Nic-waving contest! Burlesque show a tribute to Nicholas Cage

Nic-waving contest! Burlesque show a tribute to Nicholas Cage
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

These clothes were gone in 60 seconds!

Coney Island celebrated the illustrious acting career of Nicolas Cage with a burlesque strip-tease tribute that brought “the big knife” to the Boardwalk at Coney Island USA on Sept. 1. Performers came clad as characters from their favorite Cage films for “Burlesque Uncaged,” a night of nearly-nude entertainment as outrageous as its subject. The show was a national treasure, said a producer.

“It was just as fun, crazy, and ridiculous as we hoped. There were a lot of hair pieces and fake chest hair,” said show co-producer Neil O’Fortune. “The over arching theme was sort of raw, unbridled enthusiasm for a man who’s known for mega-acting, and the performers really brought that out.”

The risque revue paid homage to the actor’s career from roles like the ’90s action heros of “Con Air” and “Face Off,” to the men who charmed us in “Moonstruck” and “Raising Arizona,” to the absurd character punching women in a bear suit in “The Wicker Man.”

Burlesque favorites including Cheeky Lane, Evelyn Vinyl, and Stockholm Filly dazzled with skits choreographed to audio clips of the actor and with more conceptual performances such as Madame Rosebud pouring paint on her barely clothed body. The act referenced a scene in one of Cage’s more obscure films “Zandalee,” in which he strips down to shorts and rubs paint all over his body while screaming.

Scenes like that are why the producers focused on the wild at heart actor, said O’Fortune.

“He is notorious for being outrageous and is always completely watchable, even if it’s just really terrible,” said O’Fortune. “He’s always incredibly entertaining and so 1000-percent committed to his roles.”

The show concluded a three-year burlesque trilogy that centered on Hollywood royalty. Produced by Bastard Keith and Neil O’Fortune the trio of shows began with a striptease tribute to Burt Reynolds in 2014 and continued with a show dedicated to Sean Connery in 2015.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.