Burlesque: Local troupes 

click to enlarge Anita Cocktail of Bottoms Up Burlesque. - JAMMY STRAUB

Bottoms Up Burlesque

How they describe themselves:

"What we do is a bit, not necessarily raunchy, but definitely bawdy. It's definitely not family-friendly. This is very traditional burlesque — we do most of our shows in bars, where there's not a wall between us and the audience."

— Anita Cocktail

How others describe them:

Ask nearly anyone in town and you'll get the same reaction: They were the first, and they paved the way.

NUVO notes:

The oldest continually active burlesque troupe in Indy, Bottoms Up places their focus on two charity shows a year. Their roots lay in Punk Rock Night, and that remains their home base.

Where to see them:

Every spring at Radio Radio and autumn at the Melody Inn, where they've been October regulars since 2004. They do intermittent performances elsewhere and guest spots with other troupes around the year.

bottomsupburlesque.com

Pur | The Company

How they describe themselves:

"We're very much about the mystery and trying to transport the audience — a great alternative to hopping a plane to New York or Vegas."

— Evie LaRoux

How others describe them:

"They focus on cabaret and dance, with a lot of tight choreography. You definitely get a good dance show when you see them."

— Veronica Belvedere, Creme de les Femmes

NUVO notes:

Pur is the kind of burlesque company that Hollywood types envision when they think of a burlesque troupe. Evie LaRoux's team leverages this to the max, as most of their shows feature a couple of songs from Christina Aguilera's Burlesque film a couple of years back. It's a little bit of Vegas on an Indianapolis stage.

Where to see them:

Pur maintains a home at Room 929 in Broad Ripple, but they frequently show up at parties and hotspots around town.

purthecompany.com

Creme de les Femmes

How they describe themselves:

"We all do burlesque for different reasons — we each bring something to the able and we each take something away when we perform. We try to focus on two things: Classy and classic."

— Veronica Belvedere

How others see them:

"They're always doing an array of cool things; they're like a buffet where you never know what to expect."

— Evie LaRoux, Pur

NUVO notes:

Traditional burlesque at its best, Creme fully embraces the vaudeville tradition, with a combination of comedy and social satire. They're constantly encouraging each other to push themselves into new territory, so you never know quite what to expect.

Where to see them:

This prolific group might be seen anywhere in town, but often you can catch them at Birdy's.

cremedelesfemmes.com

Angel Burlesque

How they describe themselves:

"We pride ourselves on being as theatrical and professional as possible."

— Katie Angel

How others see them:

"They run like a business, and they put on some very big events. They're very organized and definitely theatrical."

— Desiree DeCarlo, The Rocket Doll Revue

NUVO notes:

Probably the city's most elaborately staged troupe, Angel tends to assemble epic and sometimes ridiculously over-the-top tales around a central theme. Also, Jeff Angel is hands-down the greatest emcee in the city.

Where to see them:

Open Bra Night and other major performances at Crackers in Broad Ripple, plus frequent appearances around the city.

angelburlesque.com

The Rocket Doll Revue

How they describe themselves:

"We function as a group of like-minded friends; we're all interested in vintage culture, and we all wanted a creative outlet outside of our jobs. Performance, creativity and vintage culture all sort of melded into this."

— Desiree DeCarlo

How others describe them:

"They do a lot of edgy, quirky, very rockabilly stuff, and it's always very cool."

— Evie LaRoux, Pur

NUVO notes:

Rocket Doll was formed out of a bunch of friends who already liked dressing up in vintage wear and going out partying as a group, and going to one of their shows feels very much like being invited into a close-knit group's running jokes. The solo bits are creative and unpredictable, and their camaraderie really shines in group numbers.

Where to see them:

They perform frequently at White Rabbit Cabaret, and just started a twice-monthly trivia night gig at The Sinking Ship.

facebook.com/TheRocketDollRevue

Hasenpfeffer

How others describe them:

"They're dark German cabaret."

— Katie Angel, Angel Burlesque

NUVO notes:

Hasenpfeffer combines the tradition of the house troupe with traveling gypsy routines, a step-right-up brand of performance art that predates even vaudeville. Not to mention burlesque bingo.

Where to see them:

Hasenpfeffer is a regular feature at the White Rabbit Cabaret.

whiterabbitcabaret.com

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