Oh Baby! Burlesque, a “freshly-formed group of San Antonio ladies” with a “great lust for music, costuming, and the art of burlesque,” is the source of some hot air blowing around Dixie’s Country Bar, a neighborhood watering hole in window-rattling range of the San Antonio International Airport.
In this neighborhood, where you can ditch your alarm clock for a 6 a.m. wakeup explosion courtesy of FedEx, things change slowly. A welcome alternative to nearby Broadway Bar (8800 Broadway) and Winston’s (2522 Nacogdoches), Dixie’s sits nestled in an outside-the-loop corner pocket strip mall.
Although there’s plenty of evidence that Dixie’s was indeed a country-themed bar when it opened back in 2005, the place is undeniably a rock ‘n’ roll establishment that caters to the service industry. Once a big draw for the bar, the black-and-white photo booth (which was owned by a third party) is gone, but you’ll find all the trappings of a cozy dive — pool table, flatscreen, jukebox, smokers, and cheap booze.
A few weeks ago, I decided to investigate the mysterious case of the disappearing clothes at Dixie’s. When I arrived, Little Dickie, a member of Scarlet Darlings, was welcoming the lovely Jenn O’Syde to the stage. While giving “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” an erotic spin, the leggy blonde shimmied out of a skimpy red-and-white ensemble with faux fur trim. Part striptease, part lap dance (in the roll of Santa, another girl sat in a chair with her back to the audience), each performance had a naughty holiday twist to it. Layers of silky, red-fringed undergarments were artfully discarded by Pistol Whipped, a tattooed beauty wearing reindeer ears and tassel pasties (to the tune of Billy May’s “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo”). Possibly due to global warming, clothing was optional in Pantie Oakley’s “Winter Wonderland.”
Immediately after the show, the jukebox started blaring Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized,” providing a jarring switch from the vintage holiday tunes. Juxtaposition, however, has always been an important element of burlesque. Since its inception, (whether relating to literature, music, or performance) burlesque has thrived on the juxtaposition of serious and comical elements. According to Wikipedia, “In Britain, burlesque was largely a middle class pursuit ... Its predilection for double entendre and casting female stars in the lead male roles (or ‘breeches parts’) gave burlesque its risqué popular appeal … Gradually burlesque performers started appearing in music halls too, performing musical sketches for the working classes with political and social satire.”
Fitting then, that — in September — a crowd described as “blue collar” by more than one Dixie’s regular had just witnessed the stabbing death of a female sexpot dressed as Santa Claus. According to Jenn O’Syde, who’d begun this routine in curlers and a robe (and admitted a slight case of OCD came in handy while housekeeping in lingerie), “It’s all about being funny.”
A former regular, bartender Conrad Haney, shared his favorite thing about working at Dixie’s: “I don’t have to listen to people complaining about prices.” A sign hung on the wall behind him reads, “Your bartender is a badass.”
Over a drink with Pantie Oakley (the self-proclaimed “Queen of Fringe” and creator of Oh Baby! Burlesque) and Little Dickie (an actor, emcee, “boylesque” performer, and proud employee of environmentally sound Clothesline Cleaners), I learned that “Christmas in September” was but one of the themed shows that Oh Baby! produces the last Saturday of each month at Dixie’s. •
8503 Broadway #110
search for “Dixie’s Bar” on Facebook
Vibe: “Never trust a person who doesn’t either cuss, drink, or smoke.”
Best use: Oh Baby! Burlesque’s next performance at Dixie’s starts at 11pm Sat, Oct 23
Prices: Wells: $2.50; domestics: $2.25; imports and premiums: $3-$4