By Gene Davis, DENVER DAILY NEWS
For a city its size, Denver is a hotbed for burlesque dancing.
Between the Panties at the Bar shows at 3 Kings Tavern and the performances over at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, fans of good ol’ fashioned adult entertainment have plenty of options.
And Mile High City’s infatuation with burlesque isn’t a fleeting affair; one of the scene’s centerpiece shows — Naughty Pierre’s Burlesque and Comedy Extravaganza — has been cracking up and stimulating audiences for three-and-a-half years.
“I think we’re one of the only cities outside of New York City and Los Angeles that has had two burlesque shows a week for three years now,” said Jefferson Arca, Naughty Pierre’s founder and emcee. “There’s definitely a supportive audience here. Denver definitely seems to enjoy its burlesque.”
As implied by its title, Naughty Pierre’s Burlesque and Comedy Extravaganza isn’t just ladies dancing evocatively. There’s a sense of humor to the show that broadens up its appeal. Arca, who stars as Pierre in the production, keeps the laughs rolling while playing the part of a sleazy European emcee.
A big surprise of the Naughty Pierre show is that about 80 percent of the audiences are female, according to Arca. In fact, bachelorette parties account for the majority of the show’s ticket sales, he said.
“Women in this community feel empowered and they feel like that could be them on stage,” he said. “They celebrate it.”
Arca spent years writing, doing comedy and producing theatre in Los Angeles, New York City and Europe. When Lannie’s Clocktower opened four years ago, he moved back to Denver — his hometown — to combine all of his different skills into one show.
He started the production as an open-mic night. But after seeing the positive reaction the audience gave the evening’s one burlesque dancer, Arca decided to book more and more of the entertainers. Finally, Arca revamped the show into what it is now.
“I think people are enjoying going back in time where you see something live and have that one-on-one connection with people,” he said. “They feel attached with a more innocent time…it’s very tastefully done.”
Where: Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret
When: Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Cost: Starting at $20
Information: 303-293-0075, Lannies.com
Distributed by Colorado Capitol Reporters