Last year, it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to seeing the latest Dita Von Teese show, “Strip Strip Hooray” as it toured around the country. Unfortunately, last autumn’s scheduled shows were forced to be cancelled due to a most unwanted New York City visitor that coincided with the arrival of Ms. Von Teese’s performance troupe – Hurricane Sandy. Due to this “superstorm”, as it was called, the shows had to be re-scheduled for late winter 2013; this misfortune quickly turned to a new opportunity for me as this time, I was able to purchase a VIP ticket which offered a swag bag in addition to the chance to meet Ms. Von Teese and have a photo taken with her following the show.
With four sold-out performances at Manhattan’s Gramercy Theater, I attended the closing night of this series of shows, which included Dirty Martini, Catherine D’Lish, Selene Luna, Perle Noire, Lada Nikolska and Monsieur Romeo among the other performers who danced on the T-shaped stage featuring the traditional runway.
The evening featured four performances by its star: The Martini Glass, The Rhinestone Cowgirl, The Powder Puff Pin-Up Show and The Opium Den.
The show opened with Ms. Von Teese performing The Martini Glass number, where she started dressed Marlene Dietrich-style in a man’s tuxedo with tails and a top hat. Dancing to the song “A Guy Who Takes His Time”, she eventually stripped down and climbed into the water-filled martini glass, swirling around as if she was the world’s sexiest swizzle stick.
Later, she appeared as The Rhinestone Cowgirl, an aptly titled western-based routine where Ms. Von Teese wore a rhinestone covered outfit with various other rhinestone bedazzled accoutrements, including pistols and a holster. During this number, she danced to the tunes “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Walkin’ After Midnight”, ultimately winding up sensuously riding a mechanical bull.
Following an intermission, Ms. Von Teese’s first number of the second act was The Powder Puff Pin-Up Show. This number features the star emerging from a powder compact and dancing about in a skirt that resembles a cross between a powder puff and a ballerina’s tutu – appropriately so, because she wore ballet shoes and danced en pointe. Without a doubt, this was my favorite performance of the night by Ms. Von Teese for a couple of reasons. First, because she displayed her perfect self to her sexiest and most seductively feminine best. Second, this act gave her the opportunity to show off her talents as a dancer; judging from the reactions by some of the other audience members around me, I was clearly not the only one who was both surprised and delighted to observe Ms. Von Teese’s highly skilled toe-dancing.
The show concluded with the star performing the Asian-based routine called The Opium Den. This act features Ms. Von Teese starting out dressed in a Dragon Lady style outfit, after which she performs something akin to a Sally Rand reminiscent fan dance behind an immense Chinese folding fan.
Thanks to my VIP pass, I had the opportunity to meet Dita Von Teese following the show and have a photograph taken with her. If you accused me of being star-struck, I wouldn’t deny it for a second – and if you ever met this gorgeous woman, you would not blame me a single bit. A gracious and friendly Ms. Von Teese went out of her way to make a nervous admirer feel comfortable during the quick photo shoot. Granted, I was near the front of the line of nearly 40 some people who would have a similar moment with her, so I have no idea how well she was able to hold up by the time the last person in line reached her – yet she came across as so charming and personable, I don’t doubt she made every one of her fans feel as welcomed as this one.