Viva Dallas Burlesque’s Annual Homage To The Deliciously Dark Filmmaker’s Twisted Characters Is A Dallas Halloween Tradition We Can Get Behind.
On the off chance that you’ve found yourself yearning to see Pee-wee Herman, the Headless Horseman and Catwoman all at the same time, on stage and kinda naked but didn’t know where to look, well, we’ve got some bad news, friend. You missed your chance last weekend.
But fret not! Because, Viva Dallas’ annual Burton Burlesque shindig is now be an annual affair due to popular demand from audiences and performers alike, and you’ll get another opportunity to catch the three-shows-in-two-nights offering when it returns to the stage in October 2018.
Of course, you may see something different depending on which show you choose to see. Fortunately, as we learned this year as two handfuls of local and regional burlesque companies sent some of their favorite performers to perform, you’re in for a treat regardless, as everyone involved came to play.
Viva Dallas’ own Reya Del Sol murdered as Sweeney Todd. Aerialist Alexander the Great from the Boiz of Austin put a drag-king spin on Jack (Nightmare Before Christmas). Courtney Crave reprised her role as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Batman Returns) with a twist on pole-silks. The Lollie Bombs’ aerialist Ickymuffin was a dystopian dazzler as 9 (9). Frankie Bedlam and Janie Slash from Deadly Sins Burlesque were funnier and sexier than Aunts Spiker and Sponge (James & The Giant Peach) have a right to be. Zerlina Brava of Broads & Panties Burlesque live delivery of “Sally’s Song” (Nightmare Before Christmas) was appropriately reverent. pole star Amy Henderson’s Headless Horseman (Sleepy Hollow) costume, which included impossibly high spike-heeled platforms as well as the neck and shoulders above her own head, made hers the most imposing character in the room. Tequila Mockingbird’s ugly-faced and buxom Penguin (Batman Returns) provided more cognitive dissonance as either Burgess Meredith or Danny DeVito could’ve wished upon any comic book enemy. Austin’s Her Sins Burlesque sent real-life couple — whose engagement had been announced on last year’s Burton Burlesque stage — in Sabra JohnSin and JamiSin Betwixt to play a real-life Sally and Jack (Nightmare Before Christmas). Dallas’s favorite Get Lucky Girl, Shelbelle Shamrock, was positively regal with her White Queen (Alice In Wonderland) fan dance. Austin’s Goldie Candela nailed another grown-up version of a young Burton character, Lydia Deetz (Beetlejuice). Sweet-T’s balletic Margaret Keane (Big Eyes) leapt to the highest un-assisted altitude of the show. Houston’s JD Hickock used an unusual combination of a wig, a scary mask and nudity as Ichabod Crane’s (Sleepy Hollow) investigative tools. Foul Play Cabaret, the Arkansas-based burlesque super-troupe of soloists that can be seen in Dallas so frequently that you’d be forgiven for thinking they were locals, brought along Doris Night and Ruby Lead — who also work as the duo Tease Supreme — to repeat their performances as the Witch from Big Fish and Miss Peregrine (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children). Vivienne Vermuth found her way on stage both nights, first as Edward Scissorhands popping Kitty Martini’s otherwise classic balloons, then as a very grown-up and nearly-naked Violet Beauregarde (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Kitty Martini reappeared as the curviest Ed Wood you’ve ever seen. Emma D’Lemma’s show-stopping aerial Pee-wee Herman lip-sync and aerial bicycle act closed both shows. And MC Miss Malicious managed to pull off two different performances on the trapeze, first as the Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland) and second as Emma Bloom (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children).
Burton Burlesque has been going (and growing) for about five years, now. Established at Viva Dallas Burlesque’s old home base, the historic Lakewood Theater, it almost missed a year in 2015 when the current location in Dallas’s dedicated Burlesque venue Viva’s Lounge missed its grand opening date. The Bomb Factory stepped in at the last minute to host the show that year, but Viva’s new headquarters has since opened to successful shows almost every weekend along with a calendar filled with a variety of festivals, workshops, and private events. Assuming Tim Burton continues his prolific and diverse career, and assuming you don’t mind that Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are in every movie, there’s every reason to imagine the show will continue expanding.