The other night I went to see my first burlesque show. I had no idea what to expect, past the photos and videos I had seen online, and was excited to see what a burlesque show was all about. I have been trying to get an interview with Katie, the founder of Angel Burlesque, and she said I needed to see a show before we could do the interview. So Sheryl and I got tickets, and headed downtown to the Old National Centre for Angel Burlesque at Deluxe. Deluxe is in the basement of the Old National Centre, and was the perfect room for a show like this.
We got downtown a little early, so we decided to grab a drink at Old Point Tavern. Since I work for Live Nation part-time, we parked at the Old National Centre and walked over to OPT. The parking lot was empty at 8:30, and with doors opening at 9 I was a little surprised. But when we got back shortly after doors had opened, I quickly realized it was nearly sold out. The room was packed with people. There were so many tables down there I could barely get out to use the restroom.
My tickets were at will call, so I walked across the lobby and grabbed our tickets. Since I work so many shows in that building, I had to stop and talk to a few people I knew. When we got downstairs, I ran into another friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was great catching up, and we ended up sitting with him.
Introducing Angel Burlesque
At 9:30, the lights went down and Jeff Angel took the stage. Jeff is married to Katie. Belle Breeze joined him and they started introducing the evening and telling jokes. They would tell jokes all night long… some not safe for work. But they were hilarious. Jeff was a riot, and I loved watching his facial expressions as she talked. After they welcomed everyone, Jeff went over the rules. They had a few rules for the evening, to protect the audience as well as the dancers on stage.
The first rule was in regards to photography. There was to be absolutely no flash photography. Jeff explained that some of the dancers wore high heels, and that the flash would throw off the rhythm. Makes sense. But then he started talking about regular photography… and that was okay. It was actually encouraged.
Then Jeff talked about “hooting and hollering”. It was allowed… it was mandatory. He said that the “more you yell, the better they dance”. And he was right. Throughout the evening, the louder people yelled the more entertaining the performance got. After the rules presentation, they introduced the first performer.
Penguin’s Lament with Jada Bella
Like I said, I had no idea what to expect. But this number was awesome. Out of the gate, the entire troupe was on stage dancing around like… like penguins. It was cute, and before I knew it Jada was taking her clothes off!
Before you get excited, this is not a strip club or anything. It is VERY tasteful. There were a few dancers that showed more than others, but it was never uncomfortable. The focus of Angel Burlesque is on the art, not the nudity. It is never about the nudity. The hosts would joke about it from time to time, but that was more to keep the audience at ease.
Speaking of the audience, it was a packed house. The show was at Deluxe, and the room isn’t very big. It’s a perfect setting for a show like this, but they crammed a ton of tables and chairs in there, and if you wanted to use the restroom or grab another drink you had to fight your way out. But the room was full.
Other Acts Include
After Jada came Patsyy Blue Ribbon. I just love their names. From Patsy Blue Ribbon to Red Hot Annie, all of these performers had names that pretty much fit the performance. There is one guy in the group… his name is Rod Tollhouse. It’s a long story, and I know Rod personally… but it’s not safe for work for me to tell you where the name came from. Needless to say, his part of the evening was entertaining.
Some of the other performers included:
- Desda Mae Q Mona
- Pepper Mills
- Tessa Von Twinkle
- Dominique de Beaute
- *Cristian Riquelme (he is actually dating Pepper Mills)
- Layla Seduisant
- Red Hot Annie (from Chicago)
- Sugar Lee
- Belle Breeze (performed and hosted)
- Rod Tollhouse
- Desda Moana
- Katie Angel (founding member of Angel Burlesque)
The music was fun too. Some of the songs were pop songs, with a twist. But most of them seemed to have been created for the individual performances. Some of my favorite songs included Some Night in Alaska, Rumor Has It, Puttin’ On The Ritz, Funky Fans, Sooner or Later, Pink and Art-Tease-T.
Speaking of Red Hot Annie
Red Hot Annie is not from Indianapolis. She is actually from Chicago. She came down for this performance. She is actually one of the top 50 burlesque dancers in the country, and does live events, teaches belly dance classes, and even emcees and hosts corporate events. She’s a tall drink of water, and has some red hair… I guess that’s where the “red hot” comes from!
I actually had the chance to talk to Red Hot Annie after the performance. When all was said and done, all of the dancers came out and were shaking hands and dishing out hugs left and right. Annie walked by, and I introduced myself to her before we left. She was very nice, and it seemed like she has found her fit in this space. I was glad I got the chance to meet her.
The show didn’t start until 9:30, and it was late by the time things wrapped up. But it didn’t seem like the show went on too long. Having a break in the middle was nice. When it was all over, Jeff came back on stage and talked about their SuperBra XLVI. SuperBra is an Open-Bra Event held at Crackers Comedy Club and will take place on January 30th, 2012 at 8:30.
Not familiar with the open-bra format? It’s sort of like an open mic night where the audience can get involved. Imagine that… coming to a burlesque show and getting your chance to show the world what you’re made of. Some of the girls in the current Angel Burlesque lineup were discovered during an open-bra night. If you think you have what it takes, give it a try. You might be surprised with how well you can shake it!
Tell Us What You Think!
Before the show was over, Jeff and Belle told us about a comment card that was on the table. I grabbed one, and while I didn’t fill it out, I wanted to look at it when I got home. They asked for input, including:
- How was the performance?
- How was the sound and lighting?
- How were your seats?
- How was the service?
- How did you hear about this event?
- Any recommendations?
I am sure they use this for data collection, but if I was a performer, I would want to know what the audience thought of the production. That’s the only way you are going to get better.
The show was incredible. I didn’t have any expectations when I went in… and I left energetic and excited to have seen my first show. It won’t be my last. I had a chance after the show to chat with Katie Angel, and we will be scheduling an interview very soon. I can’t wait to learn more about the show, the dancers, and more!
Have you ever been to a burlesque show? If so, what did you think?
*Cristian Riquelme is actually in a band. They performed Swamp Rock for the crowd. Live music didn’t really fit the theme of the evening, but it was a nice chance to use the restroom and grab another drink. They played two songs, so I was still able to catch most of their energetic performance.