The Atomic Bombshells in CAKE! A Decade of Decadent Dazzle, by Crystal Tassels.
Seattle burlesque mainstays The Atomic Bombshells celebrated their tenth anniversary last weekend. Hosted by the ever-so-chipper BenDeLaCreme of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame, CAKE! A Decade of Decadent Dazzle was a glitzy delight.
In addition to the Bombshells themselves, the troupe invited superstars Kitten de Ville and Perle Noire to join the party.
Performances by the Atomic Bombshells generally adhered to the troupe’s aesthetic of classic glamour, camp and slapstick. Ruby Mimosa was syrupy sweet as a bonnet-wearing, tap-dancing cocotte, doted on (and stripped by) her servants. The show ended with the campy ridiculousness of Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover’s Draino-drinking disco number, which won Most Comedic at BHoF in 2014.
Guest star Perle Noire delivered the most electrifying performance of the evening: an athletic fifteen minute feature honouring fan dance pioneer Jean Idelle. Perle ratcheted up the elegance factor of the show and infused it with a sexiness more explicit than the Atomic Bombshells would ever display themselves.
In addition to the Jean Idelle homage, two other pieces of burlesque history made it to the stage at CAKE!. Kitten LaRue’s gorgeous rendition of Evangeline the Oyster Girl was an ethereal tribute to Kitty West, who LaRue worked with when she started her burlesque career in New Orleans. Kitten de Ville’s graphic spoof of Marilyn Monroe’s movie deal negotiations, titled ‘The Casting Couch’, was taught to her by the legendary Dixie Evans, who first performed the act in the 1950s.
Here are some highlights from the show for your ogling pleasure…
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.