Gypsy Layne burlesque show adds new numbers & crew

Vermont Arts Exchange and Oldcastle Theatre presents...

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BENNINGTON — Gypsy Layne Cabaret & Co., in conjunction with Vermont Arts Exchange Basement Music series, will return to Oldcastle Theatre just in time for a sensual, risque pre-Valentine's Day show.

Nothing but a tease is what the larger cast of 13 will deliver a more mature audience on Feb. 10 and 11.

The group, which hails from western Massachusetts, will kick off their new season with a two-night burlesque show full of comedy, dance routines, parodies and brassy sex appeal.

"This is the fourth time VAE has sponsored Gypsy Layne at Oldcastle Theatre," said Eric Peterson, producing artistic director at Oldcastle. "It has always gotten large enthusiastic crowds. We always enjoy collaborating with Matthew and VAE and we love that they have joined us downtown with their concert series. They make the street livelier, more exciting and vibrant!"

The upcoming show is slightly geared toward Valentine's Day, Rizzo said. There's also a new emcee, new types of performances within the new acts and new actors.

Rizzo said they recently performed at the Vermont Burlesque Festival in Burlington, something she wishes to bring down south.

"It's a labor of love for all of us," she said. "We've got a really solid crew from Bennington and western Massachusetts that have been coming to see us. We're really excited for people to see the new gypsies."

A minute-long political skit will be performed as well as a Disney song parody, Rizzo revealed.

There's also larger singing and dancing pieces.

"I think that people think that burlesque can be like the movie that was out — weird glamour and that we're all stick thin, but we're built as a cabaret, with live singing, comedy skits with a [Saturday Night Live] feel," she said. "That's really attractive to venues. With our show, it's a lot of fun. We don't take it too seriously. It's a lot of hard work, it's a huge commitment."

The Gypsies started at the Hotel on North in Pittsfield, Mass. and have since grown to the point where venues are now contacting them, said Nicole Rizzo, the troupe's artistic director. This year they have a residency at Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut

Chocolate homemade treats will be available for purchase at the theater during the performance on Feb. 10 and 11 donated by local bakers. Proceeds benefit VAE.

Tickets cost $22 (with small processing fee) on vtartxchange.org or by calling 800-838-3006. Tickets are $26 at the door.

Thyme Tables Catering will provide libations. Future Basement Music Series acts can be found on the VAE website or Facebook page.

Reach staff writer Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-4671 or @MC_McGeeney.

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