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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Burlesque Heats up the Holidays

Burlesque Heats up the HolidaysIt's that time of year again.

Nativity scenes are popping up left and right while chestnuts roast on open fires. The weather has turned bone chilling, and yuletide cheer is oozing from every pore.

But it's not quite Christmas until Chico Cabaret heats up the holidays with some naughty fun.

The third annual "Holiday Burlesque Show" has arrived, and Christmas spirit is getting spiced up in the best possible way.

Running through Dec. 20, Chico Cabaret's holiday extravaganza will set you back only $16. It's a small price to pay to enjoy the raucous and risque production. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

As one walks inside Chico Cabaret, the Christmas spirit is everywhere. Familiar holiday songs are piped into the room. Multicolored lights twinkle from a Christmas tree next to Santa's giant throne. Stockings and garlands hang from the walls. The stage is adorned with elves, snowmen and reindeer.

All that's missing is a tableful of food surrounded by awkward relatives.

Once the lights dim and the music starts, audience members are treated to the familiar tune of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

But instead of a cardigan-wearing senior citizen, a sassy young woman takes the stage and begins to undress, breathlessly imploring the audience to "please be my neighbor."

And with that the show begins. A series of vignettes poking fun at holiday traditions and American pop culture soon follow. Often hilarious - and always sexy - the sketches are performed expertly by a spectacular ensemble.

"I thought it was very entertaining," said senior Will Saporito.

The journalism major was impressed by the show's fast pace and unexpected performances, he said.

"Everything that happens next you're enjoying," Saporito said. "You're there for the ride."

Conan Duch and Sean Green act as hosts for the proceedings, hamming it up in true vaudevillian style. Like a modern day "Abbott and Costello," the duo introduces each sketch while performing its own comedy bits for the audience.

The Christmas-themed production lends itself beautifully to an adult-only show. Lines such as, "It's fuckin' Christmas time and I love boobs," blend seamlessly with the production's mature comedy.

Nearly naked elves, cross-dressing divas and plenty of stripteases keep audience members riled up and ready for more.

Jenn Ward, 22, is a Chico Cabaret employee who has appeared in previous iterations of the show.

"There's something for everyone," she said. "Unless you're very conservative. Unless you don't like boobs or ass."

Senior Nik Magnus Shriner, media and theater arts major, is a cast member.

"It's really fun," he said. "It's a really neat balance."

Performing in the show seems more like a party than going to work, he said.

"Once I got the pants off, I was like, 'This is so much fun,'" Shriner said.

Chico Cabaret's "Holiday Burlesque Show" brings out the best of the holidays - scantily clad beauties and genitalia jokes. It's truly joy to the world.

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