Tease-O-Rama hasn't quite yet reached Santacon-like ubiquity in San Francisco, where one might stumble upon a confused and drunk burlesque performer even in the outer neighborhoods on the right day, but it's making a more than valiant effort to get there. For now, let's just say there is an ample amount of ample loveliness roaming the North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf areas over the next four days as more than 200 performers prepare to set off this annual festival and convention dedicated to this artform's cheek and wit.
Tonight (April 19), an opening party at DNA Lounge rolls to the beat of Los Shimmy Shakers and go-go dancing flair of the Hubba Hubba Revue and is intended to be a mingling affair, though plenty of performers from around the country, such as Hawaii's Violetta Beretta and Chicago's Lady Ginger, have a little something planned to start the teasing.
What's particularly wonderful about Tease-O-Rama is that the itinerary includes events that appeal to a wider swath of the community than those who might want to come out at night -- encouraging, as local sexologist Carol Queen might say, some exhibitionism for the shy. A suite of educational daytime classes on April 20 at Holiday Inn Express and Suites and Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf have wonderful topics such as "Costuming on The Cheap: Thinking Outside the Bra" and practical lessons that every girl needs, like how to fashion the best hairdo to complement a pair of nipple tassles.
Head to Bimbo's 365 Club on the evenings of Friday and Saturday (April 20-21) for the main showcase events to see what modern burlesque looks like as well as to glimpse its historical trajectory. Friday's party includes a headlining appearance from Zumanity, a revue in Las Vegas and New York billed as "The Sensual Side of Cirque Du Soleil."
So you'll go out for consecutive nights spent watching people take their clothes off and all -- but fear not, Tease-O-Rama has a novel Sunday activity to consider, a chance to take "Tea and Gossip With The Legends of Burlesque" beginning at 11:30 a.m. on April 22 at Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf. More than pinky fingers and finger sandwiches, it'll include a hangover buffet breakfast to soak up the behind the scenes tales from performers such as Shannon Doah, Satan's Angel, and Kitten Natividad, all hosted by the current Miss Exotic World, Indigo Blue. Old timey group photograph is included, so bust out those corsets, folks.