Adam Iezzi of Envoute: Magic Burlesque
We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the director and producer Adam Iezzi of Envoute about his current burlesque magic show and the one year anniversary event this Sunday September 29th that TD2BD.com will be covering.
How long have you been performing and what about you and your current troupe?
I’ve been doing magic since I was 8 years old. I wouldn’t really call it performing until college, when I hosted a friend’s huge 21st birthday blowout at a theater up in Germantown and did some acts and the finale. Since then I’ve concentrated more on doing mentalism and teaching illusions. Envoute and I have only been going this one year, however.
Why combine burlesque and magic?
One of my best buddies and I were both working on this terrible musical that we were roped into doing. It had a scene that took place in a whorehouse. To spruce it up we turned it into a burlesque act. While at rehearsal one day he turned to me and said “This is pretty cool. After this show, we’ve gotta do something that is so completely different that it’ll get this horrible show out of our minds. What about a burlesque show?”. I said it needed to be something original as well so, both being magicians (having met at one of my shows), we decided to mix it with magic. I mean, Grasso’s theater did a burlesque and magic show and it was just that: burlesque AND magic. A magician did tricks and women did some burlesque. In this show, the girls do burlesque magic. This particular isn’t a great example of it, but last year we had acts where the girls stripped WHILE doing magic tricks. That’s never been done before stateside.
Tell us a little about the gang!
Marion St. James, who primarily does magic.
Tesla Tease, a veteran Philly burlesque-er.
Sonny Soleil, a belly dancer, ballet dancer, and burlesque dancer.
Bob Kaplan, a good friend of mine and a comedian. He hosted our shows last year and looks rather good in a corset.
Xander Rioh, this year’s host. He is more of an actor, which adds an element of theater to this year’s shows.
We also support a ton of guest acts, including many more in the coming year besides these women:
Loretta Vendetta, a reoccurring burlesque guest act.
Lady Katy, a new guest act for this year. She will be incorporating ballet into her burlesque.
Miss Rachel Rottin, a Coney-trained freak show performer who,as a guest, adds a very particular “wow” factor to the show.
Holly Je T’Aime, a fabulous drag queen and singer.
…and yes, they’ll all have a cocktail named after them.
You had our hearts at signature cocktails. How did that end up in the mix?
I love to make cocktails. Every holiday or party I concoct a libation just for the fun of it. In my off time I go to Hop Sing and The Franklin Mortgage to see what other people have to offer and get ideas of my own. When I’m not there, I spend time at Sassafras and XIX with the very creative bartenders there (Alison and Nate) who also help me along my way. In fact, Nate is even designing a commemorative cocktail for Envoute’s one-year anniversary. ALL that being said, I though it’d be a fun gimmick to have every girl get a cocktail of their own. One of them, my favorite (the Sazerac St. James), is a real masterpiece and took me quite some time and a lot of dough to perfect. Now we have a ton of drinks after this past year named for crew members and guests acts as well.
There’s definitely a lot of shows out their today. Why yours?
Like I said, ours is different. Its out there. We have music and dance and comedy just like any other burlesque show, but we add the element of classiness, don’t dwell too much on the potential raunchiness of the burlesque, and incorporate elements of very classic and iconic magic with some stuff I’ve concocted on my own. Besides, we’re wonky, fun, and have a lot of huge characters that run with us. Its the only show I know of where the misdirection is built right into the act because, face it, when the girls are doing a strip tease, the whole trick behind the magic act is lost.
This show is a really big deal. 1 year anniversaries are great. Anything we should expect?
I am planning on making the shows more theatrical for the coming year, not only to one-up our previous year (which was characterized by much less complex shows) but also to add a story element and allow us to add various themes to our monthly shows. The aim is to draw in the audience with a less-shallow framework and to get them invested in the show beyond simply watching to entertain themselves. Also look out for a new thing for us: sets! We are also adding underscoring, new lighting effects, playing around with the audience more, and pumping out a few new tricks as well as an old one or two with fun twists.
And how about the location, L’Etage?
The location itself is a bar on top of Beau Monde. It’s called L’Etage. If you do around the side of the creperie, you’ll see the red lamp with the sign on it. Its up there.
Be sure to check out their facebook page here for more information: