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Friday, December 12, 2008

Where the naughty go for Christmas

"We are all naked in the eyes of the Lord," is the motto of Skin Tight Outta Sight, on the frequent occasions when the Toronto "rebel burlesque" troupe finds an excuse to lampoon Christian holidays. Tonight at the Gladstone Hotel, with the always outrageous MC Keith Cole presiding, they'll unveil a Mexican Bible Christmas pageant titled Feliz Navidad. Sexy Mark Brown reprises his Jesus act, this time as Luchachrist. Sauci Calla Hora is Our Lady Guadeloupe; Honey B. Hind is a gun-toting Sarah Palin; Anastasia is Tequila Time, CoCo La Crème makes her Christmas list; and Tanya Cheex brings up the rear with her Human Snow Globe act.

This season, Skin Tight Outta Sight is taking it (almost) all off in celebration of its 10th anniversary. The first Canadians selected to compete for the Miss Exotic World Burlesque Hall of Fame Pageant, they've been twirling those pasties for laughs since the inaugural Skin Tight show in at the Pilot Tavern in November 1998. Founder Tanya Cheex, a former dominatrix and distributor for fetish wear, was looking for a creative way to model rubber and PVC costumes. Baring bodies had been her métier from the word go: when she was just 8, Tanya organized a strip show that got broken up by the parents.

Sauci is a social worker who once dreamed of being a ballerina. Tonight she'll do her ditzy Virgin Mary in what she calls "a nativity scene gone wrong." CoCo, a performance artist and staffer at Good For Her sex store, leads a lot of workshops on burlesque and costuming. Anastasia has been part of the core troupe since 2002.

Skin Tight has become a Parkdale institution, performing at either the Cadillac Lounge or the Gladstone Hotel, where their shows attract a very mixed, young-to-old crowd, straight, gay and transgendered, from mainstream to punk to rockabilly. Their bawdy jokes and slapstick routines get them gigs at corporate events, fundraisers and even stag-ette parties, where they sometimes offer burlesque workshops for new brides.

A special guest for Feliz Navidad is Roxi D'Lite, winner of two Golden Pastie Awards in the New York Burlesque Festival a few years ago. She's going to do a burlesque version of The Nutcracker.

It doesn't take much imagination to picture how the wordplay on that one might work out.
by Susan Walker

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