Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The naked truth behind Neo-Burlesque

Annie Weinert, 31, has just spent the day powdering doctors’ noses. Life as a freelance makeup artist means that weddings and TV commercials dominate her daily schedule. Come nighttime, however, she’s not just Annie – she’s Red Hot Annie, Chicago’s fiery red-haired temptress who gracefully bumps and grinds for a cheering audience as she strips off one article of clothing at a time.
Kelly Williams of GTB

Weinert is one of the city’s nearly 120 professional burlesque performers who are part of a growing global Neo-Burlesque revival. “It’s a style of doing dance,” explained Weinert, founder and CEO (or, rather, C.E.Oh!) of burlesque troupe, Vaudezilla. “At some point in a tap routine you’re going to shuffle. At some point in a ballet act, you’re going to go on pointe. At some point in a burlesque act, you’re going to take your top off.”
Burlesque, which was first popularized in New York by Lydia Thompson and the British Blondes in the 1840s, continues to gain momentum, thanks to a group of women and men who infuse tradition with a dose of modern humor. From ‘Glee’ to ‘Lord of the Rings’ burlesque shows, no cult favorite is too precious for performers at the Gorilla Tango Burlesque (GTB) troupe who are clearly having fun while poking fun at beloved icons of pop culture. “We’re not trying to be smutty,” said Kelly Williams, GTB’s executive producer, marketing and PR director. “We’re trying to be cheeky, irreverent, entertaining, sexy and fun.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

“HotTix gives theatres access to audiences they couldn’t otherwise reach”

Ryan Butts, Deputy Director at League of Chicago Theatres

The beloved, magical and “practically perfect” nanny waved goodbye, beaming as she floated over an appreciative audience during the finale of Disney’s “Mary Poppins” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. With the thundering applause and “supercalifragilisticexpilidocious” ringing in one’s ears, the cacophony could easily drown out any remaining misgivings at having just spent over $100 on a ticket.
At least, until the credit card bill arrives.
It’s a dilemma that theatre-goers frequently face: to buy or not to buy? At such eye-watering prices, theatre can be a painfully expensive hobby. Thankfully, sites such as HotTix offer a welcome relief. Since tickets to hugely popular shows can pop up the day before or even on the night of the show, it does require some flexibility. But at 50 per cent off, it’s not a deal to be sniffed at.