What do you get when you mix psychedelic Trapper-Keeper artist Lisa Frank with burlesque? The Merry Widow's Artisan Operetta will answer that question tonight with its monthly, artist-inspired variety show at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse. In the past, host Tamara Pidhayny has chosen such pre-1960s inspirations as costume designer Edith Head, actress Mae West and Broadway star Flo Ziegfeld. But this month, the Operetta is delving into the magical, neon world of the '80s and '90s artist whose work graced the covers of elementary school girls' notebooks everywhere.
See also: - Photos: Burlesque and theater meet in Merry Widow's Artisan Operetta - Photos: Pasties and performers at the Colorado Burlesque Festival (NSFW) - Reader: Most papers have an editorial section; Westword has Lisa Frank's diary
"I started thinking what my inspirations were when I was a kid and how they've influenced me as an adult and how I can use those in an X-rated way to put a twist on things," explains Pidhayny. What emerged is a show that combines the bright imagery of Lisa Frank's work with the art of the striptease. The variety show uses songs from artists like Wham! and The Go-Go's as the soundtrack to burlesque acts with Frank-inspired silliness. "We're gonna try to make it really magical and colorful and just really exciting for everyone," says Pidhayny. "We're gonna have rollerskating bears and singing grapes and everything ridiculous that you would expect from a Lisa Frank show."
In one of the big acts of the night, Pidhayny will perform as a bunch of grapes made out of purple balloons that she'll pop to reveal pasties underneath. "A lot of people my age grew up with Lisa Frank and it's sort of a childhood staple," the performer explains. "The colors that she uses are really happy, and to mix that with burlesque and put it in a nightlife scene -- I thought would be really interesting to see how it came out."
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See how it comes out tonight at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse; seating begins at 7:45 p.m. and the show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $9 in advance online or $10 at the door; for more information, visit the Artisan Operetta's Facebook page.