With so much going on in the world of burlesque, it can be hard to keep one's calendar up to date. In Indianapolis, as in many other cities across the U.S., burlesque is back with a vengeance, taking local stages by storm and creating a wonderful scene at the local level that encourages confidence, creativity, and a celebration of sexuality and expression. My own burlesque troupe is approached regularly by both women interested in joining our group and venues interested in having us perform. So, as I thought about what was going on in the Indianapolis burlesque scene this summer, I felt a little like a politician giving a State of the Union address..."the state of burlesque in Indianapolis is good." Not just good...fantastic.
Most notably, and after much anticipation, the White Rabbit Caberet is now up and running in Fountain Square. A fabulous caberet club marked only by the white rabbit graphic on the door, this new venue is the brainchild of sisters Debra and Becky Silveus. Seeking to give the local performance art community something more, they have provided a new stage for exactly the sort of vaudevillian mix of entertainment that encompasses the world of burlesque. From hosting burlesque bingo, to featuring funky musical acts like this past weekend's Fishtank Ensemble, to the house burlesque troupe, Hasenpfeffer, the stage is certainly staying busy.
Two other groups continue to put on shows and events around town as well. The incredible Katie Angel, recently seen on stage with Bottoms Up Burlesque, has put her organization and perfomance talents to good use most recently with the "What Would the Neighbors Think" show that brought Chicago's Michele L'Amour to town. She is now hard at work planning for a four-night run with her newly formed Angel Burlesque. They will perform on September 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th at the White Rabbit Caberet in what will no doubt be a classy, vintage evening of burlesque entertainment. Creme de la Femme burlesque also continues to shimmy and shake around town, most notably in their Dr. Sketchy's figure drawing events. They are also hard at work planning for a show on August 14th with a visiting group from Chicago.
And then there are the ladies of Bottoms Up Burlesque, fresh off successful sold out shows at Radio Radio and at the American Legion. The girls now turn their attention to their annual fall extravaganza at the Melody Inn, set for October 23rd. They are also excited about a last minute addition to their calendar...a three-set performance at the "Resurrection Presents: Dark Mardi Gras" event on August 5th at Club Level, an event that kicks off Gen Con.
The presence of so many burlesque related performance groups in town begs the question, can Indianapolis support such a vibrant and active scene? Maybe I am too much the optimist, but I say yes indeed. These groups are putting on a variety of types of shows in an array of venues, bringing local musicians, comedians, and artists into the mix on a regular basis. They have integrated themselves into the fabric of Indy's art scene writ large, and have proven themselves able to entertain with the best of what Indy has to offer. So, with so many opportunities this fall to experience burlesque here in Indy, there is no excuse for staying home on your couch. Come out and join in the fun!
For more information:
Bottoms Up Burlesque: http://www.bottomsupburlesque.net or on Facebook as Bottoms Up Burlesque
White Rabbit Caberet: http://www.whiterabbitcabaret.com/
Angel Burlesque: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook as Angel Burlesque
Creme de la femme burlesque: on Facebook as Creme de la Femme