Kennedy will perform with the Slippery Kittens as an honorary member for their Halloween show on Oct 23 at Bar Deluxe. Photo: Katie Panzer
When I was 14, I went to a wedding for my mother’s friend’s children. A brother and sister were walking the aisle together in a double ceremony—isn’t that fucking sweet? The year was 1984, and the location was a brand new, super modern, super new-wave restaurant called Cravings. Cravings had really funky features––random ceramic body parts on the walls painted Miami-Vice-pink, trimmed in Fresca green, all complemented by the black-and-white tiled floor. In the middle of the restaurant was a DJ booth that spun the latest works of Yazoo and Steven Tin Tin Duffy.
As you can imagine, my latent homosexual interest was piqued not only by the sheer homosexuality of the eatery, but also by the bride, Paris. She was also the DJ and moonlighted at a dance club called The Palladium that had just opened in Sugarhouse where the Nordstrom Rack now resides. Paris’ friends from this club (all at the wedding) were the Wham! lookalike fags of the day—the short, white tennis shorts, pierced ear and baggy-blazer-over-wife-beater kind of gays. This was my first introduction to life on the pink side.
As the wedding march began, the brother’s mother-in-law-to-be was the first one down the aisle. A shockwave went down my body when this flaming redhead turned the corner wearing a red-fringed micro-mini-dress with the biggest shoulderpads in the world, complete with matching fringed over-the-knee red boots and a giant red hat. Next, her daughter came down the aisle in
a matching white outfit! The shock was not only because of what I was seeing, but whom I was seeing. The mother (Stormy Dawn, if memory serves correctly) was a woman whom I remember seeing on the news for being arrested over and over again for indecent exposure and lewd behavior for her work: being an exotic dancer in Park City.
Well, honey, that was it! This whole experience catapulted me right out of the closet and the queen of the PC burlesque scene was burned in my brain forever, leaving me with a strong fascination with strippers and burlesque dancers. You can just imagine my sheer elation when I got a call from one of my good friends Dia Diabolique telling me I was being made an honorary Slippery Kitten for their Halloween show on October 23 at Bar Deluxe.
In case you have been living under a rock, the Slippery Kittens are SLC’s premier burlesque troupe. Started by the glamorously fabulous Lorrie Dohoney (aka Miss Lorrie Ann), the Slippery Kittens features some of the hottest talent this side of the Mississippi, including the aforementioned Miss Diabolique, Mona Moore and Kittie Tart, just to name a few.
Since it’s inappropriate to use your real name in burlesque, I had to find a stage name. If I had been born a genetic female, I was going to be named Kitty, so that’s a no-brainer. Ladies and gentlemen, Mz. Kitty Kennedy. I love it!
Dohoney has had a lifelong interest in dance and moved on from her job in gentlemen’s clubs four years ago when she realized there was a need for such a revue extraordinaire in Salt Lake City. The Arizona native is so highly regarded in this world of dance that she was the only American performer to grace the stage at the Paris Burlesque Festival in September, featuring a new routine she’d hammered out just for the Euro-trash, complete with tap-dancing and trick roping. Miss Diabolique credits her love for dance from hanging with the trannies and club kids, giving her the joie de vivre and eye for the exotique. Dia’s dance of the giant feather fans is really quite something.
Show themes like “TV Sitcom Theme Songs” give the Slippery Kittens’ acts a fun, free-spirited attitude that was such a large part of the old vaudevillian burlesque of yesteryear. Kaci Takumoto, owner of Bar Deluxe, says, “The Kittens’ shows are always a highlight of the year because the crowd is truly there just to have a good time. It’s always packed and people are excited because they know it’s going to be an amazing show.”
The troupe’s Halloween show is by far the most eagerly awaited performance for both the Kittens and fans alike. All the stops are pulled out, no expense is spared and the planning is started months in advance to make this holiday theme show a spectacular event. I’m excited yet nervous to live up to the challenge. The only burlesque show I’ve ever done was a few years back when I would do “The Jonbenet Kennedy Strip Show” to “Like a Virgin.” I’d strip from my big, frilly, baby beauty pageant dress down to a g-string, Mary Janes and a telephone cord around wrapped my neck, which I understand isn’t funny—it’s hilarious. This show is the opportunity to pull out something new. Of course, you have to come see it yourself at Bar Deluxe on Oct. 23, but I will tell you it will involve a straight jacket and a lot of blood, so bring your rain poncho for a little something I’ll call “Kitty Kennedy: Murderess.”
Catch up with the Kittens and find out more info about their shows at Studio 27 on Oct. 28 and the big Christmas show on Dec. 11 at slipperykittens.com.