Super Mario: Burlesque Star?

When I heard there was a burlesque show in production in Chicago based on Super Mario Bros. characters, I was extremely intriguied. So I tracked down the show's writer and director, MsPixy, for an interview:

Hello, MsPixy! Thanks so much for taking time to answer a few questions today.
Why, you are quite welcome! It is my pleasure to do so.

You're a burlesque performer. How long have you been doing this? How did you get involved in this profession?
I've been performing professionally for a little over 7 years. I've always been fascinated by burlesque striptease since I encountered the musical Gypsy as a young theater geek (I actually dressed as Gypsy Rose Lee for a Thespian Society banquet my senior year of high school. Yep, nerdy AND hot). My first few stripteases were quite unconventional, more "performance art" than classic burlesque, but when I co-founded the Belmont Burlesque Revue with Paris Green and Naughty Natanya in 2003, we set out to create a classically styled show, so I've been performing classic burlesque ever since!

Tell us about your first performance. Were you nervous? Did you bring down the house?
My first ever striptease was shortly after 9/11. I was PISSED that so many large companies were using the resulting surge of national pride and outrage as a springboard for their advertising campaigns, so I put together a number for WNEP's The Gong Show in which I stripped while sexily singing the national anthem, and had slogans from all the companies who were using the disaster to their advantage written on each layer of clothing, as well as all over my body. At the end, I revealed the words "BUY IT" written on my butt.

It not only brought down the house, I won The Gong Show that night.

Sounds like a heck of a start! You're the writer and director behind Boobs And Goombas: A Super Mario Burlesque. Can you tell us anything about the production?
At this point I'll throw our press release your way: "Mario and Luigi have become so perpetually frustrated by their endless pursuit of the Princess that everything they see has started to look like a beautiful, sexy woman-- even their most dangerous enemies! This sexy burlesque romp is a send-up of the famous Mario Bros. video games. Join us to discover whether the world's most adventurous plumbers will finally rescue the Princess and consummate years of amorous toil, or be seduced along the way by their alluring enemies. Don't forget to bring a few "coins" (or dollars) for tips... If the cast collects enough coins along the way, the audience will unlock the alternate ending!!!"

L-R: Coo d'Twat (Mario), Hazel Hellbender (Chomper), and Lily e'Claire (Luigi)
What characters will we see in the production? I'm assuming that along with Mario, Luigi and The Princess will show up, but will Bowser be there? Toad? How about Yoshi?
Mario, Luigi, Toad, Princess, Goombas, Koopa Troopa, Buzzy Beetle/Chain Chomp (we call her Level 2), Fish, Ghosts, Yoshi, Lakitu (the turtle in the cloud), and of course, King Koopa/Bowser.

Cool! Now I've got to ask: what made you decide to create a burlesque performance about Mario?
My producer, Kelly Williams, and I had brainstormed a list of possibilities for our theme that included everything from Star Trek to Thundercats, so keep an eye out for our next production, too. We have plenty of ideas on that list.

Super Mario was on the list, and I said to my producer, "Here's one we can cross off: Super Mario. How would you even do that?" Right at that moment, she got a phone call and had to step out for a few minutes. By the time she got back I had brainstormed half a dozen ways you maybe could turn Super Mario Bros. into a burlesque show and I was too excited about the idea to consider anything else.

L-R: Lacey Lay (Fish), Coco Rufus (Goomba), Lily e'Claire (Luigi), Sweet Ginger Rose (Princess Peach), Coo d'Twat (Mario), Hazel Hellbender (Level 2), Diva LaVida (Toad, kneeling), and Penelope Paddedbustle (Koopa Troopa)
Ooh! I like the Thundercats idea! Any plans for any future burlesque shows with other video game characters? '80s sitcom characters? World leaders?
As I mentioned above, we have many, many more ideas on our list (I think 50 in all), so you can for sure expect something to follow this show. Most of our ideas fall into the category of "things you can be a total nerd for," including a variety of comic books, sci-fi worlds, video games, and cult TV shows from the mid '80s.

Sounds like you've got an endless supply of material! Now it's time for The CB3, the three questions we ask every guest. Actually, it's the three questions we'll be asking every guest from now on. You're the guinea pig. Thriller or Purple Rain?

Debbie Gibson or Tiffany?
Cyndi Lauper.

Pretty In Pink or Sixteen Candles?
Pretty In Pink because of Duckie and Annie Potts.

Thanks again for sitting down with us. Best of luck with Boobs And Goombas: A Super Mario Burlesque!
My absolute pleasure. We look forward to seeing you at the show!

Boobs And Goombas: A Super Mario Burlesque will be staged at Gorilla Tango Theatre, located at 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave in Chicago. Performances will be held at 11:00 PM on October 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, and 30th. Tickets are $15. For tickets or more information, call 773-598-4549 or visit Advance ticket purchases are strongly recommended. Ages 18 and over.

[cast photos by K Leo]

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