Spring is in the air and that can only mean one possible thing: it’s time for a sassy, classy evening affair with Twisted Knickers Burlesque! And what better way to celebrate the season than a Saturday night spent at Church & Company for An Evening in Hampden: Twisted Knickers Burlesque Goes to the Prom? Featuring the troupe’s managing producer, Tapitha Kix, as well as five fantastic other area burlesque performers, and a very special Vice Principal Lincoln emceeing the event, the prom was a smashing success and not one student had to be turfed to detention!
Twisted Knickers Burlesque went all out for the dazzling affair! A shimmery prom curtain— complete with official Prom Night Photographer and a bowl of Prom Punch (totally spiked but don’t tell Vice Principal Lincoln or the chaperones!) Encouraged by the evening’s theme, various and sundry of the audience arrived in prom couture looking dapper and delightful ranging in everything from tuxedo-styled tops with corsages to full length prom-perfect gowns.
Getting things underway in his traditional fashion, Vice Principal Lincoln (bearing a striking resemblance to burly emcee Hot Todd Lincoln, only with much grayer hair…maybe his father?) got everyone’s attention after those in attendance were chased off the dance floor and into their seats by the prom’s chaperones. Quick with his shtick and the puns that Hot Todd is known and well-recognized for, the evening’s affairs moved smoothly under his cheeky narrative guidance. The audience learned late in the prom that even Vice Principals have dreams of retiring to do great things than hold administrative duties at the Twisted Knickers High School of Burlesque. VP Lincoln dreams of doing a little side project, maybe even putting on a little side…show, and invites two members of the audience up to tie up his dreams and perform a great escape.
For every magical moment happening at the prom, there’s at least one terribly tawdry dirty little secret unfolding outside behind the gymnasium right around the dumpster. Creating an out-of-the-ordinary edgy and darkly humorous routine, Cheeki Ho turns up to the prom “in the family way.” Serving up a taboo routine featuring a pregnant school girl who then gives birth into the trash can, Cheeki Ho turns the number out in style to “Papa Don’t Preach.” Fanny Rouge makes a surprise appearance at the end of the routine as the prom-night-dumpster-baby and is adorned with some cute and sassy sequins. Cheeki’s prosthetic and prop work for the routine are pretty impressive and although she does not deliver a second performance, we see her as an active Stage Kitten cleaning up all the stripper droppings in the second act.
Furthering the edges of darkness in the evening of twinkling tiaras and passionate punch, Miranda Lookinglass gets the audience’s attention not with her routine in the first act— a very simple yet elegant performance of straight seduction at its easiest— but with her risqué partnered performance in the second act. Performing an S&M influenced duo with a mysterious man, the sensually explicit performance unearths a carnal lust in the simple acts of stocking removal, stiletto worship, and above all consensual trust between two passionately entangled adults. The routine smolders with sexual taboo and is one of the most stimulating featured in the evening.
Troupe Producer Tapitha Kix finds herself stood-up by her date, Johnny, at the prom. Sashaying in with her signature blue couture, she showcases her immensely deep dancer’s bench in a series of spins, twirls, and turnabouts with “Johnny” (a lovely suit and corsage on a coatrack that looks suspiciously like Dominique from February’s Love Stinks.) Really working the pole into her routine, Tapitha Kix finds a fascinating balance of dance-driven performance and the art of burlesque. But it’s not her opening routine that gets the audience all riled up realizing that they can’t stop the beat, it’s her appearance to close the show as Tracy Turnblad (all grown up and completely burly-friendly) that screams “Good Morning, Baltimore!” Swinging around the dance floor in her cockroach dress, a nod to the Cooties scene from Hairspray, Tapitha Kix wows the house with this performance.
Sensually seductive and deviously dangerous, Whiskey Joy opens the show with a reminder that prom is all fun and games until someone’s drenched in pig’s blood and hiding a knife in their garter belt. Unabashedly interactive, Whiskey Joy takes to using the entire stage space including the aisle and brings her saucy opening routine right into the laps of the audience. Going for the sexual jugular, she’s unafraid to show off her uniquely blood-printed backside in a wickedly twisted and playful manner. The juxtaposition of this femme fatale routine against her bubbly caricature reverse-strip routine in the second act showcases a great versatility in her performance ability. Owning the “hot mess” concept of the “morning-after-prom” Whiskey Joy makes walk-of-shame-filth look sinfully delicious.
Dynamically loaded with golden era class and modern caricature craziness, Cherie Nuit brings a blast of energy to the stage with both of her routines. Opening the show with a classic, her tastefully delivered strip tease is covered in sequins and shimmers with seduction. The latter of her routines brings out the fantastical pop of humor that she’s known for, only this quirky character is pushing the borders of burlesque with her crazy creativity. Adapting the character of a lost tourist, Cherie Nuit goes hog wild with the fanny-packs, including designing her very own fanny-pack bra and matching thong. But what’s more? You’ve never seen fanny-pack lingerie this impressive— fanny-pack pasties that zip open to reveal swinging tassels! Innovatively inspiring, Cherie Nuit finds her way through this routine with panache!
An Evening in Hampden: Twisted Knickers Burlesque Goes to the Prom Played a one-night engagement at Church & Company located just off The Avenue in Hampden at 3647 Falls Road in Baltimore, MD.
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