Two small signs on the filigree-ensconced keyboard stand read "BEWARE" and "WHORES." Whether an admonition or a threat remained alluring ambiguous through the Victoriandustrial set presented by Emilie Autumn and her Bloody Crumpets.
Like the joy division for Baron Munchausen's cast and crew, five corset-adorned harlequin harlots traipsed across the Meridian stage, bedraggled as the entertainment for Deadwood in James West's clockwork pocket of the Multiverse, but only a little worse for wear.
Initially, the stage act sans a band of any sort seemed more than a little contrived, but as the performers gained their bearings and the audience simmered down, the spectacle unfolded into a well-rehearsed sideshow promoted to main attraction through the obvious assets on stage.
Stiff for the first couple of numbers, the show took off when Autumn produced her violin for the third number, "Liar," and showed no signs of slowing down even with numerous pauses for theatrics such as Naughty Veronica's bawdy baiting of the crowd and Blessed Contessa's pleas to stop the madness occurring around her.
But no one wanted the asylum to close.Almost entirely pre-recorded, the music delved into the realm of Nine Inch Nails, MOEV and Marilyn Manson but the copious use of harpsichord keyboarding kept the mood firmly in a Blade Runner marionette shop of the Victorian era. In a moment of candor, Autumn admitted that she hasn't been to Texas since an aborted attempt at music camp, which she skipped out on to attend a cake-decorating class. "Cake decorating is the new biting the heads off chickens," she announced to an audience that had already been showered by pastries and other baked confections, put aside by an unseen Mad Hatter for just such an occasion.