Elan Vital Media | WK 73: Nerdy, Sexy, and Funny: Nerdgasm at the Irving Theater
WK 73: Nerdy, Sexy, and Funny: Nerdgasm at the Irving Theater
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WK 73: Nerdy, Sexy, and Funny: Nerdgasm at the Irving Theater

The historic neighborhood of Irvington in Indianapolis just hosted two nights of bawdy jubilance in the form of Angel Burlesque’s show Nerdgasm. Michael Lombardi spoke with Angel Burlesque’s founder, Katie Angel, about burlesque, Angel Burlesque, and Nerdgasm.  See the pics and read the interview below.

A lot of people have heard of burlesque, but even fewer have ever experienced a show. I asked Katie how she’d describe burlesque to those people. “Modern burlesque is ‘striptease with a story.’” And she added that, “A huge aspect of modern burlesque is the body positive nature of the work–real is sexy!” In Nerdgasm there were all body types. Female, of course, but male, too; thin and not-thin; PoC bodies and non-PoC bodies; bodies with hair and bodies without; bodies with tattoos and bodies without.


Angel also said of burlesque, “It’s a unique art form in that the majority of performances are performer driven.” “With burlesque in particular, the routines are generally brainchildren of the performers. Burlesque gives performers a unique outlet for their voice.” But Angel is rarely totally hands-off. “Each performer has their own strength. Some performers are amazing at coming up with ideas but need help with execution. Some performers are great with fabricating costumes and props but need help with ideas.” Regardless, she won’t take an ounce of credit. “Overall, the credit for the individual routines is 100% to be given to the performers!”


This was the 7th show in the Nerdgasm family. As Angel says, “Epic adventures come in installations.” When asked what she looked for when putting this show together, the producer said, “Angel Burlesque had a call out for nerd-themed routines that people applied to be a part of the show. We definitely focused on nerdy….although we’re always comfortable with letting our nerd flag fly!” What that meant come showtime was a lot of super heroes. Gamora, Batman and Superman, and Poison Ivy were just a few. Darth Vader made an appearance, too, even if only in the final moments of the show. But completely unexpected, and therefore wonderfully placed. There were a few Disney animated villains as well. Though I think the surprise of the night for me was Xena, Warrior Princess from the television series starring Lucy Lawless. Which, as the co-hostess of the show pointed out, is pretty widely accepted as the precipitous for a sexual awakening of a generation of women. It’s hard to pack so much into a show that lasted only about a hundred minutes with intermission. And with so many nerdy favorites, of course, there were some fandoms that didn’t make it into this year’s show. I’m sure they’ve been in previous shows and will be in future shows since every year is completely different.  


Katie Angel originally started doing burlesque 9 years ago and formed Angel Burlesque in 2010. “We perform all over town and our focus is on theatrical burlesque that tells a story.” The show was broken up after every song for a performer change by 2 cohosts that exchanged banter with each other and the crowd. They would also make the crowd laugh by taking shots at the “kittens”— stagehands who assist in removing glitter and discarded clothing from the stage between sets. There was a strong balance of funny then sexy then funny again. “Not every routine is funny but overall our shows are light hearted and tongue in cheek! Everyone in the theater, from performers to audience members is having a good time.”


Asked how often Angel Burlesque puts on shows, Angel said, “We usually put on about four big shows a year and then a series of smaller productions as they pop up.” “Our next appearance will be with the Irvington Halloween Festival After Party on Saturday, October 27th.” ”Our next Angel Burlesque is Winter SolTits at the Irving Theatre December 14 & 15.”


Her final thoughts summed up my experience at Nerdgasm perfectly, “I feel so fortunate that Angel has been able to create a community of people that feels like family. The people who come to Angel shows know that they are going to have fun, laugh, and hang out with a bunch of like-minded weirdos. Come for the boobs, stay for the laughs.”  ~Michael Lombardi

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