B.A.B.E. Student Showcase 3/1/24

Dear Constant Reader,

After something like five years, B.A.B.E. had a student showcase! Scratch and I taught Burlesque: Your Way in January and February, one of our favorite classes, and one we haven’t taught for so long. In it, we coach students through the process of creating their own routines. The students start with an idea and end up on stage. They create their own choreographies, costumes, props, and set pieces. We offer guidance and feedback. They work so very hard!

Deacon Giles was good enough to let us hold the showcase in their lounge. We invited illustrious alumnae Jeannie Martini and Ingride Denise to inspire the students with their skill and Devastasia, Scratch, and I, as B.A.B.E. instructors rounded out the show. We tried to alternate those making their debuts with the more experienced performers, so the students would have a better chance of watching each other’s acts.

Due to some unfortunate events preoccupying us, we completely failed to get any stage help. Scratch and I alternated hosting, pick up, and DJ-ing (a job I completely fell down on…), while Devastasia kept things calm in the dressing room with the students.

The show sold out and the audience was wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive. I wish I had photos because everyone looked so good!

Scratch: Introductory Remarks
Scratch, promising to be brief, talked a little bit about the course and what the students had accomplished.

Mina Murray: About B.A.B.E.
I gave a little background on the school and then introduced our first performer…

Devastasia: Real Gone (Sam Taylor)
One of Devastasia’s go-to classic routines. I marveled, watching her from the wings, about her growth as a performer since her long ago days as a Burlesque: Your Way student. She works the audience so well!

Andrea Velour: Toxic Love (Tim Curry)
Our first student of the night! Andrea had villain vibes in a long black coat. Finally, after a long tease with the coat, the audience was treated to a hand-rhinestoned lingerie set. Andrea chose a song with a lot of musical complexity, which was also long for the first time creating a chorepgraphy. I know the development process was challenging, but in the end they had a strong act with some really nice moments.

Ingride Denise: Black and Tan Fantasy
I love Ingride’s classic style! In this act, she was all in red and teased with a boa over two songs. It’s wonderful to see how she has grown as a performer since her early days with us. And, she’s just a delightful person to hang out with.

Scratch: A Small Miracle
Just a little bit of magic to break up the burlesque.

Nefertitty: Cleopatra in New York (Nikodemos)
Regal in purple, Nefertitty (dubbed best stage name of the night by Scratch) screened the mere mortals from her radiant presence with feather fans. After she dropped her dress, she teased with a flowing silk veil. It took her a while to choose her music, running through a couple of different songs before landing on this one. The Middle Eastern sound worked perfectly with her sinuous moves and Egyptian-style bra and belt set.


Grimm Fatale: Bloody Mary (Lady Gaga)
Sultry vampire Grimm had only one sort of prey in mind. From her coffin to her cape to her tombstone fans, her message was clear — Eat the Rich! Look out billionaires! When she told us in the first class that she planned to come out of a coffin, I was very curious how that was going to work. There was definitely some trial and error, but by the dress rehearsal she had engineered a prop that looked good and was easy to set up on stage (I was the one who set it during intermission).

Kitty Diamond: It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) (Duke Ellington)
Bringing us the private life of a showgirl, Kitty had some killer vintage dance moves before stripping it all off. However, she realized the audience was watching and became “shy”. She coyly teased with a set of fans before revealing all. Kitty had her act almost completely realized from the beginning of the course, but she did make some additions to her costume and changed up her fans.

Jeannie Martini: Dream of You (Michael Bublé)
Jeannie is one of the funniest performers I know and her creativity is boundless. When she grabs an idea, she runs with it as far as she can. In this case, that was bubbles. From her bubble headdress and bubble-wrap corset to the shower of bubbles coming from between her legs, she was all in. I was laughing my ass off from the wings.

Veronika Stern: Take Care of Business (Nina Simone)
Veronika, executive of the Velvet Curtain Co. (it said so right on her briefcase), was completely in charge of business. Her musicality and timing were excellent, with floorwork and tassel twirling as highlights. Veronika had a solid concept and sequent of events from the start of class. This wasn’t surprising as this was not her first burlesque performance. Besides appearing in The Peacemaker Corps at The Expo last year, she had created a couple of acts on her own.

Devastasia: All About That Bass (Post-Modern Jukebox arrangement)
We always like to give Devastasia a chance to sing.

Mina Murray: Three for the Show (Johnny Staccato Band)
And I closed out the night with my parade-and-peel striptease, Mina in Furs.

We had so much fun and all the performers did so well. It was a joy to see everyone blossom on stage. I can’t wait to do it again!

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