Cabaret reviews by Dar @


The World Famous *BOB*, Wau-Wau Sisters
Dirty Martini, Lady Finger, Dazzle Dancers
The Murrayettes, & Lance Cruce

Friday December 20
Saturday December 21 at 10pm
Cutting Room

reviewed by Darlene Dowling

I had some friends in from Key West last weekend looking for an adventure or twoso we ventured up to the Cutting Room for Murry Hill’s “A Murray Little Christmas Show”. The Cutting Room is great space when everything is running smoothly but alas that was not the case last weekend. We arrived early for the 9 pm show but as we know nothing starts on time. We sat on the comfy couches and drank tasty drinks and waited and waited and waited and then waited some more. The last 15 minutes of waiting was a killer and I might have left if my out of town guests hadn’t been with me. Now that said the show waschoc full of fabulous guests and Murry was his usualamazing self, chugging beer and creating mucho hilarious havoc in the audience and on the festive stage.

The Murrayettes, the lovely ladies of fun assisted Murray in ushering in the holiday’s with a bang, a giggle and a whole lota raunchy fun.

Now the World Famous BOB was her usual bawdy self working the stage with abandon, Bringing her version of Mrs. Claus to life stripping down to her glittering pasties and thong of red and green. Mrs. Claus never looked so pretty or festive, and boy did she shake up the room. Her pasties should be listed with the NYPD as a lethal weapon. Ask Murray, because well his face was pretty scratched up by the time BOB got through with him. The lovely Ms. Lady Finger of Glamazon Fame sang a Christmas tune for us working up the room with herstyle and grace. She was fabulous and next time the Glamazon’s do their thing you should check them out.

The Wau Wau Sister’s took uson a ride I personally did not want to end. These acrobatic ladies of burlesque were a sight to behold in their catholic school girl’s uniforms, arms full of Girl Scout cookies trying to sell their wares to Mr. Hill. The music starts and they bust out of just about everything, twisting themselves into pretzels and balancing on each other as they do. And in the process bringing many a young lads catholic school girl on girl, action fantasy a little closer to reality, and with a cross lashing thrown in. You have to see it to believe it. I can’t wait to see them again!

Dirty Martini, the reigning queen of burlesque fan dancing made an appearancethat had the crowd roaring and cheering her on as she stripped down to her satin Christmas attire sat on Murry’s lap and gave him a talking to. This lush lady of burlesque never ceases to deliver a good time and add a bit of class to any show she’s in. There was a moment when Dirty and BOB almost went at it, fighting over the dapper Mr. Hill. Now that would be something to see. You’ll have to see the show to see how they worked it out.

A Murry Little Christmas is downtown’s answer to Bob Hope’s Christmas Show. It was a wonderful show and gave my Key West friends something to talk about when they get home. There are two shows left: Friday, December 20th and Saturday, December 21st at 10pm. At $12 the price is right!

Cutting Room | 19 W. 24th St | 5th and 6th Aves | 691-1900

Dar Reviews
Sex Workers’ Art Show
On Sunday November 24th
The Knitting Factory

reviewed by Darlene Dowling

The Sex Worker Art Show came to town last Sunday night so I traveled outta my 4 block comfort zone and headed downtown to the Knitting Factory for the 7pm show. Let me tell you I was extremely grateful that I arrived early because it was sold out by 7:15 and many eager customers were turned away. It was an absolutely amazing show.

What you may ask is the Sex Works Arts Show. The answer is that it’s a cabaret style show featuring spoken word, strip tease, singing, poetry, fire dancing and some kick ass film shorts. The artists all of which have or are working in the sex industry explore both the light and dark side of the industry with an honesty that is both brilliant and raw, entertaining while dispelling myths about sex work and displaying a great deal of talent in the process.

The Sex Worker Art Show is the brain child of Annie Oakley. She is a self described activist, artist and nerd from Olympia Washington. Where ever that is. She gave birth to the project 5 years ago in that far off land of Washington state. Who knew Olympia was so progressive or the ladies there so feisty. Miss Oakley is the stage manager for the tour as well as acting as a hostess for the evening and quite the hostess she was. Keeping everything moving smoothly with limited resources and setting the stage on fire with her presence and her own riff of spoken word that smacked you in the face with its power and reality.

