Under the radar of even the most astute denizens of Kansas City’s entertainment scene there was a recent no-holds-barred dust up among competing burlesque events. I only wish I had more photos of the ruckus if only because my imagination leads me to believe there were feather boas and pasties flying everywhere.
What I like about the underground dispute is that it matches up competing ideologies related to Kansas City entertainment.
On one side: The Beaumont Club was putting together what they thought was a fun $500 burlesque contest in order to garner some of the momentum that local burlesque performers have been generating around Kansas City of late.
Meanwhile, neo-burlesque “purists” (and I use that term loosely) like The KC Society of Burlesque and The Burlesque Downtown Underground were offended that the art form they have championed was being used primarily for what they consider commercial interest with not of the feminist ideology that is often apparent at these shows.
Like any real fight over ideology: Somebody had to lose.
In this burlesque battle royale The Beaumont Club was the first to blink as their upcoming events page demonstrates. In this situation, angering a crew of dedicated local performers probably just wasn’t worth it.
Again, the burlesque ladies weren’t too wild that the club hadn’t reached out to denizens of the local scene and the all-male organizers didn’t seem to really get the ethos of these kind of shows. Apparently, it’s a far cry from wet t-shirt contests or other bar room competitions that are more of a show for dudes that want to simply see some skin with their drinks. I don’t know exactly how the women justify their position (that’s admittedly founded in a bit of PC thuggery) but the argument is that neo-burlesque empowers women to explore their sexuality through an art from that acknowledges the difference between the sexes but doesn’t seek to exploit women in a way that has been stereotypically associated with strip clubs and bar rooms.
I’m sure a more ardent feminist like Andrea Dworkin would have disagreed but nobody has bothered to dig her up and ask her.
So, in a bit of turnabout the complaining Kansas City burlesque advocates made the male dominated Beaumont bend to their will and their triumphant show will take place at The Conspiracy Room in The Uptown Theater complex.
Word on the street however is the Beaumont event may be rescheduled for this spring.
They’re calling it “This is Burlesque” and here’s a bit more info from the show flyers:
Tagline: “A Blowout Burlesque Extravaganza celebrating the finest in Kansas City Burlesque!”
Pre-Show Music by DJ Cyan
From the Kansas City Society of Burlesque: Lucky DeLuxe, Annie Cherry, Kitty von Minx, Veronica Voodoo, Honey Valentine, Peter Fondle, Bindlestiff Willy
From Burlesque Downtown Underground: Sweet Louise, Miss Kitty
Eartha Delights, Mary Magdalene, Dirty Diana, Bijou Merlot, Dolly DuMaul
HOSTED BY LUCKY DELUXE!!
Doors open at 8:30pm, Pre-Show at 9pm, Burlesque at 10pm!
Time: 9:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: The Conspiracy Room (Uptown Theater Complex)
Street: 3700 Broadway
And for the record, this amount of political bickering is kind of neat so that I can see various big asses on stage no matter what their political ideology.