A Cabaret Christmas with Craig Jessup at the Aurora

Harley Jessup
Craig Jessup

Craig Jessup has found that to really do actor and composer Sir Noël Coward's work, he needs to do it in a British accent. So that's what he did with his three-month sold out show at Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, as well as at other shows at the Exit and Eureka Theatres.

Now Jessup, who recently released an album of original work, "Vantage Point," is back with a Christmas show, "A Swell Noël," at the Aurora Theatre, which features some of Coward's work as well as Jacques Brel, Stephen Sondheim, the Gershwins, and Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Jessup, who has been interested in Coward's life and work for more than a decade, says that he has a lot of fun doing his songs.

"He had a way of turning a phrase that was hysterical," he said. "He was sarcastic and biting and satirical. He was big in World War II, and did songs like "Bad Times Just Around the Corner."

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Dita Von Teese Tells All, Takes No Prisoners: Strip, Strip, Hooray! Comes to the Fillmore

It's not every woman who can wear 10 different hats and not have a hair out of place.

But not everyone is Dita Von Teese -- burlesque beauty extraordinaire -- and thank god, because most of us don't have the constitution for her seemingly endless roster of performances and projects. (And in a corset no less.)

Born and bred in Rochester, Michigan, Dita Von Teese has almost single handedly brought burlesque from the dusty days of yore into the red-hot spotlight. From lingerie shopgirl to stilletto-clad stripper, Dita has wended her way through many facets of performance, including costume and set design, modeling, acting, even a dash of lesbian porn, and has found herself at the top of the heap, heaving breasts and head held high.

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Q&A: SF Weekly Talks to Bunny Pistol, Burlesque Bump and Grinder Extraordinaire

Bunny Pistol shakes her groove thing.
In a city where words like 'scrotal' and 'perineal' are bandied about like cotton candy at a carnival, it's nice to know there are still a few places where nudity is tasteful. And tasseled. We caught up with bonafide burlesque beauty Bunny Pistol - infamous for her eye-singeing grindhouse '60s style - to see which SF 'shake-it-girl!' venues she loves best.

We also got a little advice for all you burgeoning Bay Area burlesquers out there.

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Video of the Day: The Cat's Out of the Bag


We like our gay bars like we like our women -- rough around the edges and with as little cover as possible. With its bordello-esque atmosphere and cheap drinks, it's no surprise that The Stud, one of the city's oldest gay bars, still reigns supreme.

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Bands, Burlesque, and Skee-Ball, Oh My!

Hanna Quevedo

The great thing about living in San Francisco is you never run out of things to do. I'm not just talking about Fleet Week and America's Cup type things -- what really makes a city interesting are the nooks and crannies. It's those little morsels of culture that you couldn't find anywhere else, and we've got one coming up soon with the Rock 'N' Roll Carnival, presented by Broke-Ass Stuart, Tricycle Records, and Public Works.

See also:

San Francisco Best New Venue: Public Works

Loving the Nighlife in San Francisco

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Local Circus Veterans' New Trick: Come to Shows that Never Happened

Jason Kruppa

The most exciting and innovative circus in the Bay Area isn't coming from Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Bros., or any of the big schools. It's hiding out in an underground training location called The Royal Russian Kung Fu Circus Training Academy of Heaven Mountain by a few, and Sons of Cayuga, by everyone else. The pair responsible claim to have the highest skill level of any local circus in their shows (true), and disdain advertising, claiming that, "when you make mazes for people they try to find the end of the maze."

See also:

"Humor Abuse": A Son Remembers the Pickle Family Circus

The Hard Truth of Circus Life

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Seven Tips for a Great Audition

Joseph Schell

The first in an occasional series on life as a performer in San Francisco.

So, you've practiced those pirouettes, mastered your handstand, or finally beaten that hula hoop into submission, and it's time to get out there and strut your stuff.  Maybe you've signed up for backstage, or stared endlessly at that Cirque Du Soleil open call poster at the dance studio? Auditioning can be a harrowing experience for a veteran, and downright terrifying for a beginner.  Here are seven tips to help get you through:

1. Have your shit together 

You don't want to be that guy running in at the last minute drenched in sweat, clothes flailing, cellphone ringing, with no headshot, no resume, and no clue.  Go to bed early, set an alarm, be on time, and always, always, know what you're auditioning for.

See also:

Social Media Self-Promotion: The Only Advice You Need

How to Not Die in an Earthquake: Six Essential Tips

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"Queen of Porn" Jenna Jameson Makes Her S.F. Debut

Glenn Francis
The "Queen of Porn," Jenna Jameson, will make her very first appearance in San Francisco, to help ring in Gold Club's eighth anniversary on Thursday, August 2.More »

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Rocks the Boxcar

Just a few of the Boxcar's Hedwigs.

Arrive early to the Boxcar's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and stay late. Director Nick Olivero has both expanded and condensed the groundbreaking rock-musical, and in all the right places. Don't worry; the mutilated genitalia that gives the show its name is still intact -- that is to say, it suffers no more slicing and dicing than the script requires.

The musical, with a book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, follows Hedwig (née Hansel), who wants to escape his East Berlin home by marrying Luther (Reggie D. White), an American. But to get married, not only must he pretend to be female; he must also undergo a full physical exam and thus a sex-change operation. But as the song "Angry Inch" recounts, the operation goes horrifically awry: "When I woke up from the operation ... I was left with a one inch mound of flesh where my penis used to be, where my vagina never was." In other words, Hansel went "six inches forward, five inches back," and what was left made him Hedwig.

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Carly Ozard Looks Back on S.F. Cabaret, Freddie Mercury, and Animals Before She Moves to N.Y.

Categories: Cabaret

Carly Ozard
Going away parties mean a lot of things: a fresh start, sad goodbyes, and reflecting on all the wacky stuff that's happened in the place you're leaving. Cabaret performer Carly Ozard is having a going away party this week (she's moving to New York), but it won't be a downer -- rather, it will have just about every person she's worked with in the past six years who's important to her, and they'll all perform. We sat down with her to talk music, her love for animals, and her passion for bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS. Co-hosted by Ozard and Mrs. Trauma Flintstone, the event is also a benefit for PAWS -- Pets Are Wonderful Support -- an organization dedicated to bringing animal companionship to those battling long-term illnesses. The event is called Accentuate the PAWSitive!, and it takes place Tuesday (Feb. 28) at the DNA Lounge.

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