Erik Nelson: Omega Contributor Ω
On Thursday night at the Blue Grotto, Kamloops Burlesque performed to a sold out crowd for the second time in a row.
The show mixed erotic dancing, tap dancing, magic and comedy for an entertaining night. The mostly female crowd was a mix of ages and demographics and responded enthusiastically to the festivities with applause and catcalls.
Burlesque is a form of entertainment that can be very difficult to define. It started as a way of parodying high-class entertainment like opera or theatre, while emphasizing risqué elements.
More recently burlesque has become an eccentric mixture of striptease, comedy and music.
It’s an art form that seems to have more female fans than male and one that many who consider themselves feminists have embraced.
This is likely not only because burlesque is more about teasing than gratuity, but because burlesque often features many different body types and ages, is often run by women and embraces both amateurs and pros.
Tuesday had all these features and more. The most popular section of the show was when four women dressed as men came onto the stage, did a dance and hit on the women in the crowd with embarrassingly bad pick-up lines.
The dance ended with a man dressed as a woman coming on to the stage and being harassed and knocked around the stage by the dancers, A Night at the Roxbury style.
Other highlights included two dancers—one at the front stage and one at the back of the stage—covered in balloons. Lighting sparklers, they popped the balloons along to the music until they only had underwear and pasties on.
The second half of the show was all about audience participation. People in the crowd who had dressed to impress were invited onto the stage for a fashion competition.
A man who not only strutted but also took off his tie, vest, belt and shoes easily won.
Later on, audience members were invited onto the stage to learn a choreographed dance. The results were hilarious as some tried to follow along and others gave up and just did their own thing.
The only major downside to the show seems to be the location. The seating is extremely limited, and even when standing it can be hard to find a spot where you can see the stage. The bathrooms are by the stage and require some creative maneuvering through the crowd to get to.
Those lucky enough to be closer to the front didn’t dare leave their spots to go get a drink, as they knew that the spots wouldn’t be there anymore when they returned.
The event has been extraordinarily popular. We attempted to go see the show last time, but we didn’t show up early enough to get through the doors.
This time we showed up half an hour before the doors even opened and the line up outside the Grotto stretched down the majority of the block, from the Grotto to Carlos O’Brian’s.
Kamloops Burlesque at the Grotto runs every month and if you’re interested in going, I suggest arriving early. If you end up going, you won’t regret it—and I’ll see you there.