SIC Burlesque Show Features Mix of Traditional Performances, Emerging Acts

Tristan Cimini, Staff Writer

On Tuesday night, the Sexual Information Center turned the ’Sco into a burlesque club. All proceeds benefited Preterm, a clinic that provides compassionate abortion care in Cleveland. Each ticket purchase bought guests unlimited drinks and a raffle ticket for prizes, such as a box of Awake N’ Bake cookies and “the ultimate slumber party kit,” which included glow sticks, temporary tattoos, glitter and more. Sexual health trivia in between sets offered the audience a chance to win candy bars and M&Ms. College seniors Juli Ruoff and Sarah MacFadden were the event’s lively and entertaining hosts.

College sophomore Annika Hansteen Izora started off the evening by taking the stage to share an emotionally relatable personal piece about the lack of appreciation for women by men. It was short and sweet but incredibly moving, and it set the tone for the rest of the night’s readings. College junior Alison Kronstadt and College first-years Andres Emil Gonzalez and Sarah Knapp all performed incredibly intimate and empowering original writing. Knapp even incorporated TLC’s hit song “Waterfalls” into her poem, to which the audience responded with enthusiasm.

The incredible burlesque performances transported the audience back in time to the sensual era of the cabaret. College senior Dan Laufer and College junior Jackie Meger took the stage for a stunning dance duet. Their choreography was seductive and intimate, and they didn’t miss a beat. The Hotsie Totsies showed up for the second year in a row, sensually stripping down to their lingerie. The four-member group was even able to gracefully unlace their corsets during their vaudeville-esque routine. Everyone in the crowd enthusiastically cheered on the performers, who deserved every bit of the audience’s support.

Next, two of Oberlin’s improv comedy groups took the stage. Kid Business stripped down to nipple tape and undies, and Primitive Streak sported big winter parkas and scarves. Primitive Streak is highly regarded on campus, but this performance was either not its strongest or went over the audience’s head. Much of their set was devoted to a combination of things vaguely related to the word ‘moist,’ and every sketch seemed to bring up death, poison, mutated animals or wordlessness. Kid Business did a variety of fun improv games, one of which was titled “Sex with me is like.” Audience members filled in the blank by shouting out things like “pizza” and “Marvin Krislov,” and the actors improvised based on the suggested simile.

Oberlin’s own version of *NSYNC, the Obertones, stripped down to reveal holographic nipple tape. The group put on an amazing show, covering Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.” Their arrangement of “Hey Ya” by Outkast was particularly strong. Die-hard fans sang along to the words, shouting out “cooler than being cool” and “ice-cold.” Everyone appeared to be having fun during their set.

The audience quickly and quietly filtered out before the end of the night, most people exiting after the last burlesque dance. Unfortunately, those who left missed out on the most outstanding sideshow of the night. The jazz ensemble Fry Boy treated those who remained to some good jams as an afterthought for the walk home. The piano-based tunes recalled Robert Glasper, and their mellowness threw off some J. Dilla vibes.

Individually, each musician’s technical skill and melodic sense was very strong, but it seemed like they could have benefited from some time together off-stage to tighten things up. With their quick setup, it was surprising that the tone was so well mixed. After the first song, the leftover audience quickly moved up to the front of the stage to dance and cheer on the performers. Fry Boy’s final performance provided an energetic conclusion to the quirky event.