Monday, February 20, 2017
Last updated: 1 year ago

Something in the way she moves: Burlesque performers twist and shout to the Beatles

Some pairings are simply classic. Think champagne and caviar, port and Stilton, or perhaps Gewurztraminer and choucroute.

Local musician Blue Morris is proposing an addition to this time-honoured list: the Beatles and burlesque.

The sexiest vixens of Vancouver perform burlesque numbers set to live performances of Beatles hits. Choreographer and performer Miss Fitt said it best: “What could be hotter?”

Beatles Burlesque returns to the Anza Club on September 19 after a sold-out show this April. “At the time, I didn’t realize how popular the idea was going to be,” band-leader Morris recalled. “As soon as the tickets went on sale, it was crazy.”

“I think for people who haven’t seen a burlesque show, it might have opened the door for them, knowing that they would really enjoy the music,” speculated Miss Fitt.

Miss Fitt, among her numerous endeavours, is finishing her BA in psychology at UBC. So, how did a psych major become a modern day Zeigfield girl?

“I grew actually grew up as a dancer and I was also in musical theatre,” she said. As for burlesque, “I could picture the corset-and-stocking aesthetic.” Then she performed alongside Burgundy Brixx, who invited her to go-go dance at the Biltmore’s famed Kitty Nights. According to Morris, Miss Fitt is now the “go-go queen” of Vancouver burlesque.

For Morris, the inspiration behind becoming a burlesque band-leader was, well, rather odd. “It was when I saw the movie The Odd Couple,” he said. The character Felix, played by Jack Lemmon, entered a dance bar where a live band was accompanying the go-go dancers. “I saw that and I was like, I want to play in that band.”

A self-admitted eccentric, Morris remarked on the “accepting atmosphere” of the burlesque community. “Burlesque is different from some of the other physical art forms, such as conventional stripping,” Miss Fitt explained, “because anybody’s body type, appearance, regardless of age or weight, is equally celebrated.”

Joining them at this edition of Beatles Burlesque are Max Lazurus and Eric Rasmusson of the Valuables, and MC Chai Tea.

Morris called being able to perform the Beatles hits in this show “a dream come true.” Miss Fitt agreed. “It’s the same band, but their range of music allows for a range of burlesque styles.”

Among the performances is a sultry fan dance by Miss Via Rose to “Blackbird” and an edgy “Helter Skelter” routine by Melody Mangler, one of the most celebrated burlesque performers in Vancouver. Miss Fitt herself is doing a number to “Drive My Car.” “I’m a traffic girl who wants to be a star and there’s lots of glitter involved,” she said. “Lots of glitter.”

After a pause, she added, “It’s very sexy. I don’t think I mentioned that.”