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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, April 17

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Performance Wed Jan 13 2010

Vaudezilla's Out with the Clothes in with the Nudes! at Blue Bayou

Red Hot Annie at the Blue Bayou.jpg

Photo by BCJ Photography

There's not much that can get me off the couch and into the snow drifts during a Chicago winter storm warning, but Vaudezilla's weekly Thursday night burlesque shows are well worth the risk of frostbite.

The Blue Bayou hosts the free weekly burlesque show and their classic Cajun motto, "Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez" (Let The Good Times Roll), dovetails nicely with the Vaudezilla's razzle dazzle burlesque philosophy. Out with the Clothes in with the Nudes!, hosted by the quick quipping Dick Dijon, is pure, distilled burlesque. There's no fancy lighting, fog machines, or other gimmicks here- nor any need for them. The girls step daintily down the bar top, in between drinks, to a little wedge of a stage and give it their all.

The year round show features a rotating line-up of Vaudezilla all-stars and guest stars from other local troupes. This past Thursday's show featured a nice variety of solo acts: traditional to modern, sexy to silly. Like a box of assorted chocolates, everyone had their favorite burlesque beauty to devour.

Natasha Minsk, wisely chosen to open the show, has the crisp, ice-queen beauty of a Hitchcock heroine and warmed up the audience with her charmingly naughty act. Red Hot Annie, the first lady of Vaudezilla, showed up next in a wild peacock feather headdress and shimmed to a jazzy number. She's a born showgirl with shtick to spare and earned huge laughs as pair after pair of panties dropped down around her ankles from underneath her skirt. Fiona Fang (of the Flaming Dames) brought some exoticness to the evening with her expert hips in an all-too-brief belly dance. With more energy than a nuclear power plant, Wham Bam Pam was having as much fun as the audience channeling Marilyn Monroe decked out in rhinestones and a pink vinyl gown. Dark haired delight Jolie Roberson slowed things down with a seductive strip tease peeling back her suit and tie to reveal a satin corset and gorgeous tattooed pale skin. Crowd favorite Violet Vogue could make any comic book geek blush as she tossed her long gown and cape away to reveal a vinyl bat girl costume (complete with a glitter-filled utility belt). Carnal Calamity, a sleek tigress of a woman who can back bend like a Russian gymnast, closed the show by strutting across the bar to Joe Cockers' "You Can Leave your Hat On" (she did, but not much else besides that).

Vaudezilla performs bar-top burlesque every Thursday at 10pm at the Blue Bayou with a rotating cast of guest stars and no cover (get there early to snag one of the highly coveted seats at the bar). For a list of scheduled performers and information about other upcoming shows, visit their website.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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