UPDATE: Guest performer Ray Gunn of New York City was just voted No. 13 in the 21st Century Burlesque magazine readers’ poll.
New Orleans burlesque performer Bella Blue will launch a new troupe, Foxglove Revue, she announced at her “Touché” show Thursday (Jan. 28) at the Joy Theater.
The inspiration behind the troupe might sound counterintuitive when you consider her stating the obvious of the current status of the scene:
“Burlesque is really saturated right now.”
So why add another troupe? To make it better, she said.
“The challenge is making it stand out. Making it unique. Making it really set apart from the others,” Blue said. “What we feel we have done is chosen all very strong performers who are committed to not just bringing their A-game, but are also committed to learning.”
It’s a strong and varied lineup, indeed: Darling Darla James (sideshow/neo/classic), Charlotte Treuse (classic), Queenie O’Hart (musical theater), Stevie Poundcake (boylesque/musical theater), Madonnathan (drag), Angie Z (classic/vocals), Cherry Bombshell (classic), Miss Monarch M (bellydance/classic), Cherry Brown (classic) and The Lady Lucerne.
“It’s our take on the burlesque troupe formula but including a wide array of performers that don’t fit into one type of genre or style,” she said.
But, importantly, she’ll hold her performers to the same high standard she’s held for herself, with a healthy dose of collaboration.
“They have to take classes,” said Blue, who for years has led the New Orleans School of Burlesque, which found a permanent home in 2015 at the Healing Center. “They have to attend peer reviews. They have to bring new acts to the table. And in turn, we do all we can to help them out. Pitching in for costumes, props, whatever they need.
“Any of my ‘perks’ extend to them,” she continued. “Discounts, products, etc.”
The troupe premiered an act at “Touché,” and will spend the upcoming weeks finalizing details on its opening production, including date and venue.