Best Traveling Show - 2008
From mid-December through mid-February, Miami fell in love with a carnival of freaks that descended on the shores of South Beach. This band of burlesque revivalists pitched its psychedelic tent on the sands of Collins Park, at 21st Street and Collins Avenue. Each performer had his or her own bag of tricks. Nate Cooper, a dashing, muscular fellow, juggled knives while dressed in drag. Raphaelle Boitel, an olive-skinned, dark-haired beauty, lay on her stomach and curled her legs over her head so her feet dangled in front of her face. Julie Atlas Muz, who holds the title of Miss Exotic World 2006, straddled an aesthetic chasm on towering platform heels. Their performances were surpassed only by the raunchy and politically incorrect antics of the potty-mouthed ringmaster known only as "The Gazillionaire." A slender chap dressed in a white tuxedo jacket, black slacks, and sparkly gold pointy-toe shoes to match his lone gold tooth, The Gazillionaire shoved his padded crotch into guests' faces when he wasn't kicking the air or offering women a dollar to show their nipples to the audience. He was once a clown for Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Bros. before landing his gig MCing Spiegelworld's Absinthe and Late Night Lounge. Prior to packing up the tent, he revealed to New Times why he loves the intimacy of his shows: "I want people to feel my sweat." Let's hope The Gazillionaire will get to drip on us again next year.