The ladies of Burlycute have put together Zombielesque -- taking place for one night only at Bender's Tavern, 314 East 13th Avenue, tonight promptly at 8 p.m. We caught up with bad-ass burlesque madame/emcee Reyna Von Vett -- whose alter ego, Cora Vette, will be introducing the ladies of the evening as well as headlining a show with her rockabilly band, Cora Vette and the Vinyl Tops -- to ask her about the challenges of creating a zombie burlesque show, what people should expect and whether we can expect to see Zombielesque rise from the dead again sometime in the future.
Westword: What were some of the specific challenges of putting together Zombielesque? Reyna Von Vett: Actually, this one is bigger than any one we've done, because we had too many ideas and too many fun things, so it's the longest show we've ever done. In the interest of getting through it and on to the after-party, we're going to have to keep the transitions tighter than usual just to get through everything. If anything, I'd say this one was easier to put together because people got to do their own twisted things.
Westword: Did the costuming present any challenges? Reyna Von Vett: There's more body parts and things, but all of our costuming is pretty huge. What's great about our group of girls right now is that all of the girls in this one are pretty much putting their own stuff together, so it's been really fun, and I think Frangelica Love made some pasties that say "redrum" in blood on them. I don't know if anyone's going to see it, but it's hysterical. Everyone's having their own little giggles. I found a wig in New Orleans that's this giant gray Vampira dead thing with a coffin and a skeleton in glitter on the top of it. So I'll have that and lots of capes and drapes, but I think everyone's take on most of this is that we're burlesque zombies, so we'll probably still be mostly glittery. Undead glitter. There's blood; we might have some messy things. One of the girls cuts herself and plays in the blood. So the undead stage kitten from hell might have some extra work.
Westword: What types of Halloween themes did you manage to incorporate? Reyna Von Vett: There's zombies and vampires and mummies, and one of the girls does a fan dance with spider fans ... there's zombie cowboys and a zombie Thriller finale, which I will be singing -- thank god Michael Jackson sang in the same key I do. There's a Bride of Frankenstein zombie -- there's so much. Almost everything is undead and otherworldly, and of course there's Whoopsie Daisy, who's doing a trip down the rabbit hole, which maybe not as zombie-ish, but is very odd all the same. Everybody brought their own weirdness to it.
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Westword: What would you tell people to expect? Reyna Von Vett: Insanity. A little bit of everything, and zombies.
Westword: Are you going to put on another Zombielesque show before Halloween? Reyna Von Vett: We'll certainly do it again, it's a lot to put together for one run, so we'll definitely do it next year. We've got another gal who's new; she does a zombie striptease and she pulls off her own skin. There's actually more people than usual, and there's a graduate as well from Vivienne Va Voom's burlesque school. There's the regular people, a guest and a graduate, so I think it's gonna be really really fun. It's actually too long.
Westword: And what do you have going on afterward? Your rockabilly band -- formerly known as Cora Vette and the Spin-Outs -- is playing, right? Reyna Von Vett: It's now Cora Vette and the Vinyl Tops, which actually I like better because I wear vinyl anyway. I don't know on a Thursday night if people will stick around, but we're doing that starting sometime after 10. We are starting the show promptly at 8 so we can get through it. There's no cover after the naked girls; we're just opening the doors and letting everyone check out this project.
Tickets to Zombielesque are $12; purchase yours at www.benderstavern.com.