Sasha and the Squids present Burlesque at Telluride's Opera House

Sasha and the Squids present Burlesque at Telluride's Opera House

[click “Play” to hear Sasha Cucciniello talk about the program]


kicker: Program follows course at Ah Haa

Sugar Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts promoted the class this way:

“Join artistic director Sasha Cucciniello of SquidShow Theatre and Melissa Sumpter of Durango’s Salt Fire Circus, as they take you on a three-week journey into the world of burlesque dancing and performance. At the close of the class, students will be given the opportunity to show off their skills during a live variety show on the stage of the Sheridan Opera House!”

Their time is now. On March 25, 8 p.m., at Telluride’s historic Sheridan Opera House, Sasha and SquidShow Theatre present an evening of burlesque, which includes “boylesque,” boys doing burlesque. Sasha promises an evening that is at once “daring, sexy and scandalous.” And Sasha always delivers the goods.

At Ah Haa, 13 women threw their hats into the ring – which may have left them quite exposed. Some of the ladies had performance experience. Some were never-evers.

“What I love about the class is that these ladies are challenging themselves in ways that will open them as women. The course is not just about teaching someone how to take off her clothes. It is about creating a character, doing something outrageous and often humorous, playing with the audience, being present in your body and celebrating that body, no matter what size, shape or color. It is about making a full theatrical piece in which… yes, clothes do come off.”

Historically, burlesque was defined as parody and satire, although burlesque tended to be broader in mocking a style, class or genre. In the 20th Century and onward, burlesque survived in skits and revues, many of which became raucous and bawdy. So bawdy that New York banned all burlesque in 1942.

Thank heaven Telluride keeps an open mind.

Tickets, $20, available through

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to Sasha’s interview.

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