The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts April 21, 2006

Raunchy Movers and Shakers at ’Sco
Oberlin Burlesque Titillates

Last Saturday, the ’Sco hosted one of the most scandalous yet thrilling events ever to hit campus: Oberlin Burlesque. The show, being the first one of this semester, was, of course, sold out. Those who did not get there at least half an hour early with pre-purchased tickets in hand had trouble finding available viewing spots. Some ended up sitting on the floor toward the front of the stage, while others stood on chairs in the back.

The show proceeded with no hesitation, shocking a few prospective students in the audience. Both women and men proceeded to strip in a variety of styles to various songs until they were nearly nude, with the mere exception of thongs and a breathtaking assortment of booby tassels. Acts played on many different themes, including kinky aliens, construction workers, sensual bread-making, naughty nuns, diamond mining and gender bending, as well as others. The night also featured a particularly impressive number in which one woman stripped entirely while spinning around on roller skates.

The performances were of course supplemented by the hooting and hollering of the crowd, which the emcee encouraged to consume large quantities of alcohol. As a result, the comments issued by many students became increasingly funny as the night ran on. Most started with your standard “Take it off” and later progressed to simply shouting “Boobs” or “Titties” in thunderous and slurred voices. Others just made random observations or exclaimed amusing personal comments in outbursts such as “Man, I wish she was wearing stilettos.”

“Rose”, the emcee, was dressed as a nun throughout the show and contributed to the atmosphere with skits and jokes between acts. She also performed two interesting and somewhat explicit bits, one involving a particularly controversial maneuver with a bottle of whiskey. Rose also gave a burlesque workshop in Wilder the following day.

Despite the risk of becoming inappropriate that accompanies many situations in which people pay to watch others take off their clothes, the burlesque show stayed surprisingly tasteful throughout. Faithful to the true spirit of burlesque, the Oberlin Burlesque show put much consideration into the comical aspects of each act, developing the scenes so that they were not simply about girls shaking their boobs. The performers also did a great job of remaining theatrical, and seemed to be enjoying themselves and the atmosphere.

The only real downside of the burlesque show was the utterly uncomfortable location in which it was held. The ’Sco is a great venue and is the only space that serves alcohol on campus; however, this particular show would have been much more enjoyable had it been performed in a theater of some sort where there could be some order established to the manner in which people positioned themselves.

Still, the Oberlin Burlesque show proved once again to be a huge success. Oberlin students apparently just can’t get enough naked babes and studs! Be sure not to miss the second (and completely different) burlesque show on Saturday, April 29.


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