Nudey Tunes’ “Tales from the Stripped” will be held Oct. 10 at Franky Bradley’s
Whether it’d be “Twilight Zone” or “Creepshow,” an assortment of horror anthologies have tackled ghosts, goblins and other things that go bump in the night — the latest being local burlesque.
In its sixth of a series of quarterly scripted burlesque, the Philly-based Nudey Tunes, established in 2017 by Whitman resident Jessica Gruver, who is more commonly known by her stage name Isa Ardiente, is presenting its first Halloween spectacle of, “Tales from the Stripped” on Oct. 10 at Franky Bradleys.
Set to the live and original music of local heavy metal band Heavy Temple, the show, which features six actors, including a few from South Philly, performing four original spooky stories, satisfies some unorthodox elements of burlesque that Nudey Tunes was founded upon, particularly its inclusion of an overarching narrative, as opposed to a variety series, in its productions.
“I wanted something that pulled together burlesque with more theater and live music,” Ardiente said. “Because a lot of burlesque had been performed with live music and now it almost never is.”
Being both vocally trained in voice and piano, along with her extensive experience performing in plays and musicals, all of Ardiente’s shows are set to the sounds of local musicians and also are based upon one theme, such as the roaring ’20s or even ’70s pornography.
“We try to create a brand new world for each of the Nudey Tunes,” Ardiente said.
Striving to maintain a more dialogue-based production for “Tales from the Stripped,” she partnered with Southwark resident and writer of the show Matt Lorenz, who is also a local actor and member of Found Theatre Company.
Deriving from both artists’ theater backgrounds, they brainstormed ways to weave traditional thespianism into traditional burlesque.
“It’s become my favorite part of writing — trying to make the burlesque piece accomplish something within the story, so that it’s actually kind of almost like an acting objective,” Lorenz said. “They have to perform the dance to advance the plot.”
Like lyrics furthering the narrative in a musical, stripping serves the same objective.
“I have to take off my clothes, because I’m trying to accomplish this thing,” Ardiente added.
From cursed sushi in Cherry Hill, which can only be reversed by obtaining the devil’s heart, to suburban vampires wandering around Mt. Airy, the architects of the four stories were slightly inspired by the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror — but with some local twists.
Each of the four “episodes,” are actually choreographed by the respective individual performers. Lorenz and Ardiente loosley outlined the scene with dialogue and some stage direction, granting the performers freedom to interpret however they’d like.
Fusing comedy with horror and striptease with song, the show will deliver a synthesis of sinister theater.
“I feel like it’s moving in the right direction in that it’s becoming more theatrical,” Lorenz said. “We’re thinking about lights and sound and actually trying to build it like a traditional show. And at least for me personally, the merging of the two I think, just makes for exciting and unexpected things to happen on stage.”
Info: “Tales from the Stripped,” will take place on Oct. 10 at Franky Bradley’s, located at 1320 Chancellor St. Doors will open at 9 p.m., and the show will begin at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased at: https://shows.frankybradleys.com/event/1756014-nudey-tunes-tales-from-philadelphia/.