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Group brings burlesque to Jackie O's

While many will enjoy exchanging sweet nothings with their valentine this weekend, Boxcar Burlesque offers an event that’s a little more tainted.

Boxcar Burlesque will present their valentine-themed shows, Tainted Love: A Valentine Varietease, Saturday. The shows feature seven performers and 12 acts.

Dolly Derringer, who has performed burlesque as a solo act since 2007, formed Boxcar Burlesque two years later. She said she formed the group because she wanted to expose Athens to this type of performance art.

Derringer’s favorite part of performing is becoming a different person when she is on stage.

“I love the feeling of having complete command over the audience,” Derringer said. “It’s a powerful thing…and of course, the glitter, rhinestones, feathers. I enjoy the transformation from my everyday self into my glamorous persona.”

Besides the glittery persona, Derringer said burlesque is also a meaningful craft because of the confidence it instills in its performers.

“I think in a society that places so much emphasis on body image and size 2 perfection, it’s refreshing to be part of a community that embraces curves and parts that jiggle,” Derringer said. “Burlesque has taught me to love my body and celebrate my shape.”

There are two shows Saturday — at 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. — for its “early birds” and “night crawlers,” according to the Facebook event page. 

The 6 p.m. show features a beer tasting provided by Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery and cheese tasting provided by the Laurel Valley Creamery from Gallipolis; limited seating is available. The 10 p.m. show is offered in a larger space.

The show is a great opportunity for both single people and couples to enjoy Valentine’s Day, Derringer said.

“I’m not crazy about the holiday myself, but lots of couples come to our shows,” Derringer said. “Burlesque makes a great date… bring your partner, bring your friends, maybe you’ll meet someone… Burlesque definitely tends to put people in the mood.”

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