Dainty Dandridge, along with Glam Gamz came up with The Best of Burlesque(er): Hedwig VS Rocky Horror. I was able to catch up with Dainty and ask her a few questions about her and the show!
Emily Cohen: How did you get involved in Burlesque?
Dainty Dandridge: I was moving back to my hometown for grad school. And I had done a lot of swing dancing when I lived in Austin and I was part of the Lindy Exchange. I did a fundraiser for them, where I went on stage and pretended to play the mandolin and I sang a song in my little girdle, and I was like, “That was fun!” So when I moved back to Detroit, … I saw this ad for auditions for a Burlesque and Varity Troupe called the Detroit Dizzy Dames. So I was their chanteuse, so all I did was sing the gradually transitioned into teasing.
EC: How did you come up with your name?
DD: Dorothy Dandridge was who I took my name from. She was one of the first performers of color who I looked at and said, “I want to do that thing!” I think particularly why she stood out for me was, I really loved old movies and old Hollywood, but I never saw any black performers who weren’t servants, and then TCM [Turner Classic Movies] did this thing where every Black History Month they honor black film and cinematography and they had “Island in the Sun” and “Cabin in the Sky” and “Carmen”… and I remember watching “Island in the Sun” and it just popping at me… She [Dorthy] just glowed.
EC: How did you come up with the idea of doing this show around Rocky and Hedwig?
DD: I would love to be like there’s this formula and we labored over this… Essentially after the last best of burlesque queer we [Glam Gamz and Danity], like legit, inherited this from the best person who could ever run best of burlesque queer, Roman Mafia… Immediately we were like what are we gonna do next? Both of us were like ‘”Hedwig verse Rocky would make the most sense”.
EC: Who would win in a fight, Rocky or Hedwig?
DD: Hedwig would win every time; it’s just how it is.
On October 11, at the Black Cat, The Best of Burlesque(er): Hedwig VS Rocky Horror revue came through DC. If you weren’t there you should be sorry you missed it because
A dazzling showcase of dancers from up and down the East Coast were ready to blow your minds with acts paying homage to the fabulous cult classics of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Palace Productions presented you with Dr. Ginger Snapz (a recently returned DMV native and burlesque icon), Dick Jones (a rising burlesque star all the way from Harlem), Cherie Sweetbottom (a DC local with an affinity for dramatic acts), and introducing for the first time ever Cockodoodle Dandy and James Fondel of The Sparkle Bois (DC’s very own Trans Boylesque troupe).
The lights dimmed low and the spotlight in the middle of the small stage, the night began. With acts dedicated to the musical showstoppers from Hedwig along with his notorious freak-outs (artfully displayed by the dramatic Dick Jones), the night began without a glitch. Pausing for an intermission with the chance to win a raffle bag with some pretty epic prizes including sexual education workshop for you and friends, organic meals, and more, the show concluded with stunning performances paying tribute to the wonderfully confusing classic Rocky Horror Picture Show. Acts ranged from Meatloaf’s character, to the cross-dressing Dr. Frank-N-Furter (who was a woman dressed in drag as a man dressed in drag as a woman, crazy fun right?), and the whole shebang ended with the explosive cult favorite the time warp!
With your magnificent hosts Dainty Dandridge and Dutch Oven and leggy stage kitten Glam Gamz, the night was a hoot and hollering good time. Brownie points and real prizes were given out to the best-dressed audience member who nailed his Hedwig costume.
If you missed this enthralling group of dancers, fear not, there is another delightfully entrancing burlesque show coming your way this Thursday October 17th at the State Theater in Falls Church, VA. Boo-B-Tastic is sure to get you in just the right mood for Halloween. Sorry young bloods, this is an 18 and over (with a valid ID) kinda night. Buy your tickets in advance for the cheap price of 12$ at http://www.thestatetheatre.com/events/e1688.xml or on the day of the show for 15$!!
(originally posted on BrightestYoungThings.com)