What’s love go to do with burlesque?

otaylor@thestate.comFebruary 14, 2013 

  • If you go What’s Love When: 6 tonight, with performances at 8 and 10 p.m. Where: 701 Whaley, 701 Whaley St. Tickets: $15 and $25 Information: www.trustus.org Selected Valentine’s Day-related events What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with champagne, a sweet treat and a screening of “Casablanca”? A timeless story of undying love and wartime intrigue, the 1942 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman gets under way at 8 tonight, following a 7:15 p.m. reception at the Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, 7300 College St., Irmo. $12; www.harbisontheatre.org Brent Lundy will release “Made to Fall,” a CD of acoustic-lean rock songs at 7:30 tonight at New Brookland Tavern. With Sakovich & the Singles and Celia Gary. NBT is at 122 State St., West Columbia. $10; www.newbrooklandtavern.com
    CMA Chamber Music on Main will host a concert at 7 tonight. Artistic director Edward Arron will be joined by his wife, pianist Jeewon Park, and violinist Tessa Lark in performing works by Bach, Haydn, Part and Schubert. The concert is at the Columbia Museum of Art, Main and Hampton streets. $60 for two tickets, $50 for members; $40 for individual seats, $30 for members; and $5 for students; www.columbiamuseum.org
    American Gun will play its seventh annual American Gun Heartbreak Valentine’s show at 10 p.m. Saturday at Art Bar. With Megan Jean & the KFB and Mountain Homes. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St.; www.artbarsc.com
    Heart ’n Soul will play songs of the ’50 and ’60s at a Valentine’s dance at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Capital Senior Center, 1650 Park Circle. It’s a BYOB party, and the attire will be casual. $15 in advance, $20 at the door; (803) 779-1971 or www.capitalseniorcenter.com
    “The Vagina Monologues” will be performed Friday through Sunday at the USC Law School auditorium. The production features a series of monologues that can be humorous, saddening or maddening – sometimes in the same vignette. The stories are meant to encourage, enlighten and, not the least, entertain. Showtime is 8 p.m. each night. The law school is at 701 Main St. $8-$10; http://vmonologuesusc.wordpress.com/tickets/ What did brides look like in the late 19th century? Find out at “Married in Style,” an exhibit of period wedding dresses at Historic Columbia Foundation’s Hampton-Preston Mansion. The exhibit includes a gown worn by Lelia Bernard Meredith for her 1881 wedding to Richard I. Manning III, who was related to the Hampton-Preston families and who became governor in 1915. The exhibit runs through March 3. The mansion is at 1615 Blanding St.; www.historiccolumbia.org
    Le Cafe Jazz’s Valentine’s weekend includes screenings of romantic films – “It Happened One Night” tonight, “Casablanca” Friday and “Made for Each Other” Saturday. The films start at 6 p.m. Afterward, there will be live jazz sets. Le Cafe Jazz is at 930 Laurel St. $45, which includes two tickets, a French buffet and toast; (803) 400-1879

An often ignored consequence of love is that the heart grows weary and therefore pines for something else, something different. What’s Love, the Valentine’s Day production powered by erotically charged art in years past, has succumbed to such unsuppressed desires.

The result, a collaboration between What’s Love and Trustus Theatre, is “Henderson Bros. Burlesque,” a performance produced by Chad Henderson and Terrance Henderson that will be staged tonight at 701 Whaley.

What’s Love has earned a reputation of shocking while entertaining. Terrance Henderson said the burlesque show will possess the essence of What’s Love, but it will be what he calls an “all-skate event,” which is to say there is something for everybody.

“We have an opportunity with the kind of production that we’re doing to keep the same kind of adult, sexy vibe, but I think the production value of the show – being a show, not an open forum – is already going to set a whole different kind of pace,” Terrance Henderson said. “It’s all filtered through the same aesthetic.”

Chad Henderson, who is not related, said he and Terrance Henderson had been talking about producing a burlesque show for a couple of years.

“I think it’s the right forum because we certainly want to continue this,” said Chad Henderson, who added he has received an e-mail from a traveling burlesque troupe that wants to perform in the city in March.

Not that they’re looking that far ahead, because, first they must get through tonight.

“I certainly would love to see another happen before summer is up,” Chad Henderson said. “I think it can start to become more of an invitational thing where you get to see larger acts come through Columbia because there is a group that will support that.”

The burlesque show (there are two performances, at 8 and 10 p.m.) is just one of the evening’s events at 701. The doors open at 6 p.m. for guests to be entertained in the Side Door Lounge by, among other things, John Tudor’s magic, a strong man and art by Whitney LeJeune and Lyon Hill. Molly Harrell and Billy Guess, two longtime What’s Love collaborators, will contribute designs to the lounge, Chad Henderson said.

Larry Hembree, as one of his characters, Loreen DeMint, will host Sacred Speed Dating at 711 Whaley, the building used for the Saturday-morning farmer’s market. Upstairs in 701’s Olympia Room, filmmaker Wade Sellers will set up a peep show. There will be a structure with viewing windows for the curious to watch dancers.

Also, Kristian Niemi, owner of Rosso Trattoria Italia, will serve two 24-seat four-course Valentine’s dinners before the show in Loft 201 by Rosso. (Seating for the dinner costs $99 per person, which includes the burlesque show.)

Burlesque performances just might shimmy their way into a more prominent place on the local entertainment calendar. Earlier this month, Pretty Things Peepshow, a vintage-style burlesque sideshow, performed at New Brookland Tavern.

Tonight’s burlesque show is just more than an hour long. There will be a seven-piece live band, directed by Jeremy Polley, playing songs by Prince, Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera.

As the Henderson duo discussed the show, performers including local actor Hunter Boyle who, as Bumbleclap McGee, will be the show’s vaudeville comic relief, arrived at 701 for a Sunday evening rehearsal.

“I think people were looking for the forum to delve into these things,” said Terrance Henderson who, as Nauti Boogie, will be the MC. He also choreographed the ensemble pieces.

Even if the male pole dancer, something one doesn’t see regularly, is injured, there will be still be titillating moments.

“A lot of it’s going to come from the details,” Chad Henderson said. “What you’re going to be shocked by is seeing real dance numbers that are still in the vein of burlesque.”

The audience is the show’s missing character, and the Hendersons are anticipating – frankly, encouraging – boisterous interaction. Yell, talk, shout.

“It can’t really be burlesque without it,” Chad Henderson said. “You are encouraged to get out of your seat.”

Reach Taylor at (803) 771-8362.

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