Locals ‘dare to bare’ in Steamboat’s 1st burlesque show
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs’ normally family-friendly entertainment fare is being set aside for a little burlesque and vaudeville this weekend.
Local business owners Josh and Emily Stein, both dancers in their other lives, have produced a show whose performers titillate the audience with more skin than clothing at times.
“There’s a ton of family-friendly shows in Steamboat, and that’s awesome, but there’s not a whole lot of entertainment focused on the adult crowd,” said Josh Stein.
During a dress rehearsal at Old Town Pub, performers, ranging in age from 20 to 46, went through their paces, taking the wardrobe mishaps, including a missing pasty, with humor.
“Hope springs eternal for the costume malfunction,” shouted emcee Erika Olson, aka “Filthy Lucre,” during a sexy burlesque number where the dancer wrestled with her costume before having a Janet Jackson moment.
Old Town Pub couldn’t be a better setting for the first-ever “Mod Vaude,” a modern take on vaudeville and burlesque. Pub owner Sean Regan has provided an intimate setting with old wood floors and a stage reminiscent of 1920s Paris, minus the cigarette smoke.
From the beginning, audience members will know this isn’t your family variety show as a “bass” player unleashes his instrument from its large case — a scantily clad dancer who leaves just enough to the imagination.
In true burlesque style, all the performers have taken stage names. “Inanna Begood” is a local educator accustomed to working family-friendly circus acts with props and fire.
What: Mod Vaude
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28; doors open at 7 p.m.
Where: Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $30 to $35 at modvaude.com
“This is pushing it for me,” she said with a shy smile.
“I’ve always been interested in this art form … exploring burlesque,” said Begood — aka Rose Ashes in real life.
Like a few other dancers involved in Mod Vaude, Ashes took up aerial silks and pole dancing while working out at local fitness studios. That’s how they learned about the Steins’ idea for a modern vaudeville show, and they were encouraged to try out.
“Usually, I play a more clowny role,” said Rose. “This has been an experience tapping into this more seductive role.”
Show producer Emily Stein, a local pole dancing instructor, will be performing, and there’s also an impressive “acrochair” routine where three she-demons take on the local drunk.
The youngest performer is Jamie Ferree, a dance teacher from Craig who teaches tap and lyrical dancing. She said the show has allowed performers to “expand their horizons.”
“At first, I was shy with my body, but these women are awesome,” Ferree said. “Nobody is judgmental, and there’s a wide range of body ranges from slender to voluptuous.”
Even producer Josh Stein will be getting into his “skivvies” during the evening, although he says his expertise is couples dancing.
“We’re keeping it classy … not doing obscene sexual gestures or anything like that,” Josh Stein said. “You can appreciate beauty and art and not be highly sexualized. A lot of people were leery to jump on board for our first show. They want to wait and see, but I think we’ve put together a great performance for our first show.”
Then there’s “Jezzabelle” or Jettie Shin, a well-known belly dancer who often performs in local shows. Shin is daringly trading in her belly dancing veils for feathers and pasties.
“After having kids, I don’t care who sees my body,” laughed Shin.
She said she even convinced another woman with no dance background to try out.
“She’s having a blast dancing,” Shin said.
Josh Stein said if the performers are having a blast, the audience is sure to have even more fun, and after six months of rehearsals, the troupe is ready to entertain Steamboat’s adult crowd.
The 21-and-older show will be going live at Old Town Pub at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. The doors will open at 7 p.m. with food and beverage service before the performance, and there will be beverage service during intermission.
Tickets are $30 for general seating and $35 for premier seating with tabletops. Visit modvaude.com to buy tickets.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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Created by local artist MB Warner, the original artwork for the 2022 Winter Carnival poster features an homage to Steamboat Springs’ past.