This haunted Halloween eve I made my way over to the archaic Liberty Hall to see the Foxy by Proxy Review, and the creatures that I encountered were intricately thought out. This burlesque group defies the standards of any performance group I’ve ever seen, with their strange but interesting performances dressed in a punk rock attire.
Walking into the venue I was bombarded by the elaborate costumes of the audience members in attendance. One women had a black corset on with a tight black skirt and creeping out from that skirt were eight five foot long tentacles pulling together her octopus costume.
Liberty hall was filled with small tables by the stage, perfect for an intimate gathering, and Foxy by Proxy had their own merchandise for sale nearby. Their merchandise- revealed to me in an interview with the group- is all handmade either by the group or members of the Lawrence community, ranging from pasties to dolls made by a woman with Alzheimers.
As the spectacular began, a women dressed in a white blood drenched ensemble made her way out as her victim lay strapped to a table already positioned on stage. The woman then began dancing around the body slowly stripping off her clothes and pretending to cut off her victims arms for a seductive and eerie start to the night.
The M.C. for the night, Reverend Spunk Rodgers, started with an obligatory warning to the audience before asking the audience to adopt the Burlesque troupe’s language by teaching us their vocabulary, saying “halle-lesbian” in place of hallelujah and “can I get a Gaymen (Amen)”.
A few acts I enjoyed include Dolly Dimples who dressed as Wednesday Adams with a spider following her around helping to undress her, as she danced around the chair propped center stage.
Then there was “Pope it Like it’s Hot” where pictures of Jesus were displayed all over stage along with red wine and a Cheez-its box covered with a picture of the Messiah with the name replaced with “Jeez-its”.
During this setup Nerdy Nita came out dressed as the Pope as she slowly transformed from a Sunday worshipper to a satanic priest in red lingerie dropping it like it was hot.
Next there was one scene with a Jolly Rodger making love to a Chipotle burrito with her mouth and finding herself caught on the toilet for a very long time.
While the majority of the show was definitely wild, the last scene was something to talk about. The entire cast got together dressed as different horror characters with masks, fake blood, and feathers to kill the one man standing in the middle; Donald Trump. Although this could be seen as a political statement, I felt as if the performance was merely a reflection of the group itself; deranged and the slightly unethical Foxy by Proxy.
I had the chance to interview a few members of the group including the Scarlet Harlot, Reverend Spunk Rodgers, and Bunny Baltimore and what they left me with was this quote
“Burlesque can be anything that you want. It’s the freedom to express yourself,”
and when it comes to the fear of going onstage half naked, to perform what some would dismiss as obscene acts they has this to say
“If you risk nothing, there’s no need to be nervous.”