Burlesque company returns to Santa Monica next week to spice up Harvelle’s
By Michael Aushenker
For a solid decade, choreographer Erin Lamont has worked with performers such as Lady Gaga and on programs like the People’s Choice Awards and the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.
But it’s what she’s doing on the side that is gaining her a whole different kind of attention.
With residencies at The Federal clubs in Long Beach and North Hollywood and now at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica, Lamont has been on a roll, shake and strut with The Lalas, a burlesque company of seven beauties whose next performance at Harvelle’s is March 27.
“It started out as more of a fun side thing. It wasn’t really a job job,” Lamont said. “In the past two years it’s blown up, and we’re in a very good place now, constantly reinventing our show.”
Lamont, who oversees every single performance from the back of the club, said 50% of every show is new material, with each cabaret catering to its unique location. Of Harvelle’s, where the Lalas have already performed at twice, Lamont said that the ladies perform “on the bar, and there’s a lot of places above the bar where the girls can hang from. It’s a long, narrow space and they come in from the back of the room.”
A lot of cross-synergy has developed between Lamont’s day job and her Lalas ladies. For instance, she met troupe member Tonya Kay while choreographing for a TV show and eventually folded her into the company. Lamont has also enlisted The Lalas for “Under the Gun” on the Lifetime network when the show needed a group of female dancers.
Lamont, who just choreographed scenes for an upcoming Mark Wahlberg movie called “The Gambler,” makes an important distinction between the burlesque tradition and the world of stripping.
“It’s how you take your clothes off and in what way,” Lamont said of The Lalas, who tastefully take their clothes off down to pasties and a G-string to a playlist of ‘70s rock and blues.
Humor, Lamont adds, also plays a huge role.
“We just want to entertain you and make you laugh,” she said.
The Lalas perform at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at Harvelle’s Bar & Stage, 1432 4th St., Santa Monica. $25, with a two-drink minimum. 21+. Call (562) 344-LALA or visit thelalas.com.