Burlesque Stripped Down to Its Comedic Roots

Up close and comedic with burlesque performers. Laughter is an important part of being human. We use humor to navigate unfamiliar territory and to make bad news more palatable. We use it as an outlet for stress and to make others and ourselves feel better. And of course, we use it just for fun. Is it any wonder that humor also plays a key role in burlesque? “Burlesque’s far-back history is that of comedy,” said Paige Rustles, a burlesque performer from the Pacific Northwest, in an interview with Crixeo. “I think that using comedy in current-day burlesque is so important because it allows us to tackle big and important topics in a highly accessible way.” Early burlesque was more about lampooning or satirizing social and political figures. The acts also involved scantily-dressed ladies to add to the appeal of the show. The striptease, as we know it, came much later. Actors        …read more

5 Tony Award–Winning Scores for Your Spotify Playlist

Tony Award

The Tony Awards are coming soon. Here are 5 Tony Award–winning scores to belt out in celebration. Recognizing over seven decades of excellence in theatrical performance, the Tony Awards — named for Antoinette Perry, cofounder of the American Theatre Wing — are considered the height of prestige for a Broadway production. And the most important aspect of that recognition is a standout musical score. From the romanticized ballads of Rodgers & Hammerstein to the eclectic overtures of Andrew Lloyd Webber to the sharp-witted refrains of Lin-Manuel Miranda, a transcendent spark of unity, nostalgia, conviction and belief in the human spirit resounds from the crescendo of a poignant show tune. In fact, given the wide-ranging impact of Broadway on our public consciousness, these harmonies and lyrics have been the soundtrack to American culture for decades. With the Tony Awards approaching, here is a brief guide to some of the most belt-out-worthy scores that earned theater’s        …read more

‘10 Hairy Legs’ Wrestles Gender Stereotypes

gender stereotypes

This all-male dance troupe is busting gender stereotypes. When Randy James formed his all-male dance troupe in 2012, he wanted to make a company that challenged gender stereotypes and transformed viewers’ perceptions about diversity and the art of live dance. Now in its fourth year of performance, 10 Hairy Legs is accomplishing all James set out to do — and more. An accomplished artistic director, choreographer and dancer, James started 10 Hairy Legs after an all-male duet he choreographed elicited a strong reaction from the audience. The duet, which was inspired by James’s early childhood memories of swinging on a swing set with a neighbor while singing “It’s a Small World After All” encouraged James to think about how young boys are allowed to be gentle, but by the time they become men society demands that they become tough and suppress their feelings. “These young boys that come out of        …read more

Mozawa Spotlights Millennials in Performing Arts & Mixed Media Masterpieces

portraits performing arts

Performing arts & mixed media take the stage in Chicago. In a Chicago art gallery last summer, a group of more than 55 international visual and performing artists from diverse artistic mediums took to the stage. A Chicago harp quartet, a New York sculptor, an Australian sound artist, a Japanese drummer and many others met for three intense nights under the direction of Matthew Ozawa in order to change the way people view millennials. “We put the artists in a large two-story gallery space, and we curated a show that would move people through different mediums, and would have people move through the space and view the live art — and took people on a journey of this generation,” says 32-year-old Ozawa. The Y-Portraits: Awakening project wasn’t something that was developed overnight. Ozawa, who was born in Los Angeles but attended Oberlin College and now resides in the Lakeview neighborhood        …read more