In the dead of night, when the moon is high, and ill winds blow…that’s when you should be slinking over to the Yellow Sign Theatre to catch a glimpse of the Burlesque Company in residence, Twisted Knickers! Setting up early for a Halloween delight, Brassieres of Terror— A Late-Night Double-D Feature storms the stage with the haunting spectacle of Burlesque in the vain of spooky with a seductive twist. Featuring five fantastical ghouls gone wild, a Stage Kitten, one seriously grave emcee, and a zombie on the lights— the show is the perfect addition to the continual cabaret of darkness and low-brow arts that is perpetually popping up on stage at Yellow Sign.
Emcee Hot Todd Lincoln, in the guise of Horror Host of Horrors Sammy Terry, gets the evening started with puns so dead the crickets stopped chirping. True to his humorous hosting nature, he works the crowd up into a frenzy to kick-off the show. Lincoln’s talents expand beyond that of mere hosting, however, as at the top of the second act he takes to the stage not as ghoulish host but as performing Side-Show man. With a fancy new escape artist trick to display, audiences are entreated to participate in binding the trickster to prevent his Houdini-esque escape. Teamed up with Hot Todd for some pre-show poetry and Light Board Op during the event is a great Zombeati, Zombie Beatnik who has the sole…of two shoes. Watch your limbs, ya dig? He might just stop for a nibble mid-show if they run out of free popcorn. Painted up and played by Artistic Director of YST Craig Coletta, the blinking luminescence is in capable, albeit rotting, hands throughout the evening.
Burlesque performers from around the beltway join the Twisted Knickers team for this scary show of seduction including Indianas Jewels. Dean of Studio Holliday, a burlesque school in Washington DC, Jewels has made the rounds in the district for the past four years and brings a uniquely artistic approach to her art on the stage. Performing two separate pieces throughout the evening, Jewels takes a slower and more surreal approach to the art of shedding clothing. The stilted motion-capture animation of her limbs— first during her creepy doll routine and later during her suicidal samurai number— are reminiscent of a film played in slow motion, perfect for the disturbing ambience of the show’s theme.
Founder and Producer of Twisted Knickers, and the nation’s only point-tap artist, Tapitha Kix brings her saucy sassiness to the stage as the tapping tease. Rolling a full Halloween routine to a Rob Zombie number— because what’s Halloween without a little Rob Zombie?— Kix mesmerizes the audience with her tantalizing ability to be upright on point shoes and tap her way through her seductive routine. Appearing later as a kinky kitty for the Meow Mix Sponsored Ad segment of the show (a scintillating duet also featuring Lady Whiskers on her Baltimore Burlesque debut), Kix showcases her versatility as a performer with this routine and her guest appearance as a character who’s a little wrapped up her matronly fashions.
Reanimating classic horror movies fits well within the wheelhouse of Yellow Sign Theatre, so it comes as no surprise that the statuesque Ruby Spruce and her Bride of Frankenstein and Yummy Mummy routine fit onto its stage in a truly picturesque fashion. Delivering seductive spookiness with two very distinctive characters, Spruce entreats the audience to two very fascinating instances of burlesque. Her routines are as different as night and day but both achieve the desire results of wildly and emphatically engaged audiences as she shocks the audience with her bride bit and treats them with her tomb-scene.
As a founding member of Bawdy Shop Burlesque and a co-producer of Hot Night Productions, the racy Cherie Nuit really digs into the Halloween theme of her performance. Vividly animated, even through the terrifying satanic mask of her opening number, Nuit captivates the audience with her wildly expressive eyes. It’s her awkward zombie routine appearing late in the second act that really gets ‘em in the gut. Gorgeously covered in body acrylic beneath all of her decrepit drapings, Nuit goes nuts with this zombie routine and it’s one of the most engaging moments in the show. True to reanimation of Burlesque, Nuit knows how to find the humor of her art form’s entertainment and really works all of her limbs and innards to please the house.
Sinfully delicious miss Ruby Rockafella is one of Charm City’s Cheekiest Chicks! Bringing a zesty edge to her burlesque routines, Rockafella makes the art of getting dressed look as sexy as the art of taking it all off. In a stellar original routine that rediscovers Hollywood’s famous gruesome Black Dahlia case, Rockafella does a strip tease in reverse and it’s simply to die for. Putting the fun in dysfunctional, Rockafella takes the stage a second time with a Donnie Darko inspired routine that puts a a Sparkly Motion spin on Frank the bunny. Captivating and all round engaging, there is definitely a verve when Ruby Rockafella shows you how she Burlesques.
The evening was capped off with a raffle, all sorts of ghoulish goodies inside, all proceeds going to benefit Twisted Knickers and Yellow Sign Theatre, and a splendidly sensual time was had by all. Twisted Knickers performs frequently at Yellow Sign Theatre, as the Burlesque Troupe in residence, and has other performances throughout Charm City. Burlesque is rising from the grave this Halloween all across Baltimore and it’s never too late to investigate!
Brassieres of Terror— A Late-Night Double-D Feature played a one night engagement on Saturday October 3, 2015 at the Yellow Sign Theatre— — 1726 N. Charles Street in the Station North Arts District of Baltimore, MD.
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