Denver Cabaret Theater: Midnite Martini’s Winter Burlescapades Review

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Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret is Denver’s best cabaret theater.

Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret is located in the basement of the historic downtown Denver’s clock tower in the heart of the city. This cabaret theater offers a myriad of shows ranging from adult comedy to musical concerts, but they specialize in burlesque entertainment. Midnite Martini is a critically acclaimed burlesque star who produces many of the burlesque shows offered at Lannie’s.

Over the holiday season, Lannie’s put on the specially holiday themed burlesque show, Midnite Martini’s Winter Burlescapades.  If you are spending a night out on the town and want to see something different and exciting, check out my below review of the show to see if cabaret theater is right for you.

Experiencing Cabaret Theater

Entering from the lobby of the clock tower and heading down the stairs, you are transported to a cozy little cabaret theater reminiscent of times gone by. The hostess, dressed in suitably skimpy clothing and wrapped in Christmas lights, seats you at one of the tables facing their small stage. Here you can order drinks, appetizers, and dessert from a helpful waitress before and even during the show. When the lights go down, the mood of the crowded theater gets rowdy as emcee Naughty Pierre begins the show. The atmosphere is warm and comfortable and you may find yourself sharing a table with strangers and laughing along with them as you hoot and holler at the acts on stage. This show is all about the noise, and patrons are encouraged to use the noise makers they are given to cheer on the performers throughout the show.

Burlesque is adults-only entertainment invented over 160 years ago. It was performed in cabarets and nightclubs back in the 1800s and usually involved a variety of bawdy humor skits and striptease numbers. They got away with the ladies taking off their clothes by having the girls wear pasties so they were never completely nude. It is an art form, and it is still performed this way today. The art of burlesque is the focus on a slow, sometimes funny and sometimes sexy, dancing striptease which often incorporates the clever use of props till a final reveal at the end of the number.

The Variety of Acts Makes for an Exciting Night

There were many talented acts featured at the Winter Burlescapades cabaret theater this year. All of them incorporated the holiday theme and holiday music. The skilled Larry Webner accompanied the numbers on keyboard and assisted Naughty Pierre with his emceeing. They began with a number by three ladies dancing to the Alvin and the Chipmunks’ song, Christmas Don’t Be Late and it only got better from there!

Some of the most memorable acts of the evening were Lady Shanime doing a burlesque routine as Betty Paige and another where she stripped while she sang Santa Baby. The talented belly dancer, Taka, did an amazingly surreal belly dance with golden wings to the Sugarplum Fairy, and she came back in the second half and danced to a rendition of The Little Drummer Boy. Also especially notable were Lolo Flamingo, who jumped rope on a unicycle, and Brigitte Bordeaux’s hilarious burlesque routines, one to the song Santa Clause Got Stuck in My Chimney (ooo-la-la!) and another where she wore dozens of stuffed cats as a costume, dancing with them to Carol of the Bells. A classy, traditional burlesque act put on by the gorgeous lady in red, Autumn Flaunt ‘Em, to B.B. King’s Merry Christmas Baby topped off a very entertaining evening.

Noticeably absent was Midnite Martini herself, whose stunning aerial dancing usually steals the show. The general energy in the cabaret theater wasn’t as high as it normally is, with a somewhat subdued audience and a few comedic skits that fell flat. The emcee, Naughty Pierre, wasn’t up to his usual standard. His tongue in cheek humor and a few of his bawdy stories felt very slapdash and went on too long in places.

Overall, the night’s entertainment at Lannie’s cabaret theater was well worth braving the winter chill to go out and see. They always have very talented cabaret stars in the line-up and the location in downtown Denver can’t be beat.

Photo Source: Flickr

A Nevada Girl Moved to Denver

Whenever I tell people that I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, inevitably the reply is Whhaaa? People live there?  It makes for a unique distinction to be sure.  I mean, who comes from Vegas?  Where do they go when they leave?  The answer for my husband and I was the beautiful state of Colorado.  Denver, CO to be more specific.  We got out of Nevada at the first opportunity, and boy, were we lucky to end up here.

The biggest difference I noted with awe when we arrived in our new hometown was the buildings.  This might sound strange, but the buildings downtown got me excited.  I’ve been around tall, bedecked, extravagant high-rises my whole life, but the ones here in Denver, in a real city, were completely different in one key aspect.  They weren’t casinos.  This is the first thing I tell people about the difference between Vegas and any other city is that everything there is a casino.  There are slot machines in the grocery stores.  When you want to go out and do something, see a movie, go bowling, go ice skating, you go to a casino.  Teenagers hang out in food courts where an edge of carpeting is all that separates them from the dinging, flashing, gambling machines a few feet away.  After a while, you don’t even notice them.  The pervasiveness of the slot machine is universal there.

Things I love about Colorado:  There is green.  I mean the color green, outside.  There are changes of season beyond hot wind/cold wind.  Snow!  The smell of rain on the air.  Parks you can walk in and trails to take your bike.  Giant mountains.  Purple mountain majesty?  I finally get that now.  Vegas is surrounded by mountains too, but they are nothing like the Rockies.  It is like comparing a sickly circle of shrubs to a lush forest.  Restaurants are all over the place downtown, and you don’t have to hike a mile and a half into a casino to get to them.  Broadway plays at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (also not in a casino!) or smaller local fares in places like the Boulder dinner theater.  Brunch downtown.  Skiing and snowboarding.  Little mountain towns like Breckenridge only a few hours away.  The universal love of dogs.  Open space you want to be in.  The zoo.  I’m crazy about the zoo.  Sports!  Nevada has no big sports teams.  The stadiums are beyond cool.

Things I miss about Vegas: 24 hour food service, free parking everywhere, top-notch air conditioning, pools galore, and In-N-Out.