One of the things I like most about the neo-burlesque movement is that everyone seems to have a different idea where to go with it. Twisted Cherry Burlesque has decided it’s a weird form of experimental musical theater. According to their Facebook page, in January: “This month we are celebrating the music and stories brought to life by Disney and gracing the stages of Broadway.”
Disney? Really? For the life of me I had no idea what Disney had to do with the show I saw, but neither did I give a damn. It was such a weird conglomeration of nuttiness I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. For example:
Two dancers introduced only as “Katie and Joe” did a kind of adagio/apache dance to Tom Waits’ gritty version of “Roxanne.”
Motley Manhattan and Andy performed a couple duets from the musical Little Shop of Horrors.
A blonde bombshell who goes by Roxy Rouge did a kind of ballet striptease to Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet.”
Kyle Marlett, who must be the head nerd of local magicians, did a few weird tricks in between the dancing and singing numbers.
Katie and Ronnie (both female) sang Wicked’s “For Good.” (Ronnie had also opened the show singing “All that Jazz” while Katie stripped.)
I missed the name of the dancer who stripped to Dr. John’s “Down in New Orleans.” (I later discovered that this song was used in Disney’s animated film, “The Princess and the Frog,” so there was a Disney connection after all! Never saw that flick.)
A lot of this show comes off like amateur hour, with costumes and props out of some lunatic granny’s attic. You’ve got to keep in mind that this show is performed only once per month, with a different show every month. So it’s raw, more like a dress rehearsal than a finished show, but that’s what neo-burlesque is like in Vegas.
The Twisted Cherry shows are produced by Ronnie Gaar (who also goes by Motley Manhattan) and Katie Egleston Kenner who is a wonderful dancer/actress/comedienne. Here a pic of Katie I stole from Twisted Cherry’s Facebook page. They’ve posted hundreds of photos of their productions on fb and you can get a feel for the shows just by looking at the photos.
Beer and wine is $5, cocktails $8. Soft drinks and snacks available. The Onyx Theater is nothing fancy. There are a hundred seats in a small room with bare brick walls, trashy-looking workbenches against the back wall. The stage isn’t raised. There’s no curtain. On other nights, there are serious plays performed here, shoestring avant-garde productions. This place is worth checking out if you want to see a side of Vegas theater way off the beaten path.