The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts May 5, 2006

Burlesque Impresses Again, Ruffles Wigs

The third and possibly last Oberlin Burlesque Show hit the Cat in the Cream last Saturday night and yet again delivered a night of outrageous fun to an excited crowd of students.

The show presented a repertoire of completely new acts, an impressive endeavor considering the last burlesque show took place only a few weeks earlier. This time there were bits featuring cracked-out hipsters, an opera singer, track stars and Little Red Riding Hood, along with many others including the finale titled “Under the Sea.” This number in particular was interesting because it proved that stripping with giant red lobster claws, while quite challenging, is in fact possible. (You go, girl!)

The emcee, Ms. Saturn, who is somewhat of a celebrity on campus among previous burlesque goers, was flown in all the way from New York City to host the show. She not only amused the audience with her charm and wit, but also demonstrated her remarkable hula-hooping talents, all in all contributing to an amazing show.

Still, despite Oberlin Burlesque’s obvious popularity, senior Emily Doubilet, founder and current organizer of Oberlin Burlesque is graduating. Hence the question: Will there be Oberlin Burlesque in the future?

With Doubilet leaving campus, the obstacle of who will take her place arises. There are two students to whom Doubilet feels she could pass the torch.

“Jesse Gerstin and Ariel Brickman have attended a lot of the burlesque workshops this year,” she said, “and they’ve both participated behind the scenes.” Doubilet is also planning on writing a little “how to” book on producing burlesque shows at Oberlin to aid anyone who takes up the project in the future.

Whether interest in burlesque will remain in Oberlin also raises a question.

“I’m not sure how long it will last because it is a really contemporary art form that for some post-modern hipster reason is thriving in this day and age,” said Doubilet.

By observing past burlesque ticket sales in addition to considering the minds of individuals in their early ’20s in general, however, we can pretty much count on continued interest in this exceptional art form on Oberlin’s campus.

The administration has been giving Oberlin Burlesque heat from the start and perhaps will take the opportunity of Doubilet graduating to squash it entirely.

“I don’t think Oberlin has the audacity to outlaw burlesque shows,” Doubilet said. “But they do have the audacity to threaten the organizers so much that they feel the pressure to stop it.” She suggested that improving the venue for the show may appease the administration.

While the future of Oberlin burlesque is still undecided, the shows this year were no less than spectacular. Doubilet deserves one big round of applause for adding to our diverse and eclectic scene here at Oberlin.


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