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Punk rock burlesque

Photo courtesy of mPRm Public Relations
The SuicideGirls, a burlesque show with a cult following, are performing at Club Congress on Saturday at 10 p.m. Their song/dance/stripping show is guaranteed to satisfy.
By Susan Bonicillo
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 29, 2005
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Pierced and tattooed beauties of the SuicideGirls breathe new life into stripping

Do you remember that scene from "Reservoir Dogs" where Mr. Blonde cuts off the cop's ear to the tune of "Stuck in the Middle With You?" Have you ever thought about making that sexy?

Chances are that making classic dismemberment movie scenes titillating hasn't crossed your mind, but for the SuicideGirls that represents one of their best acts in their upcoming burlesque tour.

The seven women who make up this burlesque tour are all models for the Web site Missy, founder of the SuicideGirls Web site, established this online community in the summer of 2001. Currently, the number of SuicideGirls is 752. The site features journals and photos of women (clothed and otherwise) who definitely aren't your average pinup.

Intricate tattoos canvas huge areas of skin, neon hair seems the norm and piercings don't just stop at the belly button. It's a showcase for women who don't fit the mold of the ranks of airbrushed magazine girls. Just think of them as Playboy models with a "fuck-you" attitude and a penchant for underground culture.

The SuicideGirls have since branched out with a punk rock burlesque tour in 2004. The tour visited 45 cities throughout the nation with all 60 performances sold out. The SuicideGirls will try their luck again with a second tour that will be kicking off tomorrow, which also coincides with the release of their DVD, "SuicideGirls: The First Tour."

The show is a throwback to burlesque, albeit with some twists. Performing to a range of music from Marilyn Manson to the Pixies to Broadway show tunes, the girls will be in traditional pasties and panties, but for all those curious, the disrobing stops right there.

Sketches will also be performed featuring the infamous seduction scene from "The Graduate" and the aforementioned "Reservoir Dogs" scene.

When asked why anyone could take a scene like that and make it sexy, SuicideGirls founder Missy cited that the combination of the song "Stuck in the Middle With You" was extremely memorable and the bondage subtext could easily be diverted into something sensual.

"There's something inherently bondaging about the scene. The girls strut around and feel sexy. There's a lot of teasing but the ending's slightly different," Missy said.

Though not a performer on the show, Missy is deeply involved in creating new material. The collaboration process has been positive, with the girls forming a tight sisterly bond, according to Missy.

Though the sexual element of the show can't be denied, the act is much more than just showing skin. The performances showcase their personalities and showmanship with a combination of humor and the theatrical, Missy said.

"It's a form of art and people have a good time," said Odette, one of the seven SuicideGirls who will be on the upcoming tour.

Though the concept of half-naked women on stage seems more of a gentleman's event, the show isn't gender exclusive, with the female fans being more rabid than the male fans, according to Missy.

The SuicideGirls will bring their particular brand of punk rock burlesque to Tucson Saturday at 10 p.m. at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. The Japanese Girl Band TSU SHI MA MI RE will open. Tickets are $10. (21+)

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