Words by Dasha Romanowski
Bubbles, butts, and burlesque: the acclaimed Blanc de Blanc from the creators of Cantina and LIMBO offers something for even the harshest critic to enjoy.
The two-hour-long spectacle is right at home in the big-top of the Magic Mirror Spiegeltent, which is transformed into a heady, indulgent wonderland from 8:30pm every night of the Fringe. Blanc de Blanc is an uproarious and cheeky celebration of champagne and the glitz and glamour surrounding it, exemplified in the stunning vintage aesthetic of the performance. Think art deco vaudeville meets Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, only there’s full-frontal nudity and gimp suits involved. The hedonism is delicious.
The nine-piece cast shimmy and shake their way through the performance with impeccably choreographed routines, fusing cabaret, burlesque, circus and striptease. If you’re looking for a respectable show to enjoy while sipping on a glass or two of champagne, this is definitely not it. Rather, you’ll most likely end up drinking straight from the bottle while simultaneously being drenched with champagne by the caricaturesque Monsieur Romeo from onstage, who begins the show as the suave cigarette-puffing maitre d’ and ends up dancing in a hot tub in Speedos and aviators.
The performance, split into two movements with a 20-minute intermission, staggers its acts as to keep the crowd thirsting for more. The show features all you’d expect from a circus, including aerial acrobatics, contortion, clowning and hula-hooping, as well as some unexpected moments with one in particular involving a butt plug and a firecracker. I will say no more.
Standouts included Emma Maye Gibson’s (alter-ego Betty Grumble) charismatic and gender-defying stage presence, Spencer Novitch’s comical interludes and Masha Teretiava’s breathtaking ‘bellboy’ routine making use of a flying luggage trolley.
Blanc de Blanc is lewd, rambunctious and ridiculous, which has been its downfall according to some critics. In my opinion, its sauciness is what gives it an edge over your typical Fringe circus experience. So, free the nipple, shake that booty, so on and so forth, and make sure to see Blanc de Blanc this Fringe for a delightfully sexy time. Maybe leave your grandma at home for this one though.