Bourbontown Burlesque swings onto the Mercury Ballroom stage Saturday. | Courtesy of Bourbontown Burlesque

For one local burlesque troupe, the chance to perform on stage at a major downtown venue is a big deal, as it signifies both the rising popularity of the art form and also a nod to its past heyday.

“We’re going to strut into the heart of Louisville’s historic theater district and bring burlesque the way it was done at the height of its existence,” said Bourbontown Burlesque founder Holly Harvest in a news release.

The group’s second annual Bourbontown Burlesque Festival will take over Mercury Ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 12. 

Holly Harvest | Courtesy of Bourbontown Burlesque

Harvest tells Insider there will be 15 performers made up of locals and out-of-state talent. The theme for Saturday’s show is “unapologetically amazing,” and each act will bring his or her own take on classic-style strip tease, death-defying aerials, comedy and more.

Some of the performers include locals like Beatrix B. Naughty, Lady Phoenix and Vivian La Resistance, and nationally renowned acts like burlesque master Shan De Leers (Nashville), award-winning entertainer Abigail Rhys (Portland, Ore.), juggler Kyle Johnson (Holland, Mich.), and Rose Whip (St. Louis), known as the “Mynx of Musicality.”

Harvest says she’s excited to bring all this talent onto one stage, especially a stage that is more live music venue than bar.

“It is where we belong,” she explains. “The burlesque revival has fully matured, and we belong back in theaters versus the bar you can usually find us in. It is very, very validating as a producer that a venue like Mercury Ballroom sees us and respects what we are doing.”

Harvest suggests to those who may be hesitant to attend to take a chance, because there is something for everyone.

“Each performer in this show is worth the price of admission,” she says. “If you are in need of some overwhelmingly positive energy, this is the place for you. We will leave all our worries at the door and just allow ourselves the space for a good time.”

There is something for everyone, Harvest says. | Courtesy of Bourbontown Burlesque

The Bourbontown Burlesque Festival will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12. Tickets are $20 (in advance), $25 (at the door) and $30-$35 (VIP). Mercury Ballroom is located at 611 S. Fourth St.

Sara Havens

Sara Havens

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."