Chicago Her HRC Va Va Vaudeville

There is a hush that falls over a crowd, a certain brand of silence, when a beautiful woman is torturing you from a stage. The soft curve of her smirking red lips, the sensual movement of her hips, the clip-swish of a sequined bra falling to the floor. This ain’t your grandma’s striptease.

Well, actually, it is. Kinda. This is Vaudeville, done properly. This is a night of sin-tilating women, side splitting comedy, and entertainment acts that have gone unappreciated for far too long. This is not the trashy, flashy, quickly finished, we-only-have-a-minute-before-work breed of sexy. This is where women took charge of their own bodies, where they dared to be sensual and naughty, where in many aspects the birth of female empowerment had its beginnings. It’s hard to imagine a time where consensual overtly sexual acts (even in the privacy of your own home) were illegal, and when women were barely allowed to show their ankles in public. When the majority of society determined who you could sleep with, when you could do it, where it should be done….

Wait, starting to sound a little familiar? Present day laws deeming who we can marry, where we can work, whether or not we can parent children, all still exist. We have come a long way, ladies. But there is more work to be done, more trails to be blazed. Let’s honour the women who dazzled us with their sense of empowerment, their resistance to the status quo, their drive to simply be in charge of their own lives; bodies and all.

This year for the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) annual HER event, Chicago has decided to go big. Go Vaudeville. Hosted at the amazing Mayne Stage in Rodger’s Park, it promises to be a night of unforgettable entertainment, with machete jugglers, painted ladies, raffle prizes, burlesque teasing, belly dancing shimmying, drag king singing, hot beats spinning, and so much more. But more than just a night of self indulgence, this event is helping to support the largest LGBTQ organization in the country. Helping to rally those in political office to making laws that are equal and fair, across the nation, for all people. Helping to give families and individuals in our community the same rights that our hetero counterparts often take for granted. Although more than a century has passed since the dawn of Vaudeville, it has been less than 100 years since women were given the right to vote in the US. It’s only been 7 years since the women of Kuwait were afforded this same right. Saudi Arabia is expected to pass this law in 2015.

Join us as we continue the push forward. It’s not just about our rights as a citizen of this country. It’s about setting an example to our global family. It’s about supporting women, straight or queer, neither or both, however identified. It’s about our allies. It’s about being heard, not backing down, not giving in to apathy. It’s about being able to look back in a century and being able to say “That’s crazy, remember when…?”

Hosted by Aly Bockler from WCIU

As the saying goes, “Well behaved women rarely make history”.

So come, be a part of history. We don’t expect it to always be easy, but no one said we couldn’t enjoy the show along the way either.

March 18th, doors open at 6:00pm for VIP, 6:30pm for General Admission. Show begins at 7:00pm, with acts performing until 10pm and then DJ All The Way Kay takes over and we dance, dance, dance! Hosted by Aly Bockler from WCIU, comedy by Seth & Kellen, Meg O’Rourke, Gwen La Roka, and Bradley Thomas. Burlesque performances by Ammunition, Cruel Valentine, Sauda Namir, and Red Hot Annie as well as the musical comedy of Plucky Rosenthal, machete juggler Sultry Susan, juggler Brad French, and belly dancers Shajara and Mae. Event is 18+ for the first time ever (21+ to drink)!! Come early to enjoy the amazing food at Act One, Mayne Stage’s gastro pub attached to the venue.

For more details and tickets visit:

Act fast,  last year we entirely sold the event out!!

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About Leah Schein

Leah is a born and bred Chicagoan, and considers herself extremely fortunate to be raised by amazing liberal parents in Logan Square. Coming from a long family history of equality activism, the crazy world of politics feels like home to her. Her upbringing allowed her to fully appreciate her love of tacos, and provided the support needed to be independent and insane. She is a happy survivor of the public school system, all the way through her undergrad years, culminating with a BA in anthropology. Her love of travel and all things adventurous led to the pursuit of a Master of Science from sunny ol’ England, where she happily grasped a conservation degree and ran off to live in a number of rain forests to research nocturnal primates. Through the amazing diversity she was fortunate to be raised amongst, she has an unwavering appreciation of all cultures and peoples, and has used this to form the foundation of her outspoken support of civil rights. You may have seen her running around Boystown/Tuna town over the last decade, or at events she volunteers at for the Human Rights Campaign. It’s possible you spied her at the Silent Film Festival. That strange woman getting into a wrestling match in the leaves on Foster Ave beach at 3am…that definitely wasn’t her. She couldn’t be more excited about sharing her love of science, and it’s role in our daily lives, with the community she loves. Nerds are cool, people. They drink martini’s too.


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