Full disclosure: I’m related to one of the board members.
It was about a year ago when I was watching New Orleans burlesque performer Bella Blue work an audience before a show, peppering the audience with a lot of “Who’s been to a burlesque show before?”-type questions that had me scratching my head. Why was it so difficult to understand?, I thought. But as she began her performance, you could tell several men in the audience, and a handful of women, didn’t quite know how to react, and so came the occasional cat-call. (Those more in the know responded with eye rolls.)
When she performed for the 2015 Pirate’s Ball for Odyssey House, the crowd, though still a little taken aback by striptease taking over the House of Blues’ Parish stage (despite the regular presence there of“Bad Girls of Burlesque”), soaked it up. Hopefully, increasingly, mainstream audiences are getting it: that burlesque has proven to be a vital component of all kinds of entertainment options in New Orleans, from the various clubs around town to Voodoo Fest to, yes, fundraisers for worthy causes.
That’s why it’s so cool to see another one of the top performer-producers, Roxie le Rouge of Big Deal Burlesque fame, serving as one of the entertainers for the Odyssey House’s Pirate’s Ball on Saturday (June 5) at the Hyatt French Quarter New Orleans.
Roxie le Rouge was by far one of the top vote-getters in the 2015 Best of New Orleans burlesque poll, and for good reason; not only does Roxie lead Big Deal Burlesque in performances around town, but she also takes her show on the road throughout the Southeast and Texas. She’s arguably New Orleans’ leading burlesque exporters, which is impressive when you also consider her regular membership in fellow performer-producer Trixie Minx’s monthly “Fleur de Tease” shows at One Eyed Jacks.
Le Rouge is one of the more sophisticated performers on the New Orleans burlesque scene, partly due to her years of dance training (she’s a graduate of the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts) and partly due to possessing one of the best sets of costumes you’ll find onstage.
It’s also for a good cause; Odyssey House is a nonprofit behavioral healthcare facility with an emphasis on addiction treatment.
The Pirate’s Ball also features an intriguing triple bill of musical entertainment as well, featuring Pigeon Town, the Perdido Jazz Band and Debauche — the latter group a self-described a “Russian Mafia Band” known for its Eastern European flourishes.
The Perdido Jazz Band will conclude the evening by leading a second line to Pirates Alley restaurant.
There also will be items from Trashy Diva, The Ace Hotel, Pet Krewe, and more.