"Always wear cute underwear," advises Miss Indigo Blue, the hostess and driving force of the Blue Moon Cabaret. "You never know if you'll get lucky... or end up on a gurney." And so begins an evening of elegant striptease featuring a sumptuous feast for appetites of every persuasion. Blue Moon is a throwback to the days when the tease was tantamount to showgirl sparkle. There's not much neo-anything here—as in the Pampas Room's slightly gothic sister show, Dark Side—just straight-up glitz and glamour with generous handfuls of fleshy parts begging for a pinch.
The evening's guest star is performer and author Jo "Boobs" Weldon—the Indigo Blue of the East Coast—who teaches students how to strip, tease, and torment the old-fashioned way as headmistress of the award-winning New York School of Burlesque. Prowling and preening like a red-silk tigress, Jo channels 1940s risqué dancer Sherry Britton, who imparted the choreography, costume design, and styling for Jo's number before she died in 2008. A costume change and a couple of cocktails later, the sufficiently warmed-up crowd hollers as Jo shakes it go-go-style in a dress codesigned by Catherine D'Lish. Based on a gown belonging to Seattle burlesque matriarch Gypsy Rose Lee, the complicated satin and gold fringe number breaks away into three parts, the gloves breaking into four, plus a flirty beaded neck-piece. The reveals flow as endlessly as the wine.
Though Blue Moon rarely strays from traditional burlesque, gender-bending boylesquer Waxie Moon nudges toward the subversive as a resplendent, deflowered bride and Belle Cozette jiggles her pinup-worthy curves in an unscrupulous cupcake seduction. The Pampas Room is coming into its own as a cabaret and will continue this summer for a third run of burlesque shows—and, rumor has it, summer specials and later showtimes to accommodate those who are heavy on curiosity but light on cash.
Blue Moon Cabaret at El Gaucho's Pampas Room. Tickets range from $40 (bar seating) to $225 (four-course dinner and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot). The next show is July 9 with Miss Indigo Blue and Lily Verlaine.