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Hanukkah Burlesque Show Comes to Chelsea for One Crazy Night

By Mathew Katz | November 15, 2012 12:16pm

CHELSEA — This gives spinning the dreidel a whole new meaning.

Dreidels on pasties, Hebrew hotties and Yiddish swing music will abound at the city's only Hanukkah-themed burlesque show, the Menorah Horah.

The show, now in its sixth year, will run for one crazy night only at the Highline Ballroom on Dec. 9.

Details of the performances are held under wraps by the Schlep Sisters, the Jewish burlesque duo behind the show, but they did give a few tantalizing hints.

"Dreidels on pasties. That's all I'm going to give away," said Darlinda Just Darlinda, one half of the pair. "Tassels twirl and so do dreidels, just saying."

The Hanukkah-themed burlesque show is a risque exploration of all things Jewish during the holiday season.

"We really love to celebrate our Jewish heritage through burlesque, so doing a Channukah-themed burlesque show just made sense," said Schlep Sister Minnie Tonka. "In New York, there have been so many Christmas burlesque shows, but we're the first Channukah performance."

The pair also puts on Purim and Passover shows every year.

This year's "royal edition" show mixes things up a bit, inviting seven other chutzpah-filled performers to compete in a pageant-style contest for the title of Menorah Horah Royalty — complete with a secret prize.

The show will also feature performances by Bastard Keith, Dot Mitzvah, and drag duo Maddy Mann and Lexi Miller, who play a pair of Catholic school girls.

"You certainly don't have to be Jewish to have a blast at the Menorah Horah," Tonka said.

"We have people who don't know the songs who say 'I don't know what it was, but it was funny,'" Darlinda added. "Or other people come up to us and say 'I remember that from Hebrew school and it's hilarious.'"

Despite the abundance of songs, shows, and more that depict Jews as jealous of their Christmas-celebrating gentile brethren during the holiday season, the pair said that feeling is virtually non-existent in their show.

"There have been so many Lonely Jew Christmas parties over the years," Tonka said. "We really want to celebrate our own holiday and have a good time."

Part of that will involve performances to songs by the Barry Sisters, a Yiddish-swing duo that was popular in the 1940s and 1950s.

"It's expressing our distinct Jewish culture through specific music," Tonka said. "Plus, there will be stripping involved."

The sixth-annual Menorah Horah starts at 8 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. Tickets are available online for $20 to $35.