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Broowaha Burlesque

by V (writer), Venice!, December 21, 2007

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How many of you Broowaha contributors have crossed the divide of anonymity and stepped forward to surrender your real-life identity?

Maybe most of you - like me - are pretty well the same person online as you are offline. Or maybe you are not at all who you say you are and simply revel in being a character of your own creation, weaving us all into your plot.

Last night I met a fellow Broowaha Contributor for the first time and as far as I can tell, he is who he appears to be in his online persona. He was considering going to see an Afro-Cuban jazz band. I was going home to keep my freshly washed and flat-ironed hair out of the rain. What Contributor X did not realize however, was that he was also going to see a burlesque show. When I discovered just what venue he was going to see the Afro-Cuban jazz/ funk fest at, I informed him that that was also a burlesque review on Tuesday nights. Bonus! And suddenly, it didn't matter so much if my hair got a little frizzy.

I took my fella (I'll have you know that I'm a great girlfriend by the way -- the kind that comes home from a hard day's work, cooks a fresh fish, asparagus & mushroom stir-fry from scratch and then drags her boyfriend off to a burlesque show for some whisky and psychological foreplay) and another friend. As much good karma as I hope I have accumulated in my lifetime and as much of a great judge of character as I feel I am, I'm simply not going to meet a guy off of the internet by myself, at night. Why meet a guy from the internet at all? Because I always have room in my life for more interesting, cool and kind people and I'm friendly. I can't help it.

Keeping it beachside (Santa Monica), we meet at Harvelle's. The place is a dive - a hot dive -- just how I like them. It's dark, it's seedy and it's small. There are black walls, red booths all along one side and across the extremely narrow room a bar with bar stools occupies the other. There is a small stage with a sheer, white curtain and faux smoke concealing it. Footage of a risque-for-the-day clad Betty Page, flickers from a projector onto the curtain. A black and white checkered floor makes ample prowl room for roving burlesque girls.

I order a glass of Merlot and wait for the arrival of Contributor X. My two male companions have ordered whiskeys and I can hear them deep in discussion about stripping versus burlesque. They both seem to be rooting for the latter. A familiar stranger stands meters from me. I will him to remove the rain-soaked hoodie from his head so I can better recognize him but irrespective, his searching gaze gives him away. "Contributor X" I say. "Hi, I'™m V!" He smiles, shakes my hand and pulls up the stool beside me. His opening words are, "Wow, this is seedy." He too orders a Merlot.

With a liitle time before the show begins, we cover all manner of subjects from the standard what-do-you-do-where-did-you-grow-up fare to our views on society, talk of family, travels, education, culture etc, punctuated by random bursts of fake smoke. He is as he seemed to me before meeting him in person. He's 'normal, interesting, thoughtful, nice, funny (he outright lied to me in fact, a harmless lie which was, in itself hilarious) and sincere. I wonder if I appeared as he expected or even if he had expected anything at all.

We are interrupted with a burst of Afro-percussion and the overbearing notes of a tenor sax. A fat bass line kicks in and moments later "her cat-like entrance" having gone unnoticed amidst our conversation -- an uber vixen poured into a red, strapless, spandex dress unfurls down the step from the stage to the dance floor. She wears above-the-elbow, red, satin gloves, black stilettos, a mane of I've-just-been-you-know-whated bed hair, layers of impossibly sexy, black eye makeup and fake lashes, with full, cherry lips on white skin that rival Snow White's. With a stage cigarette as a well used prop and black fishnets that reveal themselves to be strategically ripped whenever she arches her back or pouts her ass in a certain way, the girl drips sex like honey from a teaspoon.

Working the entire room, Burlesque Girl rolls around on the dance floor as if it's a bed, drapes herself over my friend and purrs down the catwalk-like passage between bar and tables. Mounting the table opposite me at the bar, she works the wall beside an oh-so-straight-looking, nerdy type. As if his cheeks aren't flushed enough, she stretches back on the table and, lying on her back, opens her legs wide performing all manner of leg-acrobatics and cavorts with him before proceeding to kneel on said table, chest in his face, rump pointing directly at myself and Contributor X. Her bare cheeks peek through the ripped stockings, an arm's length before us and with a quick, sideways glance, I wonder if I should perhaps be uncomfortable at my choice in first-meeting activity with stranger-guy from the internet. I'm not. I hope he's not.

