Scarlet Dragon performs during the Rebels & Vixens Burlesque and Variety Showcase by Byrdcage Performance Art Promotions at Gold Town Nickelodeon on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Scarlet Dragon performs during the Rebels & Vixens Burlesque and Variety Showcase by Byrdcage Performance Art Promotions at Gold Town Nickelodeon on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau’s burlesque troupe expects busy nude year

Travel, workshops and performances planned for 2019

It’s going to be a busy nude year for the Capital City Kitties.

Juneau’s burlesque troupe has a lot planned for 2019, and they welcomed the busy year-to-be with a Saturday night performance at he Alaska Hotel and Bar.

“This show is about looking into the new year,” Rachael Byrd, who performs burlesque as Lucy Bang Bang, said in an interview ahead of the show. “It’s really about putting the past behind you.”

There were detours into the silly with comedic performances, song and dance numbers more straightforward tease performances from Arin Dirty Laundry, Ruby Reckless, Polaris, Scarlet Dragon, Silky Bottoms and Lucy Bang Bang.

[Burlesque twirls into Juneau]

Applause and a wave of thrown dollar bills followed each act.

Hosts for the event were Tripp Crouse and Abby O’Brien.

The troupe includes people with different body types, performance backgrounds and styles.

That’s by design, said Byrd and Elliott Womack, backstage manager and performer for the Capital City Kitties.

“Our whole thing is we’re about the inclusiveness and body positivity,” Byrd said.

That sense of acceptance and control is what drew Womack to performing.

“When I first started burlesque, it was a way to own my body,” Womack said. “We’re trying to foster not only self-love but love for others.”

[Burlesque is more than skin deep]

Womack and Byrd said one of the troupe’s goals in 2019 is to foster more members and have more of a presence in the community.

“One of the things we’re going to be working on is getting out there not only as performers but as welcoming members,” Womack said. “We’d love more kitties.”

Burlesque workshops are planned for the spring, but even people who would prefer not to take the stage can be an essential part of the team, Byrd said.

Technical and audio support are always needed and setting up before and cleaning up after performances are always a necessary evil.

“We’re the Capital City Kitties, and sometimes it really is like hearding cats,” Womack said.

Byrd said it takes all sorts to make a show happen.

[Bringing burlesque back]

Another goal for the troupe in 2019 is traveling to the Freezing Tassel Burlesque Festival in Anchorage.

The fourth annual international Alaska burlesque festival produced by VivaVoom Brr-Lesque will be March 8 and 9. To raise travel funds, Byrd said troupe members would be selling accessories such as floral hair clips that were made ahead of Saturday’s show.

The pins sold for $5 each and sold out. More accessories are expected to be made.

Womack said those wishing to stay informed about what the troupe is up to on social media. The Facebook page is the Capital City Kitties Burlesque Troupe.

“There’s more to burlesque than each show,” Womack said. “Those are the moments I cherish, the time between each show.”


• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com.


Performers take to the stage at the end of the Rebels & Vixens Burlesque and Variety Showcase by Byrdcage Performance Art Promotions at Gold Town Nickelodeon on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Performers take to the stage at the end of the Rebels & Vixens Burlesque and Variety Showcase by Byrdcage Performance Art Promotions at Gold Town Nickelodeon on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Bunnicu’La Blanc performs during the Rebels & Vixens Burlesque and Variety Showcase by Byrdcage Performance Art Promotions at Gold Town Nickelodeon on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Bunnicu’La Blanc performs during the Rebels & Vixens Burlesque and Variety Showcase by Byrdcage Performance Art Promotions at Gold Town Nickelodeon on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

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