Last Friday night, Iowa’s Quad Cities’ unique troupe of burlesque performers took the stage at Chicago’s infamous Double Door. As one of the last remaining edgy locales in the otherwise gentrified Wicker Park neighborhood, Double Door is know for its legendary, infamous, and outrageous line-up of live performances. Lead by troupe founder, Dannie Diesel (a.k.a. Danielle Colby, well-know for role on the History Channel’s “American Pickers”), Burlesque Le’ Moustache sprinkled a bit more spice in the Double Door’s saucy brew.
Starting the night off was musician Mikey Classic, who also writes and performers with Punk/Roots/Rockabilly group the Goddam Gallows. On this night, Classic performed about a seven song list of gut-wrenching tunes, playing only his banjo, acoustic guitar, and a tambourine strapped around his wooden box-stomping boot. Classic’s beautifully raspy voice suggests a life of whisky, disappointment, and endurance. On ReverbNation, you can find Classic at: http://www.reverbnation.com/mikeyclassichislonesomespur and with Goddamn Gallows at: http://www.reverbnation.com/thegoddamngallows
Next up was Tom “Soda” Gardocki (previously of Punk band Wax), who played a stripped down solo set—just a man and his banjo, with some tales to tell. Gardocki’s set was short, but more than sweet. His songs are packed with soul, sorrow, heartbreak, and booze-fueled expression reminiscent of Outlaw Country music. To hear some of Gardocki’s tunes, check out his ReverbNation page: http://www.reverbnation.com/sodagardocki
After a brief intermission, and a fluffing of the set (as much as one can beautify the gritty, but “gets the job done” Double Door stage), a new era of burlesque performers took the stage. If you are not familiar with today’s burlesque show, most are oriented around a theme or loosely woven storyline. This night’s performance was entitled “Gospel for the Guilty”, in which busty emcee Molly Tov (real life sister to troupe founder Dannie Diesel) cheekily encouraged sinners to enjoy a lusty, creative spectacle.
Kicking off the night was a “choir” of ladies who disrobed Molly Tov then themselves. Next up was the glamorous Lady Ginger, as a featured guest on loan from Michelle L’amour’s Chicago Starlets. After her glamorous 1940’ style striptease number, came Pixie Pistol. Pistol’s outfit looked to be inspired by a gun-slinging Old West madame. This little lady’s weapon is not a gun, but rather her fierce feminine beauty. Even in all black, Lucy Deluxe’s slow-moving feather fan performance was angelic. Her ethereal dance was like a shadowy angel passing by in the night.
Vaudevillian circus performer Chadillac offered up thrilling and dangerous stunts with his shocking routine—including a nail and power drill through his nostril, hopping barefoot on broken glass, and lying on a bed of nails whilst a cement brick was busted on his chest. The sultry veil and sword dance of Nixie Hex, combined the mysticism of the ancient East with the ferocity of womanly power. She belly danced, gyrated, and contorted her body whist delicately balancing a sword on her head until the “big finish”. Another group number evoked hot summer days in the swampy, humid South, as ladies disrobed their vintage, dirty underthings for a cleansing. Making her solo stage debut was the young and vivacious Surly Temper (who is the real life daughter of emcee Molly Tov). Her youthful, flirty performance was full of fun, frills, and glitter—as any younger lady’s burlesque debut should be! Always a thrill to see perform, sultry siren Cheeky Rood’s number teased, tantalized, and seduced as she slithered and shimmied about the stage. Last up was the evening’s biggest crowd draw, Dannie Diesel. Costumed in lavish blood-red satin and feathered wings, this beautiful bird shed her feathers, evolving into a vibrant vixen before our eyes. Diesel shook what the good lord gave her and proudly owned every inch of her sensual womanhood to a delighted audience.
After a very heartfelt thank you by Diesel and company, the ladies and gent handed the stage over to Rockabilly rioters the Krank Daddies. Unfortunately, this ill journalist and photographer was unable to stay later for their performance. But all reports indicate a rollicking good time! For more on the Krank Daddies, visit their website at: http://krankdaddies.com
“Gospel for the Guilty” was was a night of light-hearted carnal pleasure for all to see and hear. The show was a fun twist on the “Ol’ Time Religion” tent revivals of yesteryear, as well as a playful, proud display of rhinestoned boobies. Burlesque Le’ Moustache is now taking their show on the road from time to time. So, if you cannot make it to Iowa or Chicago for one of their next features, check their website to see where they may pop up (or out) next. http://burlesquelemoustache.blogspot.com
Click on the link below for a full slideshow of Burlesque le' Moustache photos by Brigette Sullivan/ Outer Focus Photos, featuring the music of Goddamn Gallows.