Washington D.C.’s Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret troupe brought the sexy and sensational to the stage at Gala Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th St NW) for their annual Summer SOULstice show July 1st. Invested in preserving the art of Black Burlesque, Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret (CCBC) put on a show that dazzled the senses to a packed house.

Hosted by CCBC producer and co-founder Chè Monique and Artist\Educator Pages Matam (who provided a touch of comedy throughout), the show featured the sultry dance moves of Queen Nefertittie, Eva Mystique, Angel, Lana La’Rouge, Gigi Holliday, Dainty Dandridge, and Hell O’Kitty.

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The music of DJ Natty Boom fueled the fun. Incomparable special guest Dr. Ginger Snapz, who has performed Burlesque for the past ten years and has taught Burlesque classes at the University of Washington, gave two eye-popping performances. Between sets, Monique not only emphasized the importance of keeping Burlesque in the public eye, but ensuring that people of color don't get overlooked in that historic art form. Watch CCBC's promo video below.

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Sexy, sensuous, and sensational

GiGi Holliday performed the old-time train-themed "Clarence" set, a tribute to the Black Pullman Porters of old -- responsible in part for creating the Black middle-class, to kick off Act One. Holliday's gyrations and body movement fit the theme nicely. After co-founder Chè Monique's history lesson about Jack Daniels Whiskey founder Daniels being taught distilling by Black slave Nearis Green, Hell O’Kitty used a bottle of Jack Daniels to great effect in her set "Rockabetty." Queen Nefertittie's "Hoochie Coochie Man," Eva Mystique's "The House of Mystique," and Dr. Ginger Snapz's "Suffragette Q.U.E.E.N" kept the energy at a stratospheric level.

Angel and Lana La'Rouge made a dangerously talented dancing duo as they closed out Act One in the spectacular number "As Irmas do Braziliana."

Chickens and birthdays

At the start of Act Two, the audience was treated to a human chicken giving birth to an egg on stage to the tune of "Easy" by the Commodores in Dr. Snapz's "Cluck It To Me." Dr. Snapz's costume was award-winning and her birthing supreme.

Dandrige's "Happy Birthday" and Holliday's "Vintage Love" brought the audience to a fanatic frenzy. Mystique's "For Queen and Crown" not only told a story, but created a scene that was Vegas-headliner-worthy. The closing number, "Squad Goals" by Angel, La’Rouge, O’Kitty, and Holliday turned the audience inside out, upside down, and breathless. CCBC, which will appear again on Black Friday in November, is a troupe on the rise that produced an evening of entertainment at its finest. 

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