Top 10 Tips for Lovely Audiences

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It’s Top 10 Tuesday and just a few weeks away from our first show of the season, so we’re here to offer you a few tips on getting the most out of your audience experience at our monthly cabaret!

1. Dressing up is half the fun! Our audiences love to dress with the theme of the show, whether full-blown cosplay or just a tiny suggestion of a character. We often will have an impromptu fashion show or costume contest with prizes, and you don’t want to miss out!

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Some of our Bright Young Things (our Secret Society Fan Club) dressed lavishly at the Rockabilly show in June. Photo: TM Grey Photography

2. Don’t sprawl into the aisle. If you see an aisle set up down the middle of the seats, we PROMISE we’re going to use it. Careful not to get hurt! Also, remember that sitting in the front row and the aisle means you’re willing to be a part of the fun — think of it as a glitterific splash zone of sorts.

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Lady Grey as Fairy G at our Twisted Fairytales cabaret, showing off her wings to a member of the back row. Photo: TM Grey Photography

3. Bring a bit of cash with you. We always have fabulous things for sale, from Lady Grey’s Lovelies shot glass to Live Outrageously tshirts. There’s no pressure, but that sequin bag might your name written all over it…

4. Pick your flavor. Our two show times have very different vibes, even though they usually feature the same basic numbers. The 8 pm show is always a little more relaxed, and the 10 pm show is always a little more rowdy.

5. Get a season pass if you think you’re going to make it to most of the shows. The season subscription includes awesome perks you can’t get otherwise, including reserved seats, meet and greets, and signed souvenirs. It also gets you one show for free and you save on ticketing fees, so consider the incredible value!!

6. Buy your tickets ahead of time. We actually will set up our “house” based on the number of ticket sales to make sure seating feels comfortable for everyone, so it is super helpful to us to know before the day of the show, even if you only buy them a few days in advance.

7. Put your phone away. We want you to enjoy the performance as a live experience, not through a camera or while texting all night. Take advantage of photo opportunities with our Lovelies during intermission and after the show — we even have a strolling Polaroid photographer taking pics if you want a souvenir!

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Nightflower & Brooklyn Noir in La Vie Parisienne. Photo: TM Grey Photography

8. Use social media. We love when people check in to our shows, post on our Facebook page, tag us on Instagram, and more. If you DO take pics, whether of you and your friends pre-show, during the finale, with Lovelies during intermission, or even partying afterward, please post them to social media using the hashtag #ladygreyscabaret. We’d love to see!

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9. Do not try and tip performers while they are performing. If you have a burning desire to give someone money, please see one of our stage kittens and they will make sure your gift is delivered to the right person. Also, we all accept flowers and chocolate, if you feel inspired.

10. Bring friends. This is a perfect date night, sure. But it also is hysterical fun for a big group of girlfriends (read: excuse to dress up) or a guys’ night out (aka wife-approved entertainment). Our cabarets are variety shows with a little something for everyone — from hilarious hosts and fantastic flappers to burlesque babies and sultry sopranos. Everyone is welcome!!!

 

So we’ll see you on September 23rd for our Speakeasy party on Opening Night! Come make our audience FANTASTIC!!!!

Love,
Lady Grey & the Lovelies
xoxo

Inspiring Movement: Michelle Dorrance

Ladies and gentleman, a dear colleague… Michelle Dorrance.

I am stunned at her ear, the space, the sweet pocket and then the musician’s. beautiful reeling reaction afterwards…

For those of you who are not familiar with rhythm tappers, this lovely dame is among the new elite. She has created the most inspiring pieces over her already amazing career and continues to break the mold and push for new sounds and statements outside the box. She is hands down the most physically committed female tapper I’ve ever seen, with an attack that is full of masculine energy and aggression.

But this clip highlights what she does best… finesse. She doesn’t shred unless it’s time. She isn’t afraid of silence. She makes it about phrasing and dynamics and saying something profound musically. And, oh my word, how she swings…

Enjoy!

Love,
Lady Grey

The Intrigue of Burlesque

What’s the Big Deal about Burlesque?

wpid-p010.jpgIt’s true that the burlesque scene has exploded in the last ten to fifteen years with the rise of such an amazing stars as Dita Von Teese and Dirty Martini, but really, burlesque never died — it just wasn’t as visible to the public. With the recent production of movies like Moulin Rouge (Nicole Kidman) and Burlesque (Christina Aguilera and Cher) the inherent beauty of burlesque was made relevant to pop culture and the public felt like they had been given access to an otherwise “underworld” industry.

