Death was dancing on stage in leopard booty shorts and 3ft stilts.
Not pictured, recently
removed death shroud.
It was Saturday night and I was knee deep in the second act of Tilted torch's Biploar show - the theme of which was "bipolarity," complimentary opposition, like the yin and yang - with some part of lightness always in the dark. Paco Fish interpreted this by showing us what "death" did when he was off the clock. Which was, apparently, join the Love Parade.
It was par for the course of the evening, which had already included everything from traditional Egyptian belly dance to a 5 minute opus set to Enrique Iglesias's "Tonight I'm Lovin' You," with the "you" in this case being...cotton candy. Or, cotton candy shaped poi that performer Magnificent Malibu spun around her with undeniable charisma and talent.
The production's generous view of the theme allowed for great diversity in the acts, with each performer coming out with their own interpretations of a light and a dark act broken up by a short intermission. The "light" performances acted as a delightful appetizer to the ridiculous, hilarious and unforgettable "dark" second act.
The first dancer was, Ariel, who began with the lovely traditional Egyptian belly dance, but really wowed us with her "dark" second act which was an unexpected mix of belly dancing, pop and lock and break dancing. Co-creator Miss Joule followed her with a traditional burlesque and feather dance act that, I will admit, made me think for the first time that taking my clothes off in public could be a lot of fun. Her second act was described as "walking on glass," which was one of the bigger understatements I may have ever heard. She took to the stage and gleefully stripped down to roll, jump, and stretch on top of a row of broken glass with the same enthusiasm as a kid jumping on the bed while their parents aren't looking. This was the real zest of the show - no matter what they were doing, every performer did it with a confidence that made you think - "I wanna try!" Even if they were rolling in glass...half naked.
Before Paco Fish came out as Death he gave us his "light" act dressed as a glittery turtle who removed his shell slowly to reveal a stuffed sea horse cleverly placed to cover his naughtiest bits. Malcolm Stuart then followed with a ridiculously impressive and precise multihoop performance that had the audience's rapt attention progressing seamlessly from bemused (after the turtle strip tease) to silently awed as his hoops effortless floated behind his back, down his arms and legs and circled on the floor as if they were alive and hypnotized to bend to his will. His second act was a total 180 as he danced out in a neon body suit lit up by black light and jammed out to hip-hop. The audience went with them on every act - only growing hungry for more as the evening progressed.
Much of the credit for that belongs to the mahvelous "Femme-cee" Shorstaxx, who reminded me of a young Bette Midler when she took to the stage - destined for fame and with talent bigger than the stage on which she stood. An emcee can make or break a show and she perfectly built up the crowd's energy, invigorated the performers and made you truly excited to see every act. It was a special treat that she was part of the big finale in which the three ladies, Shorstaxx, Miss Joule and Magnificent Malibu teamed up for one last strip tease before the night was over.
This was a show that gave you energy. The in house bar, buzzing crowd and confident performances mixed for a perfectly surreal evening that left me ready to dance, move and hoop!
What can I say? There wasn't anything missing. I have seen many "weird" shows before because, hey, that's the stuff to which I am naturally drawn and this one was truly the top. This show would certainly offend those who weren't expecting a gallery of the bizarre - but, if you are up for something truly unexpected and entertaining this is the way to go. My hat is off to everyone involved and I thank them for a truly wonderful evening.
Check out Miss Joule's website for more info on performers and Tilted Torch shows.