Love! If you’ve never seen Barbarella – the 1968 trippy, outer space sex romp starring Jane Fonda or if it’s been a while, then (ONE) watch it! Watch it now! It’s on Netflix instant watch and it’s amazeballs! You’re welcome. (TWO) The basic plot is how to gratuitously get Jane out of one fabulous outfit and then into a new one while various characters help her on her mission to find Durand-Durand and she thanks them the old-fashioned way – by boinking them.
Compound Productions 50/50 created a live “ecdysiast theatrical experience” of Barbarellesque on November 17, 2013 at the Windup Space in Baltimore, and it was, forgive the obvious pun, out of this world! As it opens with a zero gravity striptease it’s kind of the perfect choice to turn into a scripted burlesque show.The groovy ‘60s atmosphere was set the moment you walked in with the pre-show of the SoGo Go Go Girls dancing for your pleasure.
Faithful to the film, Barbarellesque opened with the zero gravity strip tease handled brilliantly with black-gloved stage kittens (in burlesque everything is sexy including the running crew who are called kittens) whisking each piece of clothing away to simulate zero gravity. I won’t give away any more of how the film’s special effects were handled onstage but ingenuity and creativity definitely won over budget. When Barbarella was given to the birds I laughed so hard I thought I was the one who was going to need a change of outfit. Many of the jokes in Barbarellesque were carried out to lengths worthy of Mel Brooks. In short, it’s a really smart, sexy show and you should go!
The cast was a who’s who of the DC/Baltimore (and reaching as far as New York and Richmond) burlesque scene. Handling the role of Barbarella were a bevy of beauties: Cherie Sweetbottom (who also played Dildano), Maria Bella, Sunny Sighed and Kay Sera. Sideshowman Stephon Walker played the President, Concierge, and Durand Durand. Richmond’s Buster Britches played Mark Hand and the Essence of Man, NY Boylesquer and Cirque performer Mister Gorgeous (and trust the name fits) played blind angel Pygar, Missy Aggravation played the Great Tyrant and rounding out the cast were Kitty Bermuda, Mourna Handful, Gigi Holliday, Melody Magpie, Cherie Nuit and Valeria Voxx with DC’s own sideshow girl Mab just Mab providing/purring some very sexy voiceovers.
The Set Design, provided by Richard Just and Valeria Voxx, covered all the locations in the film with a little glitter, some shower curtains, and rear projection. Sound was provided by Bal’d Lightning and lighting by Carlos the Expanding Man.
Compound Productions 50/50 has plans to do this again so be sure to catch it next time. You can find out more by visiting Barbarellesque’s website or or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Love!