While some prefer chocolate on Valentine’s Day, Go-Go Amy is more of a flame-swallowing kind of gal.
Sound like your type? Catch the burlesque performer and her vaudeville crew at the Pretty Things Peepshow this weekend at Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center. The four-person troupe will take the stage on Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m.
Pre-show pin-up makeovers will be available Sunday (just be sure to register in advance).
A “romantic carnival of curiosities,” the Pretty Things Peepshow features everything from puppetry and magic to knife throwing and old style burlesque. Hell, there’s even a dog that knows magic tricks.
Go-Go Amy – who prefers to go by her stage name – dreamed up the show eight years ago and has been on the road ever since.
“I really wanted to be a full time vaudeville performer but there weren’t enough shows to keep me employed full time. I figure if my dream job didn’t exist then it was up to me to create it,” she said.
Puppeteer and co-host Matt Scott adds, “Vaudeville doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a live form of theater that we have had to revive ourselves. As a result, it’s completely open to interpretation. We have created our own versions of what may have been presented on stages 100 years ago.”
And create, they have. But don’t just take it from us. Hear from Go-Go Amy herself.
Kim O’Brien: You describe the Pretty Things Peepshow as a “naughty, bawdy variety show.” Tell me a little more about that.
Go-Go Amy: The show has a wide variety of acts, including knife throwing, sword swallowing, burlesque, puppets, quick change magic, a dog who does card tricks and more! Some of the acts or costumes are a bit racy, but we do everything with class and sass.
KO: How do you find people with such unusual talents? Or do they find you?
GA: I never know when, where or how I’m going to find the right people, but somehow I always do.
Rachel Atlas [sword swallower and knife thrower] and I have been friends for years. In 2010, she came on the road with us when we toured on Ozzfest as a ticket seller. That’s when she began learning her acts. Now she’s an international sideshow star!
Charlie Atlas, her husband, started as our driver for the 2013 U.K. tour. I took one look at him and knew he would be a great performer. He started doing strong man stunts, and now he is one of the top knife throwers in the world.
I found Matt Scott, our newest cast member, performing in Hollywood, where I live. I have always loved puppets, and I was looking for something new and unique for the show. As soon as he set foot on stage I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to make all his puppetry dreams come true.
KO: With over 800 shows under your belt, you’ve definitely pinpointed what audiences love. Can you name a few crowd-favorite acts?
GA: I think above and beyond any one specific act, audiences love seeing people doing what they are passionate about. There is something so special in watching someone living out their dreams on stage. That’s why I search the globe for these unique and talented individuals. Oh yeah, and boobs. Audiences always like boobs.
KO: Are you seeing any new vaudeville trends emerging?
GA: I’m not really sure what the hottest vaudeville trends are at the moment. I do know we’re always trying to stay one step ahead of them. My theory is don’t worry about what other people are doing. Put on a show that you would like to see. If you’re excited about what you’re doing, the audience will be too. Following your heart is way more important than following a trend.
KO: You’ve performed in 12 countries. What brings you back to Harrisburg, PA?
GA: The audience! We love all our friends and fans in Harrisburg, and I can’t wait to spend the most romantic day of the year with them.