Living in South Beach -- the world capitol of bad techno music -- it was a pleasant change to head over the causeway to the Vagabond for a night of '50s nostalgia. At Saturday's Shameless Burlesque's Elvis Tribute, twenty-something hipsters jived on the dancefloor to Fats Domino and hugged their darlings to Johnny Cash. As a callow 21-year-old, it made me pine for the pre-digital era before music had all the life compressed out of it.
After the music died down, the flamboyant host for the evening announced the Shameless Burlesque, featuring Randy "Elvis" Walker in a tribute to the King of Rock-n-Roll. The host wore a dinner jacket with thin lapels and sported a conk hairstyle. He looked like a cross between Chuck Barry and Little Richard.
The first performer to hit the stage was Morgan La Rue, a fiery little pin-up doll who teased the crowd to Elvis's song "Trouble." This petite cutie strutted around the stage, taking off her clothes bit by bit. The audience gasped for more as she posed in pasties, panties, and stockings.
She then passed the spotlight to Miss Aurora Natrix who was wearing a tight, black and white, off-the shoulder dress. As "Jailhouse Rock" played in the background, the hollow-cheeked beauty sat on a chair and slowly peeled off her garter. A man dressed as a prison guard approached her, and she tied him up and then teased him.
The darling Aurora Natrix was replaced by Audrey Rose Lautrec. The skinny red head, who was wearing Elvis-style sunglasses, took the microphone and tried hard to sing "Stuck On You." Her voice was thin and reedy and did not project much beyond the stage. Rose should have just stuck to dancing and left the singing to a true professional like Randy "Elvis" Walker.
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Elvis impersonator Walker was amazing. Sweaty and suitably bloated, Walker, who was dressed in a baby blue rhinestone jumpsuit, turned what could have been a tired pastiche into an electrifying performance, giving a taste of what it must have been like to attend one of Elvis's famous Vegas lounge shows in the '60s. Employing a smooth baritone, he sang "Don't Be Cruel," and blew the audience away when he finished the song with Presley's signature karate kick.
Song after song, Walker, gave all of his energy to the crowd and unlike some of the ladies from the Shameless Burlesque, knew how to interact with them to the fullest. As he sang "Shake, Rattle and Roll," out on the dancefloor, couples began to jive. Some were pretty good at it. Then, in a smooth Elvis drawl, Walker began warbling "Devil in Disguise."
Too bad that Walker's performance was slightly marred by the young woman on stage who was dressed in sexy bridal attire as a young Priscilla Presley. The Priscilla imitator waved a bouquet of flowers but was largely stiff and expressionless and added little to the show.
The crowd of people who packed the room started to dissipate as Walker sang his last song "Blue Suede Shoes," which he dedicated to the Shameless Burlesque. Mr. Walker's performance was stellar, Shameless Burlesque not so much.