Pic 2: JD Leggett, AKA Jizzy JD
Pic 3: JD, Sparkle, Francois, & Sunshine
Pic 4: Francois, Sparkle, Sunshine, & JD
Pic 5: Francois, Sparkle, & JD with Sparkle in front.
Pic 6: This gal knows how to get "on top"!
Pic 7: The Boys' tribute to "Rocky Horror"
Pic 8: Sparkle & George
“BEARLESQUE” STRIKES BACK!“Put A Ring on It: Bears Go Diva”!
OK, I‘ll fess up. During Gay Pride Month 2010, I had my own Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” moment: the phenomenon where your inner diva spontaneously emerges, and you find yourself standing, posing, and dancing in your underwear in front of the mirror with a hairbrush as a mic. I wondered about the thousands of gay boys and future drag queens who must have lip-synched to Ms. Gaynor’s emblematic classic through the years. But I doubt that any one of them could top when one of those big Boys of BEARlesque, Sunshine 69, “gave birth” to MC Sparkle Southerland in a campy/queasy routine that would make cult filmmaker John Waters proud… with Ms. Gaynor’s hit blaring in the background! You could practically hear the audience collectively thinking “Oh no he DIN’T just do that!” The birthing scene was just one of the many comedic highlights of “Put a Ring on It: Bears Go Diva”, the third show by The Boys of BEARlesque. The Boys are Sunshine 69, Francois the Feltcher, and Jizzy JD (AKA JD Leggett, Mr. International Bear 2010/Mr. Metrocub NYC 2009.) JD created, choreographed, and directed the show. This installment, on Monday July 12th at NYC’ s Stonewall Inn, took the outrageousness even further than before. Oh yes, there‘s also the lone gal of the group, Sparkle, whose limber body gets tossed in the air by JD between her duties as Mistress of Ceremony. (Incidentally, Sparkle makes a much sweeter and prettier transvestite than Tim Curry.) True to its name, the show featured the music of many of our favorite divas: Tina, Beyonce, Madonna, Janet, Christina, and Donna… plus a tribute to the eternally enduring Rocky Horror Picture Show, and much more. One of the guilty pleasures of the night was the Boys‘ “Vogue”, featuring Sparkle in Madonna “Girlie Show“-era dominatrix gear. It captures the glam spirit of the original, but even Maddy didn’t have big hairy guys stripping down to jockstraps in HER video! There was no music by no Cher, although the boys do go through almost as many wardrobe changes as that diva did during her first Farewell Tour. Enjoy the costumes while they last, kids, because as you may have guessed, they usually don’t stay on for very long!
The show opened with the boys’ routine to Ms. Aguilera’s “Candyman“ (as in “sweet-talking, sugar-coated candyman”!), featuring the three guys peeling down to white jocks and wife beaters. Is it time for The White Party already? Next up was “Private Dancer”, which I always felt was one of Ms. Turner’s must underappreciated songs. JD gets completely nekked for this one-- showing as much bear skin as legally allowed. He and Francois then performed to Janet’s “Anytime, Anyplace”. They start out evoking the innocence of love-at-first-sight, complete with those longing gazes. But fear not. It gets dirty-- or at least, really sexy-- fast enough. Can you say “bear-otic”? Then again, Janet’s music always seems to have this effect on the gay guys. The Special Guest Performer of the night was George Hains, Mr. International Grizzly Bear 2010 and the biggest bear of the bunch. He did a frenetic striptease to the new classic “The Bear Song” by Pixie Herculon (If you have not yet downloaded this bear-alicious track, do it RIGHT after you finish reading this!), while tossing beanie baby bears out into he audience. Whether or not any pandas were harmed during this segment is still undetermined… A big thrill of the show was “Rhythm of the Night”, the Adrenaline Remix, with JD and Francois dancing in leis and sarongs, and Sunshine adding some beef jerky to the mix. Some lucky audience members got “leid” … and later on, all of us got pelted with nutty bars, brownies, zebra cakes, etc. Was this segment of “BEARlesque” sponsored by Little Debbie’s Snacks? Francois, a classically trained dancer, also performed a impressive solo routine-- complete with splits-- to Prince’s “U Got the Look”.
A big crowd-pleaser was the Boys’ “All The Single Ladies”, which is already emerging as a BEARlesque favorite. It’s guaranteed to bring out your inner diva just as much as a Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” moment. And big kudos to these guys not only for bringing some street cred back to Ms. Summer’s “Last Dance”, but for going all out for Christina Aguilera’s “My Girls” (“My girls, we’re running the show, My girls, we’re teasing all the boys on the go; My girls, ‘cause that’s the way that we roll, My girls, so ladies step up and take control!”). This track is loaded with full throttle diva attitude.
To state the obvious, these woofy guys know how to titillate their fans, how to make us laugh, and most of all, how to MOVE! And, lest I forget, the night also raised $700 for the organization By The Grace of George, a charity which raises money for pet food and donates it to those who must choose between feeding their pets or feeding themselves. Music and snacks and bears… oh my! Who can ask for anything more?
See more about The Boys of BEARlesque at http://www.jdleggett.com/bearlesque.html