Afternoon Delight Burlesque Show at Crosstown Arts 

To borrow a line from '70s-era hitmakers, the Starland Vocal Band, "Everything's a little clearer in the light of day." Sure, burlesque shows usually don't start bumping and grinding 'til deep in the middle of the late night, but who doesn't look forward to a little afternoon delight now and again?

The Afternoon Delight burlesque is a benefit for the Mid-South Food Bank, showcasing the skinful talent shake-show vets Cherie Cheezcake, Mai Oui, and Vivica Noir. The complete roster reads like a who's who of Memphis' titillatingest titillators. The event is hosted by Memphis comic Katrina Coleman and climaxes with what is being described as a "shimmy contest."

click to enlarge werec_burlesque.jpg

"Worms wiggle," Coleman says, trying to distinguish the shimmy from jiggles and bounces. "And you shake when you're cold. A shimmy has a point to it. A good shimmy involves eye contact, a smile, and moving what your mama gave you." While a proper shimmy may be enhanced by fringe, feathers, beads, and other things that sparkle and catch light, Coleman doesn't think burlesque attire is necessary to perform quality work.

"It doesn't matter what you're wearing," she says, evoking the spirit of Martha and the Vandellas. "I've seen good shimmies performed in an oversized Tweety Bird T-shirt. If you need samples of what a good shimmy is, go to YouTube and find some of those old Motown girl bands. They did it right."

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