Melody Mangler’s winning stage act included rose petals and butterflies.
Denise Ryan, Vancouver Sun
Vancouver burlesque artist Melody Mangler sashayed, flirted and danced her way to win the coveted Best Debut title at the 18th annual Miss Exotic World Pageant in Las Vegas.
“It was very exciting to win this for Canada,” said Melody (a.k.a. Rebecca Franklin). “I’m so proud to have been there to represent Vancouver and my community.”
The Exotic World Pageant features burlesque and “boylesque” competitors from around the world and is considered the “Oscars” of the retro art form.
The fiery, tattooed 26-year-old has been performing for about six years. To bring home the trophy last week, she went tassel to tassel with competitors from Helsinki, London, Chicago and New York.
Melody won for a routine in which she transformed from Little Bo Peep to Venus.
To help create the fantasy of beauty and surprise in her winning number, she threw rose petals that were kept afloat by a high-powered hidden fan, and when she ripped open her corset, butterflies flew out.
Melody said “the new burlesque has a very adult drift,” but it’s also about “glamour and laughing, performing and having a good time.”
Think pasties, feather boas, fan dances, bejewelled high heels, comedy, some skin, but flirtatiously less than all-bare, and you’ve got the idea of what the highly popular “new-burlesque” is all about.
Melody, who hails originally from Brooks, Alta. said her parents are “incredibly supportive of everything I do.”
She draws inspiration from the growing burlesque scenes in Los Angeles and New York. “It’s a fantasy world, it’s women coming together to celebrate. Everybody loves the same thing. . . being glamorous, hamming it up.”
As winner of Best Debut, Melody is now eligible to compete for Miss Exotic World Reigning Queen of Burlesque in 2010.
Melody is a founding member and artistic director of the Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society. She will perform in the Taboo Revue today at the WISE Hall.