Star Girls Burlesque by Devil's Playground Review
Review by: Geek Girl Zelda|
Zelda recently attended the Star Girls Burlesque show by the Devil's Playground burlesque troupe and wrote a review of the experience complete with epic photos...
This past weekend I had the opportunity to finally do something that was long past due – attend the Star Girls Burlesque as performed by The Devil's Playground. You may remember The Devil's Playground from my interview with their leader
, Courtney Cruz. She talked about what the show is like from her perspective, now let me speak as one of the audience!
Burlesque has quickly become popular around the world and online. There's a lot of passionate, talented women in the scene who are helping to make it an awesome artform; The Devil's Playground, however, takes it to another level. They are clearly fans like the rest of us - but also professionals of the highest caliber. I like burlesque shows in small bars or house parties too, but there is something to be said about the level of skill that these girls bring. When it comes to costumes, routines, looks, concepts, stage presence and athleticism, The Devil's Playground sets the bar.
The show takes place at The Dragonfly in Hollywood, and there's a lot more than just the main show to enjoy. There is a Star Wars art gallery and small vendor area, a Star Wars themed photobooth (manned by the folks at GeekSpeakTV). There was also a pre-show set on the smaller stage by The Jimmy Psycho Experiment – a one man band playing covers of everything from Scooby Doo to I Wanna Be Sedated on his glockenspiel and keyboards while dressed like a Stormtrooper Luchador. It was as awesome as it sounds. (I hear he was recording his new music video that night, so I'll try to report back on it sometime).
The audience itself is extremely varied, young to old, all across many lifestyles, interests, whatever. Every single person I talk to over the course of the evening is interesting and awesome, and there are as many women in the audience as there are men. Unfortunately for some people waiting outside, the show sold out and lots of people had to be turned away (Let that be a lesson to you to buy your ticket in advance, folks!) There's tons of great Star Wars cosplay and related clothing in the audience, and everyone else looks stylish too.
But believe me when I say once the show starts, no eyes are anywhere but on that stage! Every performer over the course of the evening was incredibly beautiful, creative, talented, unique, statuesque, and engaging. Each one was a performer in the truest sense – you could tell they loved being up there and doing what they do. Each girl has a unique personality and style while on stage. Music choices are everything from the Star Wars disco, popular and classic songs, and traditional Star Wars music. Every costume was outstanding, taking our favorite characters and turning them into sexy, girly, outrageously sparkly versions of themselves - while still managing to respect the original design.
Some highlights from the show were R2D2, the contortionist pole dancer, who I am fairly certain was NOT actually human, based on the things she could do. Chewbacca, new to this show, starts out her routine in a full wookie costume and mask before stripping down to a sexier version – but not before we got to enjoy the fully suited Chewbacca on the stripper pole. Oola, one of my favorite characters from the films, was incredibly athletic and did fun things with fire and weaponry. The Leia performer stripped down from her stuffier, 2-bun outfit to her Slave ensemble, and did a full dance while swinging around her chains like poi. The lovely producer Courtney Cruz in her iconic Stormtrooper outfit ends with shooting a cannon of confetti provocatively on the audience. And for the finale, Luke Skywalker plays the Star Wars theme and the Star Spangled Banner on an electric violin – with 2 huge sparklers attached to the end. Every performer brought something unique to the show and they were all a blast to watch.
If I had to find fault with anything in the show, it would be that the MC was kind of obnoxious (but aren't they meant to be?). And that it seems Devil's Playground may have possibly outgrown their venue. I don't know all of the intricacies about running an event of this size in Hollywood, though. I'm sure it will grow when it's ready and able to, as it has before. The show is a little late to start, and some of the people in the audience start to get a bit impatient – It takes awhile to get everyone in the door and the girls ready to perform, but I think it is more of a fault with the venue than it is with the show itself. These people clearly didn't use their time leading up to the show efficiently, as there was plenty to do beforehand and lots of people to meet (including the dancers, who were around all night).
In fact, I think that's what The Devil's Playground does for us more than anything – It allows us a wonderful venue to strengthen our community as a whole. It gives fans and artists of all types the chance to get together and share our passion. It lets us celebrate our geekdom in a rather sex and body positive atmosphere. It's one of the only events where I can honestly say everyone there was actively working to improve everyone else's experience, fans and participants alike. It's affirmation that it's a cool time to be a nerd, and that we don't have to be afraid to express who we are. We're making the kind of content we always wanted to see.
If you missed this performance, never fear! You will have your opportunity to see the show again (with new characters) March 28. Be sure to keep on eye on their Facebook
for more info.
Photography: JaW Images Photography
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January 16 2014