Arts & Culture » Stage

Red Light Variety Show Presents: Time Machine


Due to their period-focused aesthetic, burlesque shows are almost a time machine in and of themselves. But Boise's Red Light Variety Show wanted to push further.

Artistic Director Anne McDonald said that while putting their next show together, members of the troupe kept putting out ideas that were time-specific in their presentation, so they decided to run with it and make the whole show lurch through history thanks to a broken time machine the cast encounters at the London World's Fair in the opening scene.

Dances and routines will include post-apocalyptic visions, robotic futures and trips back to the American Leave it to Beaver era. The latter will include sound effects and sitcom laughter as part of an acrobatic act.

For Time Machine, Red Light made the decision to lay much of their vaudeville aside in order to be more experimental. There will be no emcee.

"This show is more ethereal than what we usually do," said McDonald. "The goal was to capture the feeling of the era more than anything."

To do so, the cast had to thoroughly research the time periods to ensure their dances and costumes were specific. McDonald said The Burns and Allen Show offered heavy inspiration. Another skit, a hula hooper's discovery of the wheel, promises to be illuminating.