photo via CorsetsandCuties.com
If you like your burlesque with a side order of self-aware silliness and live singing, then "Corsets and Cuties" is the cabaret for you. Troupe co-founder Lady Jaimz (looking like a lascivious Ringling ringmaster in a top hat and spangled tux) introduces the rules – no photos; yes to tipping and audience participation – and emcees an hour of risqué variety acts.
The lineup will vary every night; during the preview, we were treated to everything from a fan dance that would make Sally Rand smile and a traditional belly-dance routine to a spanking slumber party and an operatic history lesson about the invention of the bra. I’m not quite sure which image is now most deeply emblazoned on my brain: Barbi Rhinestone’s Flashdance
-inspired solo to “A Lap Dance Is So Much Better When the Stripper Is Crying”; Lottie L’amour tassel-twirling marching band tribute; or Risa Risque’s gyrations in a gorilla suit. (Probably the ape.)
The Cuties' costumes are a curious cross between Weimar and Walt Disney, and their choreography leans more towards shimmy and strut than strenuous dance steps. In the best burlesque tradition, there's a lot less exposure than you might expect (though still an ample amount), as the bulk of the bits are relatively innocent – except for the occasional giant dildo. What sets this group apart from the increasing crowded burlesque pack is the powerful voices of their performers, who sing shockingly well in their underwear. Co-founder Babs Bordeaux’s rendition of “Deep Love” from Young Frankenstein
(delivered to an anatomically correct inflatable doll) was an early showstopper, and solos by Kaddy Laq, the Divine J-9, Honey Child and Jax N. Auph (the token male member) all brought down the house and brought out the dollar bills.
Here’s my tagline for "Corsets and Cuties": Come for the ta-tas, stay for the musical talent.
"Corsets and Cuties: A Burlesque Cabaret"
Double Trouble Productions
– Casselberry, FL
Rating: 18 and up