A few weeks ago, Marvel released Vol. 2 Of Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie featuring a rag tag bunch of unlikely heroes, and touched the hearts of thousands of nerds around the world. Just two weeks later, The Bare and the Bold, a rag tag bunch of performers from Philly’s nerdlesque scene, put on a burlesque tribute to the series, touching and exposing themselves to a large number of nerds around the city. If you’re wondering how exactly does a movie featuring a raccoon hero and a talking tree translate into striptease, well, I’m going to do my best to do it justice as you see my friends, you had to be there to know that there was nothing lost in translation. Our host for the evening, Flrt Vonnegut aka Taneleer Tivan, told the audience that they were basically the same thing with the exception being this one has nudity and he generally wasn’t wrong.
As he showed trinkets with the audience, The Collector shared with us the many specimen he had acquired throughout the galaxy. Starting with the character responsible for pulling so many heartstrings this time around. Sharp Robert in all his blue skin glory brought us everybody’s favorite daddy, Yondu. I don’t know if it was his Smurf like hue or that his stage presence has become just that commanding, but Sharp Robert brought his A game to Franky Bradley’s that night. Strutting his stuff to the gritty sounds of Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones”, his act was sultry, powerful, and with just the right touches of humor. His timing and grace showed a nod to true old school burlesque. Yes folks, all of these words are describing an act about a character brought to life by the one and only Michael Rooker. The glorious yellow umbrella and bowler cap was just the right touch in the end making the it a complete hit from start to finish.
Next up was Lulu Blue bringing you the sexiest and last standing Zen-Whoberis, Gamora. Turns out this time she was here to show Star Lord she knows a thing or two about getting down. In a well-choreographed, high energy, dance heavy number, Blue got down in all her leather clad, green skinned glory to Jamiroquai’s “Cosmic Girl.” Her moves kept everybody moving in their seats, warmed up and ready to “grow” for the character of only three words. Full grown, life size Groot in all of his Amazing Grootzo glory. Rocking layers of dark green coveralls, work shirts and brown tighties, complete with, leaves poking from <ahem> the right places, The Amazing Brettzo brought the strong and silent type to life with Beastie Boys’ “Root Down.” Just like Sharp Robert, Brettzo, The Self Proclaimed President of Philadelphia Burlesque, has shown enormous growth over the past few years and both performers gifted the stage with acts that showed they can deliver laughs and sensuality while taking their craft seriously. While Robert’s ending was a bit on the classy side, leave it to Brettzo to go full tongue in cheek and wrap things up with a strategically placed green scarf reveal that fell to the floor leaving his <ahem> seed to take root. I’m literally laughing out loud as I type this and really hope you’re lucky enough to catch him do this routine yourself.
From every good seed, comes a sexy sprout, and what an adorable pot of green did Minne Crisis make! From young to old, Groot was getting down in this particular show and not to be outdone by Grootzo, Crisis rocked out old school style to The Jackson 5. In an adorable hoop type skirt, she bounced and twerked til she emerged as a charming, and in this instance wildly attractive, sapling complete with leafy coverings that proved to be real crowd pleasers. Crisis’ bubbly energy made her the perfect choice to pull off such a sugary sweet yet seductive and stimulating number. It must have been all of these top tunes and titillating troupers that inspired Taneleer Tivan to treat us to his own tantalizing twostep! Or maybe Flrt was just feeling a bit flushed under all that fur? Whatever the reason for the season I will never be mad at that man feeling the need to bare his boldness no matter how brief it is!
With all of these wild and alluring interpretations of some of Marvel’s stranger characters, it was time to get real wild and real strange indeed. Nothing could have prepared me or any other member of the audience for the performance that we were about to see. In an act that was one part performance art, one part campy burlesque, one part zoobilee zoo and all parts astounding, Honeytree EvilEye brought a touch of realness to the infamous, Rocket Raccoon. What starts off rebellious and raucous, blasting off guns to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” that grew in size til she was wielding a huge blaster. That transitioned to more of a strip club vibe but it was soon clear that Rocket Raccoon was just a poor, misunderstood lab experiment gone wrong who resented being out there shaking booty. EvilEye had the whole audience not sure if they wanted to hug her or throw her more dollars. As Rocket, she took us with her down a depressing spiral that went from heavy weaponry to just heavy. Pushing the envelope her number took you through a gamut of emotions and left you feeling just a little uncomfortable for enjoying it all so much.
Wrapping up the show was the voluptuous Mischief Molly who brought us a provocative and sensual Star Lord. Bringing all the coolness and bravado that is Peter Quill, Molly paid tribute to the Starman with David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” as the soundtrack for setting the stage a sparkle. Literally. After baring down to her skivvies, Mischief Molly doused herself in purple glitter in homage to the scene where Star Lord sacrifices himself by grabbing the Infinity Stone and absorbing its power. As badass as it looked to do it, I was genuinely concerned about her eyes thankfully she seemed to pull it off without blinding herself but I overheard her making a joke at the end about getting a bunch in her mouth, A fair price to pay for a stellar ending to a cosmic show.
This was definitely one of the more memorable and better shows I have seen from The Bare and the Bold and they have done some pretty amazing shows. While the lineup of women has rotated a bit over the year, the men have been a bit more consistent and it shows. They’ve really come a long way and are producing cleaner numbers with improved choreography and timing. Of course that’s not to say that performers like EvilEye and Crisis aren’t bringing unique and provocative acts as well. With a seemingly endless supply of geek type material, there is virtually no end in sight to the types of fandoms this cast is willing to pay tribute to in order to turn your PG memories into X rated realities. If you were foolish enough to miss this show, I highly suggest making it out next month, June 11th at Franky Bradley’s, to see their send up of Spider-Man. With a group as talented as these folk, you will not want to miss them do whatever a spider can!