Burlesque Fundraiser at Leeward Theatre Sure to Raise More Than Your Spirits
This past Wednesday I was given the opportunity to see a preview of The Monsters & Maidens Burlesque, a burlesque presentation and fundraiser at Leeward Theatre. It is a burlesque show which means that there are bits of risqué and raunchy behavior, skits and sketches, musical numbers, and skin. Lots and lots of skin. In fact on the door at the theatre entrance a notice states that the show contains semi-nude performances, and that you may be encouraged to join in on the fun (especially if you're sitting up front).
But don't let this frighten you, its all in good fun. In fact the show contains a lot of comedy sketches- most don't even go over five minutes. Some of them have a very wry punchline-but that's what burlesque is after all, and its still funny. The fun is over-the-top and these performers bare all, or as much as they can, for all to see.
As mentioned before there are many sketches sprinkled throughout this production. You’ll also see a few skits involving Commedia dell'arte. Masked actors, speaking a nonsensical language, play exaggerated scenarios with over the top characterizations. And the real funny thing is that you understand everything that they're communicating. This was also a lot of fun. There are also group dance numbers, where the women of the production will dance for the audience. However, the men of the production get their chance as well, and although you may not experience the full Monty, you will experience the fun Monty.
Even the three directors get their opportunity to shine as they appear together in a few numbers. If you think they were going to let their cast have all the fun, think again. The three women, Kristen Labiano, Juvy Lucina and Kirstyn Trombetta tease seductively in one number and tease comically in another. All three directors are recent Leeward alumni or current students.
As this is a burlesque show, you will see a variety of body shapes and sizes from the entire cast, male and female…and they show it all off with fearless pride. There is no body shaming here nor is there any need for it. The cast reiterate that no matter what size or shape or height, everyone is beautiful, everyone is sexy.
For over forty years, Leeward Theatre has been a breeding ground of talent. Many actors, playwrights, directors, and designers have had their start here, given a chance to hone their craft. Over the past few years, I have seen many of Leeward's students branch out beyond the college, and it is exciting to see their impact on our local theatre scene. One such talent to watch will be Veronica Lapilio. She has cultivated a stunning stage presence that reads confident and professional.
The Monsters & Maidens Burlesque plays at the Alternative space at The Leeward Theatre for one more weekend September 7, 8 and 9 at 8pm and Sunday September 10 at 6pm.
Tickets are $15 General Admission and $10 Current Leeward Students. For tickets go to http://LCCTheatre.hawaii.edu/. Because the show is performed in their alternate space, seating is very limited so get your tickets early.