So what is it that makes burlesque so appealing to the masses? From the audience’s perspective, it is simple. Who wouldn’t want to watch a beautiful woman dance around on the stage and strip down to next to nothing?!? That’s a no-brainer. However, the question becomes … why does the entertainer become a part of the industry in the first place? What’s so appealing about it? Is it the sound of the audience’s applause? Is it the deep need to have a career in entertainment but just not on Broadway? Is it the need to feel wanted and beautiful?

The answer is, of course, yes to all of these. So I thought I would take a moment and explain to you why it is that Lady Grey does what she does, because, just like everyone else, it is multi-faceted.

Why Burlesque is Important to Me
1. I love to entertain. I’ve been a dancer my entire life, and there’s nothing more appealing to me then putting a smile on someone’s face or my helping them to feel something different – more real and more alive than they did before they walked in the door.

731663fbaa39207189b843237f56b2e12. I have been tap dancing for 30 years, and I’ve taught for 27 years. I have finally reached the point in my career where I feel like I have stagnated, and it’s time to discover something new. For a while, I struggled, thinking that I should be teaching teachers how to teach. I may still do that, but as far as entertaining goes, I am no longer young enough to keep up with the spring chickens who are creating excellent tap works on the New York City and LA scenes.

What I do have is a maturity and an understanding of audience appeal, vernacular jazz, and vintage dance like swing and Charleston that I’ve never explored as a performer. So for me this is an opportunity to fuse my exceptional tap experience with those vintage styles and be able to explore a new art form.

3. I’m deeply in love with old Hollywood and the Roaring Twenties. Some of this is due to the magical music that existed in that day in age — the melodies that are so timeless, that we recognize and have grown to love — from Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing to simple songs like Jeepers Creepers. Many times, that iconic music had accompanying movement that was immortalized on film or made famous by a dance that got passed on through the generations. However, there are scads of songs that have not been danced to their fullest!

Because of lack of exposure to current audiencegoers, there are also many famous numbers that are quickly being lost. My goal is to resurrect numbers from the greats – such as Eleanor Powell, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, Ann Miller, Josephine Baker, and more.

4. Last week, a good friend said this to me: “You remind me of Gypsy Rose Lee’s more attractive granddaughter. You truly do have that classic 30s to 50s sophisticated side of the coin — that classic demure above, degenerate below look of Rose, Lily, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly — as opposed to the overt sex bomb looks of Tempest, Blaze, Monroe, etc. In short, though, you are a strikingly attractive woman.” What more could a woman ask for than to be compared to the likes of THAT list? Oh my goodness. I felt beautiful. And as if people other than me thought so too.

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So here I sit, drumming up tons of ideas for my burlesque career, realizing that the “why” behind burlesque is because it is freeing and it makes people happy. What more excuse does one need? People who view burlesque work as objectifying women are so very, very far from the truth. For many of us, it is the path to freedom, self-acceptance, and finding our voice.

Lovelies, I must go now, but I would love to hear from my burlesque sisters out there. What are your thoughts on the intrigue of burlesque?

Love,
Lady Grey

Part 2: Roaring 20's Dance Moves for Beginners

shorty georgeA couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to some roaring 20’s basic dance moves. As promised, here is the next phase for you. I hope you’ve been practicing!

Let’s have a roaring good time! These dance are so fun, I dare you to try them and keep the smile off your face. Bet you can’t do it!

Lady Grey’s Roaring 20’s Picks:

In the next month or so, I’m going to begin to put some of these together in combination for you. Watch for my new YouTube channel announcement soon!

6. Fishtail
7. Apple Jack
8. Suzy Q
9. Crazy Legs
10. Falling Off the Log

And as a refresher, here are the first five from my prior post:

1. Truckin’
2. Shorty George
3. Charleston
4. Boogie Back
5. Spank the Baby

Happy dancing to all of you! If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. You know how much I love teaching and sharing!

Love,
Lady Grey

Inspirational Movement: Tap Dat

I was going to do a great post about Fashion because it’s Friday, but I think it will have to wait. This video trumps anything else I could share with you today. I know nearly all the tap dancers in this, from Lee (the guy featured at the beginning) to Sarah (girl in the red gloves). All of them are the crème de la crème of the rhythm tap world, and their dancing (plus the overall concept of this video) is my inspiration for the week.

Of particular note are the great references in the lyrics, plus nods all throughout the choreography to the masters, including a particularly sweet blink-of-an-eye moment where the girls do the Coles Stroll on top of the bar. I’m sure Honi Coles is smiling.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lady Grey