Moisture Festival’s racier side returns to Capitol Hill

(Images: Moisture Festival)

(Images: Moisture Festival)

Opening this week at Hale’s Palladium in Fremont, the tenth year of Moisture Festival is officially underway. Again this year the all ages Comedy/Varietè shows are largely in Fremont at Hale’s. Capitol Hill’s Broadway Performance Hall will host the Libertease Burlesque shows. These shows are for seducing and entertaining grownups, not for kiddos. In addition to the many adventurous deployments of pasties and boas during the festival’s month long run, Broadway Performance Hall hosts also two of the Comedy/Varietè shows for whole families on March 31st and April 7th. Tickets range from $10-25.

This second year of Moisture Festival on the Hill will be mostly about burlesque shows displaying the talents of celebrated divas, many of whom are confirmed Hill people. We’re talking Inga Ingenue, Miss Indigo Blue, and Caela Bailey to name just a few, as well as the stunning design work of Jamie von Stratton. Other Hill-centric performers include Fuchsia Foxxx, Ivan Handfull, Lily Verlaine, Paris Original, Sydni Deveraux,The Luminous Pariah, The Shanghai Pearl, and Seattle’s resident mustachioed embodiment of grace: Waxie Moon.

Another Hill act of note are the Heavenly Spies. This group is run by part owner of FRED Wildlife Refuge, Fae Phalen a.k.a Agent Rhinestone. She is the founder and choreographer. This group of former Cornish students has been turning heads and eliciting hoots and applause for ten years, and this year at Moisture Festival they have a bevy of performances.

Part of what’s great about Moisture Festival is the display of homegrown talent, and part of what draws audiences year after year is the chance to see acts from far and wide. This ranges from acrobats and vaudevillians, as well as burlesque performers. If you are looking for something new in your burlesque, a good place to start might be Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey (3/29-3/30). This Baltimore duo has been at it since 2002. Having performed with Filth’s patron saint John Waters, and carrying the moniker Hate Monkey, let’s hope the poo thrown at audiences is metaphorical.

To get the full experience one would do well to scoot around town a bit in the next month. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to schedule around seattle performers whose names carry some assurances of good times. People like Kevin Joyce (4/4-4/5), who mugs and grins in such a way that it’s near impossible to not get lost in the moment.

For those looking to see behind the pasties gain insight into what goes on with burlesque when the spotlights aren’t on, Burlesque Undressed, the Stories Behind the Glitter offers a night with local luminaries. Miss Indigo Blue is the emcee, and the night will feature the performers telling their personal stories. These last two events both take place in Fremont, but events like these may be worth a bit of travel.

This festival is made by people in love with the storied tradition of circus, of vaudeville — top hats, dust, sweat, greasepaint– these and a hundred other semi-magic implements are wielded by Ron W. Bailey and the other organizers attempt to foster something memorable, and hopefully transcendent here in Seattle. Peril is captivating. Best of luck to all involved. Inga-Ingenue_high