|Trixie Little & the Evil Hate Money, photo by Sam Holden|
This weekend, Lili's Burlesque Revue is bringing back their popular Best of Midwest Burlesk
(BOMB) Festival, now in its fourth year, to the Ritz Theater for a three titillating days of live music, aerial artists, drag performers, and burlesque acts from around the country.
After spending years touring other parts of the country, Lili's founder Ophelia Flame grew frustrated that there were no big gatherings in the Midwest. "We decided that we were going to have our own damn festival," she says. "Our intentions were to unite our local community." So they started BOMB, and scheduled it for the dead of winter. The event has not only been a great showcase for Midwestern performers, but acts from all over the country have submitted requests to participate as well.
|Lili's Burlesque Review, photo by Emma Freeman Photography|
Lili's has received over 100 applications from performers, and will be showcasing around 75 local and national acts. The headliners this year are Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey, who are based in New York City. The circus-trained acrobatic team won the 2006 Exotic World trophy for Best Duo.
Tonight is opening night. It features an aerial and burlesque spectacular, followed by the White Hot party where audiences can mingle with the cast (everyone is encouraged to wear white or red). The after event includes spinning by DJ Agent Orange, and the party takes place all around the Ritz, including the dance studio.
There are four more shows on Friday and Saturday, and each performance will be different, although you can expect productions by Lili's Burlesque Revue and the headliners every night.
As for Ophelia Flame, she says her piece is a tribute to Lily Tomlin in 9 to 5. "It's a secretary act that involves an office machine," she says. Like much burlesque, "It's about the dirty and not the dead serious. It's very silly and multimedia."
|Photo by Emma Freeman Photography|
On Saturday, interested folks can take classes with the Academy of Burlesque, which will teach fun techniques. Available sessions include a workshop led by Kellita, who will teach original Latin showgirl dances, inviting attendees to participate in San Francisco's Grand Carnaval Parade this spring. Other classes include "The Boa" with Ophelia Flame and Jett Adore, another taught by Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey, and a choreography intensive lesson with Lola Van Ella.
Best of Midwest Burlesk performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday and 7 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Ritz (345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis). See midwestburlesk.com