Michelle Tea looked oh so pretty in her milk maid dress as she gave a riveting and oh so hilarious reading from her book “Valencia”. She gave us an insider’s view of an evening in the life of a sex worker; something about tarot cards, bodily fluids and orgasms. Although I was sitting on the floor with some stranger’s feet up my butt, and my legs were falling asleep from a lack of blood flow, I didn’t want her to stop but sadly she did. If you can’t see her in person on tour I suggest you follow my lead and head to the book store to buy a copy of one of her books.

Humm…. Penny Arcade came crashing back to town with the troupe she took the audience deep into the dark underbelly of sex work with her frank and irreverent monologue. For a few moments, Penny became the addict in the story who was being brutalized and the audience vibrated with the horror and sadness of it. As always she cranked me up, took me to the edge and smacked me the head with her truth and life. It hurt so good.

Ariel Lighteningchild is surely cut from the same cloth as Penny Arcade. She kicked ass with her gut wrenching raw and brutally honest movie. She had the audience in the palm of her hand. She brought the realities of Native American and minority sex workers into the light as well as expressing her anger at being marginalized by feminists and left out by sex worker advocates. I pray that Ariel will continue to make movies and bring her unique vision to the world. I for one need to see more of this young artists work.

The feisty Spider a performer and activist serenaded us with an opening prayer and again with amazing grace during Carmen Li’s performance. She has an amazing and haunting voice The piece she performed was extraordinary, slightly shocking and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and pay attention. Her presence in the show was a treat.

Carmen Li’s a Chicago based Dominatrix, performance artist and activist, abused us with her electric violin, gave a tongue lashing with her monologue and then treated us with a fire dance. I’d never seen a fire dance before and it was fabulous. Emi Koyama is a little bit of everything but she brought the cause of fat Asian chicks to the forefront with her reading. All in all the show was long but well worth it and a deal for $7.

Next time they blow into town check it out but remember even though nothing downtown starts on time get there early because you don’t want to miss this show. You can also check out their web site at www.

Darlene Dowling 11/26/02

Non-NYCers can catch the Sex Worker’s Tour
December 2 in Columbus @ Little Brother’s
December 3 in Yellow Springs, OH @ Antioch College
December 4 in Madison @ University of Wisconsin Madison
December 6 in Minneapolis in Jessie Ventura’s Basement Apt.
December 8 in Spokane, WA @ Sole’


Dar Reviews Nina Hagen
Tuesday November 5
The Gershwin Hotel

Jai Shiva! Nina Hagen roared into town this week making a special appearance at the Neke Carson show A.K.A. The Nina Hagen Shiva Shakti 3rd eye online TV Party. The Gershwin which is located next to the Museum of Sex was jammin. I dare say there haven’t been that many people there for an event in quite some time. It’s such a beautiful space to have a show. There was a hell of alot of Germans so much so that I felt somewhat inspired to learn German by the time I left. I found out about this event quite by accident and ran over to the Gershwin with a friend. Luckily we snagged some seats for the festivities which was no small feat given the size of the crowd and the small space.

Nina Hagen put on an incredible show by just being her transcendent, talented, edgy self live and up close. She had us all in the palm of her hand. I am now a devotee praying in the Ashram of Nina Hagen. She rocked my world after setting the stage with pictures of Shiva, lighting incense and various other items to get us ready for her 2 hour stream of consciousness. She made us laugh, cry, and touch the face of god with her comedic timing, rock, punk and hip hop song stylings, and her chanting to the goddesses Shiva and Kali. She pulled out some demo tapes she made with Dee Dee Ramone three years ago and sang a surreal duet with him titled “She’s so stupid.” It was fabulous and for a moment or two she conjured up his spirit and transcended the veils between the worlds.

Ariana Forster of the punk band the Slits visited with Nina revisiting their friendship, personal lives and artistic collaboration. It was a small window into the psyche of both of these artists. Arinia Forster infused the show with a decidedly Jamaican feel with her music and the beat was fabulous. She is an excellent musician and artist in her own right and the pairing was amazing. Nina sang “Nina for president” which a whole lot of hip hop Nina Hagan style.

