Oh gooooood heavens friends. I am so very excited about this show that I have coming up at the end of February. It’s called Naked Lobster Cabaret, and it is going to be a blast and a fucking half. It’s a late-night cabaret show, an intoxicating mix of the funny, the absurd, and the erotic. It’s going to be a semi-monthly showcase of some of the most awesome and provocative entertainers in Portland stand-up, burlesque, and Bizarro fiction. I’m gonna go on and on about why I think these things will fit together, so first here is the flier!
So, you say, my gentle reader, why combine comedy and burlesque and Bizarro? And what is Bizarro anyway? Bizarro fiction, says the keeper of knowledge Wikipedia, is “a contemporary literary genre noted for its focus on ‘high weirdness.'” It’s basically the cult section at the movie store in book form.
Anywho. So I’ve been doing comedy for a year now, I’ve known Bizarro authors for a bit longer than that, and in July I started learning about the burlesque scene in Portland. And it has really struck me how much we all have in common as artists. In a town full of really touchy, easily offended people, all of these groups are unafraid to push boundaries, to provoke and challenge people’s thinking, and not bow to some false sanitary correctness enforced from without. Because seriously, fuck that noise.
We also have, methinks, a common identity as independent entertainers, as people who are trying to make our lives and sometimes our livelihoods with our art. We are all going through the battle of “how do I get the shit that is inside of my head on the outside, and in such a way that I can share it with other people and they will understand?”
— And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” —
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”
So yes. Of course this is the path of all artists. But what I particularly like about the combination of comedy and burlesque is the strong focus on performance, on drawing a room together and eliciting reactions from the audience. And that’s actually what I like about the Bizarro authors I am choosing for this show. Because, from my limited understanding of the publishing industry, it is the folks in the Bizarro camp who actually have a sense of their readings as performances and not just, well, readings. Jeff Burk’s “Shatnerquake” performance rocked rooms because it involved masks and things falling from the ceiling and the spilling of paper guts. And he is not the only one – fellow Bizarro and Famous Author Mykle Hansen has been around the country doing book promotions involving multimedia presentations and bear costumes, and the granddaddy of Bizarro fiction Carlton Mellick III’s Brutally Evil Satan Show has been growing a reputation for years.
So everyone on this show is aware of themselves as performers, which is why I think this going to be a really goddamn good show. I hope that the weather is nice February 18, because Dax Jordan, Jeff Burk, Angelique DeVil, and Christian Ricketts are quite possibly going to blow the roof off of the Hawthorne Lounge. If you show up at 9pm instead of 11pm, you can also see the regular Savoir Faire burlesque show put together by the amazing Rayleen Courtney, which is just freaking great in its own right. Oh we are all so lucky!!
This has gone on for too long! So, to conclude: I love shows. I love laughing and cheering and being confused for a reason. So come to my show and let me make you love all of those things too, all in the same room, at the same time. It will be fantabulous.