No, this isn’t a tease: Parksville’s Damsels in DisDress will present an Evening of Burlesque at the Errington Hall this Sunday.
The event comes in response to the fact so many burlesque acts flooded last year’s Night at the Palace vaudeville show.
“The Night at the Palace has become so popular with so many people wanting to perform in the show that we decided it would be a good idea to have a burlesque show to give some of these performers another venue to play in,” said Errington Hall manager Denise Schmidt.
“It (burlesque) just exploded in this area,” echoed one of the Damsel’s founding members Anna Mayrhofer, a.k.a Ruby Kitten. “I think it’s a great thing.”
According to Mayrhofer, this weekend’s show will include 17 or 18 routines featuring around 20 performers from Parksville Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo, Victoria and the Interior.
While most of the performers are women, there will also be two men hitting the stage, one who will perform traditional female-style burlesque in drag and one who will perform as a man (which is called “boylesque”). Of course, everyone has a colourful name (Goldie Luxe, Matt Hazard, Gideon Hernickers, to name a few) and there will be Parksville’s “bawdy song ukelele group” Ukeleime to round out the evening.
As for why burlesque has taken off in the area, Mayrhofer said it’s an “empowerment thing.”
“It’s mostly about loving yourself” and “feeling good about your body,” she said.
She also believes that the shows are empowering for the audience. Whenever someone says “I don’t know how you do that,” Mayrhofer is quick to remind them that they could do it too. After all, these events have a great atmosphere to put oneself out there because nobody is judging you negatively. “I’ve never been to a burlesque show where people booed,” she said.
Mayrhofer is particularly excited to perform in Errington again. “The Errington crowd is my favourite,” she said, describing how the audience is always supportive, enthusiastic and carefree. “My husband says we’re all in touch with our fun side.”
If you’d like to be a part of that audience on Saturday, Nov. 22, you’ll have to get your tickets fast. Tickets are only sold in advance at Cranky Dog Music, Errington Store and Shades of Green for $25.
Mayrhofer reminds that “this is an adult’s night out” and that burlesque is not appropriate for children.
Doors for the event are at 7:30 p.m., with the show running from 8 p.m. to about 10 p.m.