Burlesque returns to Ashland

The glory days of burlesque dancing return to Ashland with the Tease-O-Rama Roadshow, at the Old Ashland Armory, Monday, Sept. 29.

Burlesque troops performed adult-oriented dances and comedy skits in most towns, from the early 1900s to the 1950s. Now, modern dancers and gagsters present updated acts for contemporary nightclub audiences while paying homage to the tradition of old-style strippers and exotic dancers.

According to the troupe's website, the dictionary defines burlesque as "a witty and mocking celebration of vaudeville entertainment" — a wry, tongue-in-cheek sendup of the popular style with a little sex appeal thrown in. There was a time when stripteasers were starlets. Bawdy yet refined, these glamour girls strutted across the stages of the most opulent theatres in America draped in sequins and furs, making headlines on par with Hollywood. The sexy thrill of their performances was rivaled only by the kind of talent and showmanship which is sadly long gone from the strip shows of today.

Burlesque always offered a little something for everyone. The new burlesque incorporates playful eroticism, comic theatre and performance art — dressed to the nines in fabulous and fanciful costumes — to join the glamour of the past with the energy of the present.

Performers include emcee Miss Kitten on The Keys, the Devil-Ettes (San Francisco), Lola the Vamp (Australia), Michelle L'Amour (Chicago), Tana the Tattooed Lady (Seattle), Dirty Martini (New York), Burlesque Legend Satan's Angel (Phoenix), Sahara Dunes (Portland), Reigning Queen of San Francisco Carnaval Kellita (San Francisco), and Catherine D'Lish (Hollywood).

Local talent includes a circus tribal belly dance and Aerial by Susanita.

Ashland is the only small-town stop for this annual revue, chosen because the producer is local resident Alan Parowski.

Doors open at 7 p.m.and show starts at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $20, at Bohemia Art Gallery or CD or Not CD, in Ashland. Must be 21 and over, as drinks will be available. Special reserved tables for eight people cost an additional $100.

For more information or to purchase tickets online, see www.teaseorama.com.

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