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Wednesday, February 22,2012

Welcome to Burlesque

Cher and Christina won't be there, but there’s still a surplus of sexiness at Spiral's 'Total Burlesque'

by Jon James

Lansing´s sexy side comes out of hibernation at Spiral Dance Bar´s Total Burlesque, a variety evening hosted by local personalities Ace DeVille and Baby Gaga.

Acts at last month´s show ranged from classic cabaret to a comedic magic show to strip teases, and the event went on nearly until last call, concluding in a lively dance party.

The show featured De Ville, the master of ceremonies, doing a striptease and later an energetic dance performance; Michigan State University theater student Carolyn Rex sang and provided a choreographed interpretation of “Big Spender”; Magic to the Max conjured up a comedic magic show titled “A Test of Love”; Maria Morales danced for a tied-up audience participant, who was eventually blindfolded and taken backstage; Baby Gaga showed off a sexy striptease and later performed one of her signature Lady Gaga tribute numbers; and Andrea Miller, another MSU theater student, did a traditional cabaret dance to “But I Am a Good Girl,” complete with high kicks and plenty of personality.

Baby Gaga, a.k.a. Erika C. Moul, says that she, her manager, Dan Young, and the management of Spiral co-conceived the event.

“We wanted to do something different,” she says, “(to take) something that was kind of dead and reinvent it.”

She says a burlesque show came to mind because it is a medium that by its nature evolves over time, presenting the opportunity for a recurring event that could offer a different performance every time.

Moul says another goal of Total Burlesque was to provide Lansing actors with an alternative to plays and musicals. “With an opportunity like burlesque,” she says, “lots of people can do something different, try something new.”

Moul sent out invitations to the MSU Theater Department to find students interested in auditioning for the project.

She says that most auditions were done via video, which allowed Moul to process a greater number of auditions, since busy students didn´t have to be able to attend a specific audition night in order to be considered.

Moul says that Lansing residents can expect a monthly dose of burlesque, generally on a Wednesday evening.

Tonight´s show, she says, will “continue the concept of burlesque, but amp up the sexiness,” in a dinner-cabaret-style evening similar to the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge.”

Baby Gaga and Magic to the Max are returning and Spiral general manager Daniel Young says an Adele impersonator is scheduled to appear.

“We´ll have acts ranging from magicians to musicians to strippers,” Young said.


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