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The Baphomettes are Salem’s dark and delicious “Gorelesque” troupe and they are at it again this upcoming Sunday with Nasty Nostalgia, a tribute to the very twisted child inside all of us. The 21+ show will be on their home turf at Opus Underground at 8 pm and will feature musical guests The Koopa Kids.
“Nostalgia is a big part of the millennial experience, so what better way than to celebrate many of our favorite childhood characters with our own dark twists?” says Assistant Choreographer Ivana Bendova.
Ivana explains that the troupe started conceptualizing the show with a “ruined childhood” theme and it brought up so many memories and ideas, the trick was keeping it true to the Baphomettes’ style of making it dark and creepy.
“Dark humor has become a staple for every Baphomettes show, sometimes the darker the better,” Ivana says.
“We all have things from growing up that we miss, things that brought us so much happiness,” says performer Dandy Cain.
“We’re throwing it back to all the characters we loved in our childhood and sexing them up into the fantasies of our adulthood,” Performer Lady La Rouge adds. “Playing on Nostalgia is always fun because it brings our audience together on a common ground aside from loving boobs & butts!”
The Baphomettes, a portmanteau of the Sabbatic Goat deity Baphomette and the glitzed-out Rocket City Rockettes, started performing in late 2016 after former Betsi Feathers performer Ms. Snake Bite decided it was time to take her performances to the dark side. “I wanted more of a horror vibe due to my love of slasher/psychological thriller films and comics,” Ms. Snake Bite explains. “I asked three of the most sexually-empowered and outspoken women I knew to start this troupe with me.”
Since then, the troupe – who uses the upstairs gallery of the Salem Collective of Artists and Musicians (SCAM) for their rehearsal and practice space – has grown to nine performers, an MC, a Stage Manager, and rotating guest performers. Apart from being talented performers with a penchant for all things dark, the things that the Baphomettes have in common are their theatre and performance backgrounds plus a healthy helping of collective nerdy weirdness.
“This group of freaks bands together to show the patriarchal, heteronormative masses that loving yourself is better than being ‘normal’ every day if the week,” original member Moxie Tart says. “We’ve quickly accumulated a cult following, and we adore adding members to our strange little gang of weirdos. Salem has been our home since day one and we love performing where our roots took hold.”
“We’ve come a long way from rehearsing in our living rooms to actually having a rehearsal space and putting on some full-scale theatrical pieces,” says Performer Scarlett O’Heartless, the troupe’s original kitten.
“I think The Baphomettes are special because we have so many talented actors and dancers, and that gives us a more theatrical approach than most burlesque in the mainstream at the moment,” says performer Feral Gloom.
One of the great things about Burlesque, and something the Baphomettes embrace completely, is inclusivity.
“We celebrate every kind of body, every lifestyle, and we offer a safe space for performers and audience members to embrace who they are,” explains Ivana Bendova. “Many of us were ‘that weird kid’ in middle and high school, and The Baphomettes is the supportive family that lets us explore every side of who we are as both people and performers.”
“Yes we are a horror
In addition, to this show upcoming on Sunday the Baphomettes are keeping busy with events in Boston and Worcester alongside the North Shore, including two major collaborations in works with Boston-based Slaughterhouse Society and North Shore-based the Betsi Feathers and a performance at the Boston Tattoo Convention tonight, March 29th. Ivana Bendova is also excited for the troupe’s involvement with Koto’ Sirens: Women in Music event series.
“The first Sirens event was a huge success as both a celebration of women in music and a fundraiser for HAWC. I went to a women’s college in Western MA so being able to be a part of women supporting women on stage and in the community is really a meaningful experience,” she describes.
As far as shows at their home venue of Opus go, there are lots of things coming up including shows on the last Sunday of every month. Feral Gloom is excited for the Lord of the Rings Show (Lord of the Cock Rings) on August 25th and Candy Williams is excited for the more educational show “Hellish Historical Figures” on May 26th.
“If you’re curious, come to a show. I promise that we will entertain and arouse you. Just beware; the splash zone isn’t for the faint of heart,” says Scarlett O’Heartless.