Anytime your night is kicked off with the ever-flamboyant emcee duo Ralphie Hardesty and Mike Graupmann (The Encyclopedia Show, Austin) screaming that they LOVE POWER LESBIANS at the tops of their lungs, you know you’re in for a pretty wild Saturday night. It was the perfect start for Black Widow Burlesque’s 5th annual SPANKSGIVING at the North Door – a special holiday showcase curated by BWB and featuring the some of the best that Austin has to offer in burlesque, cabaret, aerial, and pole arts.
The show was rowdy and loud and dirty and fun – reflecting in large part, I think, BWB’s aesthetic. If there’s one thing I love about Ginger Snaps and Zaftigg von BonBon (who head up BWB), it’s that although they work hard as hell to entertain, and they never take themselves too seriously. I thoroughly enjoyed it (full disclosure, I've performed in SPANKSGIVING in prior years) and think it’s one of the most well-rounded shows Austin has to offer, with a healthy mix of both neo and classically-styled acts to suit everyone’s tastes.
It was a long show though, with 24 acts in all, and so not for the faint of Burlesque heart. The audience might not have hung in there for the full 3 hours of running time had the acts not been so upbeat and engaging (especially since heavy rains wreaked havoc with the bar’s credit card system, spontaneously turning the North Door into a cash bar with no working ATM in the building – booooo). So kudos to Ginger and Zaftigg and the rest of BWB for putting on such a great show.
- Randy Dodger’s strutting Skunk routine to LMFAOs “Sexy and I Know It” (I mean, how can you go wrong with a Sexy Petting Zoo?
- Eve Vocative’s Wicked Witch of the West strip to a jammin’ remix of “It’s Not Easy Being Green.
- Chola Magnolia’s latin-styled scarlet shimmy act – so much fringe OMG!
- Sherry Bomb’s glittery devil girl with enormous black organza wings – usually I don’t like early pastie reveals, but her strappy red undergarments really made a statement here and it worked.
- Sabra JohnSin, Keirstin JohnSin and Sinnamon Shakes’ pilgrim dance to Cold Turkey – cute choreography, great dancing, and the twirler moves with the white toy rifles were neat.
- ND Licious and Hartlet Davidson’s Handyman trapeze act – super cute premise, and double aerial acts are always impressive.
- Jasper St. James’ unique drag-but-not-drag take on “And I am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls – seriously deserving of the standing ovation.