“Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker” is definitely burlesque at its best. The Land Of The Sweets is a magical land where fairies, magical snowflakes and beauty abound. It has been entertaining crowds for eleven seasons. Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann know how to put on a show.
The show has an artistry and polish that add to and accentuate the bawdiness and hilarity. The Snowflakes provide a lovely lightness and near innocence while still making you laugh and want for more. Remember, magical creatures may not always be what you expect. They are beautiful and enchanting all the same.
Jasper McCann as Charles Drosselmingus is a little stiff but gets the job done. He was obviously not our favorite but doesn’t really affect the show for the worse. He has a great voice and can project quite well. He just seemed nervous.
Lily Verlaine played several parts including The Snow Queen and The Countess of Coffee. Her talent and beauty really made the show. She is elegant and graceful even almost completely naked in front of a packed house. She is a veteran of burlesque and it shows.
Other than the Snowflakes and The Snow Queen, I think the Davione Gordon as King of the Rats had to be the crowd favorite. He was sexy with just that touch of naughty that got his point across. He is a skilled dancer and performer that I look forward to seeing again in future performances.
According to Wikipedia:
Burlesque is a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. The word derives from the Italian burlesco, which, in turn, is derived from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery.
Burlesque overlaps in meaning with caricature, parody and travesty, and, in its theatrical sense, with extravaganza, as presented during the Victorian era. “Burlesque” has been used in English in this literary and theatrical sense since the late 17th century. It has been applied retrospectively to works of Chaucer and Shakespeare and to the Graeco-Roman classics. Contrasting examples of literary burlesque are Alexander Pope‘s The Rape of the Lock and Samuel Butler‘s Hudibras. An example of musical burlesque is Richard Strauss‘s 1890 Burleske for piano and orchestra. Examples of theatrical burlesques include W. S. Gilbert‘s Robert the Devil and the A. C. Torr – Meyer Lutz shows, including Ruy Blas and the Blasé Roué.
A later use of the term, particularly in the United States, refers to performances in a variety show format. These were popular from the 1860s to the 1940s, often in cabarets and clubs, as well as theatres, and featured bawdy comedy and female striptease. Some Hollywood films attempted to recreate the spirit of these performances from the 1930s to the 1960s, or included burlesque-style scenes within dramatic films, such as 1972’s Cabaret and 1979’s All That Jazz, among others. There has been a resurgence of interest in this format since the 1990s.