Burlesque Dueling Divas: Wild Women
• 4 stars out of 5
• Stage 21, El Cortez Mexican Kitchen
If brazenly confident, sexy women is what you seek, look no further than this knockout burlesque cabaret.
Hooting is encouraged at this basement bar show, where sisters Jenesse and Brittany Graling hammer away at their keyboards while belting out hit songs of top female singers from the last 80 years.
As Edmonton’s Graling sisters move through the decades, they cover predictable diva territory — Madonna, Gloria Gaynor, and Lady Gaga are there, of course. And — yowza — these ladies’ pipes are hella good.
The sisters highlight major social and political accomplishments by women, but the script ne a fact-check. Contrary to their information, Hillary Clinton was not the first female U.S. senator.
Strutting between the keyboards and the audience are burlesque queens LeTabby Lexington, Arabella Alure, and Holly Von Sinn. They perform some classic showgirl routines, such as a peek-a-boo with oversized feather fans and the delicate, teasing art of glove removal.
The performers are just as bold as you hope they’ll be, twirling the tassles on their nipple-covering pasties with abandon. There is — obviously — nudity and a lot of pelvic thrusting and grinding.
While they gracefully flirt with the audience members during the routine, it’s a great time for a reminder: do not touch the performers.
Almost as entertaining as the starlets is watching the expressions of audience members who may not have seen much burlesque before.
Wild Women is an hour of glitter-drenched, high-heeled delight best served with a shot of noisy applause.
— Janet French