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Local burlesque troupe pokes fun at politics to benefit Planned Parenthood

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Life is a cabaret in the upcoming performance Legislate This! Is For Lovers by San Antonio's Stars and Garters Burlesque this Saturday, February 15th, in cooperation with the Overtime Theater. Producer Suki Jones says, “Legislate This! Is for Lovers is a show like none other; a politically fueled burlesque extravaganza pulsing with performers at their finest! And the best part? All of the profits go to the local Planned Parenthood chapter!”

Planned Parenthood shares "We are so grateful to Stars and Garters Burlesque and the Overtime Theater for organizing this unique event."

So just what stars aligned to produce this show? According to Jones, "My friend Ginger Snaps of Black Widow Burlesque began producing Legislate This! performances in Austin in 2012. I always wanted to perform in it, but my schedule did not allow for it. Last fall, Ginger mentioned expanding to new cities, and I felt that this was the time to bring Legislate This! to San Antonio. Thanks to strong local women like Senator (D-TX) Leticia Van de Putte; (candidate for Lt. Gov. of Texas), San Antonio has been on the radar in regards to women's reproductive rights, and producing a local version of Legislate This! seemed like a great way to unite the S.A. Burlesque community and to show our town that we support access for all to the many health services that Planned Parenthood provides."

Texas has seen more than its fair share of attacks on women's rights and reproductive rights from the ruling body of the Republican party in the past several years regarding fetal heartbeat laws, mandatory ultrasounds for those seeking abortion, and the now infamous law famously filibustered for 13 hours by Senator and Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis that so severely restricts clinics via over-regulation (and even unnecessary regulation as deemed by the American Medical Association and the College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) that more than half of Texas clinics had to begin shutting down. It makes one wonder what happened to "less regulations" and "smaller government"? The GOP seem to have forgotten this when it comes to women's bodies, their health decisions, and also minority rights (like voting), and equal rights for the LGBT community. Jones agrees when it comes to women's reproductive decisions and these objections are infused in the show.

"Legislate This! began out of frustration over certain Texas politicians continuous need to involve themselves in women's health decisions, so this is our chance to fire back and use our art to release the stress that we're all feeling over this. Traditionally, the term Burlesque means to mock or jest, and in true form we will present pieces that poke fun at (and embrace) the "romance" of Valentines day as well as open up dialogue about the state of accessible reproductive health in Texas. On the modern end of Burlesque, we've taken control of our bodies and the way they are portrayed, and hopefully changes our audiences perceptions of what beauty is. It's easy to see how infuriating it can be to take charge of your body, only to be told by the state what, when, and where you can control the reproductive aspects of yourself. I don't want to give anything away regarding specific routines, but I will say I suspect there will be some kind of audience participation 'put-a-condom-on-a-vegetable' race, because who doesn't love watching strangers do that?"

Great fun for all! So just how did Suki Jones become involved in burlesque and inspired to utilize her art to advocate for women's rights?

"I started performing burlesque in 2006; I became involved in the earlier part of the Texas burlesque revival. One of the things that drew me in to the scene, and the main thing that's kept me in it, is that the women not only support each other, but produce the shows themselves. Contemporary burlesque has taken what was once typically an art form produced by males for their profit, and given it back to the woman onstage. In the same way that women regained control and rejuvenated the art form that embraced their bodies and minds, female voters need to emerge and elect politicians who will allow them to control their health freely. Last summer I attended one of the Stand With Texas Women rallies at the capitol, and it was hard to not get emotional seeing all of the women-and men-there to physically support access to women's reproductive health care. The greatest part of it all was that many people were there to fight for services they didn't even need for themselves-they just felt it was worth their time to make sure that those services would continue to exist for others. It was proof that empathy does exist, and it's time to make an effort to elect representatives who can bring that same empathy and foresight into the capitol and beyond."

And there you have it. If you want to have a fantastic time post Valentine's Day with some risque burlesque, a chance to win prizes in the raffle, and all while showing your support for women's rights to make their own choices about their bodies, make plans to attend this amazing show.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at StarsandGartersBurleque.com.

Legislate This! Is for Lovers
Saturday, February 15th 8 pm
Overtime Theater
1203 Camden St, San Antonio, TX 78215
(210) 557-7562

Heartfelt thanks to Producer and Hostess with the mostest, Suki Jones, and Planned Parenthood.

Michele Gwynn is a freelance journalist and author living in San Antonio, Texas. All articles are under copyright and may not be reposted in part or whole without consent. Articles may only be referenced by title or subject matter with a direct link to original material otherwise. For permission to repost part or all of an article, please contact Ms. Gwynn at megwynn@msn.com.

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