Wednesday, February 20, 2008

La Fabrika - Prague Burlesque

"The difference between burlesque and the newspapers is that the former never pretended to be performing a public service by exposure."
-I.F. Stone
G-Man called me up. He asked if I wanted to go with his wife and another couple see a new burlesque show. I said yes.

I'd read about this the Prague Burlesque performance in The Prague Post.

The article, "Bring on the Dancing Girls," talked about performer and producer David Jahn's efforts to bring burlesque back to Prague for the first time since 1910.

Jahn's goals? Fun and profit. This was one of the first shows, but the article said they want to make it a monthly event.

The show took place at La Fabrika. It's an art gallery and performance venue in the Holešovice neighborhood of Prague 7. It has a modern style that reminded me of places I'd been to in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

La Fabrika is not so close to Prague's tourist center, but you can get there by trams 1, 3, 5, 12, 15, and 25. The stops are Dělnická or Maniny.

There are other theatrical performances there, but I think they are mostly in Czech.
After walking through the big steel doors, we checked our coats. It was 200 CZK for advance tickets and 250 CZK at the door.

Inside, there's a big, warehouse-style interior with a bar on one side, against a brick wall.On this night, the bar was filled with Prague's Czexpat crowd. There was a fairly big turnout for the show.

The poster for the event called for a 1920s and 1930s dress code. A few did show up in an approximation, with hats tilted to one side or fishnet stockings. One woman wore some balloons.The mostly young crowd lined the walls, along with a variety of art exhibits.I don't know about food, but there was drink. They served Pilsner Urquell and Gambrinus. A beer cost around 35 CZK, though I can't remember for which brand.I needed something with caffeine, so I ordered a Cuba Libre. It was not cheap at 89 CZK, but I seriously needed an energy boost, and I can't stand Red Bull.

G-Man kept buying more rum and Cokes for me because he owed me money, and I kept forgetting to tell him to stop.

It was obvious the bar was running out of ice. The second drink had very little. The third one had none and came in a much smaller glass.In a big open space next to the bar area is a performance area. There were only a few tables in there. We got in early and were lucky to get one. For the rest, it was standing room only.The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines burlesque as "theatrical entertainment of a broadly humorous often earthy character consisting of short turns, comic skits, and sometimes striptease acts."

I'm not a big expert on the subject, but I also read a little about the British burlesque scene in a Guardian article I came across, "Anything Goes."

This Prague show had a little bit of humor, provided by the campy host and one male dancer.

Some very attractive women portraying various characters danced and teased to an eclectic soundtrack that spanned a variety of styles and decades. They did take off some clothes, but there was no full nudity. Pasties was as crazy as it got.

Performers go by the names Demonica Coca, Monique La Fleur, Lina Von Sturm, Rebeca Del Rio, Crystal Desirée, Hrabě Koroptieff, Bruno Ferrari.

In the interest of public service, I do have some highlights from the event.And in the interest of a modicum of propriety, there's plenty I left out.

There's some skin exposure, but nothing you wouldn't see on the beach.

Still, given the nature of the dancing and style of dress, you might not want to watch this at work.

Or, depending on your nature, not at all.

But if you want to see more, go to the next show, whenever that will be.

La Fabrika
Komunardů 30
Praha 7

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Anonymous said...

That was just awful. What did they do, pick up people off the street and throw them in costumes?? None of them could dance, they all acted like they had no idea what they were doing.

what crap, I couldn't imagine sitting through that show without the aid of heavy drugs.

Brewsta said...

True... the show did have quite a few kinks, so to speak.