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.