By Nathalie Weinstein
It's 11 o'clock on a Thursday evening and I am sitting in the lounge of the Hawthorne Theater watching a man in a unicorn suit croon Fiona Apple's “Criminal” while playing the accordion. Once he has finished his tune, a sassy brunette with Betty Paige bangs and vinyl red leggings mounts the stage, and begins engaging in some rather unconventional poses with the unicorn. This is not an acid test. This is Dr. Sketchy PDX, a new brand of burlesque entertainment in Portland.
Part art class, part cabaret performance, Dr. Sketchy allows artists and voyeurs to sketch a lineup of pin-up models, who are more than happy to sneer and pout at the drooling crowd for ten minutes at a time. In between poses, the bevy of beauties (who have names like Baby Le'Strange, Green Orchid, and Hai Fleisch) perform raffles, judge impromptou art contests and make naughty balloon animals. Towards the end of the night, I feared I wouldn't get to see a nipple tassel. But my fears were quelled, when a lithe, porcelaine skinned beauty took to the stage in a very sexy praying mantis costume (that you'd have to see to believe), complete with the severed head of her lover, and began a slow, taunting strip tease that left me wondering if I might have a bit of an artist in me after all.
The next Dr. Sketchy PDX will be held at the Stumptown Comic Fest on April 18. For more information, visit http://www.myspace.com/drsketchiesportland.
Nathalie lives in Northeast Portland with a redhead and two fat cats. An intern for Back Fence PDX, she also collaborates with Nicole Schulman on a blog about asshole babies at www.yourbabyisanasshole.com. You can also follow her on twitter @storymakerupper.
* Every 1st Sunday (Starting in April) @ the Hawthorne Theatre LoungeÃƒâ€š 21+
* Every 3rd Sunday (Starting in March @ Cosmic Monkey Comics All Ages
*image of Mirage