Hailing all the way from Seattle, USA, The Atomic Bombshells bring their internationally-renowned burlesque show to Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal for one night only! We had a chat with founder and artistic director, the one and only Kitten LaRue!
Hi Kitten, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with Forte. Where and what are you up to at the moment?
Currently I’m freezing my (bleep) off in NYC! Just rehearsing for some upcoming shows and looking forward to getting down there where the sun is shining!
What was the burlesque scene like before The Atomic Bombshells?
AN EMPTY MEANINGLESS VOID. Ha, just kidding! There was actually really great stuff happening, but it was mostly underground and not happening very regularly. Not to toot our own horn, but the Bombshells definitely played a major role in making the burlesque scene explode in Seattle and in creating a show that had enough wide appeal to attract regular large sold-out houses.
How did the Bombshells originally come about and how have you seen the industry change?
We were founded on a hope, a prayer and a lie. I marched into Seattle’s largest venue, sold them on a show that I didn’t actually have yet and one month later we opened for Dita Von Teese!
Again, the industry has changed dramatically in that burlesque has gone from being a fringe, niche art form to a commercially viable form of entertainment. Burlesque has sort of become Seattle’s version of Broadway; you get dressed up and go out for a fancy night of fabulous cheeky entertainment that’s just the right amount of risqué.
Having travelled the world with your show, what have been some of your favourite places to perform and some of your career highlights to date?
Performing in Shanghai, China, was a real favourite. What a culture shock, on both sides! Most recently I had the opportunity to perform with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett on PBS television with my wife (Lou Henry Hoover of the Bombshells) and burlesque star Angie Pontani. That was obviously a major highlight and one I will never forget!
How would you describe burlesque for those who are unfamiliar?
Our particular brand of burlesque is high-camp glamour, classic with a twist, sensuality served with a wink and a smile! The joy of the tease… sequins, feathers and fringe! Tassels twirling! Nostalgic yet subversive … Burlesque is all of these things.
You are about to head out for an Australian summer. What are you most looking forward to?
BEACH… More beach! Even more beach! Did I mention beach? (Seattle is the opposite of beach right now.) And TIM TAMS!
How many performers will be making the trip out and what can audiences expect to see?
We will be touring with our original core of 4-5 Bombshells, plus our incredible guest host, The Astonishing Johnny Domino, who is actually from Perth – and winner of the WA King of Boylesque title!
What else does 2015 hold for the Bombshells?
After Oz, we will return to Seattle for our annual Valentine’s extravaganza, then will be heading to the gay beach town of Provincetown, MA, to do shows with RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 star BenDeLaCreme, also an original member of the troupe!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of getting into performing?
Do your research! Take a class! Learn about the rich history of burlesque, watch videos, read books and discover how you can have a unique perspective in an art form that is very saturated. If you want burlesque to be your job, you must act like burlesque is your job.
Any other news you would like to share with us?
After our dates in Melbourne and Castlemaine, we are heading to World Fringe in Perth for a week of shows. So tell all you mates on the west coast to come see our magic!
When&Where: The Toff, Melbourne – January 24 & Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – January 25