The Crystalline Cabaret indeed delivers on a variety of fantasies without being overly risque with their House Nocturnae. Although there are plenty of pasties and shaking bare bottoms. The performers are playful and entertaining providing a smorgasbord of burlesque performances to suit almost any palate, from latex to lace to feather boas. There isn't much of a story line to the overall show or any of the individual performances other than you as the audience member being whisked away to visions of an old timely cabaret where you forget your worries and enjoy the entertainment provided by a troupe of sensual ladies. If all of that and the cartwheels and splits still aren't enough to make your evening complete it's almost impossible to deny the beautiful crooning of the torch singer, I only wish we were treated to more than just the one song.
The Crystalline Cabaret Presents: House Nocturnae is playing at the Havana Theatre 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Karen Roller
Click "read more" for the full video transcript.
Welcome theatre addicts. My name is Karen, and I'm here outside the Havana Theatre waiting to see House Nocturnae by the Crystalline Cabaret. I'm intrigued to see this because I do love burlesque performances. I do attend a number of them throughout the city, so as soon as I saw that there was one at Fringe, I thought I wanted to check it out. It does also mention torch singers and other dancers though, so I do think it's going to be a more rounded out performance. So needless to say, sexual content, nudity, but it also mentions naughty. It's also LGBTQ, and the picture noted with the write up, shows it a little dark. Maybe a little more risqué. It does talk about fantasy, so I'm thinking it might be thinking a little fetish-y, so a little different from the burlesque I'm used to seeing. Usually Vancouver burlesque tends to be a little bit more playful and I think this might be a little more sultry, so I'm looking forward to that.
It's not put on by any particular troupe in the city that I'm familiar with. I do see that the Crystalline Cabaret had a performance at Wise Hall earlier this year, which I missed out on unfortunately, so I'm excited to see this one. I do see names of performers that are from various troupes throughout the city, so it seems like they've kind of rounded up a grouping of some of the best of the best and put this performance on. I don't know if there's really any story line. I'm not expecting one. I'm just expecting 60 minutes of fun and sexy entertainment. I will let you guys know if that's indeed the case.
So, that was pretty much what I expected, but maybe even better. Maybe better than what I expected. I think better because I expected it to be all the same thing. I thought there'd be some dancing, there would be some singing. I mentioned I'm a fan of burlesque and so I thought it was going to be kind of dark, maybe fetish-y, that sort of thing. Don't get me wrong. There was some of that, but what I thought was good about it was I almost feel like it was a sampler plate of burlesque. So if you're someone who enjoys burlesque, then great, there's some burlesque here. If you're someone who you're not really sure what burlesque is, if you like it, and you kind of have always been curious, I think that this is a great introduction. They had a little bit of everything. You had cartwheels, you had splits. There was some latex, there was some pleather. There was spans, there was lace. There was fast music, there was slow music.
They just touched on everything. There was more classic burlesque. There was some that was a little bit more striptease-ish. So, I really enjoyed the fact that they kind of gave you, you know, it's Vancouver craft beer. Everywhere you go, you can get a flight or a paddle and taste all these different beers, sample them all. I believe that House Nocturnae gives you a sampling of all the various types of burlesque that you can experience, and you can determine if it's for you or not for you, because I think they pretty much had it all in this show. What I didn't really see though was comedic. I didn't see anything comedic. It was sexy. I have definitely seen a lot of comedic burlesque in this town, and I love it as well, but this is definitely sexy. Good for couples.
Go out on a date night. Go to the Fringe. Get your groove on. With that being said, like any burlesque or a striptease-like show, those who sit in the front row, they're not going to touch you. You're not getting a lap dance. Don't get me wrong. But, they'll be playful. They will be playful. That's really what it is. It's playful. It's safe. There's nothing rude. Naughty? Yeah, for sure. It's sexy. It's fun. It's burlesque. One of the things that I did really, really enjoy about the performance as well, and I wasn't sure how that was going to go, was the singing. Oh, the songstress. Lovely, lovely, beautiful voice. What I really loved about her performance is the lighting was so perfect. She wore this sparkly gown, and the way that the light hit it, you felt like you were in a club from the 20s, in a cabaret listening to her sing.
It was gorgeous. Parts of it with the lighting weren't as good. There was a few performers near the end, one in particular, a beautiful costume, performed pretty much in the dark, and I don't feel like we got to see the costume unfortunately, which is so much of this type of performance, so that was unfortunate. But overall, everything was just really fun. Really enjoyable. It was shorter than expected. 45 minutes I'd say, when all was said and done. Even, and it's advertised as 60, I believe, so there's that to keep in mind. If you're rushing to the next show, you're going to have time. Although it did start a little late. I know it might look a little strange behind me. I'm actually not at Havana Theatre. It was really dark when I came out, so I wandered down the block and I'm standing outside the venue for the clown show. The How to Have Sex With a Clown? How do clowns have sex? How do clowns have sex? It sounds like they're having a good time in there.
But, that's where I'm standing right now, if people are curious as to what this is behind me, because it is a storefront, so that's something to keep in mind for that show. I digress. So hopefully that gives you some insight into Crystalline Cabaret's House Nocturnae. I'm Karen from Theatre Addicts and I'd love to hear your take on this show, or any of the other shows that you might see at the Fringe, so please leave your comments below. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the Theatre Addicts YouTube channel, as well as check the website for more reviews and interviews as they come in.
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