There was a hefty price tag of $25 for a single ticket to The Burlesque Downtown Underground’s “Black Tie Cabaret With A Splash Of Holiday.” And without a doubt it’s a show I’ll most likely never forget.
The performance started with an important announcement in the form of a quickly thrown together skit: The BDU will be bringing back Burlesque to the Folly Theater starting July 11th next year. Apparently, this is a big deal because it has been almost a half century since the Folly stage has seen a burlesque act. This bit of self-promotion was a bit annoying coming before the ladies in the show had offered any proof that their act was worthy of such an honor. But, early in the evening, I was willing to forgive these women who obviously had an appetite for fame among other things.
After that point, I was soon to learn why this local burlesque group was such a big deal.
Let’s not mince words here, I had heard from well-informed denizens of the local arts scene that a great many of the local burlesque performers were plus-sized ladies, but I thought that was just typical Kansas City jealousy. And don’t get me wrong, every single hottie featured in the BDU’s holiday show was out of my league. Then again, so many of them also weren’t the kind of women one would typically see proudly shaking ample amounts of loose skin. Case in point: I swear there was an audible groan from the audience when one of these lovely ladies gave the crowd a full frontal view of the after-effects of extreme inner-thigh chafing.
Of course there were exceptions to this screed that will probably be misinterpreted as misogynistic. Local performers Kat Kimmitz and Marisa McKay-Smith were flawless and mesmerizing and they carried the entire show. There was also a pretty hot placard lady selling $20 calenders. Finally, a stereotypically beautiful blonde lived up to my prosaic standards that have been predetermined by television and porn, but then she ruined it by singing that stupid Jason Mraz song “I’m Yours,” not realizing that it has been scientifically proven that the tune makes heterosexual men want to punch somebody.
And I should note that the notion of female empowerment through these kinds of public displays of “:what real women look like” aren’t lost on me. I sat through a women’s studies class and pretended to pay attention for an easy credit. However, it just seems like a bit of false advertising. If it was called “Kansas City’s Big Ass Burlesque Show” than maybe I would have been forewarned. And to be fair, I know that the Internet offers a place for overweight and underemployed men to display their intellectual prowess but, then again, I’m not charging big bucks to publicly display all of my flaws.
So, while the BDU’s Show was sexy in ways that I’m not entirely comfortable admitting to myself, I think it’s a bit unfair to think that all of Kansas City will be as open-minded and accepting of this extremely jiggly fare. In fact, this cowtown can be quite cruel and for the sake of some of the women of the BDU, I want to advise that a New Year’s resolution related to trimming down and tightening up might be in order. Meanwhile, I’ll probably remain the same husky, hypercritical d-bag I’ve always been and the bigger venue for the BDU will only host more of my kind.