Flashback: 2004. When the burlesque performer now known as Anita Cocktail met with a group of other burlesque-girls-to-be on the floor of Greg Brenner's infamous punk rock house, she had no idea what she was getting into.
She did, however, have an idea of how she wanted to do it.
"I don't know what I want to perform, but I know I want to wear a black corset!" she said.
Flash-forward to 2011. The Sin's Last Stand event at the Athenaeum, where a supremely cool and confident Anita Cocktail takes the stage for a Japanese geisha-inspired routine (wearing, incidentally, a black corset).
As one of the city's most experienced burlesque performers, the raven-haired beauty carries herself with subtle flair, able to create a mood with a curled half-smile or a slightly raised eyebrow, whether she's cloaked in a satin robe or stripped down to that corset and thong in a deliberate tease that seduces as much with her eyes as it does with her body.
She's come a long way. So has burlesque in the Circle City. Sin's Last Stand was a tribute to burlesque routines past and present featuring several of the city's foremost troupes, staged in the highly respectable Athenaeum Theater. A century earlier, the mayor and the chief of police were personally tearing down burlesque signs. So it goes.