In a city full of parties and events where most lack creative talent and variety, there’s one event that still takes the garter belt for me. Armed with their spot-on vintage wardrobes and ability to woo an audience, the guys and gals of Champagne Riot threw another showstopper performance this past Tuesday evening at the intimate Iridium Jazz Club on Broadway. Rightfully titled Teach Me Tonight and assisting that back to school crowd in downing one more drink before hitting the books once more.
Trying to find the venue for virgins might be a tough task as it’s well hidden from the public eye; tucked away in a basement in an area that gets nonstop foot traffic so it was well-fitting to add to that speakeasy feeling. Our MC to the audience of mixed individuals was Dandy Wellington who often makes press for his Prohibition era dapper attire and tongue-in-cheek humor. He ushered in the vivacious Amber Ray who armed herself in a stunning white Swarovski crystal get-up and sung ‘Dream A Little Dream of Me’; even using hooks on her bra to remove gloves when her hands were full with large feathered fans to which she entered the dining area, teasing men and women alike.
Gelber & Manning belted out numbers in between acts all to thunderous applause as they hit the vocal and musical notes above and beyond. Shimmying center stage came the sultry Gin Minsky dressed in Cabaret heels, bowler hat, and corset. Minsky played to the audience as she slowly undressed. (Taking your clothes off is pretty popular at such events.) Rounding out her number she attacked pianist Jesse Gelber with continuous kisses leaving his cheeks, as well as his face, red.
At this point Wellington informed the attendees that the next performer teaches art to school children in the Bronx. Cue the deliciously in charge Jezebel Express who entered in a large white frock and exited with little more than her panties and pasties. She decided to give an impromptu painting lesson as she dipped brushes in to various colors and doused herself in a rainbow of tempera. “Ohhhh, yes,” one member of the crowd kept screaming. “How am I supposed to follow that,” nightlife producer Lee Chappell mentioned before singing a song whom he dedicated to his first kiss in kindergarten.
For an alternative Tuesday night, these men and women went all out in their delivery of exposing their endless talents. Hey, it sure beat going to the same rooftop club you go to every week. Try ‘em on for size sometime.