Wasabassco Burlesque – Celebrating Seven Years And Still Going Strong

by Karen Tortora-Lee on November 3, 2011 · 0 comments

in Brooklyn, Burlesque, Event, Karen's Interviews, Theatre

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If you’re any kind of regular reader of THM then you know that around here we sure love Burlesque.  Lucky us!  Living in New York City as we do, there is no shortage of fantastic Burlesque performers who constantly and consistently have us hooting and hollering and calling out for more.

Doc Wasabassco by Leland Bobbe

If you, too, are a lover of Burlesque then the name Doc Wasabassco is not new to you.  You’ve no doubt seen the Wasabassco name plastered across any number of posters, or perhaps have seen the man himself as he introduces one of his amazing shows.


This weekend marks the Seventh Anniversary of Wasabassco Burlesque. To celebrate, Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th Brooklyn-based Wasabassco Burlesque will present over 40 of Wasabassco’s favorite performers, with over six hours of risqué entertainment guaranteed to blow the roof off The Bell House in Brooklyn.

Among other things there will be a stocking fashion show, a pole dance show-within-a-show, performances by the Outer Borough Brass Band along with striptease, hula hooping, fire eating and more.

Doc Wasabassco took some time to answer a few of my questions before I head out to the big event which begins tomorrow.

You’re living every man’s dream, surrounded by beautiful women who are masters at charming, beguiling and seducing. What part of your job is actually just like any other and what part of your job defies expectations?

Doc Wasabassco: Haha, Well the part that ends up being just like any other is probably the office logistics. For every two hour show there are days of answering emails, dealing with paperwork, filling out spreadsheets, having meetings, making phone calls, all of the dull monotonous stuff involved in any job, but it all does pale in comparison with the stuff that defies expectations. My favorite moment is when the first number of any given show starts: when the lights go up, the music starts, the house is packed and there are suddenly smiles on the faces of the crowd, everything lights up and everyone shares in the knowledge that something amazing and sexy and fun is about to happen.


You advertise as “sexy, couple-friendly burlesque shows full of risqué fun, spicy shenanigans, and plenty of saucy striptease”. I have been to a few of your shows with my husband and I do agree … it’s great for couples. What ingredients go into making a show that appeals to everyone as opposed to one that’s just for the guys?

DW: The art behind Wasabassco is created by each performer, and most of those performers are women; female performers using their sexuality in whatever way they choose to entertain, to tease or inspire but always to tell some kind of story. Male and female audience members respond to that before anything else and then the sexuality is presented from a place of respect. There’s so much more to a burlesque number than just showing tits and ass (though there’s plenty of that too).


You’re about to celebrate your seventh year of Wasabassco Burlesque with a huge Extravaganza. As a showman producer of Burlesque and Nightlife Events, what’s at the heart of a terrific night of burlesque?

DW: Variety. I don’t even mean variety acts like magic and sword swallowing though that’s always a welcome addition as well. I mean variety in types of performers and style. A good burlesque show has classic numbers as well as modern ones. Sensual numbers, comedic numbers, performers with different backgrounds, body types, different talents and character. There are so many amazing talented people in burlesque, if you put the right ones in the right combination you get that terrific night.


What are some things about the business that have gotten easier since you’ve started … and what’s remains the biggest challenge?

Doc Wasabassco by Luke Ratray


DW: Putting together a great show has gotten easier. After 7 years we know what works and what doesn’t, what audiences will like and what they won’t, and we know how to spot something new and exciting so that we keep growing and never stagnate. The biggest challenge remains working on other people’s turf. We have fantastic relationships with some of the best venues around, but it’s always a challenge to work in someone else’s space. The goal is eventually for Wasabassco to have it’s own Burlesque House.


The women (and men!) you work with come from a variety of backgrounds, they all have different performance styles and on-stage personalities. But there must be a common quality that makes you say to yourself ”That’s the type of performer I want to be part of the Wasabassco family”. Can you put that quality into words?

DW: They need to be amazing. It’s that simple. One performer can be dark and mysterious and another light and fanciful. So long as they’re both great at what they do I want them in my show. I never want to limit Wasabassco to one style or type, but I don’t have any room for mediocrity.


The Wasabassco Hellfire Club is billed as “The Dirty and Dark Side of Wasabassco”. There are Keys to get in that cost 40 dollars. It all seems a little “Eyes Wide Shut” … but much better of course. What makes Hellfire Club different than the other shows?

DW: Ha Ha, yes, much better than “Eyes Wide Shut”. Less boring for one thing, and fewer Scientologists. As we’ve discussed, Wasabassco is always couple friendly, it’s just that some couples enjoy being a little freakier than others. That’s who the Wasabasco Hellfire Club is for. My co-producers for Hellfire Club are Stormy Leather and Nasty Canasta. Stormy’s the dirtiest girl I know and Nasty’s incredibly sexy and brilliant. We get to cross a line with this show that we wouldn’t usually with other Wasabassco shows because Stormy and Nasty are leading the way, and I trust them implicitly. The Wasbassco show is designed to turn you on, brain first.


You’ve had seven great years, with more ahead. What’s the most innovative thing you can imagine doing in Burlesque over the next few years?

DW: Opening our own club, a dedicated venue with a beautiful stage, plenty of seating, and the ability to host all kinds of performance, from aerial artists to fire performers, with plenty of ample storage for giant props and elaborate numbers.

Doc, I can’t wait to see it!  I know if it has your name on it then it will be something special.


But in the meantime, I’m going to be at The Bell House to help the Wasabassco gang celebrate their wonderful success – seven years of being the hottest, best Burlesque Show On Earth!  See you there!!





Wasabassco Burlesque’s 7th Anniversary Extravaganza will be hosted by Doc Wasabassco, Bastard Keith, GiGi La Femme, Nasty Canasta, Sapphire Jones, and Stormy Leather.

Doors will open at 9pm

With performances by: Albert Cadabra, Amanda Whip, Amber Ray, Bastard Keith, Bettina May, Bird of Paradise, BooBess, Broadway Brassy, Bryan Barletta, Emmy Dubois, Evelyn Vinyl, Gal Friday, GiGi La Femme, Go-Go Harder, Grace Gotham, Hard Corey, Harvest Moon, Hazel Honeysuckle, Jenny C’Est Quoi, Kita St. Cyr, Kobayashi Maru, Lady Scoutington, Lauren Liberman, Madame Rosebud, Magdalena Fox, Mala Morrigan, Marlo Marquise, Medianoche, Hula Hoop Harl*t Melissa-Anne, Michelle L’amour, Ms Tickle, Nasty Canasta, Nelson Lugo, Nikki Le Villain, Peekaboo Pointe, Pixie Love, Precious Little, Sapphire Jones, Stormy Leather, Tansy, The Outer Borough Brass Band, Victoria Privates, and Vikki Likkerish.


Tickets ($25each night/ $40 for both nights) are available  by clicking FRIDAY or SATURDAY

or by calling TicketWeb at 1-866-777-8932


The Bell House

149 7th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Aves)

Brooklyn, NY 11215



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