Chicago Starlet Lady Ginger reports on Michelle L’amour’s All I Want For Christmas production…
Yes, Chicago, there is a Santa – but she’s a woman, she’s sexy as hell, and her name’s Michelle L’amour! Michelle L’amour, together with the sexiest ‘elves’ you’ve ever seen, The Chicago Starlets, brought Chicago audiences the hottest gifts around for the second year in a row. Last year, Michelle had the idea to allow audiences to vote for the routines they wanted to see from both the Chicago Starlets and from Michelle herself; in other words, they got to write their letters to Santa, and Santa came through in one sexy way. Last year was wildly successful, and this year was no different.
This year, Michelle L’amour presented All I Want for Christmas at Chicago’s Mayne Stage theatre. Host Victoria Deville knocked the socks off the audiences – two sold out shows worth of audience. She brought from Minnesota her combination of comedy, sass, and sex appeal, not to mention a killer wardrobe that would make the best burlesque beauty drool in envy. Add to that her skill with the ukulele, and there was no way the audience wasn’t going to love her. And they ADORED her.
Following an opening of silly wonderfulness (including Lily Bloom, Rhonda Vous, and Ivy Fabulous as the sexiest dancing presents you’ll ever see, with vocals by Victoria Deville), the Chicago Starlets burned up the stage with their best, and in some cases most holiday appropriate, performances.
The gorgeous Temptress of Twirl, Frenchie Kiss, wowed the audiences with her ‘Le Shopping Cart’ routine, seen at the Burlesque Hall of Fame reunion weekend in 2010. No one strokes a baguette quite like Frenchie, and no one makes grocery shopping sexy like she does!
Lily Bloom had the crowds ‘Shakin’ All Over’, and not just because it was December in Chicago. With panel skirts, beaded fringe, and dance moves to make the heart go pitter patter, Lily brought the shimmy and the shake!
Disco Duck you ask? No, it’s just Ivy Fabulous and her disco ‘Rubber Ducky’ bath routine; that was one lucky rubber ducky. Dorian Ames decided no time was too soon to start drinking; her boozy classic had all the men lifting a… glass… when she dropped her dress. DeVaughn Dior ‘Work’ed it out in a super high energy number, reminding everyone why Rosie the Riveter was so popular during WWII.
Proving you’re never too old to strip, Nora Gretz brought the fountain of youth to the Mayne Stage. I’m not sure when she was sexier – shufflin’ with her walker or high kicking in stilettos. I had the privilege of performing my ‘Moonglow’ fan dance, dedicated to my parents who were in the audience, supporting like they always do.
Our apprentices made their ‘big show’ debuts with new numbers; if you saw Charlie Scarlet, Millie Toulouse, or Josie Daye that night, you understand why they are now ‘full’ Starlets.
Where were the holiday numbers, you ask? No worries: Honey Halfpint proved a love affair between an elf and a jack-in-the-box can work, Sophia Hart’s ‘Mrs. Claus’ number clued you in as to why Santa is a jolly, happy soul, and Rhonda Vous’ Christmas tree routine made you wish you were one of the presents under that tree.
Group numbers included the ever popular and super sweet ‘Reindeer Sleigh Ride’. If 14 sexy prancing reindeers can’t get you in the holiday mood, I don’t know what can, Ebenezer. But if anyone thinks the Starlets only do cute, ‘Dance the Burlesque’ with its minimal costuming, gender-bending sexy proved the opposite.
And, of course, there was Michelle L’amour herself; after watching ‘Shower with Affection’ you were jealous of her towel! Taking a shower never looked so naughty or dirty. No one can put a twist on a classic like Michelle and it was the perfect finale to the show.
All I Want for Christmas was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. What’s next for Michelle L’amour and the Chicago Starlets? In January, Michelle will be performing in New Zealand, bringing Beethoven – I mean Butthoven – to the other side of the world, her Wiggle Room weekly show at the Everleigh Social Club starts again, and the dates for the Valentine’s Day spectacle are set: February 14th and 15th at Chicago’s City Winery. On top of these exciting shows, classes continue at Michelle L’amour’s Studio L’amour. It’s going to be one glittery, exciting 2014 in Chicago!
Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.