Ten Years of White Elephant Burlesque
Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse - Dunellen, NJ
ANYANKA appeared in the first White Elephant Burlesque production, before WE even had a name. When Viktor Devonne and Femme Fae la Butche were asked to produce a twenty minute amateur burlesque revue at the proto-Steampunk convention dedicated to an alt-universe Victorian sensibility, SalonCon, we were simply members of the Home of Happiness shadowcast of Rocky Horror. Anyanka closed the night with an invigorating neoburlesque ballerina routine that incorporated her inherent dance skill, and stage presence that set the tone for years to come. Anyanka says goodbye tonight, but WE will never forget her, from her inspiring turns as Titania in our Shakespeare-influenced show, to devastatingly gorgeous performance as Denise, in our original haunted hotel production, Dead Sexy.
BROODY VALENTINO joined WEBurlesque fairly recently, when he was knocking us all off our feet at RockBar NYC, where White Elephant holds court every Wednesday night. A then-recent graduate of the New York School of Burlesque, Broody’s charisma, style, and showmanship makes him a star on the rise we’re lucky enough to have with us.
DOLLY SHOT is one of the funniest people I know. I always referred to her as our Goldie Hawn; someone who is immediately likeable, is sexy in such an approachable, intellectually goofy way, and has a heart crazy big and bright.
ELLIE FAVOLA is a singer with panache and tone, stirring feelings of an era none of us were alive to be in but immediately feel nostalgic for. With a theatrical background, she is an all-around song interpreter, bringing nuance and relevance to the torch song, with a wink and a flash of knee.
ESMERELDA MAY has worked with White Elephant Burlesque in multiple productions, and is a right-hand in the weekly goings on at our RockBar performances. Her energy and versatility in performance is startling and inspiring.
GRETCHEN VIOLETTA was there before it all began. She was involved with the beginning plannings of the first show, for which she was also a featured performer. Her loyalty to White Elephant Burlesque is exemplified in our late night cram sessions pre-production, and her strength and vigor on stage.
HOLLY WEEN is one of the most fiercely creative people I have ever met. She is a complete performer; she knows the costume, the music, the motion, and the reverence for the character on stage are all paramount. The stripping is almost secondary. And boy, can she do that too. She’s also regularly with us at RockBar, and its because her closet of costumes is as big as her joy for the work.
LUCKY CHARMING is someone I worked with semi-regularly in New York City and when I had the opportunity to work with him all the more at our weekly RockBar shows, I snatched him up as often as I could. He is a sweetheart with a strong confidence that never errs into cockiness, and the man knows how to dress. And undress. Boston, treat him well.
OLIVER SWISSKEY’s enthusiasm is enchanting! He brings with him a rough-and-tumble holds unbarred sensibility to the show that I must attribute to his dedication to another of his passions, renaissance faire. Game for anything from stage kittening to playing the fool to further exploring his vamp side, Oliver is someone to keep close; he’s a total professional.
PETRA FRIED is one of the best friends to White Elephant Burlesque at RockBar. She hosts her solo cabaret and drag show before us, and sharing a dress room, and a stage with us was simply too wonderful to not count her as one of our own. She is a White Elephant in totality— she brings a passion, a sense of frivolity and drama to her performances, and holds community bonds tightly. She is crazy talented, and talentedly crazy.
QUORRA VAHN TASSELS is a minx; she recalls a sparkle in the age of flapper; you can almost hear the jazz band in her walk, with an invisible (and sometimes visible) handband and cigarette holder. An ambitious, forward thinking lady of distinction, she is also one of my favorite go-tos for travel companion.
REGINA STARGAZER is a force of nature. She supreme in execution of so many looks, styles, and personalities, she could open a master class. Noted dancer, make up artist, drag queen, clown, hoochie coochie girl, and club kid, Regina continues to contribute to White Elephant Burlesque’s relevance as a powerhouse in nerve, grace, and commitment to the utterly bonkers.
MS. SUKI has continued to impress me over the years; I am so glad to include her in our tenth anniversary show, as she has joined us many times, and supported our endeavors.
VIVI NOIR’s star quality cannot be denied. As a producer, stage mama, and entertainer, she is simply dazzling to behold.
NYX NOCTURNE is a wonderful friend, who I’ve been thrilled to get to know over the last few years. Fiercely creative, and absolutely wonderful to work with, I see us collaborating for years to come.
Thank you to Jim and the staff of Roxy & Dukes for housing our tenth year anniversary show and party. Thank you for continuing to bring live entertainment to New Jersey.
Thank you to our audience, for everything.
Thank you to: the lovers and friends of the cast, Atticus Stevenson, Dolores and Michael Ulrich, TatMatt, Michelle Donato, Jason Romas, Erich Courage, all of RockBar NYC, Jimmy Lin, JME, Jim 8Ball, Dr. Andy, Ian Staer and CircuitSix, ATC Studios, Lilith Lore, This Way to the Egress, Deb Castellano, Amanda Reith, Micah Edwards, Brian Viglione, Blind Mike, Lillian Bustle, Jon Paul, Kurgan Lyonesse, Sandy Kaufman, Cosplay Burlesque, Attica Wilde, Red Falcon, Hazel Tart, Karnevil, Little Miss Rollerhoops, Lauren Grover, the Gilman Legacy Foundation, the Home of Happiness, the Rochester Erotic Arts Festival, the Noir Follies and the Noir Dames, Jo Boobs, Joyce A. Phipps, Voltaire, Switch n’ Play, Fem Appeal, Matt Knife, Dick Jones, Thotyssey, Time Out Magazine, Femme Fae la Butche, and all the photographers.
In Memory of Jess Distress
Viktor’s Personal Thanks: my love, Rob, for his support and strength; and my families for their encouragement. thank you, to all White Elephants past and present.