Meow Wolf Celebrates Colorado Day With Neo-Burlesque Variety Show Bedtime Stories | Westword

Meow Wolf Celebrates Colorado Day With Neo-Burlesque Variety Show Bedtime Stories

There are many things to do in Denver on August 1, but Meow Wolf's burlesque show with local performers and drag queens will be a great way to end the night.
The burlesque show includes performances from Miss Kitty D. Vine, Brody Danger, James Brunt, blankslate, Buba Basishvili and Enzo Benzo.
The burlesque show includes performances from Miss Kitty D. Vine, Brody Danger, James Brunt, blankslate, Buba Basishvili and Enzo Benzo. Courtesy of Meow Wolf, photo by Cara Mandel
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At the debut of Bedtime Stories: We Heart Colorado at Meow Wolf on Tuesday, August 1 — officially Colorado Day — artists will offer a high-spirited salute to the Centennial State with a showcase of drag, live music, poetry and so much more.

"Denver's debut show is all about the place we call home: Colorado!" says Meow Wolf director of events Kristin Hutton. "Hometown artists will be celebrating all the saucy, crunchy and silly reasons we love — and love to make fun of — our state." The event in the Perplexiplex will be hosted by Denver burlesque denizen Coco Bardot and include performances by Miss Kitty D. Vine, Brody Danger, James Brunt, blankslate, Buba Basishvili and Enzo Benzo.

The original Bedtime Stories, a "neo-burlesque variety show," was created by Meow Wolf performance director Alexandra Renzo and staged in 2018 at Meow Wolf's flagship location in Santa Fe, House of Eternal Return. "The goal was to create a truly inclusive event that encompassed a bit of all the wild talent that New Mexico — and now Colorado — has to offer," Hutton explains. The immersive arts collective continues to produce a Santa Fe performance four to six times a year.

"Judging how these shows regularly sell out, we’re hoping for that same response in Denver," Hutton says. "The show highlights the history of queer neo-burlesque using a variety show as its medium. Throwing in various acts creates a well-rounded, raucous, welcoming night in celebration of amazing talent. It’s a perfect embodiment of Meow Wolf’s mission to inspire creativity through art exploration and play. This, in our own way, allows imagination to transform the world."
click to enlarge a man in a green suit with a red bow over his crotch speaks into a microphone on stage.
Doors for Bedtime Stories: We Heart Colorado open at 8 p.m., and the show itself kicks off at 9 p.m.
Courtesy of Meow Wolf, photo by Cara Mandel
Given the relentless attacks on LGBTQ+ people in the United States, many of the artists involved in Bedtime Stories: We Heart Colorado mention how meaningful it is that Meow Wolf has produced this fun, queer show. Enzo Benzo (they/them) says their favorite thing about Colorado that is represented in Bedtime Stories: We Heart Colorado is "that this state continues to be a safe haven for queer people. That those same people are an integral part of our society, and reminding them that they matter."

"Meow Wolf has always been a place built by artists, for artists, and I think Convergence Station has done such a great job of keeping that mindset at its core and giving local performers a place to shine," adds Danger, a local draglesque artist who will also be performing. "Queer people, especially trans folks, are under attack right now, and to be given a platform on this level to showcase all genders, all bodies and all art is so important. I hope it helps take away some stigma of what those powerful folks down south — or, hell, across the country, really — are saying about us. Our bodies are just like everyone else’s. There’s no ulterior motives here. We’re all just trying to love ourselves and spread a little joy out into the world."

Burlesque artist Miss Kitty D. Vine has performed in past Bedtime Stories productions and is excited to do it again in Denver. "I’ve had Meow Wolf on my vision board since 2018, and it never ceases to bewilder me that I'm literally living my dreams," she gushes. "Last December I got to perform Bedtime Stories in Santa Fe, earlier this month I got to perform at the Meow Wolf Grapevine opening in my hometown, and now I get to bring that sass and energy to the stage in the town I call home. I still get so emotional that I'm celebrated for my unique brand of fabulous foolishness by the same people who inspire me to stay creative and curious."

The artists have each created special performances for the event. "I have decided to make a participatory piece where all the audience can be a participant and create a moment of joy all together," says Basishvili, a local theater maker. "I want them to not think about anything but have a feeling that we all had a good time [and] that being together is fun."

"I am most looking forward to seeing how the people respond to my poem about Colorado," adds James Brunt, an actor and poet. "I also want audiences on the car ride home to think about how much talent [there] is in this state. How we have some of the greatest performers in the world right in our backyard, willing to give you the best of the best so that you remember us for the rest of your life!"

Danger notes that we are in "a really fun era of performance art right now. The limits are being pushed more than ever, and what people used to think of as drag is changing, too. I’m really excited to bring my take on it to the stage. I’ve spent the last eight years really figuring myself out as both an artist and a human, and I’m really happy with where I am. This act will be showcasing a mix of drag, burlesque, vintage charm and a little Magic Mike for good measure."
click to enlarge a woman with bangs holds a singer wearing a wig like a baby
Bedtime Stories is the perfect way to close out your Colorado Day celebrations.
Courtesy of Meow Wolf, photo by Cara Mandel
"I love the performing arts community of Denver so deeply, from drag to burlesque to comedy to circus. I hope the audience will walk away feeling more connected to the fabric of our creative community," concludes D. Vine. "If you loved seeing these performers on a big stage like Meow Wolf, you'll love getting to see them perform at smaller local venues."

Bedtime Stories: We Heart Colorado, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m., Tuesday, August 1, Meow Wolf, 1338 First Street. Find tickets and more information at
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