Rumpus Rising to showcase sideshow acts, music and so much more
It was just over a decade ago when Pinkie the Princess of Pain and Lazarus Hellgate got their start, basically filming Jackass style gross-out videos to earn some extra cash. They quickly transitioned from videos to live performance art and ultimately to a revival of the classic circus sideshow.
It was tough going. No one wanted to book a sideshow act, and many people didn’t know if they even wanted to spectate a sideshow act. But through perseverance, promotion, and some hard knocks, the husband and wife team carved out a niche for their own brand of entertainment, creating a market and demand. The fruition of that work can be seen now in their latest endeavor, Rumpus Rising.
Rumpus Rising is a monthly event set to run from now until April (possibly May) at J.J.’s Bohemia. Each show will feature one touring sideshow act from around the country, all building up to the second annual River City Rumpus which promises to be a two-day, no-holds-barred festival of cool weirdness.
The inaugural Rumpus Rising show will be this Friday at JJ’s. This month’s show features the extraordinary talents of the Thunder Snow Cone troupe. The Philadelphia based ensemble (currently featured in Hustler magazine) is a mélange of raw talent, highly skilled performance, sex appeal, and humor.
Scarlett Storm returns with her sizzling burlesque performance. Suicide Girl Smurfasaur will once again astound audiences with her precarious balancing/contortion act. Mikey Mangorilla, true to form, will juggle things that aren’t meant to be juggled. Variety performer Kitty Kaos will also be on hand and between the lot of them you can expect an evening of “sideshow stunts, circus shenanigans, burlesque, clowning, juggling, magic, comedy and more.”
In addition to the sideshow performers, there will be musical performances by Horror/Punk/Surf/Luchador outfit Genki Genki Panic (who have a most excellent new EP available now), and “dictator of the dancefloor” Cutlass Cult, a consummate performer in multiple formats.
The kids of the Subterranean Cirqus will not be participating in the evening’s tomfoolery, being content to play the role of facilitators, enablers and promoters, although Pinkie and Leroy will be joining the guest performers at future Rumpus Rising events.
All of this is, again, building up to the second annual River City Rumpus. Last year’s event, a smashing success by any metric, featured appearances by Thunder Snow Cone, Tinderbox’s Big Bad Circus Sideshow, Zanzibar’s Lacy Jo, Chattanooga Fire Cabaret, performers from American Horror Story: Freak Show, The Subterranean Cirqus, and a world record eye-socket weight lifting set by Pinkie, the Princess of Pain.
As hard an act as that would be to follow, Hellgate promises, “This year will be bigger, better, wilder, and weirder than 2015. We’ve got twice the space and two days’ worth of insanity to share!”
Given the tremendous amount of ground they’ve covered since their humble beginnings and the name they have made for themselves within the sideshow community, there is no doubt that Lazarus and company will make good on that promise and it all starts at JJ’s Bohemia this Friday at 10 p.m.
This is a 21+ show (and we mean that), admission is $10 at the door.