Amsterdam Burlesque Festival, day 3

Saturday night. Did you know that not ONLY was there the Amsterdam Burlesque Festival, but ALSO the Chocolate Burlesque, as part of the Chocolade Festival? Amazing!

I am getting pretty familiar with that circus tent over in the Houthaven… the older gentleman who seems to be the proprietor has been very sweet to me, as have the booze ladies. Other than them, I find myself chatting routinely (albeit briefly) with the lovely lady selling handmade pasties, Blanche Neige – one of the Swedish performers who happens to use the same hair dye as me and is a sweetheart too, and Armitage Shanks – one of the MCs and from Seattle too. Actually, last night he commented on the small contingent of performers from Seattle and when they hollered from the other side of the room, so did I. the people around me looked a little confused, but hey. I was drunk and having a good time. At least i was hollering WITH the performance. the people sitting near me spent a great deal of their evening conducting loud, drunken and disruptive conversations on a variety of other topics. I really hate it when people do that. It’s actually one of the reasons i seldom go to the movies here anymore. I get tired of hearing all about various people’s irritating boy/girl friend, boss, etc. while I’m trying to watch a film.

Anyway, tonight the late performance – the Internation Sexy Circus Sideshow – was sold out, so matt and I went only for the early show, the International "Anything Goes" Revue.

It was fantastic! Yay! I had a great time indeed, and sat much closer this time (I’ve been holding down a table at the back, but this time we sat right up in the 2nd row).

The biggest pleasant surprise of the evening: Equador the Wizard, from London. Surprised the hell out of me. I’ll explain. I’m not really a big fan of the male strip performance. I used to go to quite a few at the Gay 90’s back in the day (the 90’s, actually…) and I never really got into it. And last night, the performance of Raoul Lala, although very nice (he’s quite a dancer, i thought) was not really for me. Now, i DO like to have men onstage during burlesque. I think it’s important to have the variety acts, the filling out of the show. Unfortunately, they’ve often been kind of lame (bad magicians or lame comedians). Tonight there were 2 male acts on stage, and I liked both (the other one sang and played a saw). But Equador’s was pretty fucking hilarious!

He gets a big build up from Lady Marmalade, who MC’d the evening (I’m not usually a fan of hers, but tonight I thought she was excellent), in which we learn that he won some award for Tease, etc. etc… So we’ve all got some high expectations when he comes out on stage.

In a turban. And an abundance of facial hair. And sleight of hand involving handkerchiefs. At which point the people behind me start loudly muttering about how it’s supposed to be sexy and that THIS isn’t sexy. Well, it got interesting in short order, as he starts mixing sleight of uh, body… with stripping, some air guitar, light sabers, and hell I don’t even remember what else. I found myself staring at his crotch wondering how he was going to cover it in the next moment. The guy was all over the place. the whole audience was laughing and hooting and completely in thrall. I wish my memory and writing skills were up to the task of telling you what Equador did, but basically – I’m a fan. Whoopee!

Not my favorite act, but pleasantly surprising none-the-less, was the final act, by Natsumi Scarlet. I’ve not liked her before when I saw her. She’s usually pretty creative, but she’s got this great muscular body and she’s done weirdly overly-feminine things in the past that just don’t work for me. I actually groaned when she was announced as the ending act tonight. And she strutted out in this white feather thing that was ok, but typical… but then she did some nice looking stuff on the ribbons hanging from the apex of the tent. I think she has found a style that shows her off to excellent result. Beautiful girl, and strong. This time we got to see it. I bet she could alternatively pull off a Carmen Miranda fruity thing, too. Just a side thought.

Matt’s favorite of the night were the Bombshelly’s. Apparently a sister act, although strangely matt and i think both of them looked very familiar and not very much like sisters, they did a "magic" act involving a bit of stripping (not much) and some text cards like from silent movies. It was a really good idea, and I think they were really fantastic. my only criticism is that I think they could work it up a bit. It was a little too understated. But an excellent idea, and I’d love to see them do it again, bigger brighter fewer clothes whatever…

My other favorite (besides Equador) was the bathtub act… the performer (I can’t decide from the photos off the website if she was Danica Lee, from Australia, or Charlette de Luxe, from Germany, and matt’s not sure either) came in brushing her teeth, and then her song came on and she pretended to use a back brush as a microphone and danced around the stage. The phone rang a number of times, and she’d look irritated and do various things. I liked it because it is exactly the sort of thing i think we all do (minus the phone ringing, necessarily) when we’re by ourselves and a favorite camp-it-up song comes on. well, i know i do things like that, anyway… πŸ™‚ matt said his only criticism is that she didn’t involve the audience enough – he likes it best when they cue the audience a lot to "ooh and aah…" and holler. i think i agree with him that she could have definitely done a bit more of that, but i liked her act.

so… do i go tomorrow? hmmmm…
i’d like to, but i have to admit that it was actually hard to drag myself there tonight (i’m tired!), and i’m really needing some home time. i started going to the gym 2 weeks ago and i’ve been pretty enthusiastic about that, and we’ll be practicing twice next week for the next contrast concert (sunday 6 december in rotterdam), and it’s IDFA, so i’d like to see some films. but i’d also like to sit around the house in pj’s. or i might just drag my ass off to the circus tent again…

ah, the choices. πŸ™‚ we’ll see.


  1. Sounds like a great festival. I was a little annoyed that it was scheduled at the same time as Crossing Border.

  2. I hope you will keep updating your content constantly as you have one dedicated reader here.

  3. W00T! S.’s old friend came to town, preceded by her son, who’s basically a good kid, if a bit spoiled. He’s in college and came over to S.’s place with friends in tow. As it turns out, they were staying in a hostel and he was angling for me to put them up (a bit cheeky). The kids madea good impression, so I did put them up, for what they were paying at the hostel. Free WiFi & cable, privacy and a comfortable bed–an upgrade! And I got 5 x €50,- out of it!

    S’s advice was perfect. Charge at least a nominal price so trhe people staying appreciate it.

    Have fun in Seattle!

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