With the burlesque trend sweeping the country and Christina Aguilera strutting into a theater near you, seems like every Chicago woman is taking off her clothes in the name of nostalgia. Not these Broadz. Though billed as a burlesque sketch comedy troupe, the women of Off Off Broadzway do more satire than stripping, but their comedy leaves nothing to the imagination.
Our Town How’d you Broadz get together?
Off Off Broadzway Most of us were involved with sketch comedy groups [and] crossed paths. We got talking…and drinking…and decided we needed to get a bunch of us ladies together and show that women can be funny and hey, kinda sexy too. Our first show was in June of 2008 at The Spot. Since then we've been whoring ourselves out to anyone that will have us!
OT Your humor pushes boundaries. Ever worry about offending your audience?
OOB We hear time and again that we get away with comedy murder because 1) we’re all female and 2) we’re in our panties. We do try to see what we can get away with. If you are going to a show called “Let it Ho” you can’t expect Shakespeare. We’re gonna poke fun at you, around you and on you. Sit back and enjoy the f**king ride….wait…can we say f**king?
OT Where do you fit in the Chicago burlesque scene?
OOB [Initially] we all got together to watch videos of old timey burlesque shows [which] really just confused us. The women were only there to take out their boobs and the men did the joke telling. We were like, "Are people gonna expect to see our boobs? ARE WE GONNA TAKE OUT OUR BOOBS????" Then we reminded ourselves we were a sketch comedy group parodying burlesque.
OT Is your no nudity stance a feminist thing?
OOB [Our characters] want your money but are too fat to take their clothes off. We don't care who takes off their clothes as long as it's not us.
OT Speaking of feminism, what inspired that puppet song? By the way, what’s it actually called?
OOB The name is Puppet Song…you’re good. Jill Valentine (Dolly Natrix) wrote [it] to poke fun at women’s stereotypes. She wanted something funny but that also made a point. Like putting a pill in a piece of cheese, we make a point and hide it in a dirty, glittery, foul-mouthed package so you can stomach it.
OT You each convey a distinct persona--
OOB Each girl’s character is a facet of their personality totally enhanced and amplified.
OT So, what’s up with Ricki Dickyouless’s ham fetish?
OOB Mandy Whitenack, who "plays" the "character" has a bit of an obsession with meats. We were once at a fundraiser and when Mandy found out they were throwing away a half-eaten ham, she asked if she could take it home. And she did...in a trash bag. She also can only give directions in relation to the closest Long John Silvers.
OT What can audiences expect from the holiday show?
OOB Tops of boobs, original music, hot-ish ladies, XXX funny, and free boners.
A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually.