WELCOME TO THE BURNING CITY!
Chicago has a long and notorious history of classic entertainment - from Barnum & Bailey's circus tent by the riverfront, to Sally Rand's scandalous fan dance, to the Orpheum Circuit's vaudeville booking headquarters.
Now, after over a century of progress, Burning City pays tribute to Chicago's high stake in the arts of yesteryear. We're digging up those roots and using them as kindling to start a whole new fire - shining the spotlight on performers of all kinds who are taking those classic arts and giving them a modern twist!
Burning City is a 5-day festival of shows featuring top performers both nationally and internationally. Each showcase throughout the weekend is uniquely themed to highlight a wide range of arts including:
Comedy, Improv & Hosting
Music & Dance
Live entertainment has evolved since its introduction to the Chicago arena, and it is currently thriving throughout the city in the face of a culture dominated by social media and technology. We're paying homage to the arts that kept our jaws dropped and our eyes popped for so long and celebrating what they've become today!
PRODUCER, LA DOLCE VITA SOIRÉE
Angela Eve is an accomplished artistic director, highly skilled producer of events, headlining performer, and public speaker; as well as, a premier costume and set designer, professional photographer, and artist. Her productions combine expert live event production with the finest elements of multi-media arts, theatrics, burlesque, interactive performance, circus, dance, variety arts, fashion and live music creating spectacle-driven extravaganzas.
With over fifteen years of experience as artistic director/executive producer of Eve’s Parlor Events and co-producer with Image Collective Productions, she has been hailed as one of the “top pioneers of the burlesque revival” (Chicago Tribune) and of avant- garde, interactive, experience-based events in Chicago.
She began her career touring for major music festivals in the early 2000’s by creating alternative entertainment and merchandising designs that quickly morphed into a full entertainment and multi-media based company. She has created productions for major music festivals, traveling tours, top venues and promoters, and elaborate private events. In 2003, she had a leading hand in kick-starting the Neo-burlesque movement in Chicago and toured as a burlesque feature and headlining performer.
The hundreds of events she has created have included a diverse mix of audiences, ranging from 100-10,000 patrons, from the general public to specialized, custom events for corporate clients. She has actively scouted, managed, directed and mentored well over a 100 performers and lead crew members over the last 15 years. She has earned international outreach with her show performances in Ireland, Italy, and London along with booking extensive dates around the United States. During the 2014-2015 season, she re-vamped and created a new platform for the weekly acclaimed show “Unbridled” at Untitled, recognized as one of Chicago’s top variety shows.
Angela is also a full time humanitarian and activist artist with her partner Anastasios Ketsios. Focusing their photography in fine art, alternative fashion and documentary photography, Image Collective, travels to many locations documenting protests, disasters and underground culture. Past projects include Hurricane Katrina, Suicide, Texas floods and Cancer. Image Collective works directly with different volunteer groups, families, and people in areas of high need during traumatic events. Angela Eve also goes live on social media with her alternative press network exposing her followers to true underground culture.
She currently calls both Chicago and New Orleans home, creating art and building a strong reputation for performing and producing in both cities.
“There are only so many places where you can watch burlesque and Unicorn porn under one roof. Angela Eve’s Unbridled, Untitled’s new variety show, is about as bareback as they come. Directed by longtime Chicago burlesque performer Angela Eve, the revamp production now feels like one big love letter to a sexy version of John Waters. Here, the big and bizarre are celebrated alongside wispy pole dancers and upside down creepy acrobats.”
“Angela Eve, a frequent national and local headliner, can make even jaded habitués of the cabaret scene shriek with delight as she nails breathtaking splits and aerial acrobatics like an Olympian.”
PRODUCER, KIDS' CABARET MATINEE
Bazuka Joe is one third of The Stage Door Johnnies from Chicago, named BHoF "Best Group 2011". Bazuka has headlined and toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Trained in contemporary, classical, and jazz dance, theater, and vault staff he is a seasoned teacher and instructor with more than fifteen years of experience teaching and directing at a professional level.
