I had to stop into the Glee Comedy Club in Birmingham, UK on my day off to grab some paperwork. A detail not important to this blog except it’s the reason I happened to be there during a Burlesque show. I was coaxed into staying. Admittedly, it did not take Jedi powers to get me to have a sit down.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show. There was truly something for everyone: singing, magic, dancing and poetry. Several thoughts danced across my mind while I watched the performers dance. Not sure if mortality or technical longing is to blame but I wondered if I would remember this night when I’m 90. I stopped taking pictures a few years back because, to quote John Mayer, I wanted to see the world through both my eyes. My picture taking sabbatical is done. It’s fine time I hang a rotating picture screen toggling images of places and spaces I’ve been. Although, I’m not sure what’s the policy on taking pics at a burlesque show.
I would have to say that I not only had more fun at the Burlesque show. I also found the women to be more attractive that those of, let’s say a strip club. The former probably has a lot to do with not feeling like you’re in a dungeon doing something wrong. Strip clubs are like drug dens in that there’s an unspoken agreement not to call anyone else out and how could you because you’re there too. Burlesque shows pass the mom test. If my mom walked in on me she wouldn’t be disappointed that I was there. She might question my affinity for tattoos and Goth but surely she could take in the show with me. Okay, maybe from a different table.
On the attractive front it’s easier to enjoy people who are enjoying themselves. I’ve never been able to go to a strip club and totally look past the glaring misery. The Burlesque girls seem to be having fun and there’s at least a real try at entertaining. I’m also already on record as liking some cushion. You never seem to be shorted of that at a Burlesque show.
I was weary of staying at first because Burlesque shows seem so cultish and incestuous. Even the show I watched seemed to have audience members that looked a lot like the performers. Like they were just going to switch places for next week’s show. Like a bunch of Paul Reiser’s sitting at a Jerry Seinfeld show. With the casual sport coats replaced by lace and red highlights. Being an army of one, I never really feel completely comfortable in culty situations. Watching the show made me realize that what I saw as incestuous was really a judgment free zone.
And that’s the beauty and appeal of the modern day burlesque show. It’s a fun time where performers and audience members can let themselves go without the need to self edit or worry about who’s watching. Kind of like adult kickball but a gazillion times more fun.