Vintage Vixens and a Vaudeville Revue at the Pretty Things Peepshow

Burlesque is finally hitting Houston in a big way. From the recent Tribute to Bettie Page at the Alamo Drafthouse, to last week's Valentine's burlesque show at the Frenetic Theater to Houstonian Rebecca Hadley's creation of the Lady Grace Academy -- which teaches the craft of burlesque, among other "ladylike" arts -- the Bayou City can't get enough of the bombshells.

Tonight at Roc Bar, one of the country's most talented and well-known burlesque troops is making its third stop in Houston over the past few years. The Pretty Things Peepshow is more than just semi-naked girls on stage, though. A throwback in more ways than one, the traveling troupe also features sword swallowing, chainsaw juggling, straitjacket escapes and all the traditional acts associated with an old-time sideshow.

Burlesque dancers Bettina May and Go-Go Amy -- both of Los Angeles -- wowed the city last year, but not just through their dizzying dancing and tassel-twirling. Before each show, the duo also hosts a "How To Be a Pin-Up Girl" class that sells out every year. And with good reason: Bettina and Amy encourage all women to indulge their inner pin-up, no matter their body situation. "We teach you that true glamour has no size, height or age restriction," say the girls. "All you need is a positive attitude and a set of curlers."

Even if you missed out on the pin-up girl class, you can still get a dose of healthy body images, cheeky fun and daring feats of insanity (the Human Blockhead?) tonight at Roc Bar. Tickets are $25 at the door, which opens at 8 p.m. The big show starts at 10 p.m., but you can slake your thirst for burlesque action while you wait -- the girls have their very own Coney Island craft lagers named and brewed for them by the Shmaltz Brewing Company.

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Katharine Shilcutt