By JENNIFER K. BAUER
Burlesque shows expose that fact. Filled with short acts with varying degrees of ribald comedy and shades of nudity, there are flavors for many tastes.
In planning the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley’s first burlesque show, director Jennifer Opdahl set one rule — acts had to be funny or sexy, but preferably both.
“It’s pushing the boundaries but I think (the valley) is ready to have some boundaries pushed,” says Opdahl, who will present “A Night of Naughty Burlesque” over the next three weekends at Abuzz Theatre in Clarkston.
The show is billed as “old-fashioned” burlesque, “when a sexy shoulder was more revealing than your backside plastered all over the Internet.”
Performers in a dozen acts are all ages, genders and sizes. That was something that struck Opdahl when she saw her first burlesque show while living in Indianapolis.
“It was very empowering for me,” she says. “I just wanted to bring it here.”
For their safety, because of the intimate nature of the show, it is common for burlesque performers to go only by stage names. “A Night of Naughty Burlesque” features Holly Goodhead, Jezabel Jane, Mystori and others. One act features a woman and a hula hoop. There’s a belly dancer. In another, a woman sings “I’m Tired,” from the movie “Blazing Saddles” before being carried off by a parcel of men. A performer named Mr. Sinsation gets the audience into the mood.
The show will include an exhibit of art by Shannon Blinn, owner of the Skin Deep Design tattoo shop in Lewiston. Only those 18 and older will be admitted. Seating for each performance is limited to 50. The Saturday, Feb. 14 show is already sold out.
People should come with an open mind, Opdahl says. As to how naughty it will be, that depends on the individual.
“Some moments are beyond my personal naughtiness, but there are also some that are not naughty,” she says.
The show is Opdahl’s directorial debut after performing on stage and behind the scenes since she was a teenager at the Lewiston Civic Theatre. The 35-year-old works for Lewis-Clark State College as a non-credit coordinator.
“I wanted to support the new theater,” she says of Abuzz, which opened a theater space in Clarkston in November. “I’m still at the civic, it’s where I was raised, basically, but I think it’s important to have a smaller venue. It’s nice,” she says, “and we can do things we couldn’t get away with at the civic.”
if you go
WHAT: “A Night of Naughty Burlesque”
WHEN: Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 Feb. 14, and Feb. 20-21, 26-28
WHERE: 909 Sixth St., Clarkston
OF NOTE: Must be 18 or older to attend. Tickets are available online at www.abuzztheatre.com. The Feb. 14 show is sold out.