IndyFringe: Vixen DeVille Revealed

This show is part of the 15th Annual Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, a/k/a IndyFringe, Aug. 15-25, 2019 on Mass Ave downtown. Info, etc., at www.IndyFringe.org.

By John Lyle Belden

A burlesque show like no other, if you can at all make it, you must see “Vixen DeVille Revealed” in one of its two performances this weekend – 3 p.m. today and 6 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 17-18) at the Indy Eleven theater (719 E. St. Clair). Yes, I put the pitch at the top, in case you are reading this with only a few minutes before showtime. It’s that important.

Mind though, this Londoner does use extremely salty language, and we might get down to the pasties at the show’s climax, but otherwise this is an exciting, entertaining, hilarious and inspiring teens-and-up show.

We get right to business with Ms. DeVille, star of stage, horror flicks, and TV’s “Masters of Illusion,” with a game of “Is There Enough Broken Glass on Stage?” She not only performs glass-walking (with a little bit of striptease) but as an entertainer who enjoys teaching, she will instruct an audience member to walk on the shards as well (only needing to remove shoes and socks).

She goes through various routines as she describes how she became a burlesque entertainer despite being unable to sing or dance, and self-conscious about stripping. She also explains how she is not a magician, but she needed to work up a sword-box illusion so that she had an excuse to buy the sword that goes with the “beacon of shame” corset. During costume changes, we are treated to video footage and recorded interview snippets that add a lot to the show, and don’t feel like filler.

As we learn more, we get glimpses of Cat LaCohie, the former shy nine-year-old who always wonders if she’s good enough. This side especially shows when an accident nearly destroys her arm, and her confidence. Her vulnerability in telling the story transforms this show from great to brilliant. There has been an acrobatic hoop hanging over the stage this whole time – it has changed from just part of her act to a triumphant ascendance.

Kudos, by the way, to her faithful Kitty, as well her sword-box accomplice.

The only downside is that the show runs long, even with having to cut out the fire-eating segment due to venue safety rules – so it might be rushed or spill over in remaining performances. But do stay to the end.

IndyFringe: I’d Like To See More Of You

By John Lyle Belden

Local theatre producer-director Bob Harbin (Bobdirex productions) presents a mature-content burlesque show in an old-fashioned Vaudeville style. Harbin himself doesn’t bare all, though co-conspirator and local comedy goddess Claire Wilcher comes close, and some other heavenly bodies present themselves for a tease and/or a laugh.

The well-rounded nature of this show, with songs and bawdy humor added to the flashes of skin, make it exceptionally entertaining.

We also learn that by state law, while pasties and discretion are required of performing women, for men, the “full Monty” is legal. Remember the Youtube video with a couple of men dancing with nothing on their bare skin but a couple of towels? That routine is reproduced live. One false move, and we get more of a show than anyone counted on!

You should see more of this. Performances are Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27-28, at Theatre on the Square. Info and tickets at indyfringefestival.com.

Lots to celebrate

Angel Burlesque's ladies look good enough to
Angel Burlesque’s ladies look good enough to “nom-nom-nom” in their Tribute to the Muppets, Friday and Saturday night at the Athenaeum in downtown Indy.

As summer comes to an end, the festivals start piling up in the Indy area.

This weekend features (click links for details):

Meanwhile on stages, shows continue at the Civic Theatre, TOTS, Mud Creek and ATI. The only new feature is the two-day Angel Burlesque Tribute to the Muppets — a show aimed at grown-ups; it ain’t Sesame Street — which looks like it will be fun.

And, if all this wasn’t enough, Saturday is also International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Ahoy!

Have fun!

Opening in the wide open spaces of “Oklahoma,” or Noblesville

Nick Gehring (Curly) and Emma Rund (Aunt Eller) in the Young Adults production of "Oklahoma!" at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in Carmel. -- Civic Theatre photo
Nick Gehring (Curly) and Emma Rund (Aunt Eller) in the Young Adults production of “Oklahoma!” at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in Carmel. — Civic Theatre photo

There are two stage openings of note this weekend.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!” is on the boards at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in The Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Carmel. This is the annual summer production performed mainly by late teen and early 20s actors. Given the youth theatre and high school thespian scene, these “kids” might already have some seasoning, but career- or volunteer-vocation-wise, they are just getting started.

Summer brings out local devotees of the immortal Bard (both on stage and in audience) for Shakespeare in the Park. Thursday through Saturday this weekend and next, a production of the comedy “Twelfth Night” will be presented at Seminary Park, located between 10th and 11th streets, and Division and Hannibal streets in Noblesville. Festivities start at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free.

For something a little different this weekend (for grown-ups only) the Angel Burlesque “Nerdgasm” returns to Theatre on the Square on Mass Ave. in downtown Indy, Friday and Saturday, starting at 10 p.m. Being geeky has never been sexier.

— Go have some fun!