Big Broads, Bad Boys
A boundary-breaking double bill at the Supper Club is set to redefine the rules of burlesque, writes Garrett Bithell.
While we typically associate with burlesque with female performers, a slinky double bill at the Oxford Hotel – Boom Boom Broads and Burlesque Bad Boys – is set to defy our preconceptions.
“Burlesque is by its very nature sexual as well as political,” director of Burlesque Bad Boys, Matthew Parsons, tells SX. “It goes against the hetero-normative mainstream status quo. In the context of our Western culture, where men are prescribed to be the pursuer and women are almost brainwashed into believing they must present themselves as sexual objects, the mere act of a man getting on stage and presenting himself as sexy and able to be desired is confronting.
“For Burlesque Bad Boys, I have specifically chosen a cross-section of performers who are thought-provoking and boundary-breaking in very different ways.”
At the core of this double bill is an invitation to revel in the broad spectrum of sexual expression. “Two shows back to back – one for those who love curvaceous ladies and the other for those who enjoy a little mesmerising man flesh,” Parsons adds.
Rita Fontaine, the director of Boom Boom Broads, will rally her Botticelli beauties together on the night as her alter-ego Johnny Castrati. “The show is a love affair of generous proportions between Johnny, the ladies, a cello, balloons, some garbage bags and, most importantly, the audience,” Fontaine tells SX. “When a punter hits Oxford Street and buys a ticket to this double bill, they do it because they want to celebrate the diversity they cannot find at home from the settee in front of the TV.
“They want to see sexiness in all shapes and sizes, or they would simply buy a fashion magazine or a gossip column and read it on the toilet.”
According to Parsons, the two shows fit perfectly together. “Rita and I noticed that the talented performers we have chosen are often used as token gestures towards diversity in the mainstream burlesque nights,” he asserts. “The boys and I are often the ‘token male’, and the women Rita is featuring are often the ‘token big girl’.
“We thought it was high time for an event that gave all these performers the space to really shine, and show they have so much more to offer.”
[Pictured] Rita Fontain, top, and Matthew Parson.
Boom Boom Broads and Burlesque Bad Boys, Supper Club, Oxford Hotel on February 15 & 18, show time 7pm. $20 for one show, $30 for both.