Twirly Whirly Burly-Q is bringing a touch of vintage New York City burlesque to Gainesville on Wednesday.
With sensuality, extravagant costumes and good old-fashioned girl power, Twirly Whirly Burly-Q is a classic burlesque show with a modern twist. The show’s three New York City burlesque performers have chosen to visit Gainesville as one of 21 cities they will visit in a span of four weeks.
Two of the cast members, Ula Uberbusen and Hazel Honeysuckle, are returning to Gainesville after two visits with the Mason Dixie Burlesque Tour, the pair’s first burlesque tour.
“That was our first experience with producing a burlesque tour and going on the road with burlesque,” Uberbusen said. “We were self-taught on that. We learned everything from trial and error and really loved that.”
Uberbusen, who tells everyone her name means “great bosom” in German, is the producer of Victrola Burlesque, among other shows, in New York City. When it became apparent the Mason Dixie Burlesque Tour would not occur this year, Uberbusen still knew she wanted to tour.
“Hazel and I still wanted to do a tour, and we wanted to work with someone from New York, and we wanted to do an different kind of show but still do a touring burlesque show,” Uberbusen said.
Uberbusen and Honeysuckle chose to team up with fellow New Yorker Rosie Cheeks, a burlesque dancer who stars in Burlesque Show at the Borgata with Honeysuckle.
“We had a meeting to talk about what our vision for the show was, how we would do things, and it all meshed,” Uberbusen said. “It was like we all wanted to put on the same kind of show.”
While the Mason Dixie Burlesque Show Tour was primarily a patriotic show about Southern pride, Twirly Whirly Burly-Q is its own animal.
“We wanted to do a classic burlesque show and have that old-school feel,” Uberbusen said.
The group began to research old performance styles to create the aesthetic of an early 20th-century New York burlesque show. The name, Twirly Whirly, was taken from a burlesque show that was performed in New York in 1904, Uberbusen said.
Gainesville will be the only city in Florida out of the tour’s 21 stops.
“We’ve been there twice with Mason Dixie and just loved the town, loved the audience,” Uberbusen said.
Uberbusen and Honeysuckle have toured in other Florida cities before, but they didn’t form the relationships they formed with the audience and other performers in Gainesville.
“We love the energetic, artistic atmosphere,” Honeysuckle said.
After a childhood of performing ballet, Honeysuckle began performing burlesque in 2009 after studying at The New York School of Burlesque.
“Burlesque is an art form where the performers really have a connection with the audience, and I reconnected with my love of entertaining,” Honeysuckle said.
For Honeysuckle, the new tour is about bringing New York burlesque to other cities.
“We are all based in NYC and this show is dedicated to taking the spirit of NYC burlesque all over the country,” Honeysuckle said.
Rosie Cheeks, the third member of the tour, entered the burlesque world out of a career of acting in New York City. Twirly Whirly Burly-Q was created after Cheeks joined the group.
“Part of what makes us unique is our own personal styles,” Cheeks said. “We all bring a very different style of striptease. There’s also singing!”
Twirly Whirly Burly-Q will perform at 10 p.m. on Wednesday at Market Street Pub and Cabaret, located at 120 SW First Ave. The show costs $10 in advance through the website brownpapertickets.com or $12 at the door.