Tease, if You Please!
A lot of souls have passed through the Globe Theatre. Since its opening over a century ago, it’s been a movie theater, a newsreel theater, a playhouse, a swap meet, and it’s been resurrected after sitting empty for years. Now, a year after re-opening its doors, the theater finally has a beating heart again, and someone to give it a good feather-dusting.
Donna Hood’s wildly successful burlesque show “Tease, if You Please!”, which was once inconspicuously located in a tiny restaurant between a Subway and a yoga studio, now calls the Globe Theatre home. Tease is the first recurring show the Broadway District has seen in decades, and even the show’s bi-monthly performances alone are enough to breathe life back into the whole neighborhood. Even for the most seasoned audience, there is no burlesque act quite like Tease.
The show is a mix of neo-burlesque and traditional burlesque, combining the classic feathers, sparkles, and music with more modern storytelling. Each show is a surprise: Donna and her dancers perform their own acts, and no two shows are the same. It’s equally likely that someone could come out in cowboy boots or in stilettos, that someone might drench themselves in a bottle of champagne or light their pasties on re like a pair of swinging torchlights. There might be a strip tease from a very handsome Cuban man. There’s no telling.
“Everybody here has something special, that thing that makes you want to keep watching,” Hood says of her dancers. “There are different styles, different body types, different tastes in music. Everyone is here for a reason.” Each dancer has an undeniable spark, and the Globe, with all its history and old-LA magic, is a venue that does each of them justice. When Hood first walked through the theater, she was reminded of the scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit when Jessica Rabbit slinks down the catwalk in her sparkling dress, and the patrons at the surrounding tables ogle and drool as she caresses a man’s face with her foot. “Tease, If You Please!” is like that — at once sultry and funny, intimate and theatrical, and impossible to look away from.
“It was a dream coming to life here,” Hood says about ultimately choosing the Globe. “This just felt right.” It had the components Hood was looking for: the catwalk that extends into the audience, and the floor space for the surrounding tables provide the movement and intimacy that’s lacking in a typical theatrical setting. Entering the space before a show is like stepping into a 1930’s cabaret, where the air is hazy with smoke and chandelier light, and there’s still an atmosphere of temptation, surprise, and the forbidden that no longer exists anywhere else. Tease seamlessly marries tradition to forward momentum, and in this way, it’s the perfect show to finally breathe life back into the old soul of the Broadway District. “Tease, if You Please!” runs every other Friday at 8:30 PM, and tickets are available through the show’s website.
Written by Rayna Jensen
Photographed by Frank Maldonado
Videography by Frank Maldonado