Stripping+Away+Preconceptions+


Photo by Sarah Reed
Article by Dean Vanderkolk

It’s a Sunday afternoon and two women dressed in garb more appropriate to a Jane Austen film than a Flint café are performing an extravagant minuet, punctuated with the gradual removal of their garments. In the wings, another girl hones her impersonation of Charlie Chaplin struggling to remove a pair of baggy trousers while wearing oversized slap shoes. A tuxedoed emcee stands nearby, putting the finishing touches on his monologue.

It’s all evidence that the art of the tease is alive and well in Flint, Michigan, thanks to The Fischer Bodies, a new theatrical troupe that seeks to bring back the classic days of burlesque.

Since their debut performance in December of 2010, The Fischer Bodies have been providing Flint audiences with a mix of smart, sexy, sassy entertainment. Performing in venues ranging from clubs to theatrical spaces to art galleries, each show features a healthy mix of song, dance and comedy, all performed with a bawdy sense of fun and energy that their audiences find electrifying. And while many contemporary burlesque troupes leave little to the imagination, The Fischer Bodies are special precisely because of what they don’t show.

“Our ladies really strive to be tasteful in what they do,” says emcee Mickey Mandrake. “You won’t see them in g-strings and pasties, and I think it’s one of the reasons the numbers are so sexy. It’s what you don’t see that is so enticing.”

"I really consider what we do to be burlesque theater,” says founding member Kristina Lakey (aka Victoria Nightshade), “and I think it's important that the theater really be emphasized. We're all performers and we approach each show with a unique lifetime of theatrical experience."

The group sets a high standard for their numbers, presenting a completely new and original show with each and every performance. They pride themselves on their creativity and their ability to make the audience feel like a part of the proceedings.

Even more important to the group is the celebration of the diversity of the female form. "The Fischer Bodies are about fun and frivolity," says Lakey, “but it's also about empowering women and telling them that it's okay to love themselves no matter their size or age. We really take control of our bodies by showing you what we want you to see."

She adds, "The success of this has really been overwhelming. Flint is ready for a new kind of entertainment and we're ready to provide."

You can catch The Fischer Bodies as they present a special evening of theater on Saturday, March 5th at 8:00pm at The Lunch Studio in downtown Flint. Tickets are $20 and include dinner and desert. For more information, please call 810-424-9698 or visit The Fischer Bodies on Facebook.