Acclaimed variety acts such as Yard Dogs Road Show and local burlesque troupe. We've rounded up the ladies of San Diego's Sultry Savage Burlesque. Ophelia Handful, one of the many performers from the Sultry Savage Burlesque shows, was up for Miss Viva Las Vegas.
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, to the greatest show on Earth. Vaudeville, burlesque and sideshows have made a serious comeback in recent years. Acclaimed variety acts such as Yard Dogs Road Show and local burlesque troupe The Lollipop Girls will be titillating the masses both days at Street Scene.
If festivals aren't your thing, but burlesque is beckoning to you, worry not. We've rounded up the ladies of San Diego's Sultry Savage Burlesque.
(The following story appeared in Night&Day on Aug. 3, 2006.)
Va-va-va-voom is the first thing that comes to mind when the ladies of San Diego's Sultry Savage Burlesque take the stage. Only an inch or two of fabric and finery keep the girls safe from serious wardrobe malfunctions. They tend to perform at intimate rock clubs like the Casbah and the Ken Club, where audiences wouldn't mind a little slipup a la Janet Jackson. But concealment, even the barest trace of it, is an important part of the burlesque tease.
The dancers share a love for all things retro, from flirty eyelashes to seductive pinup poses. They embrace a punk-rock, DIY ethos. Their onstage characters seem like extensions of their true personalities.
So step right up, ladies and gentleman, and discover the damsels of Sultry Savage. At their request, these are stage names only.
Miss Dixie Von Trixie
The founder of the troupe, and the bearer of the biggest hair, Miss Dixie is the belle from hell. "I was raised by a bunch of crazy Southerners," she says with a slight drawl for emphasis. "I have hillbillies in my family! But my grandma was always really glamorous." On her discovery of burlesque: "I learned about it by watching old videos of Bettie Page, and looking up things on Google and being completely consumed with vintage living."
Miss Ophelia Handful
"My character is supposed to be the mysterious minx," the lovely Ophelia explains. "I'm kind of old-fashioned glamour with a punk-rock edge." Her bubble routine is as refreshing as a glass of champagne. On her dancing career: "My family doesn't understand it, and that's fine. They don't understand me, and that's OK." Being onstage, she adds, "is the best and scariest feeling in the world."
Miss Ruby Danger
In real life she's the curvy girl cracking the witty one-liners. On stage, she's a "voodoo vixen from New Orleans. Very Moulin Rouge. Mysterious, sexy and powerful." On burlesque: "I think it's just time for burlesque to come back. Burlesque is classy, it's fun and it's a long-lost art form and people are beginning to appreciate it again, which is good for us, cause then we'll have people who come to our shows."
She's a fire-swallowing, spitfire slip of a thing, this one. She's the only Sultry Savage performer to play with fire, and don't go thinking she hasn't been burned. "I think it's the danger of it. The idea of fire touching skin is seductive in a way that's kind of S&M. People think of the danger involved and it's kind of a turn-on." But it's not too serious: "I wanted to be in a format where I can have a little fun, be a little silly."
Miss Sophie Naugahyde
The youngest in the group and the newest member, Sophie pays homage to the glam-rock scene in New York, seducing her fans with her dimples and babydoll allure. "More of our fans, I think, are women. I get more women coming up to me after shows, telling me that it was great and they loved it. Men, I think, could get off on anything. It's more for women."