WCBF 2016 Chicago Burlesque Production Team

chicago burlesque fest

Red Hot Annie, Vaudezilla, Executive Producer
In July 2008, Red Hot Annie paired up with Dick Dijon to form Vaudezilla (voted Best Burlesque by Chicago Reader 2011 & 2014), a production company that has become a major force in Chicago by setting a new standard for burlesque cabaret shows. Annie opened Vaudezilla Studios in 2009, and she and her crew of top-notch teachers have established the studio as the premiere destination for Chicago burlesque and performance instruction. She also has been and remains one of the Executive Producers of the Windy City Burlesque Fest since its inception in 2010.

A constant presence in Chicago burlesque, she has also traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad, with regular appearances in France and the United Kingdom. Red Hot Annie has headlined many national festivals, and has been nationally recognized with being voted #34 in the Burlesque Top 50 for 2010 and winning "Best Novelty" at Texas Burlesque Fest in 2012.

chicago burlesque fest

Keith Emroll, Vaudezilla, Technical Director and Financial Administrator
Keith Emroll is an Executive Producer and the Technical Director of Chicago's Vaudezilla Productions. In almost eight years, he - along with Red Hot Annie - has played a significant role in the production of close to 750 burlesque performances and has helped position Vaudezilla as the pre-eminent burlesque organization in Chicago. In addition to his extensive work behind the scenes, he conceived and wrote Vaudezilla's critical and box-office smash hit "Rollin' Outta Here Naked: A Big Lebowski Burlesque."

chicago burlesque fest

Ashley Vest, Sponsorhip Coordinator, Workshop Coordinator
Giving us the audience vote, Ashley is a non-performing fan of all art forms. With a background in filmmaking, writing, and makeup Ashley will be offering the perspective of some one who loves and appreciates watching performances. "I love performance art that breaths, takes moments, and moves me. Make me feel, think, or laugh and you're getting my vote." Ashley is an Illinois native and is thrilled to be helping to bring the Windy City Burlesque Fest to life this year!

chicago burlesque fest

Raven Gemini, Vendor Coordinator
Raven Gemini is no Common Crow. She has been performing burlesque for the past three years, and is a current member of Vaudezilla. She has been invited to perform at the 2012 and 2014 Windy City Burlesque Fests, the 2014 Great Burlesque Exposition in Cambridge, MA, and has been seen in Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Michigan to boot! Her acts explore the dark spaces behind the glitzy exterior of glamour and ambition... addiction, obsession, and self-destruction.

chicago burlesque fest

Ali Lawrence, Fundraising
Ali performs burlesque under Lady Ali Mode, drag as Tyler Sequins, and ice hockey goalie as Lawrence. She has a BFA from the American Academy of Art and has worked professionally in digital arts/advertising for 10 years, winning a Bronze Anvil and American Business Award. She has created multiple successful viral projects that were featured in USA Today, CNN, Wired, Boing Boing, Ad Age, Chicago Red Eye, Yahoo Sports, Grantland, Vancouver Sun Times and more. Ali has spent the last 4 or so years applying her visual skills and story telling to burlesque taking her own spin on the art all over Chicago. Her adventures as a burlesque dancing goalie have been documented in DNA info, Chicago Tribune and The Madhouse Hockey Podcast. Recently Ali has combined her two loves and created the unique event Puck & Grind: a hockey tournament and burlesque show fundraiser creating awareness of equality in sports.

chicago burlesque fest

Nikki M. Pill, Programming Coordinator
Nikki is a novelist, gourmand, nerd, and dance enthusiast. She is hard at work on The Grind, book 2 of the Darling Killer Trilogy, in which a serial killer stalks burlesque dancers. She enjoys her alter-ego Moxie's reputation as the scariest bellydancer in Chicago; you can catch her at WCBF on Saturday night. She loves to read, cook, watch movies, do yoga, listen to music, and make things. Nikki lives with her partner Saucy Jack and their intermittently grateful cats.

chicago burlesque fest

Trixie Sparx, Hospitality
Classically trained in theater at Western Michigan University and The British American Drama Academy, Trixie Sparx refocused her energies to Burlesque in 2009. Ms. Sparx is the longest standing cast member of Vaudezilla Productions, where she started as a vixen working her way up to a headliner performer. She also teaches burlesque bachelorette and birthday parties encouraging women (and men!) to explore the beauty and social importance of the art. Last year she was seen at the Kansas City Burlesque Festival and is hoping to travel and perform more on stages outside of Chicago in 2015. Trixie is proud to be a part of the WCBF and looks forward to a great festival!

chicago burlesque fest

Ariel Hartman, Stage Manager
Among Ariel's many jobs in the fine arts world, one of her favorites has been working with Vaudezilla Productions & Burlesque for 4 years now running lights & sound, and she is excited to be backstage in the thick of things for WCBF 2016. Her background is in theatre production & education and her passions are teaching children's theatre & figure modeling. Ariel can usually be found in any comfortable chair reading a book while devouring a grilled cheese sandwich (with avocado, provolone, & roma tomatoes) (you're welcome).

chicago burlesque fest

Claira Bell, Stage Manager
Hailing from the Chicago area, Miss Claira Bell has been actively performing her passions of Circus, Sideshow, and Burlesque. Traveling all over the country, she has gotten the pleasure of working with such groups as: Blue Moon Circus, The Squidling Brothers, The Boston Baby Dolls, and the Cream City Cabaret. Working both on the stage and behind the scenes since high school theater, Claira has helped work on the stage in different support roles for Theater Bizarre, UW Milwaukee Theater Dept, Rouge! Electroswing Monthly, and more.

