Archive for the ‘Burlesque Troupe’ Category

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Interview Done With Mike Wilkerson

 

 

MW: Please introduce yourself?

HB: My name is Helvetica Bold. I am the founder of Rockalily Burlesque. I’m known for my comedic style, and for being one of a small handful of plus-size burlesque performers in Ottawa.

 

MW: Tell me about the Rockalily Burlesque?

HB: Rockalily is Ottawa’s longest-running burlesque troupe. currently in our 7th year, we boast of having the most diverse group of performers in town. We are a group of women of varying age, race, sexual orientation, size, and performance style. We offer neo-burlesque that’s been inspired by our own unique backgrounds. In a Rockalily show you will see influence from vaudeville, comedy, fetish, Polynesian dance, bellydance, roller-disco, classic striptease, fire performance, social and political commentary, and whatever happens to be inspiring us at the moment. Our focus is on human empowerment; on challenging gender roles and traditional standards of beauty, and promoting sex-positive and body-positive messages.

 

MW: How many people are involved in the troupe?

HB: Our roster includes 7 performers

 

MW: How many different shows do you all have?

HB: We produce 2 annual shows: The No Pants Dance Party, and Zombie Strippers. We work together as a troupe regularly when booked by other promoters, and we all freelance as solo performers. Rockalily is our unifying banner, a name recognizable for high-quality and original entertainment.

 

MW: Tell me about each performer?

HB: Gypsy Laroux is a red-haired, voluptuous woman, with a background in traditional Hula dance, and music. When not doing the Hula, she croons the crowd with her cabaret numbers.

 

Kicky Laroux is a svelte, leggy brunette who embodies old world elegance, but every now and then she will shock you with horror-inspired gorelesque.

 

Helvetica Bold is a natural comedienne who commands the stage with the presence of a schoolmarm, and mesmerizes with her jiggly thighs. Helvetica studied theatre as a child, and is known as a bit of a drama-queen.

 

Mighty Afrodite is a sex educator and theatre Goddess with hair straight from the 1970’s. Her rollerskate clad striptease, erotic spoken-word, and disco-inspired dance numbers garner hoots and hollers like you wouldn’t believe.

 

Rhapsody Blue may look harmless, but she’s a firestarter. Rhapsody is a statuesque, pink-haired, fire-breather. Her name may be classic, but her acts are colourful, upbeat, and modern – ripe with cultural references and commentary.

 

Sahara Starr is an elegant brunette who will surprise you with what she can do with a sword. She’s an exceptional bellydancer and a master of burlesque-bellydance fusion. Miss Starr is Helvetica’s right hand woman in event production.

 

Sweetpea is a buxom babe with enough attitude for the whole troupe. She shimmies and pops to a melange of obscure music. Her flexibility and unique style set her apart.

 

MW: How long has the troupe been together?

HB: going on 7 years

 

MW: Where is the troupe’s home base?

HB: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

 

MW: Does the troupe travel?

HB: Rarely as a whole, although Rockalily was featured in the first ever Montreal International Burlesque Festival and Nuit Blanche TO 2010. Often, a small number of us will travel together or we travel solo.

 

MW: How can someone book the troupe?

HB: By emailing rockalily.booking@gmail.com.

 

MW: Where is the troupe’s favorite place to perform?

HB: Babylon Nightclub, in Ottawa, is where we got our start and where we hold our annual events.

 

MW: What is in the future for the troupe?

HB: Many years of No Pants Parties, and hopefully a constantly evolving offering. There’s nowhere for us to go but up!

 

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

HB: thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Our website is www.rockalilyburlesque.com

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Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

S: My name is Scratch.  I’m the impresario (the producer and manager) for The Boston Babydolls.  On the business side, I manage our professional relationships, negotiate gigs, produce and promote our shows, and do interviews like this one! On the creative side, I direct the troupe: I come up with ideas for group and individual numbers, and work with our costumers, choreographers, and performers to make the acts the best they can be.

MW: Tell me about The Boston Babydolls?

