‘Illuminopolis’ at Capital Fringe Festival
By Stephanie Merry
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, to Tilted Torch’s wondrous tableau of fire eating, phosphorescent belly-dancing, scintillating burlesque and — accordion music? That’s right, “Illuminopolis” might just be the most varied of variety shows.
The title of this 70-minute Fringe spectacle refers to a fictional city and serves as a loose construct that allows Illuminopolis barmaid Shortstaxx to introduce “area residents.” Our tour guide, who was decked out in a sparkly tutu, bustier, star antennae and a cropped, curly white wig that looked like something off one of the Golden Girls, served up the town’s inhabitants, including saucy burlesque performer Miss Joule; Malibu, who plays with fire; folksy musical duo the Sweater Set; and the belly dancing Na’la.
While none of the acts were impeccably performed — this is Fringe, after all, and there were forgotten lines and occasional mishaps — it was a delight to witness Malibu put out a torch with her tongue, see Miss Joule whirl a multi-hued, illuminated hula hoop and watch Na’la flutter stretches of white cloth so fast that they looked as ethereal as smoke.
In what was probably the most polished portion, the Sweater Set performed four songs, including an adorable ditty about swearing off guys in favor of the man in the moon. It was toned down compared to some of the other performances but still carried an unmistakable air of Fringe, as a stagehand stood nearby holding up a visual aid: a moon made of tinfoil.