Shequida the gifted operatic drag queen who is so beautiful she made my eyes hurt and who has a voice that rivals any I’ve heard at the met made a special guest appearance. Shequida and Nina sang Ava Maria which was beautiful and soulful. Sheniqua who has appeared in Germany on Nina┬╣s television show serenaded us with a few more songs and departed for her gig at the Barracuda.

I for one was sorry to see the show end even with the woman behind me using me as a tray for her drink. When Nina Hagen comes to town again — which I for one hope will be very soon — I suggest you check out her show. See you there. Also check out the other guest’s at Neke Carson’s show at The show is every Tuesday at 8pm at the Gershwin Hotel.

Gershwin Hotel | 27th St | off 5th Ave

Dar Reviews
Cheez Wiz

Now Playing Sundays @ Midnight
Parkside Lounge

Sunday night I found myself in the East Village at the Parkside Lounge for Cheez Whiz, a party hosted by the fabulous drag diva Sweetie. It is the high guard of downtown performance parties. I was tempted across the Broadway divide by the promise of an extraordinary show. Now the Parkside lounge has a strange mix on Sunday night an eclectic crowd for Sweetie’s party and well the regulars who don’t seem too thrilled by the invasion.Once you get past the Bar area you realize that there is more to be seen. A Lounge area complete with a stage and a DJ pumping out a great mix to keep you partying until the show starts. And such a show it was. The dynamic trio of Miss Kelly Webb, Dirty Martini and Julie Atlas Muz burnt up the stage with mucho Burlesque.

Dirty Martini is a voluptuous, glamorous blond bombshell well versed in the art of stripping and burlesque wonder. No doubt she is the spiritual daughter of Sally Rand or Gypsy Rose Lee, the foremother’s of burlesque. Her belly dancing and fan dancing were a treat. Boy, can she work those fans of hers, teasing and taunting the crowd into a frenzy. She ended with a flip you have to see to believe and well she can make her tassels do things I personally have never seen before.

Ms. Kelly Webb was a belly dancing sword twirling siren dancing to “Welcome to the Jungle”; reminiscent of an amazon warrior queen defying the laws of physics and gravity with her sword play and dancing. She took my breath away with both her sensuality and artistry. She certainly knows how to crank up a room! After casting her exotic spell Miss Webb also serenaded us with a hilariously campy tune wearing a very exotic costume, hiding a banana in a very interesting spot and leaving the audience oh so hungry for more.

Julie Atlas Muz ‘s slightly twisted, retro burlesque combined the glamour and fantasy of burlesque with a bit of reality weaving a spell of sensuality and intrigue. In “Death of a Show Girl” she sent the audience over the edge and sent tiny shivers of down my spine. Her last number involved a fake hand with a mind of it’s own coping a feel and then some. As much a trick as a treat and just in time for Halloween! You can catch her act at the Galapagos Art Space on October 28th. @ 9:30.

The last Cheez Whiz is Nov 3rd so if you haven’t had a chance to get over to the Parkside and check out the party run don’t walk because time is running out. The show is different every week but Sweetie and her crew will be there! The party starts at Midnight and the show after 1am.

Parkside Lounge | 317 East Houston | East of Avenue B | 673-6270


Dar Reviews
The Glamazons

On A Sunday in September 2002
Fez Under Time Cafe

I surrender and kneel before the alter of the Glamazons It seems I have no choice in the matter, their show at the Fez at the Time Cafe Sunday night rocked. It was so much fun! It was their closing show in a month of Sunday evening performances. The Fez was packed and there was breathing room only. These bawdy and glamourous ladies of burlesque are Lady Finger, Miss Marabou, The World Famous BOB, Trixie Trueheart and Veronica, These are no stick thin, silicone enhanced, pole shimmering Barbie dolls. They are lush without guilt, women with curves, breasts and everything in between. Performing both together and alone wowing the cranked up crowd with thier burlesque style strip tease (emphasis on tease), go go dancing, singing and hilarious skits keeping the audience mesmerized, hysterical and hot. Mix in a good helping of Mr. Murray Hill, the MC for the evening and you have a very wicked evening indeed. Buxom blond bombshell the World Famous BOB mixed a mean martini that was both titillating and mesmerizing. She had the crowd in quite an uproar. I won’t tell you where she had the olives you’ll just have to see for yourself the next time these amazing women strut their stuff on a NYC stage. Which can’t be soon enough for me.



