At 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28, Burlesque returned to St. Mary’s in a show entitled “WARNING: Nudity*!”
The show took place in Montgomery Hall in the Bruce Davis Theatre. After the shows on Friday and Saturday, there were talk-backs, where audience members were given an opportunity to talk to the cast members, ask questions, and provide feedback.
The burlesque show this semester was full of risqué performances that were clever, fun, enlightening, moving, passionate, and always entertaining.
Each performer in the burlesque show chooses a stage name that appears in the program when students arrive at the show, and that they are introduced as when they are on stage to perform.
The cast list this semester was as follows: The D.C. Chickadee, Divine Dilemma, Juniper Jive, La Dame d’Artois, Lieutenant Lucy, Lil’ Bro Peep, Liquid Jazz, Marigold May, Minette Henri, Miss Tantalizing Tigress, Norse by Norsewest, Pride not Prejudice, The Raging Loner, Ruby Rizque, strawberry_angel, The Sweetest Tea, Sweet-ish Fish, and Wanton Willow. The Master of Ceremonies went by the name Intoxikitten, and the “Stage Kittens” went by the names Little Red and Miss Minou.
Each performer had their own individual, unique style, and most of the performances consisted of one performer; only two performances were collaborative – those done by Liquid Jazz and Marigold May, and Norse by Norsewest and Sweet-ish Fish.
One senior performer, who has requested she be referred to as “Norse by Norsewest,” said, “The show this semester has a different emotional ‘feel’ than last semester.
The cast members identify with burlesque differently than the cast of last semester. This isn’t a bad thing, just different. It’s allowed me to explore burlesque from multiple perspectives and to investigate what there is about burlesque that makes it so enjoyable for me. Being a part of the executive board has also caused me to view burlesque differently. I feel a huge pressure to make sure the club and its agenda do not make people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.”
Senior performer Marshall Betz (a.k.a. “Liquid Jazz”), said, on being one of the few male performers, “As one of the few men in the show, I gain a different perspective of burlesque performance in general. The women in the show are given the opportunity to deconstruct sexual barriers often placed on the female body as ‘immodest’ or downright sinful, reclaiming the female body as something more immaculate and celebratory. As a man, these implied profanities are not applied as rigidly to our sexual/body expression. The act of removing clothes is no less meaningful, but does not contain the political implications of female sexual expression.”
Burlesque has been taken as an opportunity for the performers to truly appreciate their own bodies, and break down barriers that told them that this appreciation was inappropriate.
On last semester’s burlesque show, both sophomore Mike Reinitz and first-year Olivia Goldman felt that there was humor and cleverness in each performance.
Reinitz said, “I think more people should participate because it really seemed to help students to potentially overcome any self-confidence issues.”
Burlesque is a show that can allow individuals to experience something new and to gain (or regain) confidence in themselves.