WOW TALES: House of Deville’s

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Dark Cabinet Curio presents…House of Deville’s

 

The WOW Hall prides itself on being an all-ages and all-welcoming place, but sometimes we have to set an age restriction on shows…tonight there was a very valid reason for making it 18 and older. While there was no full nudity, there was at times very little left to the imagination. This show was a challenge logistically, as we built a catwalk extending out from the main stage and setup a new seating arrangement to give the main room a layout more akin to that of a strip club — appropriate for a performance that incorporated burlesque dancers and circus sideshow performers with a strongly twisted cabaret flair.

House of Deville’s was presented as a trip to hell, with all present declared by the master of ceremonies as tortured souls that could only escape if they survived all of the performances of the devils who took to the stage across two acts, with an extended intermission for costume and set changes. For a packed crowd of souls supposedly being tortured there sure was a ton of exuberant joy, as the constant screams of delight and rowdy cheers whipped into a frenzy came across more like a circa 1960s Beatles performance than burlesque — but hey if people are super into the performances who are we to temper things, right?

Burlesque performers included Sademoiselle Florentine, Wicked Wednesday, Katana DeVille (it was also her birthday!), Miss Pepper G, Lola Von Luxe, and Dria Dore, along with sword swallower Auzzy Blood. Der DeVille served as MC, pumping up the crowd and cracking jokes to keep the mood lively as set changes briskly took place behind them. All the while several people carried large baskets around the rows of seats to collect dollar donations as a form of voting for favorite performers.

Each burlesque performance was set to different themes — there was a vampire strip show complete with blood being smeared all over (thankfully a very strong tarp was strategically placed so no permanent stains to the WOW Hall stage), a stripping demon, ostrich feathers being stapled to thighs, extravagant gowns and retro vegas showgirl style garb, and at one point even a drinking contest between two women picked out of the crowd (congrats to McKayala for chugging that wine super fast!). A major highlight was the performance of Auzzy Blood, who swallowed multiple blades, at times with multiple swords down his throat at once, and rolled around on the floor with lengthy sharp objects still inside after stripping down from a mad scientist costume covered in blood.

Music also played a big part in the performance with plenty of hard rock, industrial, and goth music serving as background with familiar favorites like Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, and Bauhaus adding to the ambiance alongside sultry Tom Waits-esque jazz trio instrumentals. Towards the tail end of the evening one of the dancers, Lola Von Luxe, returned to the stage to sing a New Orleans jazz-style cover of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” while performing a strip tease, which got arguably the biggest crowd reaction of the night. It’s one thing to perform a great vocal inflection on a song that really demands it to be done right, it’s quite another to hit all those notes on key and nail Fiona’s strong vibrato while simultaneously stripping down to your undies.

After the show’s completion the party wasn’t over, with attendees invited to attend an after-party at City Nights. It was wonderful to have an absolutely packed house for this sensual and sadistic performance to hell and back, and it was especially great to see that some of our patrons dressed for the occasion with cabaret-esque costumes. Eugene never fails to disappoint us with our audiences dressing up for the events — don’t think the staff at WOW Hall don’t notice your efforts. This show felt like Halloween in May.

As always, a huge thank you to all of the staff, volunteers, performers, and of course our wonderful audience for making this another spectacular show at the venerable, historic WOW Hall. We’ll see you at the next one! For now enjoy some photos and a video recap of the show below.

 

-Kurt

WOW Hall Marketing Director

 

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