By JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer on Jun 9, 2011, at 2:12 AM Updated on 6/09/11 at 5:29 AM
Others think it’s just a fancy term for what goes on in seedy joints that hide behind the euphemism of “gentlemen’s club.”
In fact, burlesque is very much a style of theater.
It may be risque, even at times a little raunchy. But the point of burlesque is summed up in the title of a song from the musical “Gypsy,” about the legendary burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee: “Let Me Entertain You.”
“These shows aren’t something that just gets thrown together,” said Sara Wilemon, one of the performers in the upcoming “School for Red Hot Mamas,” which will be presented June 10-11 and 17-18 at the Nightingale Theater.
“A lot of work goes into this – writing, rehearsing, making our own costumes,” she said. “It’s something we do because we love it.”
The show features performances by such characters as Bossy L’Amour (Sara Cruncleton), Ilsa the Wolf (Sara Wilemon), Lu Foxxx (Lauren McAnulty), Xanaboobs (April Marrs), Viola Firmata (Amy Carlin-Lee) and Bammy Calamity (John Cruncleton), along with vaudeville performers Christin Richardson, Amy Page, Andy Axewell and Eric Strauss. The band The Calamities will provide the music.
Wilemon first became interested in the subject while researching a role for a comedy written by Mae West. Since then, she’s been a part of a local troupe Eye Candy Burlesque (which, along with the Horsemeat Flea Circus, is presenting “School for Red Hot Mamas”), and has performed in Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco.
“When I’ve attended shows in other places, they’re usually held in bars,” she said. “One of the great things about having this show in a theater is, first of all, you can do things like sketches, dialogue, things like that. It gets closer to the real spirit of burlesque.
“Also,” Wilemon said, “being in a theater means that your audience is there to see the show you’re putting on.”
Or, taking off, as the case may be. Striptease is very much a part of the show, although the emphasis, Wilemon said, is on the “tease.”
“The joke is it takes 30 minutes to get these costumes on and three minutes to take them off,” she said, laughing. “But there’s no nudity – everything stays covered.”
‘SCHOOL FOR HOT MAMAS’
When: 8 p.m. June 10-11 and 17-18
Where: Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. Fourth St.
Tickets: $12 at the door.
Original Print Headline: Burlesque show takes lots of work