Thursday, May 19, 2011
I Dream of Dita
Sorry for the delay in well, everything. Apparently during my time away from Blogger they suffered from some problems of their own with postings so in a way, it was probably for the best that I wasn't on the interwebz. I've been ridiculously busy though-nonstop writing at work, going to Disneyland and my alma mater's (again, that sounds so strange to write) commencement ceremony, and seeing Bridesmaids (which was hilarious. I laughed so hard I cried on multiple occasions.)
Amidst all of these great moments came the biggest one on Tuesday night, when I and one of my closest girlfriends went to the Roxy Theatre to see one of my biggest fashion icons, Dita von Teese, perform in Strip Strip Hooray. I've been in love with Dita since 2004, I think, when I first saw her in Marilyn Manson's "mOBSCENE" music video. Back in the day, I was a big Manson fan, required musical listening for an angry 13 year old semi-Goth girl. Since then, I've phased out of buying his albums, but I never got over Dita. I absolutely adore her look and the way that she fights to bring back glamour in a world of tracksuits and UGGS. When I first heard that she was engaged to marry Manson, I was starstruck and bought that precious, precious copy of Vogue that contained the pictures to her Vivienne Westwood wedding gown. I was so completely consumed with their wedding that when I was a senior in high school and had to create a "future box" filled with pictures on the inside of who I hoped to become when I was older, I cut out a picture of Dita in that wedding dress and stuck it in. (Note: I aspire to be like a super fashionable dame, not to get married. That part needs to be stressed.)
When news broke out that the marriage didn't work out, I was crushed. And when the news broke out about Manson canoodling with Evan Rachel Wood supposedly during his marriage to Dita, I was enraged. That douche! Who cheats on such a gorgeous magnificent woman with the chick from Thirteen? I was fully on Team Dita afterward-especially when all of those creepy photos started surfacing of Evan attempting to dress like Dita. Barf.
In short, seeing Dita live has been one of my biggest dreams. One evening I was poking along on my Twitter feed when I noticed that Dita (I follow her account) had written she would be at the Roxy out in West Hollywood and included a link to the tickets. It can't hurt to look I told myself, besides they're probably too expensive anyway.
Tickets were $35.
Holy Santa Claus shit.
I texted my friend, confirmed we would both be going, and clicked purchase all within the next 15 minutes.
We arrived at 6pm when the show was set to let people in at about 7pm. We were the first couple of people there, with a line that progressively got longer and longer behind us and a second long, long line for people buying their tickets at the door. Once we got inside, we stood right by the runway leading out from the stage where Dita and the other burlesque performers would sashay out on.
"You don't want to stand there," a very kind woman told us who was facing the stage, "You'll want to stand right where I am. The performers only come out to the runway briefly and then stay on the stage the entire time. Trust me, I've been to a bunch of these shows before."
Normally I don't advocate listening to the advice of strangers (especially in WeHo) but in this case, we happily agreed. Plus the buzz of the booze we were sipping on helped coax our minds too. This would turn out to be the best decision we made because the entire time during the show, we were a mere foot away from the performers. One foot! And we weren't even VIP or sitting in the expensive booths. Fate dealt us one badass hand of luck that night.
Burlesque is a weird topic for me to bring up with friends. "Yeah, I'm going to a burlesque show." Everyone just assumes that you're going to a strip club, but that isn't the case at all. Burlesque is truly an artful performance on stage that titillates the audience with over the top and exaggerated depictions of serious acts. It's all very tongue-in-cheek, winking at you the entire time with playful performances that truly do require years of professional dancing and concentration in order to pull off. Nobody gets fully naked either. At the bare minimum, the dancers will still have a g-string and pasties on to cover their nipples.
Dita opened with her Martini glass act which is incidentally the act I first saw her do in the mOBSCENE video. She walked out in a men's suit, took it off piece by piece and hopped into a giant martini glass filled with water and studded with Swarovski crystals and proceeded to bathe herself with a stuffed olive.
Her second big act was the powder puff compact, in which she pops out of a giant powder compact, resplendent in ballet slippers and a corset and danced on pointe on the stage. Out on the runway, she'd bop a couple of people upside the head (gently) with a little powder brush. This performance is extremely popular in Paris and is quite gorgeous to watch.
The most elaborate performance was her final act, as a Geisha girl where she held on to tassels in her little boudoir to dance with. Hands in orange gloves would pop out from the darkness behind her to reach out and touch her and the entire dance was scored by a remixed Japanese-infused version of The Cure's "Fascination Street."
It is a miracle I didn't pass out from all of the stars exploding in my eyes.
Oh, there were other dancers, but I couldn't get enough of Dita. Good God, in real life she is even smaller and more beautiful than photos can do her justice of. She was pure grace and old Hollywood glamour incarnate on the stage. I could not watch her performance without feeling a constant wave of awe arise over and over again. It was so stunning, at some points it felt impossible that such a small wonder existed. Which also made me cry out in my head, why, oh why don't we have more lovely ladies like Miss von Teese around today? I have a strong feeling that should the day ever arrive that I could get to be shopping buddies with Dita, we'd get along famously.
Her real name, incidentally, is Heather Sweet. Thus, the reason why I felt such an instant kinship. Heathers and I, we understand each other.
Love to you all,