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Twisted sisters: ‘Ladyweirdo’ show celebrates freaky females

Clowning around: Burlesque performer Fem Appeal will be present her version of Batman villain The Joker at the “Ladyweirdo” show in Bushwick on Jan. 25.
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They are letting their freak flags fly!

A group of self-identified weird women will serve up some peculiar performances and bizarre burlesque at the “Ladyweirdo” event at the Cobra Club in Bushwick on Jan. 25. The special edition of the monthly “Force Majeure Vaudeville” show will showcase the very oddities that talented women are often stigmatized for displaying, said the show’s organizer and host.

“One of reasons I wanted to do the show is because I think vaudeville is the best form to do that,” said Tanya Solomon, a Bushwick magician.

Female performers, regardless of what branch of entertainment they work in, are often pressured to adopt a conventionally feminine look, and may feel like they can only display the most likable sides of their personality, said Solomon.

“They tend to feel that they have to be pretty on stage, and there’s even a fear of being silly and funny,” she said. “It’s one of last taboos of society for women to be weird and to just not care what people think.”

Solomon created the show when she realized vaudeville and burlesque stages offered a rare space where women could channel their weirdness, and after being inspired by some female musicians who broke the mold.

“I noticed that women often did more weird performances in vaudeville than other forms of performance,” said Solomon. “I started looking at Bjork and Missy Elliot, and I saw how, for female identified performers in vaudeville, the goal is not to be pretty but to go all out and to perform whatever you got no matter what.”

The performers at the show will include a senior contortionist, a “mutated” hip-hop dancer, a science-fiction burlesque performer, a female drag queen, and Solomon herself performing magic tricks.

Solomon said that she is excited to see a performance from Fem Appeal, who will give a burlesque performance while dressed as her version of the Batman villain “Black Mask.” The Black Mask character is generally aggressive and sadistic in nature, but for the “Ladyweirdo,” the dancer said that she plans to show a softer side to the character, unleashed by a more romantic ballad.

“When I perform Black Mask it’s intensive, aggressive, and angry, but I wondered what if I performed that act and what would it would like if he danced to ‘Love on the Brain’ by Rihanna,” said Appeal.

Her nearly four-minute act will look freaky to most people, she said.

“I look insane but I’m doing lap dance movements,” she said. “I’m wearing this mask and I look like a creature, so for me to be doing the moves I’m doing — that’s already weird.”

The special show gives her an opportunity to explore her creativity and embrace its weirder aspects, she said.

“One thing I enjoy about the act personally, is that it’s me challenging myself and not just doing my default, which is super funny or super creepy. This is combining all of it and being slower with it,” said Appeal.

“Ladyweirdo” at the Cobra Club [6 Wyckoff Ave. between Jefferson and Troutman streets in Bushwick, (917) 719–1138, www.cobraclubbk.com]. Jan. 25 at 9 pm. $15.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.
Posted 12:00 am, January 22, 2018
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