The Thursday night lights dim in Atame restaurant, the sultry ‘20s era jazz music picks up and Thea d’Ora slinks onto the stage to the cat calls of the gathered 30-something jazz babies.
It’s a dinner theatre special where Montreal burlesque dancer, The Lady Josephine, will reveal her new persona — Thea d’Ora.
The tables have been cleared to make room for the performance and save for a chest-high curtain, the stage is bare.
Lit only by soft hanging lights, Thea d’Ora runs her hands over her glittery purple bodice before allowing her shawl to slip to the ground. Her sheer high waisted skirt reveals the g-string she’s wearing underneath.
Glancing over her shoulder she blows a kiss to the crowd and swaying her hips to the brassy music, flutters her hand up to unzip her bodice.
It’s a revealing show that’s been six months in the making.
“I reincarnated because I wanted to separate the two sides of the art-form,” said Thea d’Ora. “With The Lady Josephine I keep pushing the boundaries of burlesque. But with Thea, it’s a place to put longing, to pay tribute and focus on the dance more than the theme.”
Drawing inspiration from elegance, extravagance and the era of Erte, Thea d’Ora is a creature straight from one of Gatsby’s wild parties that have been dominating the winter’s social scene.
“[The two ladies] both have different crowds. Thea d’Ora is a great introduction to the art form and a great tribute to the surge of nostalgia that we have … For whatever reason we’re not happy with the present day and are reminiscing about the past and I love sharing in it.”
Montreal burlesque enthusiasts don’t weep — The Lady Josephine will still be performing most nights.
“Thea d’Ora is the secondary character I’m just getting to know and fall in love with,” she assured us.
The female-dominated crowd loved her too, cheering when her top came off and her bare back was revealed. Coyly slipping behind the curtain before facing the audience again, she pulled it back to reveal her thigh before extravagantly tugging off her gloves.
Combining elegant slow movements, sudden flirty twirls and flicks and a couple of sexy gyrations, the dance whipped the flapper crowd into a frenzy, who howled and cheered while she strutted around stage in glittery nipple tassels and matching thong.
“It’s all about reliving the mentality of the Roaring ‘20s. Tonight could be the night to change our lives, tonight we could make it rich, tonight is all that matters,” said Thea d’Ora. “So let’s relive it. Let’s even create it anew.”
Although the show was relatively short, lasting maybe ten minutes, the performance is easily a solid five out of five. Thea d’Ora is beautiful, elegant and captivating in or out of her outfits. She played the crowd perfectly and knew exactly how to tease and when to reveal.
Thea d’Ora’s next show will be Feb. 22 at the Wiggle Room. Visit theladyjosephine.com for show times and locations.