Neo-burlesque movement front woman Christa Hunt started Key West Burlesque eight years ago after moving to the Southernmost City from New York City, where she developed a passion for the art form.
In the beginning, she and her team had trouble finding a place to perform burlesque. Now, Key West Burlesque is one of three ensembles in the entire world that do full-scale, theatrical productions that involve storylines to further captivate the audience.
“We do fully scripted burlesque performances — usually variety shows with multiple performances,” said Hunt.
She is involved in every aspect of the production, overseeing costume design, set designs, producing, directing, doing choreography and of course singing and acting. (“When I am not involved in set design I am not happy with how it comes out,” Hunt said while laughing.)
Offstage, she is professional and mild-mannered Christa Hunt. Onstage turns into “Tatah Dujour,” a name and character she created at the same time Key West Burlesque was born.
“It’s a different persona—more outgoing, energetic, a little more naked, flamboyant and sparkly glitter-filled. Tatah has a higher pitched voice and is funnier and taller,” said Hunt. “Yes, people say taller. I think because of Tatah’s huge personality she comes across as a bigger person.”
Big productions require a lot of rehearsal time. Some of the performers live locally, but the majority come from other parts of the country to work with Key West Burlesque, Hunt said. She said her favorite performances are the holiday shows, especially the large-scale productions, such as the recent “Adventures in Burlesque Lands” at Waterfront Playhouse
This will be Key West Burlesque’s sixth year performing burlesque on New Year’s Eve and this year the show will take place on Sunset Pier at O Duval St. It’s a monster production with five hours of entertainment, stilt walkers, fire breathers and circus performers inside the tent. Guests will finish dinner at about 10 p.m. and then sit back to watch the burlesque performers. The big number’s theme is dedicated to the passing of 2014 and finishes with a giant key lime pie drop and giant margarita glass.
: theatrical entertainment of a broadly humorous often earthy character consisting of short turns, comic skits, and sometimes striptease acts
New Years on the Pier
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Five hours of entertainment with special performances by Key West Burlesque. VIP tickets include premium open bar, table reservations and dinner buffet. Tickets available at keystix.com.