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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jo Boobs and More at Public Assembly Party

Jo BoobsWhether it was due to the fedoras, martinis, swing dancing or suspenders, people flocked to Public Assembly in Williamsburg for the monthly Gemini & Scorpio party, an early 20th century-themed event last Saturday night. Hosted by artist Larisa Fuchs, the vaudevillian atmosphere was bolstered by a fire breathing performance courtesy of Melissa Marie Wilhelm of the Cirque-tacular Entertainment, and sexy burlesque by the headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, Ms. Jo Boobs.

Ms. Boobs, who has been performing burlesque on and off for 30 years, said while her acts focus on the 1960s style, it is “a perfection of ’30s, ’40s and ’50s burlesque. I love the music and the era.”

She isn’t alone. Almost all the people who attended the event were dressed to the nines in vintage, reproductions or classic attire, dancing to the Big Bang Big Band and Neon Swing X-perience. The place was hopping.

What is it about this time in American history that makes people flock to a themed party? “There is something gangster about it,” said Rockland County resident Stuart Kerty, 43, as he sipped vodka on the rocks. Dressed in a green vintage dress and guzzling a Grey Goose martini, 25 year-old swing dancer Veronica Wong said her favorite part is, “The dancing and clothes—the style fits my body type.”

While burlesque, swing dancing and martinis were all part of the groove, most people weren’t aware that the main focus of Saturday’s party was to reveal a new winged pedicab dubbed “Pegassist.” The vehicle will officially debut at Burning Man, the late-August hippie hoedown in a California desert, before returning to its home, the soon-to-open Queensbridge Theater in Long Island City.

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