On a bitterly cold winters night in Sydney, the Strip, Strip, Hooray! parade that has been to all corners of the country over the past 4 weeks, played it's second last show of the tour....and what a show it was.
Walking into the Enmore Theatre tonight had a completely different feel to the previous hundred or so times that I had been there. There was an air of elegance about the much loved Inner West suburb of Sydney venue that I had not seen in quite a while. Everywhere you looked, the patrons were dressed to the nines in everything from 1920's era glamour to steampunk getups. It was a sight to behold. If this was any indication of what the actual show had to offer, we were all in for a treat.
A collection of old school swing/jazz/big band songs were getting the crowd primed, with "C'est Maginfique" by Kay Starr, "With Plenty of Money + You" by Tony Bennett & "Me & Mr Jones" by the late great Amy Winehouse being highlights. The tone was now set perfectly for the queen of burlesque.
Out of nowhere, a voice was heard from behind the curtain reminding the eager crowd that there was a strict no camera, no photography & no video policy on tonight's show.....however engaging in casual sex with your friend or the person sitting next to you is encouraged during the performance. A few people took this literally!
The host of tonight's proceedings was the New York City icon, TV star, international entertainer & self proclaimed as "the most famous comedian you have never heard of", MC Murray Hill.
Dubbed one of "Fifty Most Iconic Gender Benders of All Time", Mr Showbiz had the audience in the palm of his hand from the get go with his sharp wit & dry sense of humor & I would go as far as to say that he would be the greatest MC that I have had the pleasure of listening to. I would have been happy to sit & listen to him all night.
But we were all here for a different reason.
And doesn't she know how to make an entrance!
The opening act of the show was her iconic "Martini Glass" routine.
W O W!
The curtains opened to an explosion of Swarkovski crystals everywhere.
From her crystal encrusted Christian Louboutin high heels to her custom made Catherine D'Lish gown, down to her diamond g-string, Dita shone like the brightest star in the sky in the most impressive outfit that I have ever seen.
And the Martini Glass...the ENTIRE glass was crystallized with literally millions of genuine Swarkovski crystals.
Never in all my life have I seen so many shiny things in the one place.
I was mesmerized......and not just by the crystals.
I have seen Dita in many different forms of media over the years, but never in person.
What you can REALLY appreciate seeing her in person is her seductiveness. The way she moves is so elegantly graceful, but oh so erotic in the same breath.
She could have demanded anything she wanted from anyone in the crowd & they would have handed it over without question.
The night could have ended after this 10 minute performance & I guarantee everyone would have left the venue satisfied. But this was just her first act.
In her second act, the "Rhinestone Cowgirl", there was once again Swarkovski crystals galore.
A burgundy coloured velvet covered mechanical bull, with rhinestone horns, filled up the best part of the stage before the Queen of Burlesque appeared from out of nowhere in her diamond encrusted cowboy hat, with matching gun holsters & chaps.
Even her "Vontourage", Alek Palinski & Eliezer Martinez, were wearing Swarkovski covered cowboy hats & matching tight booty shorts!
The "Bird Of Paradise" was Dita's third & penultimate performance of the evening. And my personal favorite.
Conceptualized & designed by none other than Catherine D'Lish, Dita's spellbinding costume consisting of a corset infused with little feathers amongst an array of topaz & of course her customary Swarkovski's.
And wearing a massive pink tail feather arrangement consisting of yes...you guessed it...more crystals.
The backdrop was an awe inspiring birdcage made entirely of guess what (I'll give you a hint.....)
For the finale of this piece, the birdcage turned into a shower, dripping water all over a scantly clad Dita in what could only be described as every mans dream. THIS WAS HOT. SOOOO HOT! WOW!
The supporting cast (If you could call them a supporting cast....each performer would have EASILY been a headline act) were absolutely flawless in their craft.
Catherine D'Lish was out-fucking-standing in her spiderweb performance. How flexible is this girl! OH MY GOD!
I was DRAWN to this act like an insect to her spiders web. Man can this gorgeous girl suck you in.
As well as being such a fabulous performer, Catherine has built a reputation as being the best costume designer & creative director in the business. Just ask Dita....all her outfits showcased tonight were designed by Catherine!
Ginger Valentine..."The Professional Tease".
I must confess....I fell head over heels in love with Ginger as soon as she hit the stage.
The STUNNINGLY gorgeous "Girl Next Door" from Dallas, Texas just dripped pure sex appeal in her sensual silver evening gown. And don't get me started on her eyes...they made you melt into your seat. Just thinking about them again is getting me sidetracked.
And boy can she move!
Natasha Estrada..."La Cholita"
This extremely colourful Latina glamour's nipple tassel tricks were unbelievable. ACTUALLY UNBELIEVABLE.
How she can do the things that she did, blew my mind. From spinning one at a time to both...in different directions on demand was something else.
Her striptease was done to a Mariachi style backdrop with Flamenco flair. Truly something special.
Perle Noire..."The Black Pearl"
When Perle first appeared on the stage in the most elegant turquoise coloured sequin dress, you could have sworn that you were looking at one of the iconic female R&B singers of the 1950's.
Her mix of high energy, elegance & raw sex appeal made for one hell of a performance.
One minute she would be moving slow & seductive, and the next second she would be a whirlwind of high kicks & shimmies that defied gravity in some stages.
Jett Adore..."The No-Pantser Romancer"
I LOVED Jett. One of the many, many highlights of the night.
A welcome change on the burlesque scene, Jett proved that guys can be as good at the art of tease as the girls.
And he had the art of tease down pat!
Coming out in his "Zorro" outfit, he had the crowd enthralled the second he graced the main stage.
This guy has the moves like Jagger!
In Dita's final performance of the last Sydney show of the tour, she saved the most visually stunning act til last. The "Opium Den" is Dita's most lavish set, that was inspired from her longtime fascination with the epic films of Yimou Zhang.
A notable difference for this performance was her look. Traditionally, Dita has her almost signature 1940's "Pin Up" style look going. But not with this one. She took on the persona of the "Dragon Lady", and not just in the mythical sense.
A very abstract blend of fetish, sexual fantasy & an almost drug infused Hallucinogenic striptease had the crowd gasping as layer upon layer was stripped from her body. The Oriental Goddess was at her peak.
A VERY fitting was to way to end a perfect night.
On a side note, what I really enjoyed about tonight was the strong message of diversity & equality. It didn't matter if you were gay, straight, metro, hetro, bi or transexual. You were made to feel at home at the Enmore Theatre tonight....and that is the way that it should be. Everywhere you go. There was even a marriage proposal by a lesbian couple on the main stage...in front of every one, which ALMOST stole the show away from Dita. (She said YES by the way!)
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