CO-PRODUCER, BURNING CITY SINGEASY
Brooklyn Britches grew up singing with family and friends in a rural town outside of Toledo, Ohio but always dreamed of moving to the city to spread her wings. In 2011 she made her way to Chicago where she quickly fell in love with the vibrant burlesque and variety scene. After working up the courage to take classes, she started training at Studio Lamour and was lucky enough to meet and train under some of the most influential dancers in the world. Three years later she made her stage debut with a singing striptease which launched her interest in making a career out of music. Brooklyn is now performing mostly as a singer in some of the most well known venues in Chicago and around the U.S. primarily with her band The Whispers, as well as producing and coproducing her own shows and events. Brooklyn Britches and The Whispers' performances delight their audiences with old standards and modern songs with a slow, swanky twist. Upright bass (Martin Stonikas) and classic acoustic guitar (Charles Williams) underscore Brooklyn Britches' smokey jazz vocals, completely engaging you in the present while simultaneously transporting you back to the golden age of jazz.
EVA LA FEVA
CO-PRODUCER, BURNING CITY SINGEASY
Eva la Feva is a nationally touring burlesque and belly dance performer/producer that has been delighting audiences for over a decade with her fluid, stylized dance technique base and her emotive and theatrical approach to burlesque.
In Chicago, Eva is regular performer at Untitled, The Drifter, House of Blues, and as part of the dance collective Fringe Factor, directed by Lindsey Marks/Lady Jack.
In 2016, Eva formed "Feva Pitch Productions," and event production company specializing in burlesque/nightlife entertainment - her productions include The Clipper Cabaret, SIP After Dark (co-produced with Brooklyn Britches), Red Light Special (co-produced by Gutter Glam Entertainment) and more.
In addition, Eva helped co-found Burlesque Community Against Unsafe Spaces (BCAUS) in 2016, a community action group designed to foster safe spaces in the Chicago burlesque scene. In 2016, Eva was awarded the Judith Stein scholarship to the Edmonton Burlesque Festival.
Eva’s belly dance credits include being cast in the internationally touring show Bellydance Evolution (Washington, DC and New York, 2010), earning second place in the MAQAM Belly Dance Challenge (Pro Tribal Belly Dance Soloist category, Chicago 2009), and performing as a backup dancer for Bollywood star Shefali Zariwala in 2012 (Chicago). She was Level II certified in the Suhaila Salimpour format from 2009-2011. For more info, visit
A lethal combination of drama, hilarity, and killer kinetics, Jeez Loueez is a powerhouse that’s taken stages across the country by storm. Whether donning a mohawk and her patented “Stank Face”, or serving up classic, glamorous striptease, she’s a consummate force that’s become one of the most memorable personalities of modern burlesque. Jeez took home the titles of Miss Viva Las Vegas in 2012, Shimmy Showdown Champion in 2013, and Southern Fried Burlesque Queen in 2014. She's been voted into the Top 50 Burlesque Industry Figures since 2010, currently ranked as the #3 burlesque figure in the world. A skilled improviser with impeccable comedic timing, Jeez Loueez also charms as an emcee as seen at Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend among other notable events.
A lover of all things behind-the-scenes, she's the creator of Jeezy's Juke Joint: A Black Burly-Q Revue which travels throughout the midwest in addition to being the only Black burlesque festival in America. She’s been involved in the Show-Me Burlesque Festival in her hometown of St. Louis since its inception in 2010 and currently serves as their Associate Artistic Director and Education Coordinator. Jeez also co-produces LEZ DANCE, a monthly LGBTQ dance party in St. Louis (Voted Best Ladies Night 2015), and The Hot Box, a queer pop-up party in Chicago. In addition to event planning and production, Jeez Loueez works as a dance instructor teaching hundreds of students locally and internationally throughout the year. Her classes and productions have been featured on Autostraddle, Ebony.com, Windy City Live, and the upcoming season 2 premiere of the Netflix Original series 'Easy'.
PRODUCER, CULTURE SHOCK: NAUGHTY NERDERY FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM
MsPixy began her burlesque career in 2003 as a founding member of The Belmont Burlesque Revue, a project which heavily influenced the path of Chicago’s 21st century burlesque revival over the course of its 13-year open run. As a burlesque performer, producer, and hostess MsPixy is known for her dry sense of humor and even drier sidekick, Giant Martini. In addition to her ongoing work in the Chicago late-night entertainment scene, MsPixy has become a bit of a cult figure in the nerd and gaming communities. As the co-producer and host of The Glitter Guild she performs and teaches workshops annually to massive crowds at GenCon in Indianapolis. From 2010 to 2012 she garnered the attention of the Chicago press and was named one of the ‘Top 50 to Watch’ in Chicago theater for the writing, direction, design, and choreography of her original burlesque/sketch comedy shows, Boobs and Goombas, Fellowship of the Boobs, SuperBoobs, and The Empire Brings Sexy Back (the latter being written by her husband, K Leo). Currently her production company, MsPixy Productions, produces burlesque and vintage entertainment events and performances in Chicago and the surrounding area, including Chicago Burlesque Showcase in Elgin, IL, now entering it’s 5th year of performances with producing partner Side Street Studio Arts. In her ‘day job’ life, MsPixy also has deep roots in the Chicago improv, comedy, musical theater, and arts education communities which allow access to unique resources for collaboration and creation of new works.
