WEEKEND: Girdle Scouts bring burlesque to Port Angeles

Note to readers: There is a chance a performance to the sold-out show “Naughty & Nice” might be added Sunday. Please check the Girdle Scouts page on Facebook for latest information: http://www.facebook.com/girdlescouts .

PORT ANGELES — It’s comedy, it’s performance art, it’s dancing and singing — and is it ever sexy.

“Naughty & Nice,” the show opening tonight at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse, is the most elaborate production so far from the Girdle Scouts, a “caburlesque” — cabaret meets burlesque — troupe of some 15 irreverently clad performers.

This is a joyous holiday show, with numbers like “Santa Baby” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” a little herd of elves and a Grinch who tries to steal Christmas.

It’s also an adults-only evening that, were it a movie, would be rated R, says Girdle Scouts co-founder Clare Sherley.

The curtain comes up at 8 p.m. both this evening and Saturday at the playhouse, 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd.; however, both shows have sold out.

During the intermission between Act I and Act II, Karen Abbott of Wicked Little Sweets will offer a fitting treat: gourmet cupcakes. More details about the Girdle Scouts and “Naughty & Nice” await at www.

GirdleScouts.com and on the troupe’s Facebook page.

The Girdle Scouts’ most recent show was the relatively short “That Dam Removal” revue at Bar N9ne on Sept. 17, the night after the day full of Elwha dam removal ceremonies. There were about five dance pieces in that one.

“Naughty & Nice” has 16 pieces, complete with costumes made of duct tape, Christmas tree skirts and garlands — plus statements about personal and political power.

In the Girdle Scouts’ rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” for example, the man tries to dismiss the woman’s reluctance to spend the evening with him; she ultimately asserts her own power to teach him something about how to treat the opposite sex.

This being the holiday shopping season, there are numbers about the powers of money and greed.

Then there’s a retelling of the “Three Little Pigs” tale with Girdle Scout Jack Slowriver of Port Angeles playing a different kind of big, bad wolf. And in “Bitty Boppin’ Betty,” Sherley and the troupe do a bit of gender-bending.

The “Three Little Pigs” number, danced to the Commodores’ 1977 hit “Brick House,” features Port Angeles artist Sarah Tucker as the actual brick house. And no, she does not get blown down. She is, underneath that costume, one strong woman.

Tucker is the maker of most Girdle Scouts outfits, including the wolf’s costume and a full-length, fully lighted Christmas tree dress. And for the “Carol of the Bells” number, she constructed what she calls the “duct tape nude suits” made of beige duct tape.

The Girdle Scouts want to get some social messages across, Tucker said. Some want to shock people. Some want to challenge the audience to see women in a new way.

As for Tucker, she just wants to dazzle. And while “Naughty & Nice” is swimming in glamorous attire, that doesn’t mean the costumer had to spend a lot of money.

“I’m a very budget artist. I use a lot of found and recycled items,” Tucker said. Instead of cash or credit cards, she spends time and thought on her art.

Amy Meyer, a Sequim-to-Port Angeles transplant, believes the Girdle Scouts’ messages come across better when sheathed in comedy: “Make it fun,” she said, “and people will pay attention.”

Meyer appears in the “Big Spender” and “Santa Baby” numbers, among others, and portrays Mommy in the “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” piece.

She came to the Girdle Scouts with no dance background and says she’s the kind of person who trips over a speed bump.” Meyer is, however, learning to dance in high heels — and loving it. She also credits her mother, Deborah Meyer, for affirming her budding career as a burlesque performer.

“She’s really supportive,” Meyer said of her mom. And “I’m proud of [the show]. It takes a lot of work.”

It also takes men as well as women to put on “Naughty & Nice.” Romeo Ciarlo of Port Angeles, for example, po rtrays the Grinch. He gets to wear furry boots with four-inch heels, and make mischief throughout the production.

“This is the perfect spot for me,” said Ciarlo. “I love ridiculous humor.”

It’s also a nice position to be in: the man surrounded by women in burlesque getups.

“I feel so fortunate to be part of the troupe, from that standpoint,” Ciarlo quipped.

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