By Jackie Mantey, Columbus Alive
Surprisingly, the best part about Shadowbox Live’s new show, “Burlesque de Voyage,” is not the scenes in which beautiful women dance in their lacy black underwear. The real panty-dropper is the delivery of the show’s awesomely written, gratuitous sex puns.
The first half of the show slowly introduces the storyline: A traveling burlesque troupe in a postmodern steampunk setting works its way through the trials, tribulations and titillations of the art form.
The second act, though, is when things get really hot. It is a show within a show — the troupe has reached its destination and we get to watch. Led by Busty Slingshot (Julie Klein), the members of the team perform a roundup of short comedy skits and burlesque dances, where the art of the tease is in full and well-edited effect.
It’s an exhibition of what makes Shadowbox so great. The band is seamless, especially during Katy Psenicka’s darling performance of “If I Can’t Sell It.” JT Walker III’s voice during “Sweet Dreams” will give you goose bumps. And the comedic chemistry between Jimmy Mak and David Whitehouse is deserving of its own show; humor is Shadowbox’s sweet spot.
The end of the voyage — where we’re back to witnessing the inner workings of the burlesque troupe (with an awesome finale to a Mutemath song) — is a little awkward, but it doesn’t matter. You’ll be glad you came.