Matthew Schechtman and FubarFoto
Tainted Cabaret, 8 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, 230 Pueblo Ave., $12-$25, facebook.com/TaintedCabaret.
The three burlesque artists who make up the cast of Tainted Cabaret take their art seriously — but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to laugh your ass off at tonight’s show. Comprised of performers Ula Uberbusen, James & The Giant Pasty, and Shirley Gnome, Tainted Cabaret aims to present a fun and accessible burlesque variety show, a little different from your usual fare. “This show has the same
history that all modern burlesque shows have,” says Ula, “but we bring the weird.”
Building off an empowering, body-positive, feminist philosophy, Tainted Cabaret is at times poignant, at times political, and frequently hilarious. Mostly, you’ll find it’s all three.
“My feeling,” Ula says, “is that one of the best ways to move people is to get them laughing first. And then you hit them with the harder stuff.” In this case, the harder stuff may come in the form of Ula’s vulnerable solo piece about body image, or Shirley’s feminist lyrics, or the mere fact that by putting themselves out there onstage and twisting the idea of beauty or
gender, they are making a hell of a statement.
Fans of local burlesque need not feel as though they’re betraying their brethren by attending, either. Tainted Cabaret has recruited local Peaks and Pasties all-star Bunny Bee to perform with them tonight. “One of the things we really like about touring is connecting with local acts and getting to see what people are doing around the country,” Shirley says.
And they are certainly making their way around the country. With 29 shows in this tour, Tainted Cabaret is poised to perform five shows a week on average, across the U.S. and Canada. It’s a great opportunity for them to share a unique and accessible performance with a huge audience. In many cases, a new audience. “If you’ve never seen a burlesque show, this would be a great opportunity to give it a try,” Shirley says. “Because we’re trying to bring the best of the best from the places that we’re from.”