Walking into The Oriental Theater I felt an odd transformation happen at the doors as though I was entering another time and world. The Oriental was not just a theater on this night, as it had been transformed into Cirque Voltaire Deux a circus/museum displaying the oddities and genius of The Mad Tatters and the many other great artists that had joined in for the festivities! Definitely under dressed for the evening I felt lost in a crowd of corsets, fishnets, vests and top hats but enthralled with the dark beauty that surrounded me. The crowd with their inspired attire made the occasion even more vivid and only hinted at what was in store for the night. To begin The Mad Tatters displayed some of their inspiration for the event along with various other artist and vendors in an art showcase. Set before us was a beautiful glimpse into an odd world that seemed to be coming to life throughout The Oriental Theater. A world that beckoned the audience to the theater as Cirque Voltaire Deux was about to begin.
Dr. B. Zurk one half of The Mad Tatters began the show with some musical shenanigans and chaos. With a couple brass horns in chase, he ran around the stage and audience in his top hat making an entertaining scene, even riding a tricycle. A great beginning to an evening that was full of surprises, starting with the Fort Collins group Fadey’s Freak Show and their many amazing presentations of human endurance. One man walked and jumped on glass without so much as cringe, while his partner laying on a bed of nails allowed three people to jump atop his belly! ( See video here).
Pretty crazy but not as big a surprise as the bearded woman or the monkey Chalita Bang Bang, one in the same each changed into a beautiful burlesque dancer right before our eyes( See video here).
The magic for the evening came from Lynx the Animator a street magician with a sense of humor and a foul mouth. With some amazing tricks, he proved his magic wasn’t out weighed by his mouth and he even had a minion that trolled the audience for volunteers.
All through out the night an amazing mix of burlesque dancing took place, every performance ending in beauty but none beginning the same. Two of the dancers started as demented dolls dressed in polka dot dresses, cutting the heads from other dolls with a guillotine. An interesting image that slowly built into an incredible balancing burlesque act( See video here)! The same two dancers came back with a third and to raise the stakes the group took the show to the air, each performing intense aerial maneuvers that seemed effortless and flowed smooth and sweet as any dance but just above our heads.
The Mad Tatters out did themselves and topped it of with two outstanding bands. First was Champagne Charlie a nice group of hooligans purveying their infectious, jazz, dark cabarette to the crowd, they kept the dance floor moving and everyone’s feet stomping. With a dark style and songs like Billy the Burning Business man Champagne Charlie was the perfect group of mortals to open for The Widow’s Bane and a great choice by The Mad Tatters who couldn’t have chosen two better bands to represent Cirque Voltaire Deux.
The headliners for the evening, The Widow’s Bane immersed the audience in their world, with stories from their beginnings aboard the devils ship and their escape, to experiences along their path. Such as an encounter with a snake charming hussy that kills one of their band mates, before joining the band. With such an existence it’s no surprise that they could produce a song like “Burns”, it chills one to the bones with its message to mortals and dark chorus. As The Widow’s Bane ended their set and the night came to an end, the world I enjoyed all night slipped away as I left the Oriental Theater. Yes, The Mad Tatters did a great job on Cirque Voltaire Deux, with such a great line up, we can’t wait to see what’s next!