Most people equate burlesque shows with strip shows. Granted, there is a provocative tradition of striptease in the art of burlesque, but it's more than just that.
Traditional burlesque shows are variety shows, filled with back-to-back entertainment acts ranging from singing and dancing to comedy, miming and circus tricks — as well as scantily clad women.
"It's the art of the tease, not the art of taking clothes off," said Koly McBride, comedic host of Paper Wing Theatre's upcoming production, "Red-Hot Summertime Burlesque." She explained that there is no nudity in the production, though the girls do perform in revealing lingerie.
The show opens Thursday for a limited run with shows every night through Sunday.
McBride will be joined by Paper Wing co-owner Lj Brewer in hosting this sassy show, the couple donning a comedic routine reminiscent of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Titillating dancing will be performed by the Provocature Dance Company of San Jose.
Vocalist Angelynn Lace will sing in traditional burlesque style with her smoldering, lusty voice. The show will also feature an aerialist, Velvet Vendetta, who performs breathtaking stunts with a lyra hoop (a circular steel ring mounted to the ceiling) and suspends herself in the air with nothing more than yards of silk.
"We go from act to act, with individual acts and talents all woven together," said McBride.
Though the template for the show is in the traditional style, Paper Wing has incorporated modern influences to make the show more engaging for modern audiences.
The comedy is up to date, with current references, and the music incorporates songs by popular artists such as Christina Aguilera and Michael Bublé.
"It's a really fun, good time," said McBride. "It's sexy and silly — but not too silly. There is a lot of art involved. I like getting these artists together and getting them to blend, hearing the audience 'ooo' and 'ahh.' It's almost a little way for us to play."
McBride added that she enjoys the creative freedom the company has to produce different kinds of theater and reach different audiences.
"It's great to have the vanguard niche," she said, "but it's also great to have no niche at all and do what we want to do and what the community wants too see. At the end of the day, we're a community theater and we're driven by entertaining our community."
Lily Dayton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. GO!
·What: Paper Wing Theatre Company presents "Red-Hot Summertime Burlesque"
·Where: Paper Wing Theatre, 320 Hoffman Ave., at Lighthouse Avenue, Monterey
·When: Opens at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 19; continues at 8 p.m. nightly through Sunday, July 22
·Tickets: $20 general admission, $15 military, students and seniors; available at www.paperwingtheatre.com or at the door (box office opens one half-hour prior to showtime)
·Information: www.paperwingtheatre.com, 905-5684