Show Review: NERDZ! A Seattle-based Nerd-themed Burlqesque Show
Burlesque as we know it now has been around since the mid-1800s but in the past several years has been making a roaring comeback across the board. Over time multiple demographics have flocked to try their hand at adding their own style and flare to the art form. Maybe it’s because we live in Seattle, maybe it’s the rising public face of Nerd culture, but regardless the reason, this city has been the home of multiple nerdy burlesque shows.
NERDZ, aptly named and hosted by the lovely Violet Deville (@VioletDeVille ) at the Rendezvous’ Jewel Box Theatre, was one of these selfsame shows.
The Rendezvous is a familiar place, even if you’ve never been there. It has that glorious divey feel without making you worry about needing to sanitize your hands every time you touch anything. While perhaps not a ‘well-lighted place’, it’s clean and friendly and even Hemmingway would easily make himself comfortable.
Just past the bar and to the right you’ll find the entrance to the Jewel Box Theatre. It’s a cozy space with a stage perfect for small cast performances. From the moment I gave my name at will-call, it was clear this was not your average show as I was asked to produce an appendage and ‘roll for stamp damage’ when my wrist was marked.
Violet Wilde (or @lilyorit as I know her), was not only the reason I found myself at that particular location that night, but was also our fantastic Mistress of Ceremonies. With a bubbly and endearing charm, she along with her two stage assistants, D and D, both provided entertaining introductions and ran a raffle to The performances were all tributes to various fandoms celebrated in nerd culture and spanned across multiple ranges of skill level and styles.
The audience fell into laughter at the delightfully campy rendition of Indiana Jones featuring the talented Scandal from Bohemia.
We were awed into silence at Stella Vaughn’s haunting depiction of Leeloo from the cult classic The Fifth Element when she performed an erotic ballet to the opera featured in the film.
We witnessed Morgue Anne’s slow motion take on Super Girl’s quick change inside the phone booth.
We had our childhood memories both resurface and oddly violated with Violet Deville’s performance set to the Muppet Show theme which ended in a quite the grand finale that showcased a replica of Gonzo’s nose right between… well you get the idea.
Some of my favorite moments included two performances by Tempest who showed a wide range of skill in dance, from a completely improvised piece which featured staccato movement and snake-like undulations to an elegant and articulate belly dance set perfectly to music.
Two other highlights for me included a breathtaking Firefly themed feather fan dance from Sailor St. Claire and a hilarious chipt-tunes rap tribute to 8-bit games by Bolt Action where every detail seemed covered in dedication to his theme–right down to the 8-bit “diamond” pasties glued to his nipples. Hands down the only man I’ve ever seen able to walk off the stage with that much dignity in only his converse, sunglasses and underoos.
However my favorite performance of the night was hands down the last. While they were all lovely and fabulous and worthy of an individual review themselves, Scarlet O’Hairdye’s Dr. Who themed performance won me over completely. From the skit that preceded her burlesque performance where she wandered in dressed remarkably like a female Tom Baker to how closely she kept to this theme not just by costume, but song, routine and props. There was never a moment where you could have not understood what she was parodying and I have to admit, using the 4th Doctor’s obscenely long scarf as a regular burlesque show might use a feather boa was charmingly clever.
All in all, while every live show has its technical difficulties, or the performers nerves show through, I would highly recommend a nerdy burlesque show if you have the chance. Support these Confident nerdy women expressing their love for fandoms through the art of comedy, dance and erotica.
In short: I had a frakkin good time and would highly recommend it.
For more information about upcoming shows run by Violet Deville, visit her website http://violetdeville.com.