I was particularly pleased with how my flame pasties came out. I think they were the first pair of non-geometric pasties I’ve made — usually I stick to round, with the occasional foray into hearts or stars — and definitely first non-symetrical. And this act ends with some rare, for me, tassel twirling.
Betty Blaize, Ava Fox, Vivienne Kitt: “Levitating” by Postmodern Jukebox ft. Sweet Megg
We couldn’t have a show about conspiracy theories and other weirdness without a UFO encounter. And cows. Betty, our resident alien, made that amazing flying saucer and her space suit. But it was the backup dancers, in their adorable cowfits, that stole the show. And the space ship, by the end of the act.
We’ll be back at Deacon Giles with our Halloween show, Carnal Carnival, on Saturday, October 21!