One ‘Whirl’-wind of a night

SELINSGROVE – Theater fans in central Pennsylvania who enjoy performances by empowered individuals have reason to be excited – the Courtyard Theater, 1 Susquehanna Valley Mall Drive, will host the exciting Twirly Whirly Burly-Q, a New York classic girly revue, at 7 p.m. April 28.

The revue features seasoned professionals in the cult phenomenon of burlesque performance.

And these aren’t run of the mill professionals, according to Isaac Conner, the promoter and organizer of the show – these are award-winners.

Two notable cast members, Hazel Honeysuckle and Ula Uberbusen, are influential members of the thriving New York City professional burlesque scene.

“Hazel is an international performer and is also an actress that has been on ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange is the New Black.’ Both she and Ula have won tons of awards,” Conner said. “These gals are a big deal.”

When it comes to gauging theatrical talent, Conner’s judgement holds considerable weight. As a producer, actor and editor, Conner was responsible for delivering to the region entertainment it might not have otherwise have enjoyed.

In 2013, he produced the Billtown Burlescapades, an East Coast burlesque and sideshow festival in Williamsport. The show was very well received, prompting Conner to continue producing Billtown Burlesque shows twice a year.

Like a growing number of theater goers, Conner is passionate about the burlesque genre.

Traditionally of the variety show type, burlesque has seen a shift in recent years to what is termed neo-burlesque. A much more avant-garde, risque version of the classic model, neo-burlesque has established itself as a crowd favorite, especially among seasoned audiences.

The entire Twirly Whirly Burly-Q cast has extensive experience with neo-performances. But because the region doesn’t have an extensive familiarity with the foundations of burlesque, the cast will forgo the more nuanced neo-burlesque in exchange for a more traditional approach.

“This show will be a classic style of burlesque. It’s a great way to be introduced to the regal, elegant side of our industry,” Conner said.

Traditional and neo approaches share one important aspect: the striptease.

Owing to its more theatrical and empowering approach to striptease, the show draws more excitement from female audience members than it draws from the men.

Men have much to enjoy, too – of course but for the women particularly, “it is a chance to live vicariously through the ladies on the stage,” Conner said.

It may go without saying, but it will be said anyway: Twirly Whirly Burly-Q is not intended to be appropriate fun for the whole family.

Among adults, there is much to be enjoyed by both theater lovers and non-theater lovers alike.

There is one caveat, according to Conner: “The only people who shouldn’t come are those who do not love classy, sexy, empowered women.”

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.thecourtyardtheater.net.