ABurlyQ! Burlesque & Sideshow Spectaculár!

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ABurlyQ! Burlesque & Sideshow Spectaculár!, presented by Albuquerque’s own Gilded Cage Burlesk and Varieté burlesque troupe, is back and bigger and better than ever for a two night performance at Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque.

Now in its second year, ABurlyQ! is the only weekend-long event of its kind in New Mexico, featuring more than 30 burlesque and “boylesque” performers, sideshow artists, vaudeville acts and more from around the country and Canada, making the weekend a truly titillating experience filled with enough glitter, rhinestones and beautiful bodies to make it, quite possibly, visible from outer space.

Photo courtesy of La Loca Linda Pinup-ology: Albuquerque burlesque performer Vivian MirAnn, creator of Gilded Cage Burlesk and Varieté, will be one of many acts during ABurlyQ! Burlesque & Sideshow Spectaculár! at the Sunshine Theater Labor Day weekend.

This one-of-a-kind extravaganza, to be held Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, was conceived in early 2010 as a way to return sideshow and vaudeville arts to their rightful place — on stage alongside burlesque as it was done around the turn of the 20th century. Before then, these arts were largely overlooked in burlesque shows and festivals here in New Mexico.

After careful planning, the first ABurlyQ! Burlesque & Sideshow Spectaculár debuted in the summer of 2011 in a weekender that brought in performers from across the nation, including such international burlesque legends as “Queen of the Fire Tassels” Satan’s Angel, and “The Sparkling Diamond of Burlesque,” Gyna Rose Jewel.

That debut festival brought in more than 40 unique acts to the Friday Night Spotlight show at Evolution and the main event at the historic Sunshine Theater on Saturday, and remains to this day the largest number of individual acts for any show ever seen in New Mexico.

This year, the ladies and gents of Gilded Cage have aimed to outdo themselves once again, bringing in such headliners as California’s sumptuous Shannon Doah, and hailing from the Twin Cities, the smokin’ hot Sweet LillyBee.

Shannon Doah comes to the Duke City with more than 30 years of burlesque history. She starred in the first U.S. production of the original Crazy Horse Paris Saloon show at The Losers, an elite Beverly Hills club, and has toured as a feature in the United States and internationally. She returned to the stage in 2010 to perform in Las Vegas at the Burlesque Hall of Fame. She is known for her Paris and Hollywood inspired shows, “Varga Girl” looks and elaborate costumes.

Sweet LillyBee describes her performances as having a classic look with a hot, modern twist, who “smolderingly” blends satire and sensuality through the vehicle of burlesque. She regularly travels the country, sharing the stage with the likes of the 2011 queen of the Burlesque Hall of Fame, Miss Indigo Blue, Miss Exotic World 2002 Amber Ray and Tigger!, King of Boylesque 2006. To view a full schedule of events, visit www.aburlyq.com.

The weekend will also offer 15 different classes. Some of the classes scheduled for Friday, Aug. 31, include Character Development at 10 a.m., for $12; Intro to Burlesque, with Mizz Lucy Morals at 12:20 p.m., for $20; and Body Love with Sweet LillyBee at 1:30 p.m., for $20.

Saturday’s classes include Classic Burlesque Negligees, Dusters, Panels and Seductive Striptease with Shannon Doah at 11:40 a.m., for $25; Hair and Makeup for Burlesque & Stage with Mizz Lucy Morals at 12:50 p.m., for $20; and Kickass Abs and Flexibility with SpinArella at 3:10 p.m., for $20. All available classes can be viewed and purchased at www.aburlyq.com/2012-weekender-classes.

The stage show series, which will be emceed by Denver’s audacious Naughty Pierre, kicks off at 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, at the historic Sunshine Theater, where dozens of nationally known artists will share a stage with featured performer Sweet LillyBee.

Spirits will be high as performers compete for the title of Best Duet/Group Act in the kickoff of ABurlyQ!’s first-ever competition series.

Saturday’s revelries continue, same time same place, bringing the talents of dozens more national and international artists to the stage alongside featured artist Sweet LillyBee and headliner artist Shannon Doah. Performers such as Canada’s Ab Horrence and Denver’s Mr. Valdez will heat up the stage as they compete for best Boylesque Act, while a bevy of ladies compete for Best Solo Act.

All of this will be served up between heady doses of Vaudeville and aerialist acts the likes of which have never been seen by Albuquerque audiences.

For anyone with a nostalgic streak, an admiration for the female form, and a penchant for extravagance, this will not be an event to miss.

For more information on the event or to find out how you can be a sponsor, visit the ABurlyQ! website at www.aburlyq.com, or follow the event on Facebook.

General admission to a show is $15, $17 for floor center stage, or $125 for a VIP table that seats six and comes with a large one liter bottle of Absolut Vodka — regular, mandarin, citron, raspberry or vanilla.

To reserve tickets in advance, please visit www.sunshinetheaterlive.com or www.holdmyticket.com.


-- Email the author at udavila@news-bulletin.com.