Morgan La Rue and her Shimmy Shake Revue are a staple in the ever growing, and always titillating, SoFla burlesque scene. With hundreds of shows under her belt, and dozens of girls participating in her local and nationwide burlesque events, the Shimmy Shake Revue has made a home for itself at Mickey's Bar in Pompano Beach.
This monthly event featuring Miss La Rue and her troupe of bedazzled babes also features Mickey's Monthly Cruise Night, a retro car and bike expo with trophies and prizes for Best Hot Rod, Best Custom, Best in Show, and loads more. The ever studly gents of the Sweet Chariots will be providing the soundtrack to this week's festivities.
In anticipation of this Saturday's burlesque night, and the two year anniversary of the Shimmy Shake Revue, we caught up with Morgan La Rue and talked venues, music, and of course -- the art of tease.
County Grind: Who would you say your personal burlesque idol(s) are? Are you more connected to modern burlesque or classical?
Morgan La Rue: Dita Von Teese, Ginger Valentine, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Sally Rand just to name a few. I have a lot that I admire, and all for different reasons.
I'd say I am connected to both classic and modern, and that my acts range from your classic jazz/big band stuff to rock'n'roll and even some comedy. I don't box myself into a certain category. If I hear a song I like and think it will work for an act, I use it. I don't care if it's old or new. All it has to do is move me, and get my creative juices flowing!
Do you have a favorite song or act that you've done?
"Feeling Good" by Michael Buble, even though the costume is one of my more simple outfits compared to some of my more elaborate ones, the act is very choreographed and super sexy and it makes me really good when I perform it.
How did The Shimmy Shake Revue get involved with Mickey's?
After The Monterey Club closed, Rob Stannard and I were looking for a new venue to have my Shimmy Shake Revue, and a place to bring in some cool bands. So I contacted Rebecca Hagen, a friend and bartender at Mickey's, and asked her if they'd be interested in having my burlesque revue there as well as some live music and she said "Yes, lets talk and have a meeting!"
So Rob and I met with Rebecca and the Dave Carter, we all talked shop, and that's how we got started. Rebecca is the one that thought of incorporating the Cruise Night in with it, which brings in a great vibe with the Shimmy Shake girls and the Cruise Night.
Have you all decided to make is a weekly/monthly event? Are there a set number of girls who perform each night?
At Mickey's, we have a monthly gig, the third Saturday of the month. I usually try to have at least four girls per-show, and I have about 25 girls that I rotate from. I have had girls from all over the place perform with the Shimmy Shake Revue such as New Orleans and Las Vegas, and of course a lot of the girls from South Florida troops like Shameless Burlesque, the Reckless Dames, and Cupcake Burlesque. Recently, I have had a few girls from Orlando's Big Bang Boom! Cabaret perform in the show.
i>So whose idea was it to combine the live music with the Shimmy Shake Revue?
It wasn't really any one person's idea. The Monterey always had local and national acts playing there so when I originally approached Rob about bringing my revue there, it was just kind of a given. To me it goes hand and hand. Plus the bands bring their own crowd, some that have maybe never seen a burlesque show, which, in turn, can make for future lovers of burlesque and they might come back to the next show.
Do you think the Sweet Chariots will bring something different to The Shimmy Shake Review at Mickey's this weekend?
I like their sound and we have done a revue with them before. They usually bring a nice crowd with them, so I am sure there will be a few burlesque virgins out there!
Oh, how fun! They've definitely got that rockabilly honky tonk sound. Are the performances keeping up with that "theme?"
Yeah, they are a good fit for the night! I usually don't do particular themes for the acts unless we have a show close to Halloween and or the Holiday season. My girls are all very different, and that's what I love about them. I like them to showcase what makes them feel good and make the crowd look forward to more. And usually it all fits together! If we get hired for a certain themed event, then I will pick girls that their style fits that event.
What about crazy shit that happens at shows? Any funny stories?
Every once in a while someone will lose a pastie, or sometimes both. We usually don't even notice until someone yells something! Other then that there are a couple of stories, but what happens behind stage stays there.
Burlesque Night with Morgan La Rue and The Shimmy Shake Review featuring Jezebelle Red, Gams Dee Vyne, & Apple Teenie and Monthly Cruise Night starts at 8:30 p.m. on Satuday, February 16, at Mickey's Bar, 350 SW 12th Street in Pompano Beach.