As the lights go down, a wave of silence ripples through a crowd eager to know who the next gladiator to enter the ring will be. When your name is called, an initial lump forms in your throat, as if the date of your funeral was just announced. You stand up and approach the makeshift platform that, for the next three to four minutes, will serve as the stage that could make or break the remainder of your evening. As your crucial choice appears on the screen, the audience of strangers reacts accordingly; some in favor, others skeptical of your ability to live up to the hype.
This is karaoke.
The Intergalactic SpeakEasy DC is happening on Saturday, August 11th 2012.
Back before it was ever a moving picture, there was the Rocky Horror Show, a stage musical that opened in London in 1973. The 1975 film version attained more mainstream fame, but the stage show is the original, and now the Firehouse Theatre Project is bringing that show to the stage once again, right here in RVA!
Vaudeville Galore have been presenting quite the cavalcade of live performing arts showcases at Gallery 5 in recent months, featuring everything from burlesque to acrobatics to sideshow-freak craziness. This weekend, in conjunction with Buster's Haunted Stage Shows, they'll be bringing a combination of the three, plus even more wild things for us to check out!
Ke$ha may call herself the queen of glitter, but the title’s true ruling sovereign is Richmond’s Sirena Sparkles. And sparkle she does. What GWAR does with fake blood, Sirena does with real glitter. The performer compliments her original ensembles with countless sequins, rhinestones, small mirrors, beads, costume jewelry and crystals. Her most notable feature, though, is her face’s thick coat of glitter. Or rather, glitters, since Sirena uses various textures and colors of glitter to achieve her perfectly flashy luminescent look.
Jonathan Miles, local yogi, martial artist, and a damn good friend, is the co-founder of Project Yoga Richmond. He spends his time teaching classes to yoga lovers of all levels, and birthing new instructors in the process. In 2011, Jonathan traveled down the East Coast to work with his peers and teach classes, bringing back new poses, new friendships, and new wisdom to share with RVA to help connect the community in mutual growth.
Todd Raviotta's been doing a great job lately of documenting the local performing arts scene--no mean feat, considering what a hotbed of activity it's been over the last year or so--through still images, video, and especially his fascinating photoanimations. This video documents Vaudeville Galore's Showcase Showdown event, which took place on Saturday, May 12 at Gallery 5.
No sooner had I finished editing and posting yesterday's review of the gala extravaganza that was Byrlesque At The Byrd than I discovered several as-yet-unread emails containing photos from the event that I had not seen. I considered adding some of these to the review post, but there were just too many good pictures in the batch--I realized that they really deserved a post of their own. Therefore, we now present a further photographic illumination of that historic burlesque performance, which took place on Sunday May 6 at The Byrd Theatre in Carytown. Take it away, photographers!
Burlesque at the Byrd, you say? This was a landmark event! On that very historical stage in which the Mighty Wurlitzer has prevailed for several years, there would be burlesque. It would only seem logical, no? Miss Deanna Danger of Boom Boom Basics would produce a show of tall order and high expectations. Looking at the extensive pre-show line, which wrapped itself way beyond Coppola’s at the end of the block, one would say the interest was high, and that people were anxiously waiting for such an event. Looking across the crowd, it was evident those same individuals wanted to class it up as well, showing off their period threads from the 20’s through the 50’s. It was a nice sight to see, and only proved the support Richmond has for this beloved art form.
Upon first meeting Mark Slomski a couple of years ago, my positive first impression of him was a high compliment to his taste in alcohol. I can't help but notice that the varying conversations I've had with Mark since then have almost always included a Maker's on the rocks. But more importantly, he has a timeless sense of humor, and an unfailing good nature. After seeing him perform and host for various events around the city, dazzling the audience with his understated humor and silly songs, I decided to find out more about what being a Vaudeville entertainer and an MC entails.
Seussical The Musical, a theatrical adaptation of multiple characters, books, and aspects from the world of Dr. Suess (Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie, and more), is in town at Theatre IV. I was able to chat with one of the lead actresses in the musical, Aly Wepplo--whose previous credits include Theatre IV’s The Ugly Duckling and Harriet Tubman, Barksdale’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Is He Dead? and Lend Me a Tenor--to get the lowdown on what we can expect from the play.
Deanna Danger's Boom Boom Basics Burlesque Studio are presenting a historic event this Sunday at the Byrd Theatre--the first-ever burlesque performance at this historic movie house! They've put together a great show paying tribute to many of the cinema classics that have graced the screen of the Byrd over the years--early silent films, beloved children's films, some of Hollywood's greatest female icons, and more. This Sunday at 8 PM, they'll bring the history of the motion picture to life before your very eyes!
Our man with the camera, Todd Raviotta, is really carving out a niche for himself with his photoanimations documenting the goings-on in the RVA art scene. These combinations of thousands of still photos into videos that come damn close to approximating the speed and smooth movements of film never fail to capture my attention. And of course, it's always gonna be even better when said photoanimation features lots and lots of fire.
It's Saturday, February 25th. Walking into this event at 8 PM, thinking it’s an early arrival, I find myself… mistaken. There’s a full house at Gallery 5 and I’m thinking, "Where the hell am I going to sit!" I go directly to the bar, get my Shiraz, and plant myself all the way in the back against a table, next to videographer Eric Vinyard. It was good to see that the burlesque community is still thriving here in RVA, and with a passion. Once again the audience is diverse, eager, and patiently waiting for these lovely ladies to the hit the stage.