“A Burlesque Show with Clothes” – a Review of Alora Chateaux’s “Burlesque on the Bluff”
The word burlesque has a plethora of meanings and definitions and a long history. Most people probably think of strip tease when they reflect on the word.
Note: The playbill for this production contains “A Short History of Burlesque” that provides a history of this ever-changing, fascinating entertainment, now seen as artform.
Hosted by Alora Chateaux “Burlesque in the Bluff” is a variety show set in a cabaret-type setting. Well known musical numbers from theater and films are intermingled with select comedic pieces.
Alora Chateaux commands attention. Wigged and glitzy with ample cleavage she not only introduces each act but intermingles with the audience, often interjecting hilarious ad-libs. When Alora finds a captive audience member, her creative juices produce an extremely funny, often one-sided conversation. She delivers a mock homage to strip tease with a clever removal of one glove which hysterically turns into at least a 20-foot exercise as the glove constantly grows as she tries to release it.
Rachel Lewandowski’s rendition of “I Wanna Be Evil!” is outstanding. She has a lovely voice that is combined with an astute comedic delivery.
Dante Martin brings “Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody” to life with good vocals and movement.
Riley Moore delivers in James Thurbers’ “The Macbeth Murder Mystery” sketch.
Keith Reis with Moore rise to the occasion in their rendering of the classic comedy routine “Who’s on First,” originally created by Abbott and Costello.
The stage is minimal with a curtain as backdrop. The theater floor is actually part of the set as some theater goers watch the production from circular tables, reinforcing the cabaret-like environment.
Cheers to the entire ensemble!
Alora Chateaux’s “Burlesque on the Bluff” is a production of Duquesne University’s Red Masquers, performed at the Genesius Theater. It runs from February 14 – February 18. For more information, click here.