The Nude & Rude Revue started with two best friends, Taylor Vidic and Cameron Brockett, and their love of performance art. Vidic, 25, was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, and met Brockett during high school in Juneau. Brockett was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, and has lived in Colorado, Ketchikan and Kodiak before moving to Juneau for her freshman year, “I grew up all over Alaska. I come from a coastguard family,” said Brockett.
“When we started the burlesque show, I think we both thought, We can do this one-hundred miles from home, but no chance are we ever doing this in the place people watched us grow up,” said Vidic. “Yeah, that didn’t last. We brought the show to Juneau last year, sold out two nights and had to turn dozens of people away, so this year we thought [we] better add a third night! My mom and her friends love it. My dad has yet to see a show….”
The first show was in Skagway in July 2016 at the Red Onion Saloon during the girls’ second season of working in Skagway. “We performed one sold-out show,” said Vidic. “There were 10 performers, 7 of whom were Red Onion madams at the time: 5 performers, a stage kitten, a host, and three musicians including a drum kit and two horns.”
Both girls worked at the Red Onion where they pulled together to form their show. Past madams Allison Holtkamp and Erika Lee told the girls how lucky they were to be working at a business where the management and the ownership were so open to the space being used for performances.
“I recall that my manager, prior to the performance in 2016, said, ‘You know, Taylor, once you do this, you can’t take it back,’” said Vidic, adding that the manager was referring to “baring it all” in front of her peers. “Needless to say, I was terrified, but it was too late to turn back. Immediately following the show [my manager] came backstage to me and Cameron. I don’t even think she said much. It was more of an approving head nod that said, Yep. You don’t need to take that back. You did it. You nailed it.”
Living and working in a small town is never an easy feat, particularly when that involves taking your clothes off. “I never thought I’d be comfortable performing burlesque, but Skagway creates this weird vortex of freedom and allows you to be who you want to be and to do what you want to do, without the fear that most communities would lead you to have,” says Vidic. “If we can get people in the room [in Whitehorse], I think they’ll love it, because we’re cut from the same cloth. There is so much similarity between people in Whitehorse and those who call Alaska home. Alaskans have enjoyed it, and I don’t see a measly border changing that.”
Since their first show, the revue has continued to grow, and more performances have been added each year, in more locations, including Haines and Whitehorse in 2018.
Their troupe consists of five performers and a six-piece band (the Better Than Boobs band), with some crossover between the two. “We describe our show as ‘burlesque and variety,’ featuring not only traditional burlesque, heavy on the storytelling and humour, but also musical theatre, tap, all live music and vocals, and circus art,” said Vidic, adding, “I’ll also say that the Better Than Boobs band does more than just play their instruments in the background … we truly are a company.”
The show will now be making its Yukon debut, with two performances in Whitehorse. “The most exciting aspect of our Whitehorse shows is our collaboration with Velvet Antler Productions. Their burlesque troupe has welcomed us with open arms and will be bringing a couple of performers to do their own solo acts in the show, as well as to collaborate with us on a group number or two,” said Vidic. “As visitors, we are so thankful to experience artists supporting artists, and women supporting women, the way we have with them.”
Are you ready, Whitehorse, for Skagway’s Nude & Rude Revue?
“Yes, there’s the sexiness of it all, but there are also trained performers and musicians; and humour and storytelling and glitter; and women (and, as of this year, men) onstage, loving themselves as they are and inviting you to join them. It’s infectious,” said Vidic. The Nude & Rude Revue will be at the Jarvis Street Saloon on Friday, October 19 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Saturday October 20 at North of Ordinary’s new venue. Visit their website for more details at www.nudeandruderevue.com.