Siren Song Burlesque Sounds Off, Denton All Ears
On Saturday, March 14 at the Black Box Theatre, the Salty Lady Burlesque production team provided a fabulous taste of what’s been brewing in our fine arts community: some real, emotional, quirky, reflective and awe-inspiring burlesque entertainment.
After announcing the Salty Lady Burlesque’s formation in January, this was the collective’s first full-production outside of its collaboration with Andy’s brunch events.
Siren Song: An Unusual Burlesque Show was meant to share the story about “a journey of longing, pursuit, loss, and triumph” through the vocal stylings and kinetic interpretations of DFW-based burlesque performers, many of whom Dentonites may have seen at Andy’s Bar at the weekly queer variety show Glitterbomb. This concoction of individuals was curated by Salty Lady producer Lilith Grey, who is also producer of Glitterbomb and Texas Queerlesque Festival, among other roles.
“Creating Siren Song was incredibly collaborative. Having the opportunity to work with so many amazing people pushed it farther than I had originally imagined,” Grey siad.
“The actual show creation was beautiful and laborious and filled with so much magic, but it wasn't just that - we had so much collaboration and support from other organizations.”
According to Grey, Greenhouse, Wine Squared helped sponsor the event while Denton Community Theatre helped with set and rehearsal space and Music Theatre Denton and Firehouse Theatre both helped with tech and equipment.
“We had a stellar lighting designer, a brilliant tech crew, and such wonderful volunteers. It was truly a collaboration from start to finish and it was a really inspiring and fulfilling experience,” Grey said.
The collaborative aspect really shown through from curtain to curtain. Each moment created by each performer enriched the audience experience. Some performers were after our hearts, while others were after our heads, so to speak.
Mina Panamour brought the flavors of Panama, leaving the bite of her particular spice on everyone’s tongue.
Birdie Holly wowed audience members with her smooth, elegant presentation of the classic jazz standard Stormy Weather complete with a hand-crafted cloudy, rain-ridden umbrella.
Ryer Tulips, another Denton-based burlesque performer, brought the comedic relief with her drunken routine, which segwayed into a tantalizing presentation of her shibari, or Japanese rope art skills.
DAM Awards Burlesque Performer of the year, Vivienne Vermuth, shook the house up and down, much thanks to her firey personality and those impeccable peach ostrich fans, which were large enough to be brought out to her by not one but TWO stage hands. It was a truly legendary moment.
Every number featured a jazzy rendition of Top 40 hits we know and love, with there usually being a different vocalist to perform each song. Voices such as Tulla Moore, Lark Lazuili and Madasin Bordeaux were captivating. Each performer had their own stylistic rendition, their own brand, that was beautiful and unique in their own way. To the music lovers ear, you could hear the differences in training from voice to voice. Though many of the songs were meant to be reflective, or were performed slowly, the energy still resonated..
Despite the minimal mishaps which come with any new production, the Siren Song: An Unusual Burlesque Show was a telling experience of what’s to come for Denton’s fine arts community. Burlesque, community-based art is on the rise. More often we are seeing new productions coming to Denton’s main stages and Denton is ready for more.
The next production from Salty Lady Burlesque will be April 15 at Andy's. The production will star Olive Avira, Nox Falls from Amarillo, Better Midler and Birdie Holly, will be hosted by Ranch Drescher and will feature comedians Nick Fields and Kurt Van Zandt. Tickets start at $15 and can be bought at saltyladyburlesque.com.
Header image by Sarah Lewis
Header image layout design by Christopher Rodgers