WCBF 2016 Press Release

Direct All Press Questions to


June 22nd – 25th, 2016 - The 6th Annual Windy City Burlesque Fest

June 22 - 8pm "Chicago Showcase" Opening Night Party
June 23 - 8pm "Anything Goes" Show
June 24 - Daytime workshops, 8pm "Classic Burlesque" Show and 10 pm "Anything Goes" Show
June 25 - Daytime workshops, 8pm "Pop Culture" Show, 10pm "Anything Goes" Show

Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont Ave, Chicago IL 60657

Blowing through town for the sixth time, the 2016 Windy City Burlesque Festival is back once again to bring some hot and sexy fun to your Chicago summer. As always, we bring an eclectic mix of performers from all over the world, including some of the top names in burlesque to lead the way. We have Seattle's own Kitten 'N' Lou headlining this year. And Las Vegas Legend Tiffany Carter returns again as the WCBF's Official Burlesque Legend. Joining them are our featured performers: The One and Only Inga (Seattle) and Audrey Deluxe (Los Angeles by way of New Orleans).

Kicking things off this year will be a special Chicago showcase (and after-party!), introducing you to a spectacular mix of the diverse talents that make our city such a unique haven for burlesque entertainment.

Once your Warm-Up Wednesday is done, we kick it into high gear with five shows from Thursday through Saturday. With our shows, we continue our mission of putting a bright spotlight on the ideas of positivity and inclusivity for styles, body types, sexual identities, and messages. There's a place for everyone here in Chicago, and once again, Stage 773 is the place to be for all your WCBF needs. Whether it's shows, parties, vending, or photo opportunities, if we ain't got it, you don't need it!

And if inspiration hits you, why not take one of our festival workshops? We'll have two days' worth of them this year - all at Stage 773 on Friday and Saturday afternoons. You'll learn from the very best that burlesque has to offer!

The Windy City Burlesque Festival - come be a part of something fabulous!


Contact - Red Hot Annie, annie@redhotannie.com, 773-685-9020

RedEye: Wednesday: Eat. Drink. Do.
RedEye: 6 Chicago Comedy Shows To See This Week
Thrillist: Everything You Absolutely Must Do In Chicago This Summer
F News Magazine: Let's Get Sensual

Chicago Reader: Ten Cool Things to do in Chicago in June
Events12: June Events
Thrillist: 12 Things You Must Do In Chicago this June
RedEye: Wednesday: Eat. Drink. Do.
Weird Review: Pirates, wenches, blues, burlesque babes, & August make the midwest June steam

WCIU: Chicago Burlesque Fest w/Aly Bockler
Vocalo: Windy City Burlesque Fest 2014
Windy City Media Group: Gotta Have a Gimmick / Windy City Burlesque Fest
Red Eye: Spotlight on Opening Night Party at Lincoln Tap Room
Chicago Reader: Burlesque Fest
Broadway World: Windy City Burlesque Fest Returns
Digital Journal: 10 Things to Do in June / Fathers Day
Chicago Traveler: Windy City Burlesque Fest Summary
Choose Chicago: Windy City Burlesque Fest

Chicago Now: Dropping a Name at Windy City Burlesque Fest
Chicago Quirk: Celebrate the Art of Strip Tease
RedEye Chicago: Windy City Burlesque Fest Shakes It Up
Gozamos: Windy City Burlesque Fest Opening NIght
Chicago Reader: Celebrating the Tassseled Tit
Timeout Chicago: WindY City Burlesque Fest
Gapers Block: Gapers Block Slowdown

Huffington Post: Chicago Burlesque Festival
Timeout Chicago: Windy City Burlesque Festival Photos
Timeout Chicago: Windy City Burlesque Fest at Greenhouse Theatre
WCIU: Windy City Burlesque Fest / Red Hot Annie on WCIU
NBC Chicago: Windy City Burlesque Festival
RedEye Chicago: Chicago Burlesque Festival 2011
Gapers Block: Burlesque Festival in Chicago
Go Magazine: Chicago Burlesque Fest
Chicago Reader: Windy City Burlesque Fest / Chicago
My Chicago Concierge: Chicago Burlesque / WCBF

WCIU: WCBF / Chicago Burlesque Festival
Chicago Stage Review: Windy City Burlesque Festival
Being Totally Sweet in Chicago: Chicago's First Burlesque Festival
The Candy Pitch:Chicago Biggest Burlesque Event
Chicago Examiner: Windy City Burlesque