Posted by Chè Monique | Posted in burlesque, events, Meet the Variety | Posted on 18-06-2015
On Friday, April 3rd I had the opportunity to see the Black Cat Club completely transformed. The bar was full of excited fans in Hawaiian shirts thrilled to be at “Al Night Long,” the Evil League of Ecdysiasts tribute to Weird Al Yankovic. I have never seen such an outpouring of a fandom to a burlesque show before. The Black Cat sold out, and I could barely see from my spot in the back. Despite having to jockey for a view of the stage, I had an amazing time. The energy of the “Al-oholics” was contagious. Prior to that evening, “White and Nerdy,” was the only Weird Al song I knew.
The high energy show did not disappoint. The show was a delicious marriage of silly and sexy. If you are like me, and live under a rock, I’ll let you know that Weird Al is famous for his parody covers of famous pop songs. The burlesque interpretations of songs such as “Like a Surgeon,” “Polka Face,” and “Word Crimes” was nothing less than brilliant. Al Night Long brought burlesque veteran Poppy La Rouge back to the stage after a sabbatical, was kittened by the adorable Aurora Wells, and also featured Valeria Voxx. The DC Kings presented a hilarious interpretation of “Amish Paradise,” that included a butter churn. Popular emcee Minda Mimosa, maintained the evening’s energy flow and of course the show was headlined by the Evil League of Ecdysiasts, Cherie Sweetbottom and GiGi Holliday. I don’t want to give anything away, as Al Night Long will probably happen again, but I will say that GiGi Holliday’s “Polka Face” act was so energetic, it was my excuse not to go to the gym for the next week and there was a Panda Suit involved in Cherie Sweetbottom’s act.
What really made Al Night Long special was that it brought the Weird Al fans out. There was a trivia game in the middle of the show and eager Weird Al devotees were elated to have an opportunity to show off their Weird Al knowledge. This ability to bring the fans out is what makes the Evil League of Ecdysiasts special. DC’s nerdlesque duo, Cherie Sweetbottom and GiGi Holliday have cornered the market on nerdlesque in DC. Starting with their first sell out Whedonism show four years ago, the pair consistently puts on niche shows that bring in throngs of people ready to geek out and get a little turned on. ELE has brought Whedonism back annually and has also produced Harry Potter tribute shows as well as Nerds Gone Wild. Cherie Sweetbottom is a former theater kid with a BFA and GiGi Holliday is a self described Blerd (black nerd). The pair bonded backstage at the Palace of Wonders over all things nerdy and decided to start the Evil League of Ecdysiasts effectively starting DC’s nerdlesque renaissance.
Both performers boast impressive resumes and produce shows on their own, Cherie Sweetbottom puts on a quarterly House of Sweetbottom Blues and Burlesque review and can periodically be found on the silver screen. GiGi Holliday is in charge of G Squared productions as well as Studio Holliday School of Burlesque, she is also a member of Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret. Together they can be found as part of Naked Girls Reading and are often both in La Boum Boum Room. The Evil League of Ecdysiasts is their joint project and goes beyond simply producing fun shows. The ELE creates a space for nerds to come out and play. Their shows are spaces where the weird kids are cool. Where adults are allowed to geek out. Where black nerds realize they aren’t the only one. By combining phenomenal talent, with extreme nerdiness the ELE manages to create a space where everyone is able to have fun and feel valued.
Be sure to check out the fourth annual Whedonism show on June 19th at the Black Cat. The annual show marks both the anniversary of the Evil League of Ecdysiasts as well as celebrates Joss Whedon’s 50th birthday, June 23rd. The lineup includes Diva Darling, one of my personal favorite performers as well as Burlypicks 2015 winner, Lady Fancy. If you have any interest in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Firefly”, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” “The Cabin in the Woods,” or “The Avengers,” you don’t want to miss this show. Tickets are available here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/863061?utm_medium=bks
Chè Monique produces Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret and is a Jill of many trades. Learn more about Chè at www.chemonique.com and Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret at www.chocolatecityburlesque.com.