Ray's Guide to Chicago Area Burlesque
Show dates and reviews from the burlesque scene in Chicago.


I consider myself privileged to have had the opportunity to attend opening night of Holy Bouncing Boobies: A Batman Burlesque, at Gorilla Tango's new location in the old, but very nicely renovated Skokie Theater. Holy Bouncing Boobies (HBB) is yet another entry in a relatively new sub-genre that I describe as comedic theatrical burlesque. As opposed to a cabaret/vaudeville type show, with an MC and variety acts, this show has a cast of characters acting out a script, with dance and striptease numbers worked into the plot. Gorilla Tango has successfully parodied a number of films and film genres with this technique, and HBB is a masterful entry in the series.

Written by Jeremy M. Eden, directed by Juicy Lucy, and choreographed by Hazel Hellbender, Crystal Paradise, and Juicy Lucy, HBB skewers the 1966 Batman television show (admittedly an easy target), but intimate knowledge of the show is not necessary to be in on the jokes. Batman, Robin, and the classic villains they encounter are acting in the moment with clever dialog and physical comedy. And taking their clothes off. As with other Gorilla Tango shows, HBB is performed on a bare stage with no sets and minimal props, in order to facilitate quick turn around for other shows performed the same evening. It is up to the actors, the lighting, and the sound to draw you into their world, and they are up to the task.

Marie Curieosity masterfully sends up Adam West's stiff acting, as a lecherous Batman who can barely contain his lust. Crystal Paradise is his sidekick, Robin, who alternates between being intelligent and resentful about how lame Batman and some of the villains are, and a golly-gee naivete and trust in his mentor. A series of clues leads them all over Gotham City, as a veritable rogues gallery of sexy villains and henchmen tries to stop them, each with a well choreographed dance/striptease number.

This isn't Shakespeare, and it isn't a strip club. But it is a barrel of sexy fun! I laughed. I laughed some more. I drank beer. I laughed even more. And I saw lots of boobies. As good as Christopher Nolan's latest Batman installment is, this show made a far more memorable evening. Enthusiastic thumbs up!

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