All good shows should start off with a mustachioed man doing “Dick in a Box” and end with a Catholic schoolgirl humping a houseplant. Luckily for the audience at the Tempting Tarts burlesque show last week, that’s exactly what they got – and both bits were easily the highlights of the show.
The Tempting Tarts are a Seattle burlesque troupe that puts on a monthly show at the Rendezvous. This month’s offering, Live From New York!, was an eight-act show that took well-known SNL skits and infused them with the sexy fun Seattleites have come to expect from the well-respected Tarts since they formed in 2007.
Tempting Tarts Present: Live From New York! Cast
Ginger Mae Chevalier
The night got started when the curtains pulled back to reveal a large gift wrapped box – replete with a big bow on top – out of which popped the host for the evening, Dickie Gazoonie. The moment Dickie’s costume was visible the audience burst out laughing. He was wearing an amazingly bad 1980s suit with the requisite gift box covering his nether regions. The act, of course, was based on the nearly iconic “Dick in a Box” skit made famous by Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake, but Dickie took it about three steps further. After removing the lid from “gift box” Dickie had the crowd in stitches as he passionately dug around the inside of the box, ultimately producing a corn dog, which he proudly displayed for the crowd. And then he proceeded to eat it while dancing.
As well as the eight formal skits, special guest and self-proclaimed merlesque dancer (a male burlesque performer) OtterPop! delighted the crowd with some SNL-esque “commercials”.
Other acts included:
Special guests Ginger Lu and Shirley Tempting had a hilarious homage to the I need more cowbell skit. Ginger Lu rocked the cowbell like a seasoned cowbell pro (do they have those?) and Shirley Tempting was in a cow costume, complete with udders strapped to her midriff. Redhead lovers were thrilled and people who find hot chicks wearing udders were delighted. Personally, I was turned on and hungry for Oreos.
Ginger Lu & Shirley Tempting
The charming, awkwardly sexy, and super cute Scandal from Bohemia performed two pieces with her sidekick, Hoi Polloi – a man with a pretty solid sense of comedic timing and a decent voice. Hoi sang Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” while Scandal danced and stripped around him trying to gain his attention. Hoi was oblivious, of course, and the harder Scandal tried, the more clothing she discarded. The audience ate it up. Scandal and Hoi’s second piece was The Weekend Update. Honestly, that skit was a bit of a mixed bag despite the fact that the skit’s writing was fairly solid. Hoi dropped some funny jokes on the crowd and Scandal’s oblivious smile paired well with it. But for some reason, the audience just wasn’t feeling the vibe. Whatever.
Scandal from Bohemia & Hoi Polloi
Roxy Ruby and Pepper Patootie did a fun Blues Brothers’ bit called Mission from Gawd, taking the stage in black fedoras, dark sunglasses, and black suits. And if there’s anything sexier than two hot ladies dressed in all black, it’s two hot ladies only half dressed in all black. And if there’s anything sexier than that, it’s two hot ladies wearing nothing but sequined shorts. Mission from Gawd? Mission accomplished.
Jezebel Vandersnatch. Now before continuing, let’s just stop a moment to say that awesome stage name out loud and admire it: Jezebel Vandersnatch. Well, Jezebel performed the song “Everybody Loves a Lover” and a lover she must be, as the crowd loved her, too. Her piece was the equivalent to a musical guest on SNLand her sultry and seductive voice oozed out while she batted her eyes and made the audience swoon. I’m not an idiot. I got my picture taken with her after the show.
Roxy Ruby took the stage in a fantastically awful baby blue polyester dress with tiny hands poking out from the sleeve cuffs. No really, they were freakishly tiny. Like, doll hands kind of tiny. Her skit was a play on Kristen Wiig’s Tiny Hands bit, and just like Wiig, Roxy awkwardly traipsed about popping the bubbles that were being blown in from offstage. It was a feat made more difficult when one of her fake hands came off and landed at her feet. Then, when the troupe’s co-producer Pepper Patootie made an appearance in the middle of the act, Roxy began to poke at Pepper’s mouth with her tiny hand. It was such an amazingly awkward sight; the audience couldn’t help but laugh at it.
Luckily troupe pickup artist Miss Huney Bush was quick to retrieve the orphaned arm in between acts. Throughout the show Miss Huney Bush took the stage to remove the various dropped bras, blouses, and blazers, while her own costume was inspired by the SNL bit, Coffee Talk with Linda Richman. Admittedly, Linda Richman didn’t wear sequined hot pants and fishnet stockings.
Miss Huney Bush
The last act of the night was far and away the crowd favorite. Tempting Tart’s Producer, Morgan LaMay, took on one of the most physically challenging parts a comedic actress could ever do: Molly Shannon’s caricature Catholic school girl, Mary Katherine Gallagher. And LaMay totally rocked it.
The bit was actually inspired by a scene in the 1999 SNL skit-turned movie Superstar starring Shannon who has dreams of stardom. In the scene, Shannon imagines she is talking to a man, starts whispering seductively to a tree, and then starts licking it. On the stage, Morgan LaMay eyed a six-foot tall silk houseplant while Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” played in the background. She started licking it and after some passionate leaf ruffling, the happy couple fell violently to the floor and rolled around on the stage in a passionate human-plant embrace. Naturally, the audience was roaring with laughter. By the end of the skit, LaMay had reached superstar status; complete with a large glittered star on her posterior and two tasseled star pasties on her chest. Finally, when she dropped to her knees with her arms extended in the air in victory, you would have thought she had just played Madison Square Garden. I’m a fan. I may even have a crush on her. Superstar indeed.
If there was one complaint about the evening it was this: the place was hotter than an Easy-Bake Oven in the middle of the Sahara. Everyone in the crowd was sweating, and at one point in the show two performers lost their pasties from the heat. But I suppose it just goes to show you, it’s all fun and games until someone loses a pastie. Then it’s live show business.
The Tempting Tarts’ next show will be A Trip Around the World, Aug. 15 at Rendezvous Jewel Box Theater.
Sailor St. Claire
Backstage & Atmosphere