Last night I checked out the weekly show Kitty Nights at Bar on A. I had a great time and I would definitely recommend to anyone who loves burlesque and enjoys the culture of the East Village.
Bar on A is located at 170 Avenue A, easy enough to find and hidden away enough so you don’t get too much of the NYU crowd. Once inside you find yourself in a classic dive bar; it isn’t the best looking place but it has so much character you don’t mind. Like any good bar, the room is dimly lit and the walls are painted in a warm orange, making the place immediately comfortable upon entering. That and the snake skins. Bar on A copiously uses snake skins to decorate the joint. They hang on the walls, in the decorations and they are even used as lamp shades. It made me like the place instantly.
Bar on A separates its main room in half to accomadate the show. A small stage is set up and tables and chairs are arranged. Once the crowd syphons in, it gets pretty cozy, but with a five dollar cover charge its worth the lack of elbow room.
The show began with a bang when the MC, Miss Demeanor, strode onto stage and began his act. He began the piece dancing to modern music, wearing a tight black button down and tight black shorts. As he danced and stripped he began his transformation from man to woman, donning a bleach blonde wig, black miniskirt and a see through black top with matching bra. His act was full of excitement and energy and he kept up the pace during the dancer’s sets, with his dirty humor,Amy Winehouse cracks (its not too soon for everyone) and review of “Burlettiqute”. The stage kitten for the evening, Moxy Cat, was a real trooper. She fulfilled all her duties with a wicked looking sunburn and was only seen for brief moments.
The first lady to perform that night was the beautiful Tina Tassels. She strode confidently onto stage to Julie London’s “Go Slow” wearing a tan knee-length dress. Her moves were perfectly synced with the music, as she performed a slow, seductive striptease and had the presence of a classic glamor girl. Her set ended with her dress melting off her hourglass frame to reveal a set of fishnet tights and gold pasties, much to the delight of the crowd.
The next performer performer on stage was Beelzebabe. She visually struck the audience with her blood soaked dress, bloody tears streaming down her face and black feather fans. She danced and twirled to “Hitchcock Starlet” by the Horrorpops, pulling the birds on her gown off and tossing them to the side. She ended her performance by pulling off her dress and revealing her black and red lingerie beneath.
After Beelzebabe finishes her act, Miss Demeanor hops up on stage and announces the raffle. The raffle is one of the mainstays of Kitty Nights and there are three different prizes each time. The first prize was a set of fancy stationary. The second prize was a see through bustier and make up. The movie prize, their grand prize, was a copy of “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead” on DVD and movie snacks to go with it. During the intermission Moxy Cat walked around and sold tickets.
After the intermission, the show’s producer, the lovely Miss Fem Appeal bounded up on stage wearing a gold Flapper dress and a black boa. Her movements were quick and her performance energetic, all of it perfectly matched with the old school, fast paced music. Her lithe form dominated the stage, and her whole being radiated stardom. By the time her dress hit the stage, she was breathing hard and you could tell she was loving every moment of it.
The next act of the night was not a burlesque performance, but something else entirely. The performer/musician Cornelius came on stage, bringing with him a theremin. For those of you who are not in the know, a theremin is an electronic musical instrument that allows the musician to manipulate and distort a piece of music. The theremin has two metal antennas which sense the position of the player’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and volume with the other, meaning that the musician can play the instrument without actually touching it. Cornelius showed his masterful control over the machine, molding and distorting the opera scene from the Fifth Element. Once the crowd figured out his choice of track, they completely lost it, cheering him on further and further. I would definitely say that this was the highlight of the show.
After Cornelius departed the stage with thunderous applause, Miss Demeanor came on stage for the last time to give away the raffle prizes. A couple of lucky ladies took home the stationary and the movie prizes and one embarrassed man left with the bustier.
The final act of the night was the hilarious Lady Scoutington. She strode on stage wearing a bright red evening gown and began doling out advice on how we needed to relax and enjoy ourselves. She decided the best way to get this point across by singing a little song. That’s when the music kicked up and she began singing the infamous classic “Friday” by Rebecca Black. The audience was in tears they were laughing so hard. Not one to disappoint, Lady Scoutington very awkwardly tore and yanked at her dress until she managed to pull it over her head without missing a single lyric. She ended the night with a little bit of advice I feel we should take to heart: “Don’t ‘ride in the backseat’ until you learn about lube!”
Wisdom for the ages.