Burlesque Bombshells hit fringe target
The Atomic Bombshells.

The Atomic Bombshells' leading lady maintains a touch of Southern formality with her stage name Kitten LaRue, rather than the more familiar Kitty as one might expect from one of America's top burlesque starlets.

"I am a Southern lady and we have our formalities," the New Orleans-born Ms LaRue says from Seattle, where the troupe exploded on to the scene in 2003 with burlesque queen Dita von Teese.

The Atomic Bombshells are set to spread their gospel of glitter with a one-night Fringe World appearance in early February as part of their first Australian tour.

"It is a kind of religion, a little bit of a cult that we are trying to recruit members for," LaRue says.

The founder, producer and Atomic Bombshells artistic director says she is keen to compare the American and Australian burlesque scenes.

Burlesque may well be an international art form beloved of fringes and revue venues everywhere but it takes on different guises according to location, LaRue says.

"For example, I started doing burlesque in New Orleans and that has its own distinct flavour, say, from Seattle or anywhere else so I'm sure Australian burlesque has its own style."

She is a fan of Australian performer Imogen Kelly, well known in the US after being crowned Queen of Burlesque in Las Vegas in 2012.

LaRue says her Bombshells strive to recreate in glittering camp style the classic American golden age of burlesque, drawing on the Art Deco style of the 1920s, MGM musicals of the 30s and 40s, the burlesque queens from the 50s and go-go culture of the swinging 60s.

After leaving college in 2001, she started performing at the illustrious Shim Sham Revue in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, where she was taught her bumps n' grinds by some of those the original stars of the 1940s and 50s.

Now based in Seattle in the American Northwest, LaRue's troupe has toured across the US and in Amsterdam, Berlin, and Shanghai.

Joining them on this tour as MC will be high-camp Mexican Elvis Presley impersonator El Vez.

LaRue says she is looking forward to coming to Perth after hearing so much about the Fringe. "It has become definitely one of the most exciting festivals in the world in terms of bringing in a wide variety of talent from all over the world. I am really excited to get to see some of that."

She also can't wait to experience the summer weather to escape a dreary winter in Seattle.

"I look forward to wearing as little clothing as possible while I'm there - on stage and off."

The Atomic Bombshells perform at Deville’s Pad, Northbridge, on February 3. Details: fringeworld.com.au

The West Australian

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