Curtain Critic: Sexy science-fiction show marries nerd culture and burlesque


(Photos Courtesy of ask Molly)
Scandalesque’s sci-fi burlesque referenced “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Marvel and D.C. superheroes and villains, “The Fifth Element,” “The Matrix,” “Star Trek” and “Star Wars.” (Photos Courtesy of Scandalesque)

“Scandalesque presents… Sexy Sci-Fi” was not your average wretched hive of scum and villainy. Hosted by blonde bombshell Amy Justice, this performance from burlesque group Scandalesque took the historically contradictory concepts of “sexy” and “science-fiction” and married them for a show that amazed and aroused.

The show took place at the Phoenix Center for the Arts on Sept. 26-27.

Curtains opened with a classic burlesque tease to the theme of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” revealing Justice, the evening’s mistress of ceremonies, a bawdy broad whose lively commentary and remarkable stage presence kept the audience enthusiastic all night.

The first performance began with a mysterious edge and an elaborate display of acrobatic routines fit for the infamous cat burglar and Batman villain, Catwoman. From there, we were taken into the exotic evolution of “X-Men,” where Wolverine and Phoenix shared a sensual dance, followed by skilled pole acrobatics from Storm. The cast performed with technique and artistry as well as sex appeal, drawing the crowd in for more.

One of the many opportunities for audience participation of the evening was the costume contest. Attendees were encouraged to dress up (or down) for the occasion, and were then brought onstage for judging by their peers. The contestants danced for audience approval and, of course, a swag bag. The winner? A pin-up Captain America whose surprise reveal of patriotic pasties won her praise and the prize.

Next came a Flash Gordon-inspired performance, a thrilling throwback to the 1980s classic, complete with original Queen soundtrack and dialogue. The excitement came to a climax as Flash, having saved the world, set off sparklers on her pasties as she lifted the Earth above her head in triumph.

Two unsuspecting men were then plucked from the audience to participate in a striptease inspired by “Weird Science” (adorned with the ceremonial head bra, of course).

Next, we were given the red pill and thrown into a fast-paced slow motion fight for reality in an interpretation of “The Matrix.” Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, and Agent Smith provided us with blood-pumping action with coded precision.

Each act required detailed research to truly embody the spirit of the sci-fi whilst tantalizing and thrilling the audience.

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Barbarella, a space-aged adventuress, enthralled us by taking the mic for a lounge act. Following her various sex-ploits, we were ushered by a strip-teasing stewardess to assume our individual positions for Fhloston Paradise of “The Fifth Element.”

Shortly after, Captain Kirk and Spock shared a dance to the death, as is custom when your blood gets boiling. Kirk put his best foot forward, but could not defeat sexy salsa Spock. When the captain got in a bind with a dancing native, though, his first officer was quick to the scene to save him.

The final act captured the epic saga of “Star Wars.” Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers were prepare to fight off the rebel alliance with an amazing dance routine. Oola, a slave dancer on Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge, danced for her freedom but was suddenly yanked out of view. We were thrown then onto Dagobah, where Luke Skywalker trained to free his sister Leia from Jabba’s evil grip. Yoda and Luke then saved the Princess and reaped the hero’s reward.

A stretch from the original script, but highly entertaining.

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