2011 was a pivotal year for Peepshow Menagerie We started off with our first burlesque adaptation of the Ed Wood classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space" titled "FLYING SAUCERS OVER BURLESQUE" followed by a show that we had long talked about and finally did called "THE SCIENCE OF BURLESQUE" which was exactly what it sounded like: a burlesque show that also taught science. We also did a Valentines edition of Naked Girls Reading at Vlad The Retailer. However in March, things got a little complicated...
We discovered that some kind of takeover of our club Bordello had taken place by a silent partner that we didn't know existed. Long story short, we had already booked our next show and were now in danger of losing it and having to find a new venue. We contacted the new owners right away and arranged a meeting. The meeting started off well enoough, but the jist we got was that it was very possible that the club would not continue as it had been, but that they would still like us to bring our show there each month. However the new manager we had the meeting with looked at this ornate mirror near the restrooms and said that he was hoping to take it and hang it in his home. That pretty much sealed that we had to find a new venue as soon as possible, but we smiled, nodded, and said we'll definitely do our next shows there.
Those next shows just happened to be "BURLESQUELAND!!!" weekend, with two shows at Bordello and the Burlesqueland edition of Naked Girls Reading at Golden Apple Comics. It was a great wekend, along with Burlesque Day At Disneyland, but rain dampered the audience on the final night of the shows. Still they wanted us back after having seen the show for the first time in 'their' new venue. However, the reports from our performers and audience were that they did not like the changes that took place with the club between our shows. We smiled and nodded and decided to take up an offer from the original owners we loved working with to go to their other, and long running club called Club Monte Cristo, a popular goth and industrial dance club on Wilshire. We never returned to Bordello and it was eventually renamed The One Eyed Gypsy before closing for good.
Because we hadn't anticipated moving to another club in such a short time, we had to hit the stage running. Thankfully we got a bit of a boost with press coverage of our "PULP FICTION" edition of Naked Girls Reading. The two things that the owners of Club Monte Cristo asked for was to add a DJ for the end of the night and to have Go-Go Dancers. Our first show there was the first version of our Spielberg tribute called "CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE BURLESQUE KIND" and it was on a Friday for the first time in our show's history, however before we even got to do the show, we were ttold that they brought a new club in and after that show would have to move us to Thursdays. That was fine. Our next several shows there were a little light for such a HUGE venue - seriously, it was a big ballroom, a large dressing room (even bigger than our current one as of this writing), and there was a large rooftop area where they projected movies. It wasn't until we did our annual Lynch show "BENEATH THE SURFACE" did the shows start filling up the place a little better and our October show "KISS ME MONSTERGIRL!" (inspired by a 1960's Monster Nudie film called "Kiss Me Quick") was a smash (or 'mash') as well.
In the meantime our Naked Girls Reading shows continued at Vlad The Retailer, but always seemed to be a struggle despite how fun they were. In one of our favorites "NAKED GIRLS COOKING" we even made food for the audience and another show where we read those Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 80's where we let the audience choose where we went next. While we got press, it was often a bit snarky, which wasn't the kind of press that the other national chapters of the show got. It probably didn't help that they didn't actually come to the shows to get a better idea of what it was about. We think the naked aspect scared off some people, but once they went to the show they often returned.
We did two shows in December and both were pretty light with the first of the two, the "PRIME TIME BURLESQE HOLIDAY SPECIAL" pretty much flopping (if I recall correctly that was just after a huge storm hit L.A. that left a lot of people without power - something that isn't very usual in this town). We ended 2011 licking our wounds a little bit - however we had something up our sleeves that was going to help us start off the following year with what would be our biggest show ever...
(Click on posters to see bigger images and bonus material)