Apr. 25, 2012 - Issue #862: The Real Deal
Return of the King
Capital City Burlesque takes a Fantastic Voyage to ... Elvisland
'We just put together a ridiculous number to 'It's Now or Never,'" says Kim Rackel of Capital City Burlesque. "We're doing a Mexican senorita number, and she's got a mariachi band with her—it's pretty ridiculous," she laughs. "I think that one's gonna be my favourite."
Rackel is talking about her troupe's fourth incarnation of Fantastic Voyage to ... Elvisland! wherein our city's queens of burlesque pay tribute to the King. Maybe mariachis and Presley don't often come to mind together, especially not in the revealing framework of a burlesque show—though Capital City's done the unexpected with everything from classic cop costumes to homemade Oompa Loompa outfits in the past—but after three previous incarnations of Elvisland, Rackel notes that the troupe's looking past the obvious connections and finding deeper cuts in the Elvis oeuvre to draw inspiration from.
"We've gone away from doing lots of hits, and do lots of obscure, kinda weird stuff from his movies," she notes. "I think it's our best all-around show."
Rackel isn't certain of the show concept's origins, but thinks it began through Capital City's early ties to the rockabilly scene. And though Elvisland has had those few go-arounds to work the kinks out of itself, and the troupe's now long-established in town, this particular remount has been a little more daunting than usual given the departure of Capital City co-founder Donna Ball, who moved to the UK last year. The troupe's expanded with some additional members recently, but Rackel notes it's still a hefty workload that not everyone expects when starting out.
"It's a big time commitment. I don't think people realize when they think, 'Oh, yeah, burlesque is gonna be fun! I'll join this group,' I don't think they think that it's gonna be two practices a week that are two to three hours long," she says. "And that's when we don't have a show coming up. Two weeks before a show, those girls are mine. Any free time they have is spent on doing the show: costumes, rehearsing, anything I can force them to do."
Still, Rackel's certain the payoff will be a good one.
"My tears backstage will be worth it," she laughs. "It'll all be worth it."
Sat, Apr 28 (9 pm)
Starlite Room, $15
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