Friday, October 9, 2009

Togas and burlesque ... only with Big Mamma D!

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Tomorrow night it’s going to be an Animal House at The Visulite — when Big Mamma D brings back her award-winning House of Burlesque. This edition carries a toga-party-oriented theme (ala the Animal House reference). We caught up with the woman behind the tease and got the lowdown about her upcoming event.

Creative Loafing: How did you come up with the idea for a toga party?

Big Mamma D: Ideas kind of just come to me. I got a phone call in August from a lady who was a professor at UNC and she's doing a whole series on the history of human sexuality. She wanted me to come and teach for a day in my full get up, the whole deal. Burlesque lady walking around campus and teaching classes and I couldn't pass it up. While I was getting my material together, it just hit me. We had originally planned another theme for this show and since I hadn't launched it, I said "scrap that, we're doing a toga party." It's anything you can imagine. I even have a leopard print ladies suite ala Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate.

Why do you think burlesque and your shows stay so popular?

We are the thinking-person's porn, and I hate to call it porn. But we're the thinking-person's fun and frivolity. We may not be popular with the 22-year-olds who like to go to BarCharlotte. But the 40-year-olds who leave the kids at home and go out with their wives to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays and all that stuff, those are the people who are the long term. You get a lot of tease, you get a brief flash of pasty. We have a lot of fun, and we always poke fun at ourselves. There's a story behind every act, something that makes you think. You're not watching a girl walk out and drop her clothes. That's why the music is fun. We do a Venus act, you know with the Bananarama song "Venus"? Halfway through the act, she takes her leg and props it up on a chair and pulls out this big blue Venus razor and pretends to shave her leg. It's a joke and a play on pop culture because everybody has seen that stupid commercial.

Have you always had more women at your shows than men? (Note to guys looking to meet a woman who isn't your run of the mill type of person — go to Big Mamma D's show)

It has. I was really shocked because I thought it was going to be a lot of guys and we'd get the really neat alternative followers, the more trendy people, the Plaza-Midwood, the NoDa, and it ended up being a really good mix. You can come to show and no one has to wait outside for the door to open any more. Girls and guys can come to show dressed up in different outfits. Girls come to show wearing that one corset that she splurged on that she can't wear anywhere else and here she comes to my club with a $300 corset on.

Because you have women of all shapes and sizes in your show, is that why so many women are drawn to the show?

I think so. I think everybody can identify with the average girl. As soon as she walks up in an evening gown covered in rhinestones, and she's just sparkling because she feels so great about herself, you love it. Everybody loves a confident woman. In April, I was a size 24 and after three years [the audience] still loves me for it. I walk out and I know who I am. People appreciate confidence and the beauty of every kind of woman, it doesn't matter what size you are.

So, do you want to see the Animal House of Burlesque, along with a wet toga contest at "halftime?" The head to the Visulite, Saturday night at 8 p.m. Advanced tickets for the show are $12. Tickets at the door are $15. Log on to for more information.

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