Joanna Colpitts says she’s excited to be planning a nerd burlesque show featuring performances by men and women. Also known by her stage name Lace Cadet, Colpitts is producing Beam Me Up, Sexy with video-game developer Tatham Johnson (aka Bruce Wang).
According to the Edmonton-born, 23-year-old Colpitts, the February 15 show at Vancouver’s WISE Hall will include around a dozen performances and have “something for everybody”. Colpitts is slated to perform a burlesque number based on the original Star Trek. Tickets are available for $15 online and $20 at the door.
A member of the Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society, Colpitts has been doing burlesque for almost three years, but this is her first time as a producer. She makes ceramics and works retail by day.
The Georgia Straight reached Colpitts by phone at her home in East Vancouver.
What should people expect to see at Beam Me Up, Sexy?
Well, it’s going to be burlesque performances that are inspired by a bunch of different areas of what we consider nerd or geek culture, specifically sci-fi, which is the theme of the show—Star Trek—and also video games, fantasy, comic books. Those different areas will be represented by different acts.
What people are calling nerdlesque seems to be growing in popularity. Why do you think that is?
I think it’s partly because actually a lot of burlesque performers themselves are big nerds and geeks. I personally have always been into sci-fi and comic books. Meeting other burlesque performers, it just seemed to naturally fit. A lot of them are really interested in those areas. And I think it is also because there is a mainstream acceptance of geek culture lately.
Why did you pick the original Star Trek to interpret?
I think because it’s such a fun, campy representation of what people think of as classic sci-fi, which involved a lot of rubber monsters and face paint. It was often pretty campy but also influenced a lot of us growing up.
What will that look like?
For me, it’s really ’60s-inspired, inspired by go-go dancing, the music of the time, big beehives, and the classic Star Trek little red minidress—just translated into a striptease.
What are some of the other geeky subjects that your fellow performers will be taking on?
We’ll have a number inspired by the comic book Scott Pilgrim. It’s also a movie. We’ll also have Narnia. We’ll have another Star Trek number—Spock actually. We’ll also have a number inspired by Spider-Man. We’ll have quite a variety. We’ll have something that’s inspired by Mario, so we’ll get the video games in there. Pokémon I’m really excited for.
What are some other subjects that you’d like to see done as burlesque numbers?
I think pretty much anything is open for interpretation. The DC comic book heroes get a lot of focus, and recently there have been these big-budget Marvel hero movies, like The Avengers. I’d like to see some of the odder, less sexy characters from those franchises be interpreted, like the Hulk—just these characters that you wouldn’t think of as sex symbols. I think that could create some fun numbers.
Why is it important for you to have boylesque included in the event?
Well, it’s important partly because it historically was always a part of burlesque. Burlesque wasn’t always a female-focused genre. I’m glad it’s become a symbol of female sexuality for a lot of people, but there are some fantastic male performers out there, who I think don’t get enough chance to perform and don’t get the same opportunities that female performers do. So, I think it’s really exciting to have these great male performers on our stage.