Circuit Mom and RB performing at The Metro.
Today’s Throwback Thursday is of a Circuit Mom number I’ve performed numerous times. On a makeshift riser stage in San Fran, in the back garden at The Pepper Lounge and at Chicago’s Metro. We even poached sections of choreography to put in other big event numbers.
This number, again by the ever-creative Todd Michael Kiech, involved bras, white material and a parachute set to Lara Fabian’s I Will Love Again (obvi a kick-ass remix). The crowd at Metro was electric and super close. This was one of the most exciting small venue shows I’ve done.
RB walking like an Egyptian.
This week’s throwback is from Hell Ball, a “circuit” fundraiser that used to happen annually in San Francisco. Circuit Mom Productions (CMP), with the wonderful choreographic vision of Todd Michael Kiech, performed – in the early aughts – an epic Egyptian-themed number to a remix of Dive in the Pool (aka “Let’s Get Soaking Wet”) and Madonna’s Music.
The event was in what looked like an old airport hanger, so it was massive! The stage seemed the size of a football field. We had to take “big girl” steps to make it to our marks. This was one of the most fun performances I can remember. I always get nervous before a show, but this one was mixed with so much excitement and energy from the thousands in the crowd that I was literally shaking before we went on stage.
Post-show, I got to party with some of my best friends and we extended our tour, so we could stay for a long weekend and sightsee. Great memories and photo ops…and yes, there were band hats!
CMP Productions at "Fashion Cares" in Toronto.
Ah…remember that time we flew first class to Toronto, got picked up by a limo and taken to our show. Basically, we were treated like rock stars, so obviously, we acted like rock stars.
Circuit Mom Productions (CMP) provided the after party entertainment for Fashion Cares, a fundraiser for the M.A.C. AIDS Fund. Last year, the charity closed after 25 years with a huge bash featuring Elton John. The first year we did it, Lionel Richie was the headliner. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
We performed the “Showgirls” number I previously wrote about here. This was the show where I lost my headdress. What I didn’t mention was that we were scheduled to go on at around 2 am, which has a number of challenges like staying warm and staying awake. Nothing was running on time, so we ended up performing at around 4:15 am! And…kick! By then, I’m not sure anyone was sober enough to care that I was dancing sans chapeau. Except me.
Circuit Mom and RB at Finkel Steel Mill.
Another throwback from my days at Circuit Mom Productions (CMP). We were performing at the Finkl Steel Mill for the 2004 Fireball event. Todd Michael Kiech came up with a sassy number to Real Love (Deborah Cooper mixed by the amazing Tony Moran) with a construction/mill worker theme. Our intro was a clip from The Simpsons where Homer takes Bart on a tour of a steel mill with a twist.*
This time, Mom was carried in via crane on a two-ton (not really sure, but it was huge and heavy!) cement block. Girl knows how to make an entrance. The dancers were already placed on stage facing the back. As always with ooncy intro mixes, it was hard to hear our cue and if you missed the first count, you were basically screwed. Dancers started to scatter and move out of position, which made the dance captain in me FREAK OUT! Little did I know that the crane was late depositing Mom on the stage and was way too close. I turn, on cue, to start dancing and meet the HUGE cement block (with my hand), duck under it and keep right on dancing. Note: Don’t make me miss my cue.
The rest is a fun-filled blur where the girls got to literally stripped the boys of their clothes. The only thing the boys had on by the end were their construction hats and smiles. Good times.
CMP showgirls in DC.
For years I used to perform and work for the talent and lovely Matthew Harvat, head chief fancy pants at Circuit Mom Productions (CMP). We did countless creative, awesome shows over the years and the “Showgirls” number was one of my favorites. Set to a cool remix of Madonna’s Don’t Tell Me with choreography by Todd Kiech and some hot cowboys thrown in, this was one of our most popular numbers.
When they first did the piece, I was in another number and NOT happy that I didn’t get to be a showgirl. Luckily, CMP toured with it and – yay! – I got put in for Cherry Ball 6 in DC. We showgirls were to “hide” and then enter from behind the crowd and walk down the massive marble staircase. Quite the entrance! No one told us that the headpieces were basically helmets and we couldn’t hear the intro music until it was almost too late. Almost. Needless to say, there were four pretty showgirls hauling butt and yelling “Move it!” just before we hit our first pose. Out of breath, but on time.
Another thing no one mentioned was that fans are hard to hold onto when wearing silk gloves. It seems obvious, right? It was quite a shock when I couldn’t keep my fans in the right position and ended up doing the entire 8-minute number with severe cramps in my hands. Smile through the pain – don’t. drop. the. fans. In subsequent performances I tried rosin, wig tape, double-face tape, duct tape…nothing worked quite like my ever-present hand cramps.
When performing the number in Toronto for Fashion Cares, the fans were the least of my problems. Curtain opens with me in front smiling and fanning…first step down the steps and my entire headdress falls off. Off! After kicking it off stage, I danced the entire piece with my bobby pins, pin curls, wacked out hair and a big, fat smile. Do you think anyone noticed?