Although it has only been two years since last did the Suicide Girls grace Vancouver with their unique brand of naughtiness, it has been seven years since Blackheart Burlesque was tagged onto the back of infamous branding. With a legion of over 3000 girls supporting the “Suicide” moniker from around the world, 2016’s iteration of the tattooed troupe is a venerable army compared to the upstart pin-up company from 15 years ago. Originally from Portland, Oregon The Suicide Girls founded by Missy Suicide began (2001) as a means to empower young women by giving them control over their own image, this via the pin-up girl aesthetic popularized in the 1940’s (but traced as far back as the1890’s). In just two years the Suicide Girls outgrew their humble Beaver State roots and set up shop in Los Angeles where they currently flourish. 2003 proved to be a monumental year for the organization, combining their move to LA with an interactive burlesque stage show essentially leaping out of the 2D pin-up realm and into an empowering and commandingly sexy 3 dimensions.
To the layman The Suicide Girls quickly became to modern burlesque what Q-tips are to cotton swabs, figuratively executing a hostile takeover of the modern day campy showgirl theme.
Opening for the Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque through their Vancouver stop-off was the local and relatively new (as a unit) Lost Girls Burlesque. Led by the charismatic Veronica Vex, the stunning quintet was a performer short of the usual sextet of ravishing seductresses it usually boasts. The Lost Girls quickly secured the attention of all the naughty voyeurs in attendance by heating up the room with their gothically inspired routine to the track “We Suck Blood”, Radiohead has never moved nor looked so good. The Lost Girls seemed very much at home on the historic Vogue Theatre stage transitioning into an equally as alluring ensemble of thrusts and gyrations set to “India Sleeping”, by recording artists Mars. The Lost Girls provocative marketing was backed up with enchanting execution the entire duration of their opening set. Often displaying their choreographed haunts and devilish charms in the former porn theatre turned sanitized nightclub Fox Cabaret, The Lost Girls are sending a message to the reigning VanCity roost rulers Sweet Soul Burlesque, as well as to the more contemporary Screaming Chicken and Army Of Sass Burlesque divisions, and that message reads: If it bleeds it leads the pack.
Having seen the Suicide Girls perform burlesque in Hollywood, California in 2005, and shortly thereafter buying their “Suicide Girls: The First Tour” DVD there was a hope that none of the sheen had worn off in the subsequent decade plus. So it is with genuine relief and a dash of adolescent mischief that I am happy to report that the Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque show was a riotous and uplifting achievement. Being fortunate to have been a spectator of the growth of Vancouver’s burlesque scene over the years there was part of me that feared the Suicide Girls would be run-of-the-mill comparatively speaking. Alas, these particular girls chosen for the Blackheart squad each brought their unique charms and skills to compliment the show and overall unity of the night. Whether Katherine’s voice and breathtaking domination over all, or Liryc’s grace and moves leaving one’s tongue on the floor, the real props belong to the casting director.
With a perfect mixture of erotic camp, ballbusting insults, crowd interaction, varying cosplay and nerd themed routines, The Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque show was front to back a highly fun and entertaining event.
Sculpting superhero themed routine with renditions of The Planet Of The Apes as seen on The Simpsons, to Sailor Moon and Pokémon to my personal favourite Beetlejuice, these nerds do it sexy styles. If you have ever found beautiful tattooed women of varying shapes and sizes with wicked dance moves, big smiles, strong voices, and loving attitudes to be positives then The Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque is the show for you.