I was able to catch Miss Rosie Bitts last night, and was very glad I did!
I didn’t expect to meet up with a group of my girlfriends, so it was a pleasant surprise to enjoy it with them. And that’s really the best way to do it. Burlesque sheds its fourth wall like a lacey corset, and so audience participation is vital. This particular audience was very happy to hoot and holler and applaud, and I think that really gave a beautiful boost to the whole show.
One feature I particularly enjoyed was a tri-fold dressing screen on which video was projected. Dave Morris (performing in the Fringe this year with Photobooth) lent a hand as the suave and very appreciative emcee. In between acts, he would reappear, and provide perspective: “If I was onstage and rubbing my breasts,” he remarked, “it would be comedy. But if a woman does it … ”
The projections at one point also changed to a mix of both erotic and thought-provoking images and video. One minute would be a pair of bouncing breasts, the next would show a centuries-old woodcut image of women being hanged.
Clearly, the intent of the show was to give the audience what we wanted – quality erotic entertainment – but with a healthy dose of reality. Why on earth are we so scared of a woman taking the reins of her own sexuality? What’s the big deal with nudity anyhow?
The audiences come to see her dance and tease, but in the mix they also got a lesson in self-expression and censorship. They say the medium is the message – and what a medium! Rosie knows how to entertain and educate, often in the same breathy verse of a bluesy song you’ll be humming the next day.
A friend remarked to me during the show, “Now that’s an ass!” Rosie’s got a great figure, but not in the way we’re used to seeing these days. It was refreshing to see a real body onstage, and not the steady diet of photoshopped and airbrushed bodies that make us think that anything short of perfect is ugly.
Rosie takes charge – of herself and her audience. And there’s a lot of love in the room.
I left this show with a big smile on my face and a renewed appreciation for the body I have and what I can do with it.
The Fabulous Miss Rosie Bitts is playing at University of Canada West (Venue 9).
Click here to learn more about her.