Basement Burlesque presents Boolesque

Burlesque dancers perform a song at Basement Burlesque’s Sept. 6 show “Birthday Circus.”

Boolesque has returned to shock, amaze and bewilder. This Halloween season the Shoals community will experience Burlesque in a slightly unusual way.

Basement Burlesque’s annual Halloween show will be held 8 p.m. Oct. 24-25 at Pegasus Records.

“It is going to be men and women doing a spooky, sexy mixture of singing, dancing, comedy and striptease,” said junior Corey Gray, a Basement Burlesque dancer.

It being the troupe’s Halloween show, Basement Burlesque is expecting a much larger audience to be in attendance than previous years, he said.

“This is everybody’s favorite show,” Gray said. “It’s our chance to do the most out there, crazy, fun things that we want to do all year but we could never fit in any other time of the year.”

The Halloween show is different from any other show the troupe puts on during the year.

“Besides the fact that everyone goes a little nuts because they’re so excited, we are all theater people, so Halloween is a great excuse to dress up,” said Heidi King, troupe co-founder. “It gives us a chance to do something a little darker, a little more twisted. There are things that really don’t fit with another show. Halloween is a great place to put those numbers in there.”

Basement Burlesque will also produce more involved costumes.

“Our costumes this show are more elaborate than they have ever been,” Gray said. “We have a lot more custom costumes.”

The troupe has been in Florence four years.

“Basement Burlesque started as a fundraiser for a local theater group that several of us were involved in,” King said. “We originally started with a ‘Shake and Bake’(bake sale) as our first show. It was at the end. theatre off Pine Street.”

When the troupe first started, members were nervous about how the community would receive them, she said.

“Over the last four years, not only have we gotten a lot more exposure by being involved with different organizations and businesses in the community, we’ve also gotten a lot of exposure from word-of-mouth,” King said. “Hands down, we have more support over the last year than in the three years combined.”

Boolesque is a more open and accepting environment compared to what most of Florence is acquainted with, Gray said.

“It’s unlike anything you’ll see anywhere without driving several hours,” he said. “I think everyone needs to experience burlesque at least once. It’s different from anything most people would ever see.”

Basement Burlesque encourages the community to attend the event, King said.

“Besides the fact that it’s a great night of entertainment, we would like to be a part of the greater Halloween plan for the evening,” she said. “It’s going to be a fun time. You’re going to laugh and maybe be a little creeped out, but you’re going to have a good time and meet new people.”