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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How to celebrate Valentine’s Day (without resorting to love)

    How to celebrate Valentines Day (without resorting to love)

    Does the thought of staring at your suit-clad suitor over a candle-lit ham roast make you nauseous? Have you started your day by glaring at the hordes of hand-holding saps, wishing candy hearts were slightly more forceful projectiles?

    We’re here for you. So is Black Cherry Burlesque, Tucson’s premier exotic dance troupe, which will celebrate its second anniversary tonight and tomorrow night at Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. Fourth Ave.

    “”It’s a huge mix of acting, dancing – even modeling to some extent,”” said Black Cherry founder and Surly Wench owner Kate Miners, who performs as Inga Kaboom. Tonight’s program will feature a full menu of old-world burlesque and Victorian strip tease, complete with “”traditional bump-n-grind songs.””

    Before there were strip clubs, there was burlesque: interactive, often satirical entertainment with an emphasis on individuality. “”Burlesque kind of simplifies sexuality and beauty and brings it back to its roots,”” Miners said.

    “”It’s definitely sexy, but it’s just so brilliant and intelligent that people don’t walk away with a hard-on or anything,”” she said. “”It’s political, it’s controversial, funny and clever.””

    Black Cherry Burlesque has mastered a centuries-old art form, but you’d best expect a few surprises – these ladies find inspiration in everything from saloons to cartoons. For one of her V-Day acts, Miners will dress (or, more aptly, undress) as the notorious Queen of Hearts from Disney’s “”Alice in Wonderland.””

    All the costumes in Black Cherry Burlesque’s shows are entirely hand-made, taking long nights of painstaking labor to complete – “”hours of gluing lace and sequins and glitter,”” Miners said.

    In past shows, Black Cherry performers have battled with light-sabers in full Star Wars get-up, teased the audience as a sultry librarian and emerged from a trashcan Ǿ la Oscar the Grouch.

    In between constructing their extensive wardrobe, they have rehearsed every play for the last month.

    Miners created the troupe in 2006 as a way to bring burlesque – already revived in Los Angeles and other larger cities – to Tucson. Since then, she has trained a cast of women with varying degrees of theatrical experience.

    “”A few girls I’ve taken and molded from scratch, basically, into performers,”” she said. There are now 10 members.

    The creation of Miners’ character, Inga Kaboom, was more a product of the troupe than a motive, she said.

    “”I never had any intention of actually performing,”” she said.

    The Valentine’s Day program will be comprised of seven of the Black Cherries, including Inga Kaboom and the troupe’s newest addition, Natasha Noir.

    If innovation excites you (and it should), look no further.

    The show begins at 10 p.m. tonight and Friday at 10. Admission is $8 at the door, $12 for second row and $15 for first row. Arrive early to ensure entrance.

    Skates, psychics … chocolate?

    Are tassels and pasties not your style? Don’t fret; there are plenty of less risqué but equally unconventional ways to spend your Valentine’s Day.

    For starters, while you’re at the Surly Wench, pick up a ticket for Tucson Roller Derby on Saturday, when the TRD Saddletramps take on the Texas Rollergirls in their annual match-up. It’s bound to be a close game, as Tucson won by just two points last year.

    If you prefer to pretend that Valentine’s Day is “”Singles Awareness Day,”” come celebrate with other singles at the Park Student Union from 7 to 9:30 p.m. A “”love psychic”” is promised.

    If you’re planning on buying chocolate for your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancée, partner or “”miscellaneous,”” why not buy it from the Vagina Warriors? They’ll be selling shirts, chocolate and pins on the UA Mall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Sweet cinema treats

    If Valentine’s Day just fills you with the desire to hide from the world in a movie theater, fret not: Tucson’s theaters offer a variety of delightful options for the discerning movie buff. At the top of our list is The Loft Cinema’s special Valentine’s Day screening of “”Amelie”” tonight at 8.

    This modern classic may have had an unfortunate effect on the French film industry – the French film section at Casa Video, chock-full of Audrey Tautou vehicles boasting ad copy like “”Delightful! Charming! A delicious confection!””, is testament to that – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t, well, delightful.

    Admission to “”Amelie”” is $5, and you can enter the Loft’s “”Raffle de Romance”” to win gift certificates to Ghini’s French Café, at 1803 E. Prince Road, or a romantic bouquet from Roses and More, 5501 E. Speedway Blvd.

    If the pseudo-stalker adventures of a doe-eyed French lass don’t do it for you, there’s always “”The Violent Years,”” Ed Wood’s 1956 cult classic about a gang of delinquent teenage girls who dress up like men to commit crimes and ultimately become involved in a communist conspiracy. How romantic is that?

    – Justyn Dillingham and Alexandria Kassman contributed to this report

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