Seattle is a city known for being a little weird. The people here are eccentric, passionate, and perpetually stuck in the 1990’s. Which is exactly why this was the perfect city to launch a burlesque show inspired by The X-Files.
With the tag line: “The Truth Is Down There”, I was immediately hooked. I had to see this show. As a huge fan of The X-Files and as a normal human who likes looking at other humans without their clothes on, my expectations were pretty high. Let me tell you, The Burl-X-Files did NOT disappoint in either regard.
The show is performed inside of an old theater in the International District. Nestled in between busy streets and Pho places, the dingy yellow building stands out. As soon as you descend down the stairs of the theater, you’re hit with a creepy and nostalgic vibe that serves as the perfect setting for an episode of The X-Files.
There’s a bar with X-Files themed drinks with names like “Trust No One” (AKA a Rum and Coke). I had at least three. Series memorabilia is scattered lovingly all over the theater, from Mulder and Scully action figures to books, posters, and more. You can tell that whomever is in charge here LOVES The X-Files. Her name, by the way, is Jo Jo Stiletto and she couldn’t believe people were paying to see her little show. It was adorable.
Picture this: You’ve done a bit of wandering and found your seat in the theater. You’re staring into nothing but black curtains draping the open stage in front of you.
Suddenly, the room goes dark. You hear some commotion and see two flashlights beams bouncing down the stairs. From the darkness a woman speaks:
Another voice answers:
“Scully, it’s me.”
The X-Files theme comes crashing in with it’s familiar echo, the lights come up, and standing right in front of you in all their paranormal glory are the burlesque versions of Fox and Dana.
The story for the show is simple enough, sending Mulder and Scully to investigate a string of disappearances from a Burlesque show where several dancers have gone missing under unexplainable circumstances. The smartly-suited duo find random pieces of clothing on the stage, and, per usual, Mulder suspects abduction, Scully points out the rational side of things, and the crowd loves it. The show ends up being more about comedy than sex appeal, but manages both in spades.
Act after act saunters out, slowly removes their elaborate costumes, performs a well-choreographed dance with loads of laughs, and drives along a story bizarre enough to be a “Monster of the Week” episode all its own. We see Skinner dancing provocatively with an alien blow up doll. The Cigarette Smoking Man manages to take off his clothes while chain smoking an e-cigarette. The Lone Gunmen absolutely steal the show with their nerdy strip tease and fake facial hair. There was no sign of Krycek, but “The Black Oil” act is incredibly creepy. As it should be.
The show breaks the story line for a bit so that one of the dancers can do a fan-girl-karaoke rendition of “David Duchovny, Why Don’t You Love Me?” and it was probably my favorite part of the entire performance. And yes, there was definitely a cardboard cutout involved.
In the final act, we finally get to see what every X-Files fan has always wanted: a love scene with Mulder and Scully. It turns into more of a Scully strip tease for Mulder, but ends with them both rolling around on the floor. It was hilarious!
The whole performance was such a treat for X-Files fans. It was packed with inside jokes and references to specific episodes that any fan will instantly pick up on. Sure, it might have been a lot of sexy striptease, but you could tell that the dancers were committed to portraying their characters and the humor of the show was captured by performers who really cared. I wish every fan could have experienced this with me. Maybe, just maybe… The Burl-X-Files will return again someday to abduct an even bigger audience.
I want to believe.
For more information on sexy supernatural stars of The Burl-X-Files, check out the official website of Jo Jo Stiletto productions.
Were you lucky enough to catch the show and (finally) see Mulder and Scully get down? What other supernatural shows are ripe for a bit of bawdy burlesque reinvention? We want to know! Share your thoughts (dirty or not) with us on Facebook, tweet us @WhoForted, or leave a comment below.