Only The Politics Are Naked!


Democracy Burlesque has been performing as a political satire group for over 3 years now. This blog is here for members of Democracy Burlesque to talk about their experiences, for guests of the group to visit and share thoughts, and for the general public to learn about and get a taste of some of the funniest political satire happening in the Midwest - - or anywhere.


In the spring of 2004, due to a misunderstanding of an experimental production of "Arms and the Man", a number of stalwart performers became targets of an FBI sting. The group found themselves "outsourced" to a prison cell in Egypt, the objects of George Bush's brilliant play on the word "rendition". (Apparently, torture costs so much less abroad.) Whiling away the hours in between waterboarding sessions, the group began scripting and writing the show now known as Democracy Burlesque. Their capers and antics so amused their captors that they decided to take the show on the road. They killed! They played for a year in Kabul, proving "burlesque" and "burqa" aren't mutually exclusive, drawing rave notices and packed houses despite the fact that their musical accompanists were often abducted and decapitated. Eventually they escaped on a shrimp boat down the Helmund River, and from there to the Arabian Sea. The determined artists vowed that if ever they were released, they would perform their little revue to the even more critical audiences of Rogers Park in their native Chicago.

They made their way through rugged storefront theatres of Prague, street corner doo-wop rappers of Manchester, abusive deconstructionist baristas of the Paris cafe scene, and mad drunken inventors of County Guiness, making their escape to the near north side of Chicago in an insane underground railroad of cutting-edge entertainment and blistering mainstream criticism, vowing that they would pay back their entertainer/protectors with guest turns and Special Guest Appearances at their little ragtag revue.

They even managed to be protected by real do-gooders of all colors and stripes ... people whose spirits had been beaten to exhaustion and bankruptcy so much by the Bush Regime that they realized this was actually worse than it was during the Bush I and Reagan years. To them they vowed the same promise: give us a chance to entertain, and we will reward you with opportunities of handshakes and petitions and a penny or two for your work.

They made it.

And here they are, bravely displaying for your entertainment the talents that kept their spirits high during those bitter months of abuse and torture.

Note: Engravings by Gustave Dore

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