Crescent Moon Nerdlesque is hosting the virtual show of the Halloween season with its “Are You Afraid of Burlesque? Creepy Campfire Chronicles.” The performance is set to livestream at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October, 23 – with tickets starting at $15 – and it will later be available as a video rental from Oct. 23 through Nov. 6.
In a recent interview with Crescent Moon Nerdlesque co-founders Foxie la Fleur and Minnie Barre, the duo explained that audiences can expect the show to be scary, sexy, and tons of fun for fans of urban legends, Halloween lore, film frights, and much more.
“We have scares for all people, everything from true crime to urban legends, the Girl with the Green Ribbon is an act. We have Chucky and classic horror stuff. True crime dating all the way back to Lizzie Borden and then some really steamy kind-of-spooky stuff. We have a very cool witch act from Jacqueline Boxx that’s going to be a nice spicy act,” explained Foxie.
Minnie added, “The Hellraiser one is pretty spicy too. It’s scary but there’s definitely a very sexy, steamy element. It’s still a burlesque show.”
Throughout the interview, Foxie and Minnie repeated the refrain of how they love working collaboratively with the ensemble. “Creepy Campfire Chronicles” features a talented cast including Beef Erikson, Lottie a la West, Risky Sour, and Thottie Biscotti, among others. For the $15 general admission ticket on Oct. 23, fans can enjoy performances from all of the above artists and more, while the VIP option also includes an early admission of 7:15 p.m. with added fun.
“The VIP ticket buyers get a secret password to a secret door, and inside that room they get to come in and listen to the cast tell ghost stories. There’s also going to be a cocktail demo for a special Crescent Moon-tini that we have going on. And we are also going to be mailing them a little something-something,” explained Foxie.
She continued, “I’m so proud of our whole production team, as well as our cast and our ensemble. It’s been true teamwork making the dream work. I want to give everyone a big shoutout and a big thank you. We hope people come see the show and really enjoy it.”
Crescent Moon Nerdlesque was founded in 2018, and the troop performed regularly in and around Chicago through December of 2019. They had planned on taking a short break to rebrand and focus on the future when the pandemic turned everything upside down. During this time, the group dove head first into the world of virtual performance, and they plan to balance video events with live shows moving forward with their Halloween performance, an upcoming holiday show (date tbd) and beyond.
“It obviously happened quite naturally. Because we are a troop of nerds first and foremost, we had always talked about doing some stuff in the virtual realm,” said Minnie of turning to the web to connect with fans. “We really want to make something that is burlesque for the internet. We don’t want you to be wishing that you were in a theater watching the show. Don’t get me wrong. We both love the traditional cabaret style – it’s what we cut our burlesque teeth on – but, for the internet age, people are so used to TikTok or YouTube. Watching the shows that are in the more traditional format [virtually, online], always makes me want to be in a theater.”
Foxie noted that the Halloween show is much more than a simple YouTube video. Crescent Moon has partnered with a local venue to create a virtual experience that is inclusive, exciting, and tailor-made for a remote viewing experience.
“We are streaming it through a really cool virtual venue that our home base, The Newport Theater here in Chicago, has through a platform called Gather.Town,” she explained. “It’s kind of like an 8-bit video game where you get a little pixelized character, and you get to run around this venue and video chat with people. You get to livestream the show through that and it’s a really cool, really innovative thing that the Newport Theater has done through the pandemic to really adapt.”
Foxie and Minnie both have backgrounds in theater and they share an appreciation for traditional cabaret-style burlesque. They first met when they were both performing at Kiss Kiss Cabaret as well as at Gorilla Tango Burlesque, where they played Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen in the Game of Thrones spoof “Game of Thongs.” When Foxie first had the idea to start Crescent Moon, she knew the only person she could trust to partner with her on this new project was Minnie Barre, who jumped at the chance to be a part of such a unique concept. The rest, as they say, is Nerdlesque history.
One of the things the co-founders love most about Crescent Moon Nerdlesque – and burlesque in general – is the way it encourages absolute body positivity which creates a vibe of empowerment that flows from the performers to the audience. Foxie noted that she appreciates how the art-form gives performers the “autonomy to create whatever the f*ck you want.” She also credits burlesque with helping her to heal after she survived a sexual assault.
“I’m a survivor of sexual assault and I had survived that crime in my early twenties. Exactly a year after that happened I saw an audition notice for the Game of Thrones burlesque parody. I kind of saw it as a sign to reclaim my body again,” Foxie said. “I went a whole year without dancing or moving because I was traumatized. I’m so grateful that I saw that notice because I got to meet my best friend and I found this community of really fantastic artists and human beings who I have made such great friendships and professional relationships with. It allowed me to have some new dreams in burlesque and a lot more creative autonomy.”
Foxie and Minnie especially enjoy is when a new audience member falls in love with burlesque throughout the course of a live, in-person performance. Sometimes, a first-time attendee may feel unsure of how to act during a sexy set – something that isn’t a worry when newcomers first experience a show virtually when they are new to burlesque – but, more often than not, by the end of a performance, everyone is fully engaged with the fun.
Minnie shared one of her favorite audience experiences saying, “Kiss Kiss was performing at a bar called The Drop, and somebody in the audience for some reason brought their mom to this show, and you saw the woman over the course of the performance go from arms crossed, very closed off to, by the end of the show, giving a standing ovation, cheering, clapping with tons of ‘whoos’ and lots of tips. She was so into it and enthusiastic. Watching that develop over the course of the show was heartwarming. Yes, we’re stripping, but it’s heartwarming.”
She continued, “We make this stuff to bring joy and a sense of escapism to a very dark world and we really hope that people can turn off their brains while they watch the show, get a little spooky, get a little sexy and have a whole lot of fun on a Saturday night.”
Click here to pick up tickets to watch the Saturday, Oct. 23 livestream of “Are You Afraid of Burlesque? The Crescent Moon Creepy Campfire Chronicles” – or rent the show through Nov. 6 – and head over to Crescentmoonnerdlesque.productions for more information about the ensemble.