As the 13th and final Feast of Flesh approaches, J. Cannibal is as reflective as he is triumphant: “I’ve thought about hanging up my leopard print pants for a few years now, but felt that, if I were going to go out on a number, it had to be lucky number 13.”
J., a member of trailblazing Black Cat Burlesque with Devilicia and Mary Widow, initially conceived of Feast as a way to combine all of his passions: cult films, live music, edgy horror-themed burlesque, and crowd participation. What began as an outlet became a sensation, unexpectedly selling out its first year and becoming a uniting point for the then-disparate alternative burlesque scene. Much of Boston’s best punk and metal has graced the Coolidge as part of the show, with this year marking the return of former mainstay Reverend Glasseye and his 11-piece band.
So why stop now? According to J., the growth and subsequent cohesion of the alternative burlesque scene in Boston, and the fact that local theaters show underground cinema, is evidence of the success of Feast in its mission. “I still believe in creating a special space for people to feel liberated from the constraints of their daily lives — a magical temporary autonomous zone where we can revel in our shared weirdness — and I’m sure I’ll produce more events to create this kind of space, but I feel like the formula for the FOF has been passed on to a new generation of producers who are doing great things to make it their own.”
This may be the final Feast, but with its seeds already planted in the brains of Boston’s weirdos, it lives on. Don’t think of it as dead. Think of it as undead. J. wouldn’t want it any other way.
J. CANNIBAL’S FEAST OF FLESH XIII FEATURING BAD TASTE. COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, 290 HARVARD STREET, BROOKLINE. FRI 10.10. MIDNIGHT/18+/$12. COOLIDGE.ORG