The show ends and we have a good half hour to cool down and chat ourselves back to a comfort zone before the second set starts. This time, it's a baritone sax and the new Burlesque Girl embodies all that a baritone sax implies. In conclusion, Contributor X says to no one in particular, "I think I just had sex." The music trawls through phases of heavy, heavy cheese (I could easily see Eddie Murphy circa 1984 playing the character of the band Manager) to moments of fun with some more than decent musicianship. Overall, it's a good spot to have a quiet Tuesday night drink and conversation, but will set you back $5 in cover. It's a mellow, mixed crowd and although the venue itself smacked of Paris-late-night-smoky-jazz-bar (without the smoke) or seedy if you like, the clientele doesn't necessarily reflect that.

With the burlesque revival in full swing these days there are a few options about Los Angeles. This bar Harvelles, has shows two nights a week. Sunday night is the "Toledo Show" -- the more heavily promoted, larger-scale review. But in my Fiances opinion "I think I like the quiet, seedy, Tuesday night one."

Harvelles Santa Monica http://www.harvelles.com

40 Deuce Melrose http://www.fortydeuce.com

King King Hollywood http://www.kingkinghollywood.com

So if meeting a fellow Broowaha Contributor is something you've long been considering doing, go ahead and do it. You might not nominate to meet at a burlesque bar - perhaps over a coffee is more your speed - but I can recommend a first meeting over some vino tinto and fishnets. To the felly, the friend, Contributor X and the sexy women of burlesque, I thank you for a great night out!



About the Writer

V is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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14 comments on Broowaha Burlesque

Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Jen on December 21, 2007 at 02:39 pm
You have such a way with imagery. I absolutely MUST go here. I absolutely will. And…yeah…I don’t have time for more than one personality…however many characters it may encompass. Another great read!
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By Creedon on December 21, 2007 at 03:05 pm
Beautifully described
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By Steven Lane on December 21, 2007 at 04:10 pm
I want to go with you V. lol...............For the record, I am exactly what I portray myself to be. Great story as always!
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By V on December 22, 2007 at 01:48 pm
Thanks guys! For the record, I'm not the one of the nine who slept with Joe (not that one wouldn't want to or anything). You really slept with another contributor? You stud you! Steve, anytime you want to head South for a little Burlesque, I will glady escort you. And don't think that I don't intend to find out in person if you are who you portray yourself to be. Do you vend the dogs in Winter?
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By Gary Schwind on December 22, 2007 at 03:39 pm
V, check out Bunny Bravo. She puts on some great burlesque shows in both OC and LA.
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By Sharlene Hardin on December 23, 2007 at 10:35 am
Great write up and endorsement, I'm looking forward to getting a bunch of friends out with me to see it now. Thank you.
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By Aaron S. on December 23, 2007 at 07:16 pm
no change i can change, i can change, in my mode, i am here in my mode. steven lane, your ass you must get here. i´m telling you all, we need the broowaha bonfire on dockweiler! the masses are beggin for it like the proles beg for revoluzione! aaron is short one tequila sunrise from seeing the sunset in the morning, and is proud of it! aaron is also dripping sex like honey from a tablespoon! i am anonymous! i am anonymous! read into the wild. don´t see the movie!
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By Glenn T on December 24, 2007 at 06:13 am
V... well put as always. I'm more a Friday night guy at Harvelle's... a little blues, and a sparse crowd make for a fantastic spot to bring a friend. There's enough room to dance, enough dark to be encouraging and always great, great music. Plus, if you enjoy people watching, I've NEVER been disappointed with the fare offered up at this joint... even if you don't get to see V. PS I'm also not one of the nine that Joe has slept with...
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By Rose Mountain on December 31, 2007 at 02:16 pm
V you have an amazing way of using words to create a vivid image of everything you experience, so that readers can truly experience it too. Thanks
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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on January 02, 2008 at 05:09 pm
this is a really good story! i wonder who has the balls to meet me from this broowaha joint?
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By VeroniqueChevalier on January 02, 2008 at 05:22 pm
Mike, sometimes the ones with the biggest (figurative) balls are the ones who don't have any (literal) ones, ie- women, such as our brave V, here. In which case the most apropos description would be the picturesque one taken from Spanish- "Huevos" (eggs). Oui! Ms. V's got the huevos alright, at least a Baker's Dozen, I'd say! ;-)
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By Jack Bates on February 01, 2010 at 12:27 pm

The phrase "paint with words" comes to mind. I don't think you need to be thanking anyone for that night out, looks like you put all the peices in play and they just fit! What a great story about taking a chance, limiting risk and maximizing reward! If finance and economics was taught like this I would be on Wall Street, not the poor house!

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By V on February 09, 2010 at 02:06 am

Thanks Jack!

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By Credo on August 24, 2013 at 06:30 pm

Post was very descriptive, capturing vivid images with words is not always easy. However you have accomplished that feat and made it look easy.

Credo

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