REVIEW - THE SLIPPERY BELLE BURLESQUE SHOW SUNDAY 29th JUNE 2008 M2, Peter STREET MANCHESTER

My 7th visit to a Manchester burlesque show, presented by Bella Besame’s Slippery Belle team.

The show was compeered by Lady J, who as we learned at the last event I attended, is soon moving off to London. He was on form as always, with jokes about current Big Brother contestants.

The opening dance was by CHILE FLORES, who I haven’t seen before. Dressed in slinky black, with long gloves, she performed to Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Forever, wearing an appropriate ‘diamond’ necklace and Big Spender.

A brief interlude followed with the introduction of this month’s Maid, played by the Swedish bombshell dancer best known as dancer, EVE D’EMERALDE, who’s mischievous banter with Lady J was delightful and very funny. Asked by Lady J what was the Swedish word for mints, the Maid smiled and replied simply, ‘Mints’.

CHERRY NOIR followed, with a continuation of the unintended thematic pattern of gaining wealthy gifts from her admirers, in her fur coat, and with ‘fake’ money stuffed down her bra.

WILLOW BLUE was next with her gender-busting lady dressed as a guy, slowly stripping back to leave her femininity in no doubt routine. She has performed this before, at Burlesque 5, though it is such a great routine, that few could ever tire of seeing it again. What other song could suit this dance but Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like a Lady?

POPPY M CHERRY was next up, starting deceptively with the look of Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name from the Spaghetti westerns, but quickly stripping down to a darker, sultry look for a rock-driven dance to Jolene, though with the cow-girl routine maintained, complete with guns, and bearing (or baring) Texas sheriff badge star shaped nipple guards.

CHERRY SCORN, the third Cherry, of the night, performed as a mild mannered bookish librarian, turned into fiery red haired temptress by the steamy books she was reading and singing a song about the joys of turning evil.

Lady J helped the maid in clearing the stage props and found that one of the books was actually The Fontana book Of Modern Thought, and managed to gain some laughter just by reading extracts from the intensely philosophical tome.

A stunning musical interlude next, with Velody, accompanied by dancers from Keith McGee’s jazz dance / Charleston troupe, Lindyfusion (see www.lindyfusion.com

 VELODY (last seen by myself at Burlesque 5) was carried on up on the shoulders of one dancer, and sang a brilliant cover version of Elvis’s A Little Less Conversation while being twirled around.

Clearly breathless, she began her solo follow up song, Amy Winehouse’s Valerie, while sitting back to catch her breath, before moving about faster again.

Velody is not an easy act to follow, but SLINKY SPARKLES, helped by her stunning Marolyn Monroe looks, achieved it with style, dressed in white, peeling away her layers one by one, to rapturous applause.

There was an interval now, with DJ, Dr. Sid keeping the music going, and the Lindyfusion dancers showing their skills off incredibly well.

Part two saw the ladies of the first half return, followed by a special surprise extra guest. CHERRY NOIR opened the second half, after a delay in which Lady J started to strip away his own corsetry, (taking much ribbing for having a label showing from his panties as the evening wore on). Cherry emerged, appropriately as a bewildered lady who was lost and late for an interview, struggling with maps, and myopia, but finally finding a bus stop, but the buses would not stop for her. Frustrated, she has a drink and strips away her interview suit, and destroys her maps, to stomp off in her underwear and without a care in the world.

WILLOW BLUE returned as a fairy garden, a very pagan look, which she slowly tore away to show more of her inner nature.

LOLA POPS celebrated her first year in performance with a fan dance, securing the certainty of many more anniversaries following.

CHERRY SCORN did a nicely timed balloon dance, bursting the balloons to reveal more of herself underneath.

VELODY now returned initially dressed as a Japanese Geisha girl stripping through various dresses to a vivacious silvery mini-dress for her closing number.

POPPY M CHERRY presented one of my favourite routines to date, as a marionette, dancing in the confined space of a small toy box, lip syncing to very complex harmonies, as her clothes slowly seemed to fall away almost by themselves.

SLINKY SPARKLES ended the main events with a traditional, and beautifully choreographed fan dance.

After a few announcements on future events, thank you to the many people who made the show happen so well, and a birthday surprise for the Slippery Belle’s own LOLA POPS, the special guest was presented by BELLA BESAME – this was MILLIE DOLLAR, who has gone on to perform internationally, and her fast moving show closing performance left no doubt as to why. There is little doubt that many other dancers from Slippery Belle will go on to similar greatness.

For more info on the Slippery Belle see www.myspace.com/theslipperybelleburlesque  

 

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