Written by Erika Maldonado
Photos by Nelson Estrada
Men with piled up pompadours and ladies in vintage animal-print dresses and high-heeled shoes swing dance across the floor to local band Lost Dog Found at Oakland’s Uptown Nightclub on a Saturday night. Shortly after their opening set, pasties and tassels gyrate as women strip down to just enough to leave something to the imagination as part of the “Hubba Hubba Revue,” a burlesque variety show.
Some of the women watch, with arms crossed and blank expressions while most of the men loudly cheer and raise their beers. Burlesque dancing, once entertainment of the past, is experiencing a revival in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Dixie DeLish, a blonde Marilyn Monroe-esque, five-year veteran and her new partner Molotov offer a fresh act in between the solo burlesque dances with an ode to classic Americana.
Molotov, who has been working in sideshow acts since 2000, lays on a bed of nails for their second act. He has been teaching DeLish the ropes to mesh their individual acts into more of a partnership. Trick rope, bull whips, knife-throwing, sword-swallowing and fire-breathing are all acts Molotov performs throughout the Bay Area.