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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Uncovered at the Wench

    The audience cheers for more, and a few crumpled dollar bills land by her feet.

    Tonight, she is no longer a retail manager. Or the mother of an adopted son. She has become “”Diamonda Morgue,”” whose retro and gothic inspired performances are featured in Black Cherry Burlesque at the Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. 4th Ave.

    As Diamonda, Duke wants to tease her audience as she unties a decorative belt around her hips. Her act is loosely choreographed, but there is no rush.

    Though burlesque performers like Duke won’t strip down much past their bare necessities, the audience cheers with each article of clothing tossed to the floor.

    It is not an easy thing to reveal so much skin in public, but the ladies of Black Cherry Burlesque show little self-consciousness or hesitation while performing.

    Kate Miners, owner of the Surly Wench Pub, founded Black Cherry Burlesque with her partner in February 2006.

    “”We’ve always wanted to bring burlesque to Tucson,”” Miner said. “”We put the word out through MySpace, and we got such a great response immediately.””

    Though the troupe started with a small core group of performers, the cast has grown to a 10-girl rotation. Each member brings her own unique style and experience to the show, and the performers include a civil designer, hairstylist, teacher and a make-up artist.

    “”It’s the epitome of a double life,”” Miner said.

    Though most performers’ families and friends are supportive of their decisions to pursue burlesque, some family members are unable to see a difference between burlesque and stripping.

    “”They’ve had a hard time getting past that,”” said Carol Richardson, who goes by Stormy Leigh on stage. “”I’m working on them.””

    In addition to family issues, some performers had to overcome their

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