Tart of the Valley Burlesque

The members of the Tart of the Valley burlesque troupe plan their after-Christmas getaway in "Winter Wonderland II." The show plays Saturday night at the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis.

It's the day after Christmas at the North Pole, and the members of the Tart of the Valley burlesque troupe are planning to head off for their holiday vacations.

That's the set-up for this year's Tart of the Valley holiday show, "Winter Wonderland 2: Escape from the North Pole," scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Majestic Theatre, 115 SW Second St. in Corvallis. It's a sequel of sorts to last year's show, which was set on the day before Christmas.

But the plot essentially just offers a loose format to string together about a dozen burlesque performances, including some new performers this year, said the troupe's Starena Sparktacular.

Burlesque is in the middle of a big resurgence, said Sparktacular, who founded the Tart of the Valley troupe five years ago. "It feels like we're part of something bigger," she said.

Need proof? You don't have to look any further than the troupe's packed performances at the Majestic or its quarterly shows at Bombs Away Cafe in Corvallis.

In fact, there's a pretty good chance that the Saturday show at the Majestic is sold out as you read these words: Earlier this week, Sparktacular said, only 25 tickets remained.

That, of course, is gratifying to Sparktacular, who sees other signs of the burlesque revival around the nation: In fact, she recently returned from BurlyCon, an annual burlesque education and social convention in Seattle, which drew some 700 attendees this year. 

Sparktacular has theories about the resurgence: For starters, she said, it's empowering to its performers. "I really feel like so much of burlesque is the empowerment of our bodies," she said.

She has another theory as well: "Of course, it's fun, and we all need to laugh more in our lives."

For those audience members lucky enough to have a ticket, Sparktacular has this advice: "Come prepared to encourage your performers, to make them feel special on stage, to cheer for them. ... We want to hear your voice. We appreciate your sparkle."

Tickets, if they're available, cost $12-14. Go to the website majestic.org for details. 

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