It was standing room only (and maybe not even that) last night at Sydney’s Newtown Hotel for the final of the Unisex Amateur Stripping Competition hosted beautifully by drag artiste, Vanessa Wagner.
And no, I don’t mean paint stripping. I mean good old fashioned burlesque, with an emphasis on entertainment, rather than some of what I imagine occurs now in Kings Cross strip bars (which I admit I’ve never been to).
I’d gone last week with my mate Paul, and most memorable was the performance by Elizabeth Burton, now aged in her 60s. She performed again last night and was guest judge along with musician, Paul Mac.
Unlike last week, however, it was much more crowded, as word of “The Grand Final” had obviously spread far and wide, perhaps due to this blog. The last time I’d ever been in such a crowded hotel environment was for an FA Cup Final (yes, I do lead a diverse life, don’t I?) when we were jammed in like sardines.
So tight, in fact, it was near impossible to raise your arms to have a beer. Honestly, it was easier to get to the bathroom by leaving the pub and going across the road to another pub instead. I also toyed with the idea of bringing a beer back with me, as it was equally difficult getting to the nearby bar. But, it was a great night and one which I enjoyed immensely. So of course, I had to write about it.
As noted by The Other Andrew, it was so crowded we couldn’t both help but wonder about the potential fire hazard, especially as the winning contestant’s act included flames. It wouldn’t be the first time, however, anyone associated with the Newtown Hotel (not currently) would be linked in the minds of some to a fire in a Sydney gay bar!
And the strippers? Oh, my goodness, they were fantastic. Most memorable was the winner who came on stage wearing overalls and a welding mask, and who then succeeded to play out the role of Jennifer Beale’s character in the movie, “Flashdance”. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in such a long time, as she went through all the right moves (including the famous Maniac running scene) in record time, before finally setting fire to her pasties. Bloody funny.
Also memorable was the young guy who came out wearing balloons which, one by one, he popped to rapturous applause. Oh yeah, and there was a young guy from my hometown, Lismore, who I’m still not entirely sure isn’t my cousin’s eldest son. Actually, there was a fair bit of Lismore/Ballina stuff going on, with Vanessa Wagner also talking about living in Ballina (or Bal-nuh, as we long-term locals call it) and handing out “How To Vote” cards last weekend for “The Greens”.
So yeah, I’m expecting this post will turn up in lots of search engines thanks to its title, though maybe not as many as last week’s post about Hugh Jackman which got a fair bit of attention, according to my blog stats. But I’ve also posted to do something to repair to my reputation, having been heavily defamed by The Other Andrew, who blames ME for HIS hangover today. I was at work this morning at six o’clock bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, so I hardly think I can be blamed. Surely Dr Phil might have something to say about individuals apportioning blame to others? Hehehe.