The Cheeky Tiki Luau: Mermaids, grass skirts, and drinks with little umbrellas at The Rio Theatre

I was invited to The Rio Theatre for “Cheeky Tiki Luau: Scout Boutique Retro Fashion Show, Tropical Party, and Pop-up Shop”. Taking my shoes off at the beach is about as “tropical” as I get. When I saw on the invite that “Aloha and tropical wear is STRONGLY encouraged, vintage or not just make it island style”, I wasn’t sure what to wear. I ended up choosing my combat shorts; jungle warfare, by definition, is “tropical” and one really wouldn’t want to be wearing a grass skirt when the napalm hits.

I’ve been to a handful of these fashion shows now and they are always a lot of fun. DJ K-Tel was spinning luau tunes in the foyer and the usual suspects were milling about. Slightly less usual was Oceana the Mermaid. Gracing a bench by the entrance, she was convincing enough to think maybe Hans Christian Andersen might not have been a fiction writer.

Oceana the Mermaid and Lydia DeCarllo

The show was hosted by Evil Bastard with the aid of two “Hula Hunnies”, Coco Cinders and Lincoln Electra.

First up on the bill for the evening was Meg A Tron as “Island Girl” with her backup, Fred from Brazil. She opened with a traditional dance that I believe was about a boat and love, though I can’t imagine many Hawaiian songs being about something other than boats and love. Then she broke out the ukulele. I’ve heard her play it a few times and it always makes me smile. Her too. When reviewing the pictures from that night. I couldn’t find one that Meg A Tron wasn’t smiling in.

Next up on the bill was a burlesque performance by Melody Mangler. Melody’s routines are insanely good. She is the consummate Classic burlesque performer. Her costumes are always ornate and her routines filled with grace and seduction. Of course, it never hurts that she is also one of the most charming, personable, and stunningly beautiful women I have had the pleasure of meeting.

It was time for the fashion show. First up – Riot Clothing

And then it was time for Scout Boutique to take the stage.

And last, but certainly NOT least, Melody Mangler Designs.

After the fashion show, Evil Bastard returned to the stage with his ukulele. Playing his own rendition of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of  Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow”. It was a sincere and endearing performance. It came across as a lot more vulnerable and honest than many of Evil Bastard’s fans might be used to. He set aside his classic timing and biting humour for a moment and it was worth every note.

The burlesque performances continued after Evil Bastard’s ukulele piece. Ruthe Ordare stepped in at the last moment to fill the spot of one performer who was unable to make it. As per always, her grace and that wonderful wonderful smile make her a joy to watch every time she steps onto the stage. Before the show, I watched her rehearse the piece, the music playing only in her ears. It was spellbinding.

Closing the burlesque for the evening was Voodoo Pixie. Evil Bastard introduced her piece as “strange” but I found it to be magical. The piece was a fun and fluid number that reminded tourists in New Orleans if the dark alley you’re in smells like candle wax, burning herbs, and chicken blood, get out of that alley.

Island Girl and Fred from Brazil closed off the evening with a fun little interactive set of music.

After the show, I made my way up to the balcony to check out the “pop-up”. Local retailers set up tables to ply their wares.

Evil Bastard helps Oceana the Mermaid to the little girls’ room.

As with any night at The Rio Theatre, a great time was had by all in attendance. We all had what Corinne Lea referred to as “a kitchen party” in the lobby while we waited for the screening of “Psycho Beach Party”.

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