I guess I should start off by saying that my experience with Burlesque is limited to the shows I've been to in the last month. This is not necessarily intended as a review, but more of a telling of an experience. (: Also, in the interest of full disclosure, my ticket to this show put on by Vaudezilla was comped.
There are four stages in one space, with multiple productions each night. While we were waiting, one show got out and another one started. The bar was open, though we didn't buy anything, and it was a very welcoming space. Because we were there so early, we got front row seats.
There were seats!! And small tables! Three or four levels, all with small circular tables or a bar, filled the small space. The stage was small and well-lit, without curtains, and just a couple of inches off the floor. We sat in the front (which was a very good choice) and perused the program as some music played in the background. There was a bachelor party and a bachelorette party, who got some extra party favors and some special attention from the MC.
The show was set as sort of a speakeasy/variety show in the 1920s, and when the MC came out, Officer O'Riley was a drag caraicature of a 1920s Irish cop, who made sure that everyone with their drinks in front of them was drinking "juice" and flirted with everyone. Brittny Congleton (who played Officer O'Riley and performed a song out of drag later) was HILARIOUS and set a great tone for the show, which continued to be lighthearted (for the most part) and really fun.
One of the big pluses for me of this show and troupe was the diversity of the cast. For myself, personally, the range of sizes made the show much easier to watch because I wasn't fighting away insecurity. The opening number made me really really happy. Gala Delish performed a ballet-ish piece and was totally gorgeous and comfortable. This wasn't something I had seen as much of in the other shows, and I was really happy about it.
Red Hot Annie, the producer and headliner for the show, had two acts that were phenomenal. Her first act was one of the points where I was pretty happy to be sitting in the seat I was in. At the beginning of her act, she came straight up to my table, locked eyes with me, set her crystal ball down and smirked. She came back again and then proceeded to take off her scarves and strut around the stage. Her fan dance to finish off the show was also spectacular.
Another advantage to the spot we had picked to sit was that almost every time a dancer pulled off her gloves, she would throw them in our direction. At least twice they ended up right in my partner's lap. They got picked up every time by the stage assistants, but it was a fun surprise every time.
Something else I was impressed by was that the show was not just stripteasing, but (at least this version) also included comedy, a magic trick, and several songs (which were also lovely and funny equally). I would definitely go again, and I would consider it worth the price. There's a great album on Vaudezilla's facebook page of photos from this show, and their next show is CarniVaude on August 10th at 10:30. Go! Enjoy! Laugh! Be excited!