Photo by Rick Canfield
What is this freakish delight that compels you to keep staring at Le Strange Sideshow? That’s what I was thinking as a mirage of grotesque, yet beautiful, shock-and-awe imagery was presented before my eyes in true horror-show fashion this past Friday night, at the Fitzgerald’s Bar off McCarty Street.
There are no gimmicks in this classic-circus inspired sideshow revue. Yes, Gaige actually has a needle protruding through her cheek. Aliska Wolfbane really nails herself good in the nose, and Lux Laroux breathes fire through an aftertaste of bugs. Meanwhile, Lilith Black and Chamile Leon, with cinder blocks on their bellies, get hammered by sledgehammers, as they lie on the "bed of nails."
Fragments of the cinder blocks became trophies for the audience. Those who were brave enough to raise their hands participated as blindfolded volunteers, flirting with very real danger.
Le Strange Sideshow warns us: “Many of the acts performed are extremely dangerous and, to some, very shocking. We make no apologies for this...” The performers stay true to the nature of the "hootchie-kootchie" acts some have enjoyed at the San Antonio Burlesque Festival 2013.
Friday night’s fright show also included Lilith Sinsear’s mesmerizing hoop-dance and opening music by Alyson Alonzo (featured in a recent Carlton Zeus music video). Midnight treats included special guests: 2013 Burlesque Comedy Queen Kiki Maroon from Houston, and Hollywood Burlesque Festival 2013’s “Most Erotic” winner Justin F. Credible, straight from Austin.
Mostly seen whipping (literally) roses out of the hands of his lovely assistants, at this particular show, Credible was allowed the rare occasion to perform his most daring and dangerous act, seen in this video on Instagram.
Bad Banjo Brown Band, who was setting up just as I was heading to my next rendezvous, topped the sideshow. I heard from Gaige that the Le Strange girls also have a sweeter side, as they joined with the band singing the rest of the night away.