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Burlesque Sat Dec 22 2012

Before It's Gone: Season's Geekings at Gorilla Tango

It's that time of year again: the trees come out, the lights go up, and the War on Christmas begins anew. And no, not conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly's seasonal coverage of what he perceives to be the assault on American religious tradition. No, this war--though surely the kind of thing that would invoke the ire of O'Reilly--involves considerably lower stakes and much less clothing. It's a battle that provoked sex columnist Dan Savage to complain, exasperated, on last week's Savage Lovecast, "There's nothing sexy about Christmas." But in Season's Geekings: A Gorilla Tango Burlesque Holiday Special, the theater's in-house troupe poses the question, "Isn't there, though?"

To be fair, the show doesn't feature a ton of strictly Christmas-related material. Rather, it's a kind of year-end revue of the ladies' best work from previous themed shows like A Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque and Boobs of the Dead: A Walking Dead Burlesque, all wrapped up in a sparkling Christmas soundtrack and tied together with a framing device that has something to do with Mario and Luigi checking in on the holiday plans of the other denizens of the Geek Realm. (Between the fake mustaches and the impressively consistent faux-Italian accent, it was sometimes hard to catch exactly what the "plot" was. Not that it matters. At all.)

To critique the writing seems at least vaguely ridiculous, given that the thrust of the production is obviously directed elsewhere. But it bears mentioning because a lot of it is very funny, particularly a short skit lampooning Ralphie's classic quest for a BB gun in A Christmas Story. (There are also, of course, a few good-natured duds.) Even when the boob-centric banter bombs, though, the show is consistently buoyed along by its own sheer sense of fun. The performers are as unfazed by a tepid response to a shimmy as they are by a difficult hook on a sequined or candy-laden brassiere. They're obviously not self-conscious, considering that each of them reveals a pair of pasty-clad breasts at least once before the show is over, but they also exude the sense that they're dancing as much for the viewer as they are for each other. They don't pander to the people watching them so much as they try to entertain themselves, and that kind of goofy comfort is refreshing enough to loosen up even the most wooden of audience members.

Is there anything sexy about Christmas? Who the hell knows? What's surprising about Season's Geekings is that it doesn't seem concerned with implicitly justifying the sexualization of the holiday season. It's just people having a good time while dancing to some of their favorite Christmas songs. Sure, they perform some impressive and entertaining dance routines, and yeah, they take their clothes off, but in the end, that's just the tinsel on the tree.

Season's Geekings: A Gorilla Tango Burlesque Holiday Special stars Inara Rose, Diva LaVida, Lucita Bonita, Paly Flames, Sweet Ginger Rose, Phaedra Black, Vicki Van Go-Go, and Ruby Bourbon. For those in need of a last-minute injection of holiday cheer, the last performance is Friday, Dec. 28 at 9pm at the Gorilla Tango Theater, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets are $20, available in advance online or by phone at 773-598-4549.

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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