Burlesque is NOT Cabaret: Pasties and Panties, oh my! by Stephanie Hoover


If you’re looking to take in a burlesque show you don’t need to truck it to Vegas in order to do so. Just head over to Bottoms Up Quad City Burlesque located at the Speakeasy in Rock Island.

Now, my first experience with burlesque was interesting to say the least. Apparently I thought that burlesque and cabaret were synonymous, but I quickly found were not because what I saw was not what I thought I was going to see. Let’s just say it’s like how non-nerds think Star Wars and Star Trek are the same thing; psst, they’re not! Those who know the difference either get offended or die from uncontrollable laughter…I think? What I thought I was going to see when attending my first burlesque show was girls dressed up sexily singing and dancing like Liza Minnelli or something to the effect of the movie Chicago. Nope! These girls were dressed up, but typically ended in them dressing more down…if ya know what I mean. No, not sweatpants! Pasties and panties! (oh my!) And there was no singing. No, I don’t hate girls taking off their clothes –most do it every day! I love dancing. I love shows. I love trouncing about in my panties (overshare?). I love women feeling empowered about their bodies and shakin’ their “stuff.” And I’m all for sexiness. But I just didn’t love burlesque. Why?

Well, there were some amazing numbers so it’s not like I had a horrible time and disliked it all. One of my favorites was a girl who hula-hooped, danced, and shed her clothes. Another was more like a cross between a ballet number and a theater performance. And the guy[s] who were introducing the girls were HIL-arious! But I’d say a good 85% (if not more) of the show I didn’t like. Ultimately I began thinking, “Okay, now how’s this girl going to get down to her pasties and panties?” and I felt like a lot of the moves were the same. It was like the typical tropes in storytelling except it wasn’t masked enough and/or blended into the routine that the signature moves of burlesque stuck out in each number like a sore thumb. –For those of you who read my IT Crowd article it was like Moss’s reaction to sports (Google the video if you don’t know what I’m taking about).

For me the show I went to was like reading a book of short stories where I just didn’t happen to like most of them and those few good stories just weren’t worth it for me to like the book or the author. And what seemed to put a bad taste in my mouth were the pasties. I just don’t like ‘em. Especially the ones with the tassels. And that’s how most of the numbers ended: pasties and panties (oh my!). Would I have liked it more sans pasties?? I have plenty of friends who love burlesque –and that’s awesome! I really wish I liked it and if you check out their videos on their Facebook page or website you can get a sneak peek at what you’ll see so you don’t go in thinking it’s something that it’s not (like me!). After my Burlesque experience I learned that it is just not for me! But maybe you’ll take in a show and find it’s for you! -Is there a cabaret show I can take in in the Quad Cities?? OM’S UP QUAD CITY BURLESQUE



Upcoming Events:
March 18 & 19
Doors 7:00, Show 8 pm
Tickets $18.00 advance, $20.00 at door

You’ll find other events at the Speakeasy listed on the following website: http://www.thecirca21speakeasy.com/#!events/cb3i


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