“We all signed N.D.A.s,” before gearing up for the highly-anticipated reboot of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Kyle MacLachlan told the Times.
While reboots are dime-a-dozen, the fervor surrounding the Twin Peaks redux—Quadruple Peaks?—has put a seal on the project far tighter than anything around the White House lately. In inverse proportion, the tie-in zeitgeist has exploited every angle, from Showtime’s public chalk art at BAM to MetroCards.
One Twin Peaks event made a Williamsburg Fangirl very happy: The Flavorpill/BBQ Films/Showtime event at the Brooklyn Bazaar, a Tribute to Twin Peaks, featured The Pink Room Burlesque—which means that Showtime, and by extension, David Lynch himself, finally signed off on the long-running Twin Peaks burlesque show conceived by producer Francine, the Lucid Dream. Francine and other cast members were even featured in one of Showtime’s promo documentaries.
The night itself was a rotating burlesque show, as each hour the show moved to another room of the Bazaar, beginning in the RR Café, where patrons could also pick up RR mugs of coffee and a slice of cherry pie, and then moving to the Palmer family living room, complete with framed photos of Laura and TV screens showing clips of the original Twin Peaks—sadly, no sneak previews of the new show.
The RR café featured acts from the always-charming Boo Boo Darlin’ as Norma Jenning, and Legs Malone as Special Agent Dale Cooper. The Living Room featured a dreamy group act by Bunny Buxom, Francine, and Minx Arcana, as Audrey Horne, Donna Hayward, and Josie Packard, all three in schoolgirl garb, a well-loved act that also recently killed at the Nerdlesque Festival at Webster Hall.
Francine (disclosure: she was a hired performer for my book launch party in March), produced her first Twin Peaks Burlesque on “Feb 23, 2011, which is the anniversary of Laura Palmer’s last night on earth.” She teamed up early on with Nerdcore rapper Schaffer the Darklord, who has become the show’s regular host.
The Pink Room has done nights dedicated to Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, Wild at Heart, Eraserhead, Inland Empire, and Dune, but “we always seem to come back to Twin Peaks,” Francine says, “because it’s a fan favorite and the best known part of David Lynch’s work as well as the show with the most characters for us to explore.”
“Twin Peaks was something so unique and groundbreaking when it came out that it had a profound impact on those of us who watched it in the 90s,” Francine says. Explaining the show’s staying power in our cultural imagination, Legs Malone says, “Nobody had ever seen anything like Twin Peaks when it came out, and it has aged incredibly well. It is still bizarre, endearing and has the ability to hook new viewers in, which I feel is a testament to how good it is. Lynch’s strange universe is just so weird and novel and unlike anything else.”
Minx Arcana, who plays Josie Packard, adds that “the universe of Twin Peaks pulls you in on so many levels. It is simultaneously charming, seductive, humorous, mysterious, bizarre, and incredibly disturbing.”
Disturbing, but in fun way. Francine has high hopes to meet David Lynch eventually, and had a dream she was working on a Lynch film set; when he found out it was her birthday he promised her favorite craft services treat: Bagels. “I looked at him funny and spent the rest of the dream and waking life trying to figure out why he offered me bagels and not donuts,” she said, guessing that if she met him, she “would ask him what that dream meant.”
The third act occurred, appropriately, in the Red Room, where Schaffer the Dark Lord hosted in character as Gordon Cole, the character originally played by David Lynch and well-known for basically yelling—and several in the audience knew all the lines to yell along with. Francine sang “Sycamore Trees” as Annie Blackburn, and Minx Arcana stripped out of a fur coat as Josie Packard, shooting us all with a glittered gun.
Many in the crowd were in costume for the Miss Twin Peaks costume contest, which boiled down to finalists the Log Lady, the Jumping Man (had to Google that one), and the winner and crowd favorite Detective Hawk, sporting an extra-fabulous shaved-side ‘do.
But perhaps the most Twin Peak-iest moment of the night was in anticipation of the third act, as the costumed crowd gathered in the red room, idly swaying to the Badalamenti-like music coming from the unseen live band hidden behind a white curtain. In the red light, with hope and anticipation, it could have almost been the ‘90s.
Photos by Christopher Gregory.
Bradley Spinelli is the author of the novels “The Painted Gun” and “Killing Williamsburg,” and the writer/director of “#AnnieHall.”