When Indy’s Rocket Doll Revue stage a one-night only special burlesque event with a title like “Private Exhibition,” it promises intimacy, titillation and above all a personal touch. Last weekend’s show at the White Rabbit Cabaret was a powerhouse exhibition of all that everyone loves about Indy’s premier burlesque troupe.
Dual hosts for the evening were Gurl Haggard and Boybarella (channeling his best Dr. Frank-N-Furter), who were the two performers that best encapsulated both the glamour and smut of the evening. Throughout the night they traded barbs and provided performer intros with impeccable comic timing.
Opening performer was Frenchy LaRouge, the consummate tiki burlesque performer. Now that Disneyworld allows alcoholic beverages, it certainly wouldn’t be amiss to grab a mai tai and catch Frenchy performing at a place like the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Special guests for the evening were Chicago’s Willy La Queue and Louisville’s Ethel Loveless. La Queue danced for his life in his best audition for “Flashdance”
but if he had showed up to a “Cabaret” audition by mistake.
Meanwhile, Ethel Loveless did her best Lucille Ball–if she discovered Wayne Newton and became a Vegas showgirl with all the best elements of glitz, camp and sensual choreography.
Trini Bikini, who always brings a high- concept performance to the stage, but always with a laugh, played a Paris Hilton-type character in her first performance set to David Bowie’s “Fame.” It was a number designed to turn people on sexually with faux-celebrity Hollywood socialites– no mean feat.
Patsy Blue Ribbon performed her by-default showstopper “Shameless” number that by any right should have closed the first half, but smartly did not in preparation for the actual first-half closer and MVP of the entire evening.
Lula Lawless again proved that she is the fiery sex kitten with claws for both of her performances, arriving with a bang the first time around to a Whitesnake number and electrifying the crowd. And once again her understated choreography and nonchalant facial expression betray her innocent demeanor to reveal one of the most crowd-pleasing of the Rocket Dolls.
Co-host Boybarella led the show careening into the second half with his famous cape dance, teasing a submissive sexuality but with the confidence of a veteran performer who knows he is good enough to be the last lingering thought on the audience’s minds as they leave.
Desiree DeCarlo, the Rocket Doll who oozes sex appeal with either an eyebrow raise or a feather fan wave enlisted the help of co-host Gurl Haggard in a joint performance. Their number, in which they played Aphrodite and her ancient Greek acolyte, was a ritual/titual dance that also embodied the mix of the sacred and profane that when combined puts on a damn good burlesque show.
And of course, it would be remiss to leave out Trini Bikini’s bookend performance near the end of the night as the Goblin King in another Bowie inspired number. Trini captures, more than most other performers, the essential symbiotic relationship between theatrical performance, comic timing and sensual movement that is what memorable burlesque is all about.
The entire night proved all of this and more with all of the performers involved. It also went to prove that an entertaining-as-hell house show by the Dolls doesn’t need a specific theme to be successful. Suffice to say that any audience member who saw a “private exhibition” from the Rocket Doll Revue will be a burlesque fan for life.