Performance » Dance

Burlesque Meets the Auction Block

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What do you get when you mix a Steampunk-ish neo-Burlesque dance troupe with an improv live-auction comedy that invites audience participation?

“Who can say? We’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” says Lou Harry, co-creator of the long-running Going … Going Gone! production at Theatre on the Square. He laughs at the prospects, offering only one guarantee, “It’ll be fun to find out.”

Going ... Going ... Gone! is more than just a hilarious blend of dance and improv; it's a real auction that could send you home with a cardboard version of Captain Kirk. - PHOTO BY KANDRA SEJAS
  • Photo by Kandra Sejas
  • Going ... Going ... Gone! is more than just a hilarious blend of dance and improv; it's a real auction that could send you home with a cardboard version of Captain Kirk.

Sunday (May 3rd) Angel Burlesque will collaborate with the cast of Going … Going Gone! for an evening of adult comedy at the Mass Ave theater. Founder, producer and director of the dance troupe, Katie Angel describes her style as “15 percent gorgeous and 85 percent bat-sh-t crazy.”

Online reviewers of her Burlesque troupe’s performances tend to agree that the women bring an equal measure of sexy striptease style and hilarity to their acts.

Staged monthly at TOTS and three years running now, Going … Going … Gone! is a long-form improv show with the premise that the fictional Ed’s Auction House is closing after the death of Ed, who has run the place for 40 years. His last will and testament stipulates that everything must go. When the show opens, it seems everything has been sold, but then suddenly the cast discovers a few of Ed’s personal items at the last minute.

From there the show is different each time, with a variety of characters and props (of which they have no prior knowledge) that they must auction off to the audience. So they create the back story of these found objects.

According to John Thomas, the show’s other “co-concocter and co-producer,” the cast usually sells 20 to 25 items, ranging from the goofy to the collectible to the weird.

“We’ve auctioned off everything from a taxidermied boar’s head to a bottle of doe urine to a stand-up picture of Captain Kirk ... to bizarre clothing, games and puzzles,” says Thomas.

Galaxy Jones and Sylvestia Stilletto are part of the Angel Burlesque dance troupe that will join  Going ... Going ... Gone! Sunday evening at Theatre on the Square. - PHOTO BY GARY WATSON PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo by Gary Watson Photography
  • Galaxy Jones and Sylvestia Stilletto are part of the Angel Burlesque dance troupe that will join Going ... Going ... Gone! Sunday evening at Theatre on the Square.

“The ladies will indeed be dancing; however, so that the terms of Ed’s will can be fulfilled, the characters have to auction off all the items that remain. And the audience members, who will be bidding on them, will be given lots of play money when they arrive at the theater,” he explains. “If they place the winning bids, they take home the items.”

Some of those might relate to Burlesque, though Thomas says most will not. It’s up to the actors to decide how the items relate to Ed. As for how the dancers will relate to the plot, this time the scenario is that Ed’s is being converted to a Burlesque house and the girls are auditioning for a spot in the show. As for the acts, dances and dialogue – anything goes— until it's Going … Going … Gone!

For more on the local burlesque scene, take a look at Seth Johnson's profile of Rocket Doll Revue.

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