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Live Review: Strip Strip Hooray!

27 June 2016 | 2:25 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

"Act Two kicks off with Von Teese on a swing in a birdcage that becomes a shower."

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Punters dress up for the occasion to the point where they wouldn't look out of place on the stage - old Hollywood glamour is in the house. Appropriate, vintage music selections play out over the sound system with Elvis featuring heavily as we cram into every available inch of space. Enter the self-proclaimed "hardest-working middle-aged man in show business", our MC Murray Hill. Someone throws a bag of Snakes Alive on stage since apparently Hill has become obsessed with these lollies - and Cheezels - during this burlesque show's Australian tour.

The curtain rises to reveal the exquisite Dita Von Teese in a silver sequinned gown bookended by The Vontourage (two dapper back-up dancers with bodies so ripped you'd swear they were sculptures). Von Teese's waist is impossibly tiny and we make ourselves feel better by deciding she must've had some ribs removed. Her striptease shines a spotlight on fluidity and class. Once inside the martini glass prop, the 'olive' doubles as a sponge, from which Von Teese squeezes liquid over her perfectly formed curves that are now covered only by silver sequinned nipple pasties with tassels and a tiny, ornate thong.

Next up is Natasha Estrada, a Marilyn Monroe lookalike rocking a flamenco-style dress in all the colours of a fluoro Skittles rainbow. She's the nipple tassel twirling master and can even rotate one at a time, which is particularly hilarious when soundtracked by Car Wash. Boasting hair that channels Jessica Rabbit, Catherine D'Lish displays impressive flexibility on a spider web prop. Ginger Valentine a brunette vision in mauve. But it really is all about Von Teese, her concepts are inspired and she oozes star quality. Her next scene features a mechanical bull. There's pale pink Swarovski crystals and glitter covering everything, even the piece of straw Von Teese hold between her teeth and then throws into the crowd.

Hill informs us there will be a short interval and stage hands sweep and vacuum up the glitter and ticker tape covering the stage. Act Two kicks off with Von Teese on a swing in a birdcage that becomes a shower. Her crimson tail feathers and hand held feather fans are spectacular. Hill chooses a lady in the front row he wishes to kiss, invites Sophie to the stage and gets his wish as George Michael's Careless Whisper plays. Sophie reveals she's engaged and a heckler yells, "Kiss the fiance as well!" Said fiance materialises, the music plays but they chicken out.

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Our sole male solo act, Jett Adore (aka The Diamond Stud) brings his The Mask Of Zorro-themed routine to the stage next and it's quite possibly the campest thing we've ever seen. He even has a bedazzled silver heart blooming from his butt crack! Three audience members (including the fiance) are called to the stage for a dance-off and look suitably uncomfortable and out of their depth. The 'winner' engages Hill in some motorboating, which scores her the most applause. Perle Noire's act incorporates more of a ballroom dancing take on burlesque and her string of cartwheels across the length of the stage - while sporting no more than nipple pasties and a pearl thong - thrills the audience.

Von Teese's 'Opium Den' closer is a cinematic masterpiece; an updated take on burlesque. The score is a seductive 'Asianised' mash-up of The Cure's Lullaby and Young Folks by Peter Bjorn & John, which adds to the piece's modern feel. Her strut in those impossibly high Christian Louboutins is always so elegant. Von Teese writhes while holding onto a pair of tassels hanging from the den's roof and the attention detail is remarkable, right down to the red butterfly-shaped confetti that rains over us at the show's climax. A thrilling theatrical experience celebrating the art of tease and the beauty of the human form in all shapes and sizes.