Review | Gender Blender Burlesque 2: Sleek, sultry, surreal & stellar

Gender Blender Burlesque 2 | Connections Nightclub | Until 22 Jan | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Gender Blender Burlesque 2 brings sleek, sultry, surreal burlesque to Connections main room stage and much much more, including so many nipple pasties and tassels I lost count; not to mention the bottom cheek twerking tassels.

Perth’s drag and burlesque communities combine their talents, a little bit for everyone’s tastes and predilections, perfect after-dinner Fringe World show.

The musical soundtrack to Gender Blender Burlesque 2; is magnificent. Starting with the 1969 version of Big Spender from the film Sweet Charity released the same year. The opening group number is so sassy, so everything, so iconic; a very laid back slow seduction.

The performers seduce the audience with this opening number. Ruby Slippers as MC is a sultry drag goddess, a biological woman and occasional Leather Daddy; who is the perfect host for the night.

Gender Blender Burlesque 2 is drag and beyond, intersecting drag, musical theatre, costuming, cabaret, puppetry and surrealist fantasies; amongst many other forms.

Bobbiesoxburlesque aka Bobbie Sox is one for the boys, girls, gurls, otters and bears. Bobbie is a Burlesque performer, winning Mr Boylesque WA in 2015. Bobbie will make all genders heart skip a beat with their sensuous beard and slow sultry moves to Marvin Gaye’s song Let’s Get It On, a burlesque sex symbol.

Bobbie starts suited carrying a blue flower and slowly performs a slow strip to reveal a sexy natural body while utilising a form of puppetry and hand gestures; sexy sensuous and hysterically witty.

We are left with glitter nipple patches and modesty patch with tits and ass also making the stage; a sexy bearded man and the best thing since sliced bread.

Veronica Jean Jones aka VJJ appears on stage looking reminiscent of Catwoman from the 60s version of Bat Man. Vivacious VJJ performs a long slow seduction on stage, flirting with the audience. Performing to the music of Doja Cat – Rules, a rapper, singer, songwriter. The song is about many things essentially about wanting a partner who is more interested in making love than causing drama. Curvaceous VJJ performance is impeccable, eventually removing long gloves down to garter belt, boots, and silver tassels, stunning. VJJ is the Kitty Kat mafia living their life for themselves.

Flo Reel is mesmerising on stilts, performing a slow reveal to the Jinkx Monsoon cover of Creep originally sung by Radiohead. Another burlesque god in a tremendous costume of white and black; expressing a beautiful vulnerability. Flo Reel is also one of the producers of the show soaring high on stage.

Ruby Slippers MC performs to the classic track Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler. A biological woman in drag dressed in an evening gown revealing sequins studs orange leather thigh-high boots and bum tassels, not too much not too little; perfection. An orange leather daddy, revealing what is important, their heart and head (brain).

VJJ and Flo perform a synchronise act together to the Mel Brooks’s hit musical song from 1968 When You Got It Flaunt It; and yes they flaunt it. A highly synchronised performance in both costuming, movement and lip-syncing; the audience loved it.

Veruca Sour performs a very cabaret Sally Bowles number, to the 1998 version of Don’t Tell Mama. Imagine the 1939 novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood and the movie Cabaret from 1972 starring Liza Minnelli, very Kit Kat Klub.

Veruca is also Miss Burlesque Western Australia 2017, conventional by day and crazy bohemian by night. Dressed in black negligee revealing a 40s style boudoir attire, showing creativity, courage, and selflessness. Veruca will make you laugh while stealing your heart, leaving your eyes smiling while performing kooky glamour.

Scarlet Adams is a surreal goddess and burlesque extraordinaire, merging drag costuming and ballroom. Scarlet is the first drag queen to ever compete in the prestigious title of Miss Burlesque Australia; winning the crown in 2018.

In this fantasy Scarlet performs to Human by SEVDALIZA, the performance is otherworldly; beautifully hypnotic. Powerful, provocative and thought-provoking. Scarlet’s performance feels like a stream of consciousness; embodying their art with no boundaries.

Scarlet’s rhythmic writhing movements performed underneath a sheath of white translucency is a visually powerful metaphor. Revealing a powerful outer shell of black creaturesque costume with a segmented tail. Scarlet does a slow reveal, eventually darkness and lightness merging.

There is much more to this stellar show. Group performances and a magical interaction between the MC and Connections Lighting Designer controlling the spectacular lighting rig.

Bring your heart, open your eyes, clear your ears, transform your mind to Gender Blender Burlesque 2 transcending drag, burlesque, cabaret and circus. Oh and maybe a consensual bone or treat for the prancing stage puppy Leo; GOOD BOY LEO. GOOD PUPPY.

Catch the show before it finishes, hopefully, there will be an extended season as the show deserves many more reveals.

See Gender Blender Burlesque 2 until 22nd January.

Guy Gomeze is an artist, arts worker, photographer, writer, and occasional curator, they have worked in the arts for 25 years between the east coast and west coast of Australia.

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