More about MsPixy’s work can be found on her website at www.nerdburlesque.com.
PRODUCER, BOOM BOOMBASTIC
Ray has been making audiences submit to his dirty imagination throughout cities nationally and internationally, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe since 2009. This sinful assassin is 1/3 of the award-winning, male burlesque troupe “The Stage Door Johnnies” and has consistently ranked among the top 20 in 21st Century Burlesque Magazine's annual list of the Top 50 Burlesque Performers in the world. In 2013, Ray was crowned King of Burlesque at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. A featured presenter at Burlycon, he is quickly becoming known for his large menu of insightful burlesque and dance workshops. Trained in contemporary dance, acrobatics, capoeira, and pole dancing, Ray creates imaginative works of strip - tease art that accentuate his smoldering athletic ability, inspired choreography, and unique artistic aesthetic. His most recent manifestation of these styles is his creation, The Vertical SideShow- “A dark and unusual place where the gonzo and the sleekly sensual collide to take you on a journey through his imagination.”
PRODUCER, BLOOD FEAST: A NIGHT AT THE GRAND-GUIGNOL!
A little bit PEEPshow, a little bit FREAKshow, a little bit CREEPshow!
Hailed as the ‘Queen of Halloween’ and the ‘Lon Chaney of Burlesque’ Red Rum is a multidisciplinary artist whose formal background is in painting and video art. She earned her MFA in Painting & Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. After two years experimenting with her own video and horror film special effects she was quickly creating live Grand Guignol style performances in Chicago galleries under the collaborative umbrella of Death By Design, Co., a special effects and video based company founded with her colleague Teena McClelland. Piloted by an Innovative Art In Chicago grant opportunity, DxD transformed any space into a film set where clients were invited to engage in an in-depth conversation with life through the creation of their own “Hollywood” style death. With this project, DxD sought to offer a safe vehicle for exploring ideas on myth, storytelling, cinematic illusion, celebrity, and our own mortality.
After 5 years immersed in Death By Design, Co. the transition to burlesque in 2010 seemed to offer the perfect combination of her love for makeup, prop building and the catharsis of a live audience. While exploring the scene she noticed performers who approached macabre and gory topics still had a concern with keeping the face beautiful. What would happen if grotesque figures and faces were presented in the same medium that elevates beauty, sexuality and fantasy? Is there something meaningful in the space between attraction and repulsion, between what is deemed acceptable by society and what is taboo? RedRum’s work has always taken shape out of the things we are most afraid of. It is not only a way of processing the fear but a means of protection against it.
Always keeping in mind, "if you can't do something better do it different" RedRum has been headlining burlesque productions across the country and currently produces a grand annual event called Satanic Panic: An Evening of Paranoia & Power that puts a spotlight on epidemics of moral panic through history. Choosing narratives that combine elements of sex, death and humor, RedRum twists the expectations of traditional striptease and utilizes it as a vehicle for storytelling and grotesque transformation.
TANA KARO, aka "TANK"
PRODUCER, MYSTICAL MYSTERIUM OF CIRCUS WONDERS
Tank is a professional circus artist and trainer who has a wealth of knowledge in the arts industry. Creator and owner of Acrobatica Infiniti Circus, Tank has been working within the circus industry for about fifteen years. With a background in classical dance and fashion design, she also holds a Bachelors in Circus Arts from the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) and Fashion Design from SAIC. She produces all of the AI shows (and most costumes) which are held at theaters, special events, and conventions.
As a performer and instructor herself, Tank is experienced in the art of dance trapeze, foot juggling, and fire eating. She’s been featured with the Tasmanian Circus Festival, Melbourne Circus Festival, Amsterdam and London Burlesque Festival, Chicago El Circo Cheapo Cabaret, Seattle Moisture Festival, and has headlined for cruise liners such as P&O Australia, and Carnival Cruises.
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