Is Charlotte ready for more burlesque?

Is Charlotte ready for more burlesque?

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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Ocie Davis wants to create a burlesque show in Charlotte that doesn’t feel like you’re at a strip club.

What’s happening: His new production “Burlesque 3000” premieres at Booth Playhouse in Uptown tonight, Oct. 15.

State of play: Davis has never done anything like this before, but the longtime musician was a drummer for burlesque shows in New Orleans. He and his wife Lonnie Davis co-founded JazzArts Charlotte, and Ocie produced JazzArts Charlotte’s Jazz Room shows for the last 10 years. Ocie resigned from JazzArts to focus on Burlesque 3000 and producing a jazz series at the Harvey B. Gantt Center.

  • He started toying around with the idea of creating his own burlesque show in 2017, and hopes to turn Burlesque 3000 into a bimonthly show.
  • “I’m not a carnival carny here trying to bring a bunch of nude women in here and trying to sell tickets,” Davis told Axios. “It’s more artistic than that, and it has more depth than that.”
  • His experiences at burlesque shows around Charlotte were more akin to strip clubs, he said.

Why it matters: Burlesque can be found tucked away in corners throughout Charlotte, but never on a traditional stage like it will be at Booth Playhouse. The city sits in the Bible Belt, which means a show like this could receive conservative pushback, but Davis is confident Charlotte is ready for more burlesque.

“Now is the time to do this,” Davis told Axios. “I think people are ready to have their minds blown.”

What to expect: In addition to dancers, there will be aerialists, live music and comedy. A drag queen will host the show. It won’t be explicit or graphic, Davis said, adding that “that already exists in Charlotte.”

Details: Two performances will take place: 7pm and 9:30pm. You must be 21 years old to attend. Tickets cost $35.

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