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Performance Thu Jan 14 2010
Hot & Heavy Burlesque's Tribute to The Wall is very clearly a love letter. Conceived and performed by fans to fan of Pink Floyd, it is that emotional investment that keeps the show interesting and engaging. This show has a heartbeat.
The Viaduct Theater is a good choice for the show. The venue is intimate, dark, and just big enough to house their set, the iconic white brick wall that is cleverly built up over the course of the show by unseen stage hands.
The classic Pink Floyd album is performed, in its entirety, by an assortment of faces from the Chicago burlesque scene but the acts are anything but traditional. Here, sequins are replaced with black vinyl and showgirl grins with sinister smiles. Each vignette is more an emotive performance than a burlesque shtick.
The rock opera opens with a high-energy fan dance performed by Viva La Muerte, clad in red vinyl, hips twitching to dreamy guitar riffs. Nuts & Cherries, a co-ed gymnastics troupe, contribute a few lively numbers dressed in identical school uniforms and performing impressive slow motion holds, mid air splits, and synchronized tumbles. Red Hot Annie shows off her vulnerable side and closes the first act with an emotional number that begins with her tucked into bed wearing a sparkling evening gown and ends with her waltzing in next to nothing. Donna Touch deserves a mention for the startling image she creates as she dances in a graveyard wearing only pasties, glittering red metallic wings, and a gas mask. Featured performer Paris Green shows off her immense range dancing in several acts most notably as a doting mother and later as a sexy ammunition-strapped baddie carrying a huge confetti-shooting gun. "Comfortably Numb" was a crowd favorite as a pair of nurses with thigh high boots (the lovely Miss Vine and Honey LaFleur) tend to a gas mask-wearing, wheelchair bound patient (played with perfect wretchedness by Jonathan Stitch).
Hot & Heavy Burlesque's Tribute to The Wall is a must for Pink Floyd fans. The opening night crowd gave the bizarre cast of characters a standing ovation for their efforts. The show continues this weekend at the Viaduct Theater (3111 N. Western Avenue). The show runs Friday, January 15 and Saturday, January 16 at 10 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Visit Hot & Heavy Burlesque's website for more details and to purchase tickets.