Burlesque returns to The Grove

Black Box Burlesque

February 03 - By the 1860s, American burlesque had already gained popularity as a type of variety performance. By the turn of the 20th century, burlesque in America had taken on a hybrid form that included satire, performance art and music hall. It then developed into an adult type of entertainment that featured striptease and wide comedic performances that continue to this day.  

Michele Rose, executive director for Opal Center for Arts & Education, said she is thrilled to bring the latest incarnation of burlesque to the Main Street theater on Feb.10. We've got three burlesque dancers that dance professionally, so that is exciting for me. One of those dancers is a local girl and she's amazing,” Rose explained. 

The show will also include a comedy burlesque, local musicians, poetry, “Just kind of a naughty and nice Valentine's variety show instead of just one particular kind of event,” Rose said.I've been explaining to people who ask us that it’s not just women on stage. It's a grotesque exaggeration, so that's what we're aiming to do.” 

In February 2020, while the Opal Center was still open to the public, there was a screening with the Cottage Grove Cinema Guild that brought in a number of people — mostly women — to the theater, eager to see vintage 1940s burlesque performances captured on 16mm film. Audiences can expect to see some of those rare, short film prints between the live entertainment again. 

Rose is also looking to add an additional burlesque show later in the year if this event proves to be successful.  

We hope to grow it over the next few years,” she said. We'll see. People are still a little shy.”  

However, recent shows like “Journey to Snowy Mountain,” “The Roommate” and the “Half Baked Hams Improv Troupe” have held great turnouts, with sellout nights.

Black Box Burlesque at the Opal Center will be an 18-and-older show. The program is described on the theater’s website as a “lush mélange of dance, magic, live music, poetry, films and more.”  

It runs on Friday Feb. 10 and 11, with a single performance starting at 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $15 per adult, which can be purchased at The Crafty Mercantile, 517 E. Main Street or through Opal Center’s website: opalcentercg.org/events/burlesque.