Saturday, Dec. 19
It’s unseasonably warm in Michigan this week, but one local event is hoping to turn some cheeks rosy red without the help of winter weather. Michigan’s largest burlesque variety show, Tease-A- Gogo, brings its risqué holiday show to the Avenue Café Saturday.
Founder and producer Autumn Luciano started the ever-changing show in April 2013, with the hopes of bringing a fresh brand of entertainment to the Lansing area. The bi-monthly burlesque production was held at popular LGBTQ nightclub Spiral Dance Bar during its first year before taking up residence at the Avenue Café.
“It was a better space and venue for this show,” Luciano said. “There's a bigger stage, more seating areas and more places for the audience to see the stage from.”
The bigger space has allowed for more elaborate set designs and a bigger crowd, Luciano added. Tease- A-Gogo’s typical event turnout has grown from around 100 people to over 250 people since the switch.
Each show is a montage of performances, usually based around a central theme, ranging from vaudeville-esque sideshow acts to sexy burlesque (and boylesque) striptease. Saturday’s show will feature several mainstays of the Tease-A-Gogo series, including Naughty Autie, Vivacious Miss Audacious and Sadie Sparkles. Audience members are encouraged to come decked out in their best burlesque, drag or holiday-themed apparel. Luciano, who also owns Decadence Dolls pin-up studio, takes hundreds of photos to post on the Tease-A-Gogo Facebook page, including performers during and after the show and candid shots of the crowd.
In a new twist, Luciano took her show on the road this year. The Lansing show is the final stop on a first-ever, six-city tour throughout the Midwest. She decided to take the show on the road with the help of her friend, Go-Go Amy, whose L.A.-based variety show, Pretty Things Peepshow, made a name for itself touring international stages. Luciano is excited to showcase Lansing as a budding outlet for burlesque and variety, and hopes the tour will draw a new crowd to future shows.
“(Go-Go Amy) had been encouraging me to take the show on a short tour for awhile,” Luciano said. “We decided to plan it together. Having her experience with producing has really helped me take the show to the next level.”
In addition to the usual array of burlesque dancers, drag queens and circus sideshow performers, puppeteers from Rasputin’s Marionettes in L.A. will be flying in with their handcrafted puppets that do naughty and hilarious things.
“I'm very excited for the whole show, but I think I’m most excited for the puppets,” Luciano said. “We've never had puppets in Tease-A-Gogo before. It's going to be hilarious.”
Holiday burlesque variety show 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 $10 18+ The Avenue Café 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing teaseagogo.com