Black Cherry Burlesque

Surly Wench Pub
Saturday, Dec. 23

Baby, it might have been cold outside last Saturday night, but there was no lack of heat being generated on the stage of the Surly Wench when the ladies of the Black Cherry Burlesque troupe put on their holiday show.

In this tiresome age of Britney Spears and Co. showing it all--and we mean all--the showmanship and slow tease of burlesque has never been more appealing. The Black Cherry performers actually look like real women--breasts, thighs, booty and all--and judging by the enthused crowd Saturday night (equally split between the sexes), womanly women are exactly what people want to see, not Hollywood starlets who could pass for prepubescent boys.

Burlesque involves way more than stripping off one's clothes--these ladies are all-around, old-school entertainers. Hours go into preparing their routines--costumes, music, lighting and props are all carefully considered--and as much acting and dancing goes into each set as actual stripping.

Each lady in the troupe has her own distinct performing style: The lovely and voluptuous Desiré d'Amour (my personal fave), showing off both her comedic chops and her breasts, transformed from goofball to sex kitten in the blink of a pin-up girl's false eyelashes. Ginger SinClaire embodied classic Hollywood high glamour, and Brutally Hot's haughty dominatrix demeanor arguably lent the most heat to the night's entertainment.

Another highlight was drag king Holden Cox's appearances--the slight yet mighty Holden broke up the sultriness with humorous skits that employed dead-on lip-synching. A born entertainer, Holden could have a one-man show of his own.

Nods were made to the holiday season throughout the evening, with both Santa Claus and the Grinch taking it (almost) all off. For the finale, statuesque troupe leader Inga Kaboom emerged--festooned in bows and ribbons, which she slowly untied with the crowd's exuberant encouragement--from an oversized gift box. You'll have to check out Inga yourself to learn about her signature sign-off--but let's just say she puts the "ass" in tassels!

Wench employees Steph and Jamie shared the unenviable job of keeping the crowd entertained between the ladies' acts, vaudeville-barker style, and they proved to be a natural comedy duo.

A Black Cherry Burlesque performance is the perfect Christmas gift--beautifully and elaborately wrapped, teaching you that anticipation is 99 percent of the fun.

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