Tantalizing Varietease Returns

Varietease VI: A Burlesque Carnival is the Yukon’s very own burlesque variety show.

Varietease runs every second year. This is an on-year, Oct. 25 to 29 at the Yukon Arts Centre.

This year’s theme is a repeat of the 2009 carnival and promises to be bigger and more creative than ever with six acts, the Varietease Risky Rollers band, and singing and dancing conducted by a cast of amateur and professional performers.

Varietease started in 2008. Every show since then has sold out.

“Someone dared me to do something different, and I took the challenge,” says Varietease co-founder and producer, Fiona Solon. “We’re very lucky up here, we can apply for different types of funding and if we are lucky enough to get it, that makes it more realistic that these crazy endeavors can happen.

This year, past assistant director Michelle FisherMyr is stepping up to take the role of director and choreographer. She’ll lend her own vision to the project.

The burlesque carnival format means the show will be played out in two acts. The first involves audience interaction with the carnival. Performers will be at various stations including a tattoo parlour, a shooting gallery and a photo booth.

The second act is a more traditional variety show format with comic sketches, circus routines and choreographed song and dance numbers.

“(We are) trying to make it the best Varietease yet, to top the previous years,” FisherMyr says. “We’ve got more interesting acts, we’re working on more moves, more costume pieces and just growing the show. Showing Whitehorse something they’ve never seen before.

“We’ve never done tap-dancing before… we’ve never sang as much in shows before and we’ve got great voices so that’s exciting.”

Ten people are performing in the show. They have been rehearsing for over seven weeks, working on solo acts and the main group dances. At the same time, the musical director, Andrea McColeman, and the band are working to create original music for the show as per their tradition.  The band, the Risky Rollers is comprised of the popular local band Major Funk and the Employment and an additional horn section.

Tara McCarthy is a local writer, editor, broadcaster and performer. She has been involved in Varietease since the beginning. “I like to perform, it’s a lot of fun and it lets out a different side of yourself to perform burlesque. It’s sexy but funny and it’s a lot of fun to let your freak out a bit,” she says.

Varietease VI: A Burlesque Carnival runs Tuesday, Oct. 25 to Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9 p.m., with shows at midnight on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct.  29.

For more information go to www.YukonArtsCentre.com.

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