Hot history: Burlesque of the Ages

You’re probably already familiar with Send in the Girls Burlesque‘s smart, sexy, historically-inspired burlesque shows. Since 2011, the company has put hits like Tudor Queens: A BurlesqueA Bronte BurlesqueThe Hollywoodland Burlesques, and Bust ‘Em Up Burlesque under their bustle, so to speak. This weekend in a one-night-only event in support of their 2016 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival show (the title and topic of which will be announced at the event), Send in the Girls are staging a burlesque revue that travels through time, showcasing favourite characters from past productions as well as new takes on historical figures. This is Burlesque of the Ages, taking place Saturday, May 7 at the CKUA Building.

Send in the Girls’ Artistic Director of Revues, Delia Barnett describes Burlesque of the Ages as, “A fun tumble through history. Very reminiscent, I hope, of those fun videos online that are different costumes or makeup through the ages… In our plays, we like to be more heavy-hitting – to have a bit of a message and the bottom falls out of the fun and there’s a lesson or a big twist in our plays. With this, there are some numbers that will have some twists, but generally, it’s more of a revue with a fun party atmosphere.”

Burlesque of the Ages is a revue-style show based on performer-created numbers instead of a particular storyline. Delia, who also performs as LeTabby Lexington, says, “Send in the Girls always has such a big mind for interesting women throughout history and we want to do a show that’s really mindful of having different eras and different women represented throughout the show… Some of the numbers in Burlesque of the Ages are going to be numbers from our old shows like I’m bringing back my favourite number of all time: my Katherine Howard number from Tudor Queens. Some of the other performers are bringing out their bag of tricks as well. For people who have seen Send in the Girls before, you’ll see some numbers that you’ve maybe seen before and you’ll also get to see performers who are new to us performing acts you haven’t seen before, so it’s a nice blend of reminiscing but there will be brand new things as well.”

One of the things Delia says Send in the Girls is excited about is the slightly more casual atmosphere Burlesque of the Ages will have, encouraging audience participation. Delia says, “What I love about burlesque is that the audience is such a big part of it and they’re almost this extra element for the performer that can’t be added until they’re doing the show – the cheering and woohoo’s and extra fantastic things the audience is prompted to do as they feel. As long as it’s positive, burlesque loves it. That’s what I really love about burlesque and with our typical plays it takes some warming up for the audience, whereas this is going to be right off the bat, Professor Eugene Organ will do his typical introduction to burlesque to the audience. The audience feels so much more a part of it by cheering or yelling, ‘Yeah!’. It’s so wonderful and will be an interesting experience for the audience.”

Performing in Burlesque of the Ages will be LeTabby Lexington (Delia Barnett), Alibastre Albright (Ellen Chorley), Cherry Monroe (Chantel Hutchinson), and Violette Coquette (Sarah Jackson). Hosting Burlesque of the Ages will be Julian Faid in his burlesque persona Professor Eugene Organ, giving a lecture about the history of burlesque and rap in between numbers. Kittening the show will be Rusty Kingfisher – aka CJ Rowein of Man Up!.

So, if you’re looking for something to do Saturday night that fits this awesome description Delia gives, “A very relaxed, but fun party scenario that is really just celebrating history, women, and positive body images,” – you’ll find it in Burlesque of the Ages at the CKUA Building (9804 Jasper Avenue NW).

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Proceeds from Burlesque of the Ages will help support Send in the Girls‘ 2016 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival show. In addition to a cash bar, the evening will also feature a lollipop sale that will give purchasers the chance to win great prizes.

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