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Behind the screen of Kiss Kiss Cabaret

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Kiss Kiss Cabaret's coquettes

Kiss Kiss Cabaret's coquettes

Robert Potter

Every Friday night, the Kiss Kiss Cabaret takes audiences back to the vaudeville era. The Flattery Brothers host, and the "coquettes" perform their sexy solo acts on a stage draped with a shiny red curtain. The Claptrap Family Orchestra, accordion and all, provides the soundtrack.

"It's really important that our show be a mix of the cabaret," says Kiss Kiss Cabaret producer and director Jenn Kincaid. The comedians bring the funny; the coquettes bring the sexy. Magic and juggling are also part of the show.

Putting together each show is a little less consistent, though, Kincaid says. KKC's set is basically portable, as the cast and crew are usually on a different stage at the Greenhouse Theater each week. From around 10 to 10:30 PM on show nights, chaos rules.

"It's a lot of bodies moving around in a tiny space and are all applying mass amounts of glitter," Kincaid says of the coquettes backstage. "It's hot . . . in two ways."

The coquettes do both solo acts and group numbers. These dancers have "a really awesome bag of tricks," Kincaid says, so she and the rest of the production crew give them a lot of freedom to develop new acts for each show. Case in point: a new six-minute tango number in which a coquette escapes from a straitjacket only to find herself locked up in chains.

While the coquettes use their makeup time to catch up on each other's lives, the comedic acts simultaneously paint their faces white and banter back and forth, as a warm-up for the show. Keeping the audience occupied preshow are the Claptraps and a tarot card reader.

"It's a fun place to be on Friday night," Kincaid says.

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