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Burlesque show’s producers happy to keep it ‘nerdy’

Burlesque show’s producers happy to keep it ‘nerdy’

'The Marauder's Moves' at Albany Barn on Saturday
Burlesque show’s producers happy to keep it ‘nerdy’
"The Marauder's Moves" burlesque show takes the Albany Barn stage at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Photographer: provided photo

A new theatrical spin on Harry Potter is coming to the Albany Barn this weekend. 

“The Marauder’s Moves,” a burlesque show produced by TwoPenny Nerdlesque, takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday. 

For “Harry Potter” fans, there will be some familiar faces and creatures performing in a few expected -- and maybe some unexpected -- ways. 

“My co-producer is hosting the show, but she’s dressing as a Niffler from ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and she’s going to acquire more shiny objects as the show goes,” said one of the show’s producers, who goes by the stage name Toni Switch. For the uninitiated, Nifflers have long noses and fluffy, black fur -- and are attracted to shiny items. 

Switch and “Marauder’s” other co-producer, Penny Dreadful, aren’t new to the local burlesque scene. With TwoPenny Nerdlesque, they’ve combined their passion for burlesque with their love of all things nerdy. They’ve produced four other shows as TwoPenny Nerdlesque, inspired by "Star Trek," "Star Wars," Mel Brooks movies and the movie "Clue."

“The Marauder’s Moves” seemed like a natural next choice.

“We’re Harry Potter nerds and we thought it would be a good idea,” Switch said. 

After putting out a casting call a few months ago, it seemed plenty of other performers thought so, too. 

“A couple of our performers had actually previously done Harry Potter-themed shows. The Nerdlesque scene is actually quite large at this point,” Switch said. Thus, they’re bringing everything from comedians to go-go dancers, musicians to burlesque dancers, to the stage. 

“[The show is] strongly focused around burlesque, but much like in vaudeville there’s a tendency towards variety. And I think especially with burlesque, because its history involves a lot of those comedic elements, having comedians involved just makes sense,” Switch said. 

Of course, every act will be Harry Potter-themed in some way. 

“One of [our comedians] is portraying Draco Malfoy and one of them is J.K. Rowling,” Switch said. “Our musician is playing saxophone but he’s dressing as Snape.”

Switch’s burlesque performance is inspired by Nagini, the snake that often accompanies Voldemort. While Switch’s performances usually lean toward comedy, this time she’s using belly dancing to portray Nagini when the creature inhabited Bathilda Bagshot’s body. 

Another performer, known as Pearl Buttons, is doing a stag Patronus performance. “[She] does this very beautiful, very classic burlesque routine,” Switch said. Chardonnay LaTease, who is also involved in the local drag community, will be portraying Dolores Umbridge through burlesque dance. 

“We have [Emerald Storm] doing a routine as McGonagall, but as they strip they’re going to proceed towards a cat-like persona,” Switch said. 

The full cast list includes Rosi O'La as Hagrid, Lady Delish as Professor Sprout, Nami as Bellatrix Lestrange, Ophelia Hyde as Luna Lovegood, William Hughes as J.K. Rowling and Nell Shanahan as Draco Malfoy.  

Most of the performers are locals. “We really try to cultivate the local scene because we have some really fantastic performers in the area,” Switch said. With TwoPenny Nerdlesque, they also try to welcome anyone who might be interested in trying burlesque to come out to a show or volunteer to help backstage.  

“Burlesque is one of those art forms that involves a degree of human sexuality, but it doesn’t confine that to one kind of look. You can be any body type, any race, any gender. Because it’s so personal, whatever you have to bring is valuable,” Switch said. 

“The Marauder’s Moves” opens at the Albany Barn (56 2nd St., Albany). Tickets are $10 and can be found on Facebook or Eventbrite. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door, though only cash will be accepted.

For more information, visit albanybarn.org

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