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Culture » Art Watch

Bend Burlesque & Hot Summer Nights

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Summer nights in Bend are about to get hot. On July 1, Bend Burlesque Company will celebrate summer with a new show that will have audience members fanning themselves for relief. Aptly named "These Coming Summer Nights," the production promises to titillate, thrill, and delight with 11 entertainers, multiple acts, and live music by local band Company Grand.

Mehama Kaupp and Leah Rutz, co-owners of the only Bend-based burlesque troupe, met by chance through friends three years ago while boating at Lake Billy Chinook. Kaupp says, "We started talking about burlesque and made a fast decision to be business partners and best friends." A year later they put on their first show, which featured just the two of them performing burlesque. Their act was well received, and they've been going strong ever since.

Over the past two years, Bend Burlesque Company has grown. Both Kaupp and Rutz attend performances around the country in search of inspiration and in an effort to expand their skills.  Kaupp says, "We have no formal training in burlesque; we just try and come up with original, traditional, and neo-burlesque routines that are exciting, entertaining, and hilarious."

Attendees of "These Coming Summer Nights" can expect to be entertained by performers with stage names such as K. Tease, Ego Mystical, and Lil' Leazy serving up a variety of acts that include a sexy acro-yoga performance, hula- and belly-dancing, and both "boylesque" and traditional burlesque routines.

Kaupp says, "We strive to bring our audience the best time possible. Sometimes that means our audience is uncomfortable or shocked, but overall we keep it sexy, creative, witty, and risqué."

"These Coming Summer Nights"

Friday, July 1, 8pm

Old Stone Performing Arts Center,

157 NW Franklin Ave., Bend

Tickets at bendticket.com

$20

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