Since 2013, Tease, If You Please has been a staple of the Downtown nightlife scene, from monthly shows in the Historic Core to participating in the now-defunct Night on Broadway festival.
The multi-act burlesque show, which is celebrating its six year anniversary this Saturday, Nov. 16 at 9 p.m., is going back to Broadway’s Palace Theatre. The night features one of the largest lineups the production has ever had, with acts ranging from aerialists to belly dancers, as well as 1920s showgirl-inspired group routines. Dancers include men and women.
Tickets to the show start at $30.
Tease, If You Please creator and performer Donna Hood spoke with Los Angeles Downtown News ahead of the show about how Downtown’s dance scene has evolved, and what Angelenos can expect at the anniversary show.
This interview was edited for clarity.
Los Angeles Downtown News: Tease, If You Please has been running monthly with a variety of acts. What are you doing differently for this anniversary performance?
Donna Hood: The show is going to be one of our biggest. We’re in a 1,000-seat venue. We’re going to have 26 performers, and they’re doing all new acts. We’re not doing anything we normally do like solo pieces or duets. Each number either has five-11 people on stage at once. It’s how we’ll be doing things from now on, after this show.
Q: Why go with group numbers? And what kind of acts will these be?
A: Since Tease was created six years ago, it was one of the only burlesques shows reoccurring on our level. We were at the Palace Theatre last year for our five-year show, but that was almost entirely solo acts, with some duets. The only group thing then was my act.
So I thought, what can we do to step it up, to keep people coming back? I come from a dance and choreography background, so why not use that to set our show apart? So each piece is a group one, with some level of choreography and back up dancers.
Q: What other elements can people expect to see on Saturday?
A: For this show, we’ve got aerialists with live music, new burlesque shows, large props and specialty things like fire for certain acts.
Q: Tease, If You Please has been in Downtown for six years now. Why Downtown, and not Hollywood or somewhere else?
A: Downtown was an untapped market. There were a lot of burlesque shows going on in Hollywood at places like No Vacancy, Pour Vous, even the W, but not in Downtown. So, when I moved to Downtown, I thought that I would really love to dance at some of these beautiful places, those theaters on Broadway. I moved Downtown six years ago and started Tease and we’ve been around [venues including The Globe Theater and Exchange LA].
Q: Six years later, what’s the Downtown dance world like now?
A: Now there are a lot more shows, smaller ones at the clubs, bars and restaurants, like Clifton’s and others. We’ve kind of laid the groundwork for that in the last six years.
Q: After six years, and with more shows in Downtown, how do you keep Tease fresh? And how does that fit into this six-year anniversary show?
A: The reason Tease keeps growing is the passion of the performers. When people find something that works, they tend to stick with it, using the same dance, the same song. But you don’t grow as an artist. With each show we do, there’s a goal in mind. So there’s always something new each time. I wanted more group numbers, because it inspires people to say ‘can I work with this person?’ and try something new.
Tease, If You Please’s six-year anniversary show is on
Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway or