Take a moment to digest that.
Anna Tainment is one member of the Beat City Beauties — Hartford’s burlesque troupe — which performed at the NBMAA’s Museum After Dark Halloween Costume Party. Through constant cheering and catcalling, the youthful crowd showed its appreciation for the ladies on stage, who performed in handmade pasties. Their final act featured a revealing of cupcake pasties; meanwhile, cherry pies and whipped cream were tossed about the stage, with pieces landing on audience members.
Lesson One: Don’t wear white to a burlesque show.
Lesson Two: be a pushy broad. As soon as the crowd formed, it became difficult to view the stage from anywhere except the front. After elbowing your way up, hold your ground. Once “Glam Chop” demonstrated how to twirl tassels to the beat of “Time Warp,” it seemed everyone wanted a space right next to the stage. True to the form, this burlesque was as much about audience inclusion and humor as it was about being racy. Museumgoers were invited to the stage to participate in a tassel-twirling contest. Two of the three contestants were men and the “pasties,” which required they be held in place, appeared to be giant rubber suction cups covered in glitter.
The show included a stripping songstress who launched a star pulled out of her cleavage, before she flung handfuls of glitter over head. Another scene was film noir-inspired, ending in the murder of the detective. Sitting near a performer‘s sister, I learned that one of the costumes was a bridesmaid’s dress in its previous life. You know, the kind of gown that is selected so that it can be worn again.
What the Beat City Beauties have going on is not mere run-of-the-mill smut.
Lesson Three: when a pasty flies off during a live performance, a strategic squirt of whipped cream will keep the show legal.
If you missed this performance, see what the Beat City Beauties are up to by checking out their Facebook page. They will also be creating a 2012 calendar which was shot in various Hartford locales. Additionally, there are a few more pieces of contraband (photography is apparently a taboo in an arena where one breaks taboos) from Friday evening’s performance on my Photobucket page. (But if you are hoping to see faces or actual breasts, watch the Beat City Beauties perform live)
Museum After Dark is the New Britain Museum of American Art‘s occasional party which features dancing, open bar and snacks, and access to all art on display. The museum is located at 56 Lexington Street in New Britain.