The Suicide Girls Burlesque Tour arrives with an hour of skits choreographed to music ranging from Elvis to Marilyn Manson. Before the show, Sluts of Trust, Bloom and The Slurs will perform.
Of course, this isn’t the burlesque of your great-grandfather’s time. It is updated with wild women — pierced and tattooed. The show is touted as “the absolute best time you can have with seven girls, six firearms and five bottles of chocolate sauce.”
Founder Missy Suicide and her friends coined the term “Suicide Girls” to refer to women who “wouldn’t fit into those tightly stereotypical categories of music and culture. It is used to represent the women who refuse the rules of polite society, girls that live life their own way and don’t really care what a good girl is supposed to be.”
In 2001, Missy launched suicidegirls.com, an online adult community featuring erotic photos of tattooed and pierced women that Missy took. The site also includes interviews with celebrities, musicians and writers, ranging from Ewan McGregor to The Crystal Method to Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth.
Missy became flooded with requests for the featured girls to perform at venues so she created the burlesque show, which was recently featured on HBO’s Real Sex. The site also caught the eye of Hugh Hefner, who teamed up with Missy and created a magazine.
The live burlesque show coming to the Vogue features Suicide Girls Nixon, Stormy, Ravenisis, Sicily, Reagan, Shera and Pearl — the latest to join the tour.
“We get into hijinks at times,” Pearl said in a telephone interview. “Seven strong-willed women living together, getting drunk, in a 15 passenger van for 10 weeks have a certain amount of craziness to live up to.”
Pearl, who became a Suicide Girl because she “dislikes clothing,” sports seven piercings and three tattoos. She talked fast, sounding chipper and sweet on the phone from somewhere out West.
The fire dancing-hula girl part of the show, Pearl feels a Suicide Girl is a woman comfortable in her own skin. Body modification is a way to wear who she is. She makes it clear the show isn’t like what you’d see at a strip joint. Burlesque is a historic artform started in the 16th century, although this show is quite a bit different from that first one.
“We’re removing clothing but it’s not stripping,” Pearl said. “I have great respect for strippers but what we are doing has more production. There are skits and we spent two months with a choreographer to bring our individual spirit and personality to life.”
The girls also made their own costumes for the show, she said. “We made little tops and little undies. I get to dress in drag for a number, the show is sexy and entertaining.”
With this modern burlesque’s blend of dancing, music and eye candy, the show offers something for everybody over 21. “I think it’s a good date show,” Pearl said. “Girls as much as guys like what we’re doing, and not just lesbians.”