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

Kit Kat Honeys

REVIEWED 3/23/04: On 3/19/04 I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Nikki, alerting me to the existence of her troupe, the Kit Kat Honeys. They were performing the following evening at Funky Buddha Lounge, a dance club downtown. Of course, I attended.

The Kit Kats' show is of a different subgenre than some of the other burlesque revivals in town such as FemmeTV and Belmont Burlesque, in that it is a singing and dancing revue in lingerie rather than a Vaudevillian show with variety acts and peeling. Several of the cabaret standards such as Don't Tell Mama, Hey Big Spender, and Lady Marmalade were sung live and danced to by 3-8 attractive, sexy, and suprisingly energetic women. They looked like they were having fun, and by the end of the roughly 40 minute set (I didn't time it), they were sweating from the exhertion. The dancing was both skilled and well-rehearsed, and I really enjoyed both it and the singing. Cheers to Nikki and her troupe.

The only unfortunate thing about the show was the venue. The Funky Buddha is a nightclub with standing room only, and the stage is an ill-lit platform only about 6' x 12'. This seriously crimped both the choreography and transitions between numbers, which were handled by voiceover in the semidark. In addition, the platform is only about a foot high, with the audience standing right around it. In a crowd, those not within a couple feet of the stage can only see some arms and heads moving around. I'm over 6' tall, and it wasn't until halfway through the show that people in front of me shifted, and I was able to observe that the performers were wearing fishnets. I hadn't seen their legs before then.

If you are up for a bit of burlesque as a warmup to an evening of dancing, the show as I saw it is what you are looking for. But performed in a nightclub without a stage to speak of, it is not a destination event for an evening. The Kit Kats have performed in many different locations and circumstances, however. In a theater, even a small one, with lighting and facilities for costume changes and transitions, this show could really shine. I hope to see the Kit Kats in such a venue soon.

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