Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El Segundo

Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El Segundo

Burlesque started in England's music halls and then moved to Paris where it flourished. Then Vaudeville brought the art form to New York, first as the break number between acts before many of the dancers became the main attraction, much like the career of Gypsy Rose Lee as presented in the musical "Gypsy." Burlesque enjoyed its heyday from the 20s-40s, a time period when speakeasys first opened to provide the forbidden libations and entertainment to the masses in search of it.

So it makes perfect sense that Kira Turnage aka Lola Boutée, the CEO, Director and 2008 Founder of The Dollface Dames decided to partner with The Smoky Hollow Tasting & Taproom at the R6 Distillery in El Segundo to present a night of Speakeasy Burlesque in a Real Speakeasy with her troupe of the best burlesque entertainers in Los Angeles, beginning Sunday evening, April 29, 2018.

But trust me, don't go to a Dollface Dames show expecting the type of raunchy entertainment you might find in a "Gentlemen's Club." Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El SegundoTheir style of burlesque is all about the character, choreography, and the tease where you might get down to pasties but are never naked or trying to overstimulate audience members directly, And this talented group of entertainers always exudes a classy vibe and value themselves as true entertainers who do not allow any physical handling by audience members.

I have seen and loved many shows by The Dollface Dames performed at other locations in our city, each show having a different feel to it along with each group's own style of choreography. There is so much variety, within their shows and the venues where they perform, no two shows have ever been alike. So, I was very excited to visit a real speakeasy where the art of burlesque began.

Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El SegundoOur evening began with a 40-minute private tour of the R6 Distillery in El Segundo with Head Distiller and Owner, Rob Rubens, who carefully explained the distilling process and facility, noting it is the only establishment in Los Angeles where both hard alcohol and beer are created from scratch. I was surprised to learn that all distilled alcohol begins totally clear, developing its distinctive color from the wooden casks in which it is stored.

A tasting session where we sampled several varieties of bourbon and whiskey, each one made in the room where we were standing and more delicious than the last, was a perfect way to prepare us for the amazing show awaiting us inside in a soundproof speakeasy hidden away from "the coppers." Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El SegundoLola met us at the door of the distillery's Speakeasy, where guests gathered around the bar or sat comfortably in oversized leather chairs and couches positioned to allow the dancers to maneuver among us.

The lights lowered and the evening's hostess, the lovely Jessi Belle, reminded us of the rules before the show began, just to be sure everyone knew no touching was allowed by the audience, even if the dancers flirted with us in any way as part of their character being portrayed. We were intrigued... and were not disappointed!

The evening's dancers included Bunny Bijoux, Sprinkles on Top, Violet on the Rocks, and Blaire Cush, each one a different type of entertainer who dazzled us with amazing feats of awe-inspiring specialty acts done while having a lot of fun with each member of the appreciative audience. I think part of the reason for that was the audience selected drinking word of the night, "boobies." Each time Jessi said that word was our signal to raise our glasses and take a drink, and as you can imagine, it happened often enough to make sure the drinks were flowing!

Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El SegundoWith each Dollface Dames show, one of the troupe is assigned the role of "Stage Kitten" to come out after each performer to collect all the discarded pieces of clothing and props so they can be used again the next time the act is performed. I especially enjoyed the chance to "meow" at the Stage Kitten when something to be collected was still on the stage requiring her to bend over and pick it up, giving us the best view possible of her spectacular, lingerie-clad assets. And Sprinkles on Top was more than willing to accommodate our every wish as she gathered items from the floor around us, with hoots and appreciate howls encouraged!

Now on to the specialty acts performed that night. Curvy blonde Blaire Cush started the evening off by flirting behind two large, white feather fans to "I Like the Way You Work It." Next out was Bunny Bijoux, who showed off her ballet skills in a cute teddy and toe shoes to "Do Right Like Other Men Do." Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El SegundoBy the time she ended and flashed her cute heart-shaped pasties our way, there was no doubt this talented blonde had all of us in the palm of her hand.

Violet on the Rocks, a petite brunette, chose "I Just Want to Make Love to You" to showcase her lovely beaded ensemble by teasing us with two large fans covered with silky flowing material that accentuated her curves.

But when Sprinkles on Top came out in a floor-length fake fur coat, which is slowly let fall at my feet revealing her lacy harem pants beneath, Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El SegundoI could not have imagined it would lead to the amazing hot and sexy fire dance act which captured the attention of everyone in the room.

Act I ended with Bunny and Sprinkles returning to the stage with top hats in hand, giving audience members the chance to offer well-received tips from audience members since part of the no-touch rule means no sticking bills in the dancers clothing while performing. After intermission, Jessi began the second act by describing all of the upcoming shows by The Dollface Dames, which you can read more about and purchase tickets for on their website at

Act 2 began with Sprinkles, Violet, and Bunny in bright blue, fringed, flapper-style short dresses, seductively dancing to an instrumental jazz number, all the while having a lot of fun removing their dresses and sexy lingerie down to g-strings and blue pasties with tassles. Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El SegundoSprinkles quickly returned to retrieve the many items scattered around the audience as we were reminded by Jessi that "it's okay to be messy when you are getting naked." Well almost naked, in this instance!

Next, Blaire Cush wowed the audience as she created an amazing light show as she twirled two led-lit hula hoops around various parts of her body. The great illusions of light she created were totally amazing, definitely the showstopping event of the evening, followed by Bunny Bijoux in a short, salmon pink dress garnished with a sparkly necklace, perfect for her sexy dance to Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." As she peeled off her long white gloves, you can imagine the reaction she received from men in audience who she approached, often hugging or even lounging on one lucky man's lap on her way back to the stage to tease us down to her sexy black lingerie and pink pasties.

And just to be sure the evening ended on fire, Violet returned to the stage in a short coat covering her fabulously red fringed, hot and sexy 40s style two-piece, as she entertained us with "Baby, It's You." Review: The Dollface Dames Bring the Art of Burlesque into a Real Speakeasy in El SegundoAfterwards, the evening ended with all the Dollface Dames returning for their curtain calls to the rousing strains of "The Stripper" as they passed the hat again and then posed for photos with audience members. And a great time was had by all.

Be sure to visit the websites below for more information about R6 Distillery and The Dollface Dames to find out more about the venue and all the activities planned there, as well as future burlesque shows by the Dames, as well as a few male company members, who are also available for all types of parties and events. I guarantee your guests will adore them as much as the audience did during their Speakeasy Burlesque show, which will be returning to The Smoky Hollow Tasting + Taproom on Sundays, June 24 and July 22 and hopefully will then continue on the 4th Sunday of every month for the rest of the year.

Performer website:

Venue website:

Photos courtesy of The Dollface Dames

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From This Author Shari Barrett

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