Qwe’re Music Fest Review
by Darlene Dowling

There was a whole lot of shaken going on at the Qw’ere Music Fest last Sunday afternoon. It was originally intended to be outdoors at Tompkins Square Park but a last minute change landed it at the Fez. Now, it takes a lot to get me stay inside on a hot and sunny afternoon when my venue of choice is the beach but I spent the better part of the day inside the dark and cavernous Time cafe and loved every minute of it.

There were too many acts to mention them all but Mr. Joe, Chloe Dzubilo and their crew did a fabulous job and made the afternoon very festive. There were a few standouts in this frenzy of performance. Lisa Jackson rocked the house hitting us with some original songs that blew me away and got the crowd dancing in their seats. This talented cross-dressing singer and musician can be seen at a number of venues including The China Club, The Elbow Room, Parkside Lounge, True, and many more. Bobby Miller had the crowd all at twitter performing his Linda Ronstadt covers in full sliver cowboy gear. Also, Homothug added a bit of gangsta attitude and heat to Q’were fest.

Chloe Dzubilo and her make shift band in a rare appearance pounded out some transgender hard core punk that made the crowd call out for more when her set was over. I think I broke into a sweat. Mother Flawless Sabrina was her usual glorious self gracing us with a story and her beauty. She can be seen at her Birthday bash at September 15th at 1 and 2 am at the Parkside Lounge with Justin Bond and quite a few special guests. A deal for 5$.

Michael Musto did a brief stint as a MC and added a little class to the afternoon. As did Justin Bond who belted out a song and a story and served up a dose of diva glamour.

Rueben one of downtown’s brightest talents drew us in to a web despair and hope with his unique songs and music about love, addiction, innocence and spiritual doubt. The record release party and concert for “Dusk” will be on September 15th at the Knitting Factory at 8 PM. $10

The only disappointment of the evening was that Dirty Martini and Miss Kelly Webb didn’t perform as scheduled due to space limitations but I guess there’s always next year. These two fierce burlesque ladies create their own brand of magic on the stage. But all is not lost you can catch Dirty Martini this Friday at “Burlesque at the Beach” at the Coney Island sideshow at 10PM. They can also be seen in “Daddy’s Chicken” at the Slipper room the last wednesday of the Month, as well as other venues around town.


JUICE — The Review
by Darlene Dowling

Saturday night through a twist of fate I found my self at The LGBT Center on West 13th Street at the JUICE Concert Series called “Women of the 80′s.”

Juice is the brainchild of David Massa and I for one was grateful for the brain blip that lead to this wonderful show that will be happening again on December 28th at the LGBT Center. But to be honest at certain points I did want to rip my eye balls out of my head to relieve the pain in my ears from some audio problems early on but that said the show was wonderful and the good far out weighted the bad.

Now, I personally loved the 80′s and any chance to revisit it gives me a rush. Jonathan was both fabulous and hilarious as the MC for the evening looking oh so pretty in pink.

Shanynn Raigh floored me with her covers of Brass Pocket (Pretenders) and We Belong (Pat Bentar). She posses a voice that can set you on fire with a haunting soulfulness that I haven’t heard in a long time. The range of her vocals I dare say could break the sound barrier if she gave it a shot.

The fierce red haired songstress Debbie Schwartz brought down the house with Only the Lonely (the Motels) and Under the Big Black Sun (X). She kicked some mega butt Saturday night. Ruben who just released his new album Dusk has the voice of an angel. He and his partner in crime for the evening Rick Robertson quieted the room with their fierce rendition of Cindy Laurer’s, Time after Time. Robert Marks sang Take My Breath Away (Berlin) and did just that.

A December must see!

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