S: Where to start? The Boston Babydolls are New England’s leading burlesque troupe.  We were founded in 2005 by myself, Miss Mina Murray, and Betty Blaize.  We say that we re-create a Golden Age of Burlesque that never really existed’; our style is generally referred to as ‘retro’ or ‘vintage’ burlesque.  We take our inspiration from performers of the 1920s through 1950s and, while we don’t do exact reproductions of historical acts, we like to think that our shows would feel familiar to audience members from fifty years ago.

The Boston Babydolls are an award-winning troupe.  Amongst our highlights are winning “Best of Boston” three years in a row from The Boston Phoenix, two years in a row by The Weekly Dig, and in 2012 by the editors at The Improper Bostonian.

MW: How many people are involved in the troupe?

S: There are eight people who are actually “Boston Babydolls”, myself, our tech director, and six dancers.  Every show, we also bring in a wide variety of talented cast and crew to help out — everything from dancers to musicians, tech crew for sound and set construction, and costumers to create our dazzling apparel.

MW: How many different shows do you all have?

S: We started with a big Halloween show called Out for Blood, but at the same time we had a monthly residency at a local nightclub which ran until April of 2008.  That was out model for the first couple of years, we’d do a small show every month (a themed revue) and every few months we’d do a big theatrical show which would run for a few weeks.  Our biggest and most popular show is The Wrathskellar, a very dark show we do each Halloween.  Some of our popular shows besides The Wrathskellar are a Valentine’s Day show called Unlucky in Love, a salute to the performers of the World War II ear called V for Vixen, and Madame Burlesque, an evening of acts inspired by the legendary ladies of burlesque.

Our [upcoming? current? show is The Bod of Avon, an evening of Shakespeare-inspired burlesque.  It previewed at Oberon in Cambridge, MA for two nights in mid-January, before moving to its permanent home, a club called Naga in Central Square, Cambridge.  The Bod of Avon runs through the end of February 2013.

MW: How long has the troupe been together?

S: The core performers — Miss Mina, Betty, and I — have been together since the beginning.  Devora joined the troupe in April 2010, Brigitte became an official member in October 2011, and Stella joined about a year ago.

MW: Where is the troupes home base?

S: We have a dance studio in Allston, MA (it’s part of Boston) not far from Boston University.

MW: Does the troupe travel?

S: Absolutely! We’ve performed all over the country, with one or two side trips up into Canada (but don’t tell customs…).

MW: How can someone book the troupe?

S: Anyone who’s interested in booking us can either contact us through our website (www.BostonBabydolls.com) or send email to TheScoop@BostonBabydolls.com.

MW: Where is the troupe’s favorite place to perform?

S: We’ve performed in some truly beautiful venues.  We performed at The Merrill Auditorium in Portland, ME which is huge and spectacular.  One of our favorite theatres is sadly out of business.  We loved playing at The Ioka in Exeter, NH, which was a formal vaudeville house.  We felt right at home there.  Also in New Hampshire, The Musical Hall in Portsmouth has great people – both behind-the-scenes and in the audience.  Closer to home, we really like The Coolidge Corner Theatre, an historic theatre with widely varied programming.

MW: What is in the future for the troupe?
S: We’ll be performing at the seventh annual Great Burlesque Exposition in March 2013.  We’re applying to compete in Las Vegas as part of the annual Burlesque Hall of Fame gathering there.  Traditionally, we tour during the summer and we’re looking at taking a show down to Pittsburgh in late spring.  Plus there are all the usual side projects… the book, the reality series, and more we can’t tell you about right now 😉
MW: What would you like to say in closing?

S: 2012 was a tough year for every small business and The Boston Babydolls were no exception.  While our Valentine’s Day and Halloween shows did very well, our summer tour only limped along.  It’s times like these when we really appreciate and value the support of our fans.  They do so much more than just show up at our shows — they tell their friends, post about us on Facebook… even send us presents! We think our fans are the best in the world and we couldn’t do what we do without them!

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