Autumn Delivers Show Straight From ‘Asylum’

Jesse Gutierrez

One small sign hung above the elaborately decorated stage, reading, “Beware: Escaped Inmates.” Whether this was a threat or not remained a mystery throughout the Victorian concert opera set presented by Emilie Autumn and her Bloody Crumpets known as “The Asylum.”

Autumn’s “Asylum” tour arrived in Los Angeles for its first-ever Southern California performance at the Key Club on Oct 28.

As the show began, the lights in the Key Club dimmed and the large screen in the center of the stage illuminated. Four corset-adorned women made their dramatic entrances from behind the screen, before the start of the first song “4 O’clock” and the long-awaited entrance of Autumn herself.

Adorned with an elaborate costume, which included a long sequin-studded rat tail and an authentic Victorian plague doctors mask, Autumn crept across the stage as if tormenting the four other women (Bloody Crumpets). As the lights went out, the audience erupted into applause and screams as they eagerly awaited the start of the next number.

While the first two numbers, “4 O’clock” and “Opheliac,” were very high in theatrics, the show did not really begin until the third number, “Liar,” when Autumn produced her electric violin, and showed no signs of slowing down.

The tempo was broken by numerous pauses for little skits in between songs, such as Naughty Veronica’s multiple bawdy comments to the crowd and Blessed Contessa’s constant pleas for the other women to stop all the madness around her.

As “The Asylum” show continued to unfold and the crowds cheering grew louder, the entertainment factor only heightened with aerial acrobatics, executed by Blessed Contessa and Captain Maggots, and a few dance routines put on by Naughty Veronica and Aprella.

Even with all the insanity taking place around her, Autumn was able to get alone time with the audience where she admitted that she had not been back to Los Angeles since her admittance into an actual insane asylum.

During these very brief moments of solo time on stage, Autumn just sat behind her harpsichord with no theatrics or distractions and just sang to the crowd. These select moments showed a vulnerable side to her that you rarely see throughout the show.

As the show pressed on Autumn and her cast were able to fit ” The Art Of Suicide,” I Want My Innocence Back,” “God Help Me,” and “Misery Loves Company,” between all the theatrics.

However, the real show was Autumn herself, her vocals ranged from high soprano to deep bass and an occasionally thrown in successful Black Metal Growl.

In one of her final solo moments on stage, Autumn produced her violin one more time after she took a moment to tune it. When she began her violin solo, “14,” it became apparent that had Bach challenged her to a fiddle off he would have lost, not due to Autumn’s lack of clothing but due to sheer talent.

After two costume changes for Autumn and the crowd surviving being pelted with baked goods and tea, the final moments of the show arrived. The entire cast of girls took the stage for a very close to original cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” made complete with beautiful harmonies, and Autumn giving Brian May’s guitar solos a run for their money with her violin.

As Autumn and her crumpets took their final bows and left the stage, the show seemed all but over. Instead the stage lights went back up and the girls walked back out and performed the very sarcastic “Thank God I’m Pretty,” which included Autumn stripping off her corset and putting on a little white nightgown.

As the final song ended, the girls once again left the stage but once again came back on in pairs, to reenact all of the highlights of the show almost like the final credits of a movie. As the music faded and the stage lights went out for the final time the show had finally come to a close.
A fan, Kelsey Williams, 20, said, “The show was amazing – a work of hilarious comedy and true musical genius.”

Autumns’ “Asylum” tour will continue on through the U.S., ending in Milwaukee Dec. 8, but beware; it’s easier to enter the asylum than it is to escape.