Strip! Strip! Hooray! Reviewed – Charlotte, North Carolina (October, 2013)
by Gabrielle for Pocket Venus
Strip Strip Hooray. Who knew that those three little words chosen from a vintage magazine could be so classy, extravagant, and glitzy! I had the pleasure of attending Dita’s Charlotte Burlesque 90 minute Revue show on closing night 12 October 2013. I live in Georgia, so I trekked 3 ½ hours for Ms. Von Teese. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had to.
Upon arrival, there was a semi long line outside the Fillmore, which allowed me to take in the illustrious view of everyone dressed up in his or her Burlesque best. While in line, I overheard the couple in front of me talking about Meet and Greet tickets, which excited me for sure. I wish that would have been in the cards for me that night, but right after the show I had to scootch off back to Atlanta. Tickets for Meet and Greet are sold at the box office for $185 on top of the ticketed price, and are well worth the money. You get to chat it up with Dita while you have a professional picture taken with the Queen of Burlesque. Who can beat that deal! A little tidbit of information—if you win the McMurray Hill dance contest you get automatic passes backstage to see Dita herself! Speaking of the dance contest, a more mature woman named Shirley had the crowd roaring with her slow jiggle dance accompanied by her walking cane. To my amazement she beat out a guy dressed as a “Shaman” who stripped down to his rainbow colored thong….only at Dita’s Strip Strip Hooray show.
The doors for the show opened promptly at 7:30pm ushering in all the ticket holders (you must print your ticket out if you purchased online and chose not to pick it up at the box office). When I first walked into the venue, which was dimly lit, there seemed to be ample amounts of standing room for the General Admission ticket holders (me). The VIP ticket holders were situated in the back of the venue at high top tables. In my honest opinion, I would say forgo the VIP seats unless you are opposed to standing up; and do not, I repeat, do not, wear your highest most uncomfortable heels ladies. If you purchase General Admission tickets your feet will be highly upset with you by the end of the night.
After my ticket was scanned I quickly positioned myself at the front of the stage, guarding my spot like a pit bull. I even had my husband take over the reigns for me in fear of another Dita fan swooping in and stealing my prime spot front and center. The stage was decked out in thick and luxurious sapphire blue silk velvet with ethereal tassels and her signature clamshell lighting. I ventured over to the merchandise desk looking for new Dita goodies, but unfortunately, the booth was cash only! I do not know who carries cash anymore, but that is another story in itself. I asked security if I could take pictures of the stage but he said that per the boss ladies orders there would be no photography before, during, or after the show. I then asked him what time the show started and he informed me at 8:30pm. A smart move on Dita’s part because that gives her fans more time to purchase her merchandise. My only gripe about the show was the drinks. I went up to the bar and asked the bartender for one of Dita’s signature cocktails and she had no earthly idea what I was talking about. I gave her 3 options to choose from and she looked at me with a blank confused stare the whole time. I thought for sure Dita would have hired bartenders who knew how to make her signature Cointreau cocktails.
Now onto the good stuff, it was 8:30 on the dot and that is when McMurray Hills voiced blared over the speakers. McMurray Hill truly knows how to command a stage with hilarious commentary and individual jokes that cater to the people in the crowd on that particular night. Dita was the first act, with her Martini glass number that paid homage to Mae West. When the curtains pulled back my eyes were glued to her flawless porcelain complexion and her couture designed Alexis Mabille tuxedo. Dita performed to a track in which she seductively spoke the words to Mae West’s “A Guy Who Takes His Time.” My favorite moments during this particular act was when she hit the ash off her cigarette in a seductive and sensual manner that only she could achieve, of course, when she bathed in her Art Deco style martini glass, along with the moment she finally snapped the buttons on her tuxedo shirt revealing her beautifully designed Swarovski encrusted Mr. Pearl corset. Dita really knows how to play to the crowd she make eye contact the whole time and involves the front row in her striptease. Allowing select audience members to pull off the satin strings from her corsets to keep as a memento.
Dita really chose a great mix of performers for her supporting cast members. I can definitely say there was someone for everyone. She had Boygorgeous from New York, Lada and Monsieur Romeo from Paris, Prince Poppycock from LA, and Natasha Estrada a fiery and curvaceous Latina. My favorite for sure was Lada Nikolska. Her lipstick couch performance was simple yet eye pleasing. She serenaded the crowd with a seductive French lip-syncing act where she slowly and erotically slid up and down the couch striping on cue in her Crazy Horse way of performing. My second favorite perfomer was Boygorgeous, He was a new act in Dita’s show, but he really lived up to Boylesque standards. His performance was light and funnily entertaining. He has a whole Clark Kent sex appeal to his look. Who knew someone could do so much with a miniature chair!?!
Dita performed all her best acts—the “Bird of Paradise” the “Rhinestone Cowgirl (my favorite act by far)” and her “Opium Den” finale act, which has come under fire more than a few times by Dita fans. Personally, I can look past the racial undertones and see it for what it is, a purely sensual and erotic masterpiece. I do not want to give away too much information on all the acts, but I will definitely say that all true Dita fans need to see her perform live to really appreciate how she took something that is viewed as underground non-artistic performance art and turned it into a revived highly respectable career, and become a world renowned sensation.