In Mara Wilson’s memoir, Where Am I Now?, she describes burlesque as follows: “beautiful women and cute boys with all kinds of bodies could do whatever they wanted onstage, as long as they ended up in some state of undress.” I’ve always found this to be an incredibly apt description of burlesque as an art form. Perhaps that’s where burlesque’s fundamental joy comes from: the total freedom of the performers, and the sense that anything is possible on its glitter-infused stages.
Of course, watching attractive people take their clothes off is no small draw, either.
I’ve written about Uptown Underground and the Kiss Kiss Cabaret before, but they’re truly among the best venues and shows in town, so it’s tough to grow tired of the topic. And with an ever-rotating lineup of talented performers, it’s tough to get tired of the show, too, when there’s always a surprise around every corner.
What sort of surprises? Well, I can’t make any promises for what you might see, given the aforementioned rotation of performers, but when I ventured underground to their show on Friday, August 24, I was treated to draglesque, a combination of drag and burlesque I never knew I needed but am now quietly obsessed with. In a break from the usual structure of burlesques, the host, Minnie Bar, performed a number at the top of Act II, and then unabashedly announced the act that followed while dressed in nothing but pasties, a thong, and a few accessories. And, in my personal favorite twist of the evening, Foxy La Fleur took Kelis’ “Milkshake” to a whole new level by pouring an actual milkshake onto her body at the end of a routine set to a remix of that song.
Beautiful people, beautiful dancing, and possibly creative uses of ice cream—what more could you want out of an evening’s entertainment?
Next performance: August 31, 2018 at 7:30pm
Location: Uptown Underground, 4707 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
All photos courtesy of Uptown Underground.