The word “burlesque” evokes visions of beautiful women, outlandish satire, an intimate showroom and the art of sensuality. The show X Burlesque takes these classic elements and incorporates them into a high-energy production with a fresh, modern appeal. For four years, this simple combination has held its own in the highly competitive field of titillating Strip revues. And on its fourth anniversary, X Burlesque is signing up for two more.
To mark the anniversary, creators Mark and Angela Stabile unleashed five new dances to their already hot arsenal. Woven into the 90-minute show, the new numbers include a showgirl medley appropriately featuring songs from the 2010 movie Burlesque; an ’80s rock compilation in which the sexy cast of six swing their hair with gusto to the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Bon Jovi; and an erotic belly dancing number in which girls seduce the audience through hip rolls and shimmies.
One unique piece is the bathtub scene that fluctuates between blackout and spotlight. Each time the spotlight returns, two dancers are found in different erotic positions, giving the audience an opportunity to fill in the gaps with their imaginations.
Tapping into an array of popular fantasies, topless cowgirls, airline stewardesses, good girls and vixens make their way from the stage through the audience and onto a platform containing a stripper pole. Here the girls thrill the audience by offering an up-close-and-personal view of their athletic ability to work the pole. At one point, a dancer positioned high on the pole held her body horizontally in an impressive move that looked more Cirque du Soleil than burlesque. The only brief interruption in this energetic production was the comedic intermission by comic James Bean. His lackluster performance failed to get laughs from the crowd. Thankfully the girls soon returned, picking up right where they left off.
In a city where burlesque-style shows keep popping up overnight, X Burlesque displays a recipe for longevity: Stay true to the essence of your art form while constantly adding new reasons for audiences to come back for more.