Closing venues shake up Sacramento burlesque scene

Sizzling Siren Lucinda Buttons shows off some pasties. Photo by Steven Chea

Sacramento’s thriving burlesque scene is facing some serious roadblocks. With the closing of Marilyn’s on K and questionable fate of Assembly Music Hall, three troupes are losing their homes.

The Sizzling Sirens Burlesque Experience, the city’s longest-running, neo-burlesque troupe, holds its last show at Assembly on Saturday, Nov. 15. The Sirens bounced between different venues for years but settled into Assembly more than a year ago, excited about its modern multimedia capabilities and capacity for cabaret-style seating. Usually, the Sirens sell out the 350-person venue.

“We have spent years building the style, format and brand of this event and it is a shame to have to stop because of something like venue closure, especially when the show is reaching new heights of popularity and production quality with every event,” says troupe-leader Jay Siren.

Luckily, the Sirens had already began expanding into the Sacramento Comedy Spot, which can seat about 100 people, a few months ago. Those shows will still continue, and for the foreseeable future, are some of the only opportunities for burlesque fans to get their fix.

Every fourth Friday, catch 3-2-1…Sizzle!, a visually over-the-top comedy show with Sirens, improv comedians and guests from the Bay Area. Every other second Sunday, the Sirens hold the local branch of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, an interactive burlesque cabaret and life-drawing event. On the other second Sundays, catch performances from students of the Siren Burlesque Academy.

But none of those are quite the Siren Show, which regulars know is a crazy, themed blend of sketch comedy, lovely dancing, bawdy jokes and general unpredictability. Instead, leader Jay Siren is producing something called BANG! Burlesque at the Comedy Spot on the third Friday in December. It’ll be an intimate, concentrated, 60-minute version of the show, “presented in a rapid fire format with acts that literally involve the audience and break that fourth wall,” she says.

If she can’t find a new, adequate venue for the Siren Show, BANG! will likely continue after December.

Then there are the Darling Clementines, the bohemian-style troupe popular with the Burning Man community, and Jezebelle’s Army, the group that mixes burlesque with pole dancing, which both used to regularly perform at Marilyn’s on K. Clementines leader ChaCha Burnadette said she’s looking for a new home venue. 

That leaves the Bodacious Bombshells Burlesque Revue, which is sort of gone as well. Last month its leader Raven LaRoux decided to leave and is now focusing on her writing career. Remaining performers re-branded themselves as the Midtown Moxies. The classic style should remain intact, but its debut show on Friday, Nov. 21 at Witch Room will be hosted by Libertine the Obscene instead.

Edit 11/12/14: This post was corrected to reflect a more accurate tone about changes with the Bombshells.

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