A fed-up wife tied up her husband, punished him with a rolling pin and stripped off her clothes to celebrate. The audience cheered in laughter. This was one of many acts that evoked pain and pleasure throughout the Hot Mess Burlesque performance on Friday.
"I believe revenge is a dish actually best served hot," said Bobby Pins, a sultry soul-singing bombshell, to a small yet intimate crowd at the Balcony Club.
Pins is one of five women who sang, danced and worked the crowd in Hot Mess' vaudeville-style show titled Sweet Revenge.
"When you have the performance bug bite you, you can't get rid of it," said Mimi ma Shuga, the group's manager and hostess.
Shuga described the group's genre as "neo-burlesque," which aims to encompass a wider range of performance styles than just simply stripping. Between balloon and disco dances, Shuga hosted an audience-participation spelling bee, which included words like, "clusterfuck," "masturbation" and "cunnilingus." The show included live singing, drama, dancing and a three-member strip tease that left little to the imagination.
The hostess was upbeat, witty and quick on her feet when encouraging the room to participate. Clearly, she was having fun and did not take herself too seriously.
"We are just high-class, low-paid strippers," she joked.
Hot Mess Burlesque is staying busy this fall. The group is booked at: BurlyCon, a burlesque convention in Seattle, a local breast-cancer awareness event, Cans for Cans and is preparing a new show for the Balcony. Shuga says it's a busy schedule, but based around having fun.
Hot Mess will perform again tonight, Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Balcony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8.