The Reviews That Matter Most

With The Last Burlesque, I’ve received some incredibly positive reviews. Some of them are by official reviewers and available for everyone to read. There’s this one and this one and this one.

But the ones I cherish the most will never see print.

They are:

Lisa (left) sitting next to David Kessler, whose own Fringe show, Wombat Drool, was one of my favorite's at this year's festival.
Lisa (left) sitting next to David Kessler, whose own Fringe show, Wombat Drool, was one of my favorite’s at this year’s festival.

 

 

Being told by Lisa Carr, who has seen hundreds of Fringe shows over the last ten years, that The Last Burlesque was the first she had ever felt compelled to give a standing ovation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The woman who thanked me for writing the show’s three queer female protagonists so truthfully. Considering how many of my protagonists are queer women, I was especially gratified to hear this.

 

 

 

11745321_10153365351043280_2852968765789926044_nThe SOLD OUT HOUSE for our last show in the Sprenger Theatre. 175 seats sold. If I’m not mistaken, the biggest audience for anything I’ve ever written and the biggest audience for anything Pinky Swear has ever produced, and was tied for the biggest house at the 2015 Capital Fringe.

 

In the back row, from left to right, are Katrina Clark, Matthew Pauli, Frank Britton, Jenna Berk, Natalie Piegari, Melissa Hmelnicky, and Emma Lou Hebert. Down in front are GiGi Holiday and Reginald Richard.
In the back row, from left to right, are Katrina Clark, Matthew Pauli, Frank Britton, Vanessa Bradchulis, Jenna Berk, Natalie Piegari, Melissa Hmelnicky, and Emma Lou Hebert. Down in front are GiGi Holiday and Reginald Richard.

Sitting in the front row of that audience was GiGi Holiday—burlesque performer and teacher, who gave our cast an early lesson on how to strut and bump and grind and twirl. After the show she told me how much she loved it and praised how accurately it gets burlesque culture and the internal life of performers. I’ve heard the same thing from a number of other burlesque artists, including Cherie Sweetbottom–one of my favorite burlesque performers and a mainstay on DC stages.

I think it’s these reactions I cherish most. With The Last Burlesque, I’m writing about a culture and community that I’m not now nor have I ever been a part of, though the issues facing live theatre artists do overlap deeply with burlesque and sideshow. To be told I managed to get it right by those with a stake in having their story told truthfully is worth a hundred Post reviews.