Getting Hotter Than Hell at the Stateside
Catherine D'Lish and the Jigglewatts bring burlesque to a grand stage
By Richard Whittaker, 6:00AM, Sat. Jul. 27, 2013
As the saying goes, drop yer linen and start yer grinning. For the first time in six decades, there's going to be burlesque on the Stateside Theatre stage this weekend.
Austin's burlesque performer and show co-producer Ruby Joule called this "the third installment" of Hotter Than Hell. Unveiled in Dallas by La Divina Productions in 2011, the original Hotter than Hell was headlined by Satan's Angel, the pioneer of the flaming tassel trick. Ruby Joule said, "It just made sense to call it Hotter Than Hell. And also, July in Texas, it really is hotter than hell."
Saturday's show highlights a best of Austin's blossoming scene, with Joule and her fellow Jigglewatt Coco Lectric, Seattle transplant Roxie Moxie, our own resident Kiwi Eva Strangelove, plus La Divina and Minxie Mimieux from Dallas and Arkansas' Raven Rose. They'll be joined by Jett Adore, who headlined Hotter Than Hell 2011 as part Chicago's award winning Stage Door Johnnies boylesque troupe.
But the undoubted show stopper and jaw dropper will be the one and only Catherine D'Lish. Along with Dita Von Teese (with whom she works as creative director, costumer and choreographer), D'Lish is one of the true godmothers of the modern burlesque revival. Joule explained, "She's been touring in the cast of Dita's Strip Strip Hooray!, so she's taking time off to do this two city thing with us. Plus she's just a really great gal and a real treat to hang around with."
The mini-tour burned up the stage last night in Dallas before loading the sparkles and high heels up and rolling down I-35. Joule said, "This is the first year that Hotter Than Hell will be spreading across two cities." La Divina had been looking for new places to perform and, Joule said, "One hairbrained idea lead to another, and we said, well, why don't we just try it? We're bringing these folks into town anyway, so why don't we just tack on a road trip?"
This will also be the first time in over 50 years that the Stateside – formally the State Theater – will host a burlesque performance. Joule promised a lineup and performances that will do the old venue proud. She said, "It's a great joy to be able to share them with an audience of that size." Moreover, she said, "That stage is so big that it allows us to do acts that we wouldn't normally get to do in smaller cabaret spaces with lower ceilings." She was particularly thrilled by the Austin debut of an act by Strangelove and her performing partner Justin F. Credible. Joule said, "It's a bullwhip tango that is so exciting that I can't wait to see on that stage."
If Saturday's strip-o-rama is a success, then Joule has bigger plans to bring back burlesque to Austin's grande dame of vaudeville. She said, "The Paramount Theater is something that every burlesque gal in a hundred mile radius covets. It's so beautiful and grand and the historical nature of it, but it's huge." For this year, she said, "The Stateside shares a similar history, and at least we can be next door. Plus, it's right around the corner from the after party. We'll have a line of pedicabs for all the ladies in sky-high stilettos."
Hotter Than Hell Burlesque, Stateside Theater, 719 Congress. Sat. July 27, doors 7pm, show 8pm. After party at the Gibson Lounge, 11pm. Tickets for the main show are sold out, but tickets for the after party, including additional burlesque performances and a live jazz trio, are available now.