Naked Ambitions


Revealed Burlesque
UNDER St. Marks, NYC
Alan Watts, British expat writer about Zen, complained about women who said they did not want to be known for their bodies, but rather their minds (even though said "minds" were filled with petty, trivial notions and unexamined streaming and steaming prattle). Revealed Burlesque gives us the female body shorn of any such cerebral distraction. Each of the six strippers was an authentically class act, bearing scant resemblance to the floozy co-workers of Barbara Stanwyck in William Wellman's Lady of Burlesque. Nowadays, with female nudity ubiquitous, these beautifully bodied ladies resurrect a seductive naughtiness that is fresh and -- even yes -- exhilarating to behold.The evening is hosted by Bastard Keith, a young comic/actor/singer/writer, who is charmingly and disarmingly amusing. His contagious bombastic self-delight is evident as he introduces each stripper and keeps the evening moving swiftly.

Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Abbott and Costello started in Burlesque, and perhaps Mr. Keith will hit such heights. It certainly would be worth seeing one of his own shows, which he performs from time to time.

Cute, slender and business-like, and stark-naked (save her "non-sensible" shoes), Stage Kitten Victoria Privates sets-up and cleans-up after each act, in a business like manner, adding a bit of whimsy to the evening’s presentation. I suppose in old time burlesque she would be considered "the stooge."

The performing roster varies from show to show. The ladies of the evening I attended were: Gal Friday, a flaming redhead performing a classic strip; Clams Casino, doing a clever silhouetted back lit shadow strip behind a translucent screen (ultimately, breaking through to display all her loveliness); Calamity Chang, an Asian temptress who concluded her strip with a bow to famed stripper Lili St. Cyr, with a bit of a bath from a oversized champagne glass (Lili had a huge human sized glass in which to cleanse her polished flesh); Ekaterina, a stripper and a contortionist, displayed her beautiful body in seemly impossible arrangements; Scarlet O’Gasm, delivered her take on Salome, severed head and all, handling her concealing and unconcealing "veils" with the grace that classic stripper Sally Rand applied to her fabled fans; and concluding the evening was Ms. Tickle, absolutely dazzling as a luscious mermaid, who strips as she transforms into a human with extraordinarily beautiful legs and then some.

It seems the policy of the producer, Gigi La Femme, is that each acts ends with the women totally in the buff, therefore the "revealed" preceding the "burlesque" in the title. So those interested in seeing "it all" will indeed see all of it. Nothing skimpy in this show. In addition, the curtainless, curtain call is a bit of an unclad love fest.

UNDER St. Marks, is a barebones fifty-seat performance space with adult beverages available. It is a homey, comfortable, and unpretentious venue and -- serves as a pleasing good-natured alternative to the plush expensive midtown strip joints. The audience was decidedly fun-loving, cheerfully whooping along with it all. I much prefer this kind of atmosphere to that of the more commercial big time establishments.

I highly recommend Revealed Burlesque for a pleasant evening of highly entertaining and naughty frivolity. 

Horse Trade Theater Group and Gigi La Femme Present: Revealed Burlesque

UNDER St. Marks, NYC (3rd Wednesday of every month at 10pm)