'Guilty Pleasures Burlesque' Brings Sexy Stage Show to Queens

By Jeanmarie Evelly on March 22, 2013 6:55am 

LONG ISLAND CITY — What's your guilty pleasure?

A troupe of sexy stage performers is coming to Long Island City Saturday, hitting the stage at The Secret Theatre for a show that combines sensual burlesque dancing with a variety show. Guilty Pleasures Burlesque has been hosting bimonthly performances at the Queens locale for the last year.

The group is a rotating cast of ladies who, in addition to dancing, perform comedy sets, skits and musical numbers.

"We're more of a theatrical show than a typical burlesque show," said producer Audrey Bloom, who lives in Astoria with her husband, George Flanagan, the Guilty Pleasures host.

Each show is loosely centered around a theme that each performer is expected to cater their act around.

"This [show's] theme is 'Under the Covers,' so it's basically anything from cover songs to undercover cops to a sexy, mysterious kind of theme," Bloom said, adding that each show also features an audience-participation game.

"This time around we're doing kind of a play on Cosmo sex quizzes, women's magazine sex quizzes," she said. "We'll have three people come up on stage and give their answer, and they'll get prizes."

Bloom said she and her fellow performers all have day jobs — she's a baker by trade — and perform in the shows as a part-time hobby.

She got into burlesque a few years ago after taking classes at the New York School of Burlesque, which she credits for fueling a local surge in the risque dance scene's popularity.

"I think people want to have a release in some of the stresses in life," she said.

"Burlesque is really special because it's comedic, and it's really real," Bloom added. "You see a lot of not just glamorous. Beautiful women perform but also men, and women of all sizes and shapes who do it."

Guilty Pleasures Burlesque will perform on March 23 at 10:30 p.m. at The Secret Theatre, 44-02 23rd St. in Long Island City.

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