Ahhhh, the 80’s. Ask any kid born and raised in this decade and they will more than likely claim that this was the golden age of cartoons. You actually got up early on Saturdays just to sit in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal being inundated with animated versions of your favorite toys that doubled as 30 minute advertisements. Commercial breaks were just another opportunity for companies like Hasbro to hawk more products or a network sponsored PSA that helped us become the people we are today. Who are we? Well, we are pop culture geeks with a righteous sense of social justice and a love of all things nostalgic. What do we want? Any form of entertainment that brings our favorite characters, movies, and cartoons to life in a brand new way so that we can enjoy them again as adults. I’m not talking awful live action reboot movies that try to capitalize on our love of nostalgia; I’m talking about GI Joe themed burlesque.
Sexualize our favorite, real, American heroes on 9/11 no less? GO JOE!!! The Bare and The Bold are quickly becoming the go to troop for fun Philadelphia burlesque shows. No childhood cartoon or cult classic movie director is safe from the reach of these sexy geeks and their burlesque tribute to GI Joe was yet again, another shining example of this. Hosted by the fabulous Flirt Vonnegut, who stole our hearts as everybody’s favorite protocol droid in The Farce Awakens, the show opened with one of the most patriotic cartoon theme songs of all time and had most of the audience singing along. After that it wasn’t long before the cast put their figures into action and brought this childhood classic to life with fabulous costumes and tantalizing routines.
Local favorites like Liberty Rose and Masokiss brought to life characters like Sgt. Slaughter and Pythona, whose costume was amazing, shedding her skin and revealing a lizard like body suit all handmade by Masokiss herself. Pulling double duty all around not only as the show’s producer and a performer, but in the villain department as well, Sharp Robert gave us a whole new side of Destro and Cobra Commander. As Destro, he pulled off a duet with Baroness, played by Tootsie Von Cuspid, that saw the use of a classic burlesque device, feather fans. One of my favorite ways to tease and tantalize, they made great use of them as the ultimate, evil, power couple. Quickly becoming one of my favorite male burlesque performers, not only is it clear he is having a good time up there, as his confidence grows, his performances just get better and better.
Helping to make it such a great show were more fabulous performers like Tiel. Representing the infamous mercenary and leader of the Dreadknoks, Zartan, Tiel used her flexibility and acrobatic skills to perform a Lyra aerial act. If you’re not familiar, it is a hoop suspended from the ceiling on which a person with amazing core strength can perform a death defying or at least an injury defying act for your entertainment. She showed off her strength and sex appeal in a routine that definitely brought a little something new to The Bare and the Bold’s shows.
Hailing from NYC, performer Brief Sweat set the tone of the evening with his opening act to a medley of sailor tunes paying homage to Shipwreck, the resident naval officer in the Joe universe. He definitely saw the target and shot the target with his fun routine that even incorporated his parrot pal, Polly. Then there was the infamous Josh Schonewolf. Known for starting the Bearlesque trend and producing local events like Philly’s Mr. Everything competition, he offered up an act that saw the original GI Joe action figure become a real boy, or from my view of that hot body, a real man! Starting off inside a life size toy package that he quickly changed from bearing the GI Joe title to a more fitting GI Josh label, he showed us all the fun you can have with the many accessories that accompany our favorite toys. If only we really could buy him straight off the shelf, I’m sure many men and women in the audience that night could have found plenty of uses for his utility belt! All cheekiness aside, the Bearlesque performer admitted to being nervous but definitely charmed the pants off the audience by not only taking his pants but with his boy next door smile.
Adding to the boyish charms of the event with his own, original and weird style, The Amazing Brettzo brought the traditional GI Joe PSAs to life as Mutt, performing the strangest yet funniest act of the night. Making sandwiches on the back of the German Shepard known as Order with a little help form who I think was MP Law, is just a small glimpse into the strange and wonderful world of Brettzo burlesque. The night wrapped up with one of the most popular and original members of the Joes, Snake Eyes! Using swords to evoke some sexy imagery, Bum Bum Kapau deserves kudos just for donning such a full coverage costume on a steamy night in Philly. However, she brought her own heat to the stage that night at Frank Bradley’s and it was definitely a great way to end a super fun and seriously sexy show.
If you have not yet had a chance to make it out to a show presented by this troop, all I can say is that you are absolutely missing out on a wildly entertaining evening with a talented group of super fans who know how to please and entertain a crowd. The Bare and the Bold have yet to disappoint and continue to tickle my fangirl heart with their awesome themes. From DC Comics to GI Joe, they will tap into your deepest, nerdiest, and naughtiest of fantasies and provide you with a night you won’t soon forget. Didn’t even know there was a burlesque scene in Philly? Well now you know and knowing is half the battle! GO JOE!!!!