A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, comic book geeks and science fiction nerds were among the least likely social groups to be associated with sexuality. However, anyone who has attended a comic book or sci-fi convention in the past 10 years, give or take, has observed that flesh, cosplay, and nerd chic have become as part and parcel of the cons as getting autographs from artists & celebrities, buying campy memorabilia, and geeking out over trailers to upcoming superhero movies. That being said, on Saturday, July 12, the girls of Devil's Playground Burlesque, in association with Yadi, will be taking all Orange County comers — nerdly fetishists as well as civilians — to the next level of galactic experience with their Star Wars-inspired show, “Star Girls.”
The Devil's Playground Burlesque troupe has now been performing its various sci-fi, comic book, and video game-themed shows at various-sized venues throughout the greater L.A. area for several years. Hot on the heels of her previous show, Video Game Vixens, Devil's Playground's producer / director / dancer Courtney Cruz revealed to the Weekly that her troupe's unique angle on the burlesque tradition is not simply a result of wanting to target the nerd demographic, but it is also because “…that's what all of us are — the girls in the show. It's just the stuff that we love and that we grew up on and that is inspiring to us. So, that's why we decided to put it with the burlesque theme.”
Cruz further explains that her shows are not simply themed burlesque shows but more of a hybrid between cosplay and burlesque. “There's sets and prop pieces,” she says. “There's all kinds of visuals that are done, and things that are projected…I want to transport people to [the worlds that we create] instead of just [presenting] like, one character, two characters. It's more fun to really make it immersive, so it's more like an experience for people and not so much just a show they go to.”[
In addition to providing the geek community with an R-rated setting, wherein its members can celebrate their extensive knowledge of the Star Wars universe while having their reproductive systems stimulated, Cruz has been working with Busted Foundation for six years — donating portions of the proceeds from the Devil's Playground shows to help the LA-based charity fund breast cancer research and aid local, financially strapped women with paying bills associated with breast cancer. Cruz reminds the Weekly that Busted Foundation is the organization behind the annual Bowling for Boobies charity fundraising event.
Another highlight of the show is the live musical performance of The Jimmy Psycho Experiment. Cruz says that the lounge musician, who will perform at the Star Girls show with his Alien Cantina Band, has now been performing appropriately themed tunes to accompany the various shows of Devil's Playground for over three and a half years. Furthermore, she announced, "We worked on a record with him that's just come out recently, called I Kissed the Joker. It's a 7" purple vinyl [record].”
In a time when Neo-Burlesque is on the rise, some of the girls are not exclusive to Devil's Playground Burlesque troupe. “There's multiple girls in multiple shows,” Cruz elaborates, but this doesn't seem to create a major problem. “We try to stick together as much as possible and help each other out…I think, for the most part, it's a pretty tight community, and everyone knows each other; we all try to work around one another so that there's room for everybody.” Clearly, there is no evil emperor holding reign over the community; the girls, for the most part, all seem to get along in one, big, happy galaxy. Join them as they come to a cantina (aka The Yost Theater) near you!