It's no secret that Savannah has a vibrant bar scene, with Saturdays generally among the more interesting of our days. Yet there were few places in town where you might have seen a libra weigh her scales, a mermaid find her legs or a gemini revel in psychotic tendencies all while sipping on your beverage of choice. Absurdities, delights and more were on display at the Jinx for Written in the Stars: A Zodiac Inspired Burlesque Show put on by Savannah’s very own burlesque troupe, the Savannah Sweet Tease.
Only the latest in a series of themed shows, the Sweet Tease has put on productions which paid homage to months of the year, awkward affairs of the heart, seasons, months and blockbusters of film to name a few. Each theme serves as a template for performers to interpret in their own ways, resulting in a wild range of creative displays and an ever fresh range of experiences for those who venture to see a show.
Burlesque - when it’s done right - finds a way to weave and balance sexuality, humor, tease and talent into a display that isn’t just sexy, but one that is engaging, funny, thought provoking awe-inspiring or empowering. For all the threads which make the bright tapestry that is a Sweet Tease show, it’s the message of empowerment that seems to rise to the forefront.
"I love to support my girlfriends and my community,” said Gabby Fajardo, a student studying to be a massage therapist, said the Sweet Tease were ‘the pride of local women, who not only entertain but empower.” Indeed, the women - and men - who perform have an aura about them, one of confidence and security. In the few seconds between the end of an act and stage exit, I could see wide smiles spread across more than one face as the crowds applause filled the house. Peterson Morrell, a local musician and regular at Sweet Tease shows said he appreciated the message of body positivity that the troupe has brought to Savannah, and also the degree to which the group has reached out to male performers. To see such support for a diverse group of women and men representing all body types is certainly an affirming, unifying thing that might just benefit those on stage and in the audience alike.
The Sweet Tease has established itself as a landing point for performers from other cities, hosting this week Atlanta based crooner Johnny Pine and Starry Delight from Knoxville. Collaborations go both ways though and the Sweet Tease have hit the road as a group and lent individual acts to the road. Tease original Jack N. ThaCox even performed in London’s annual Burlesque Festival, giving europeans a reason to crave a little sugar in their tea.
Upcoming shows include ‘123 Tease’ on March 16th at Club One as well as appearances at Bernie’s on Tybee and the Savannah Tattoo Fest. On April 21st the troupe will be launching it’s ‘Pussy Grabs Back” Tour as a tribute to powerful women. Follow the group on instagram @savannahsweettease or connect on Facebook at /TheSavannahSweetTeaseBurlesqueRevue.
This piece was revised and published in The Inkwell, The Student Newspaper of Armstrong State University.