Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Gingerbread Clan

These statues were on display in Naperville Illinois during the Holiday Season.  My Lovely Evil Wife and I caught sight of them while shopping in the downtown on Black Friday.

Abby  -  Artist: Marianne Lisson Kuhn  -  Sponsor: Main Street Promenade

Ginger Brush Man
Artists: Naperville North Art Club  -  Sponsor: Naperville Dental Specialties

Home For The Holidays  -  Sponsor:  Baird & Warner

I Rest My Case  -  Artist: Cherie Matousek  -  Sponsor: Greenberg Law Firm

Equinox  -  Artist: Laura Cavanaugh  -  Sponsor: Riverwalk Family Dental

Gingerbread George
Artist: Angela Graefenhain  -  Sponsor: Downtown Naperville Alliance

Sunny Boy  -  Artist: Molly Miklosz  -  Sponsor: Naperville Sun

D Mi  -  Artist: Matt Hebel  -  Sponsor: DMI Hotels

Chuck  -  Artist: Angela Keating  -  Sponsor: Charles Schwab

Travis Clemmons

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Belmont Burlesque - The Naughty List

Carol of the Boobs
MsPixy, Lady Annabelle, Naughty Natanya, Bella Ciao
Hazel Hellbender, Diva LaVida, Slightly Spitfire & Pup T'Nogood
The people of Belmont Burlesque have provided me with good cause to find the answers to the following holiday entertainment questions.

- 1 -
What happens when you have two modest and self respecting Sugar Plum Fairies … Forced to deal with a little sister who can't seem to understand that “There are some things about us we really don't want the Human's to see”?

Sugar Plums
Naughty Natanya, Bella Ciao & Hazel Hellbender

- 2 -
Did the wayward Angel actually fall from grace? Or did she enjoy every single moment of casually strolling down the mountainside?

Bad Angel as performed by Bella Ciao

- 3 -
What happens when a good looking gentleman is politely trying to ask his Mis-Match.Com date to leave … And she's had just enough to drink, that no matter what the poor fellow says, she hears a sexual come on?

Baby It’s Cold Outside
Pup T'Nogood & Bambi Rein

- 4 -
What is it going to cost me to have Bazuka Joe perform at my Lovely Evil Wife's Birthday Party this Summer?

Drummer Boy as performed by Bazuka Joe

- 5 -
And most important of all …

How good of a review should a smart ass Irish Comedian expect when he's decided to make fun of the nation of Wales … Not realizing that the invited Drama Critic has a grandfather by the last name of Edwards?

Featured Comedian - Adam Burke

What I love most about the people of Belmont Burlesque, is that they combine a delightfully refined sense of the absurd with a healthy respect for propriety. While very little is sacred to this group of delightful lunatics, they clearly know how to avoid the crude and tasteless forms of behavior that a lot of modern day slobs and buffoons are determined to try and pass off as comedy. They work very hard to take the high road and their shows are made that much better for it.

Having not seen Adam Burke before this show, I'm rather happy that I got the opportunity to watch the boy perform before some other angry Welshman decided to strangle him with his bare hands. Burke has a comedy style that tends to be casual and meandering. Quite different from the frantic scattergun type of routine that is too often present in 21st Century Comedy Clubs. The man is as much a Storyteller as he is a Comedian. And that is very welcome to my ears.

I hope to have the opportunity to watch Adam perform again, in the not too distant future, in spite of the fact that he's a stuck up Irish know it all. Because I'm darn certain that the two of us would be quite happy to sit down for a drink and do everything we could to bad mouth the English and the Scots. And don't even get us started on the French.

I want to hand a special shout out to Ms Pixy, who makes the task of being an M.C. Appear almost effortless. Having done that job, I can attest to the fact that it can be nerve racking.

From beginning to end … This past Weekend's show was nothing less than solid. Often rising to masterful and hilarious. There was not a bad act in the bunch. And I'm very sorry I don't have the opportunity to mention every single act and performer by title and name.

The Cast performing White Christmas

If you were unlucky enough to miss that performance, feel free to visit the Wit Theater this coming Saturday. The troupe will be giving a (mostly) repeat performance with a few of this past Saturday's acts being replaced by other routines and artists.

That's the nature of Live Theatre. It's always changing and evolving.

Travis Clemmons.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stripperfest: Aspen Reign

A good friend of mine is a professional makeup artist.

A few years ago, I saw him do a presentation where he brought twin sisters onto the stage and sat them about five feet away from each other. The girl on the left had been made up in a way that was appropriate for a photo shoot or the filming of a motion picture. The girl on the right had been prepared for appearing on stage in a theatre that would seat at least 500 people.

To the people near the front of the lecture hall, the girl on the left looked perfectly normal while the make up of the girl on the right appeared to be horribly over done.

To the people at the back of the room, the face of the girl on the left appeared to be little more than a vague blur while the girl on the right seemed incredibly attractive.

The moral of this little tale is that each young woman's makeup had been properly done. But each had been prepared for a different venue. While neither makeup job was Bad, each could easily be described as Right or Wrong ... Depending on the venue the girl was expected to perform in.

At StripperFest ... Both Aspen Reign and Artemis Moon delivered stunning performances. But it is my sincere opinion that Aspen gave a performance which was not a proper fit for the the nature of the Club or the Contest. Aspen presented what was primarily a Theatrical Performance, at a contest where the primary corner stone was dance.

Had Aspen been on stage in an auditorium which would seat at least 500 people ... Her large props, grand costumes and eye popping light show would have been a magnificent set of assets. That is the type of location where you want your routine to be larger than life.

But in a Club atmosphere ... Where the stage is modest in size and the people are so close that they can almost read the labels on the soles of your shoes ... This is where a performer needs to jettison the large props and elaborate costumes. This is where she needs to do everything she can to make the motion of her body the absolute center of everyone's attention. This is where she needs to give everyone in the front row a clear and compelling reason to believe that she knows they are there and that she adores each and everyone of them.

Aspen Reign gave a marvellous performance that weekend. But she did not give this performance.

The intimate and flirtatious performance was presented by Artemis Moon. And that is why she took the title "Queen Of The Stage".

In a different venue ... One where all the contestants were performing on a theatrical stage in front of a crowd of at least 500 people ... Aspen would quite likely have prevailed.

Travis Clemmons